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Friday, April 10, 2020

MLB.com: How Wilmer’s Tears Changed Baseball History

Many of us watched what went down at Citi Field the night of July 29, 2015, when Flores, then the Mets’ 23-year-old homegrown utility infielder, found out he had been traded and tried to hold back tears he couldn’t control. It was a rare, relatable glimpse into the human element of the Trade Deadline, a riveting presentation of baseball theater.

That moment, though, is even more important and engrossing with the benefit of retrospect. Whether Flores’ tears directly led to his swap getting spiked remains a matter of dispute. But that terminated trade has had bigger repercussions than the vast majority of deals that actually happened. Its ripple effects include the Mets winning the 2015 National League pennant with Yoenis Céspedes, the Brewers landing an uber-reliever named Josh Hader and Mike Fiers joining the Astros team whose sign-stealing scheme he would one day expose.

Great account assembled from talking to many people involved with these events.


Wednesday, March 04, 2020

The Brewers are working on contract extension with Christian Yelich that would exceed $200 million

Fans unhappy that the Milwaukee Brewers trimmed payroll considerably from the 2019 season will be pleased to hear what they are doing with some of that money.

The Brewers are close to an agreement with outfielder Christian Yelich on a seven-year, $188.5 million contract extension that would run from 2022-28. Added to the two years remaining on his current contract, the total worth of Yelich’s contract would be $215 million.

News of the advanced negotiations was first reported Tuesday by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Later reports by Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman of MLB Network, as well as Bob Nightengale of USA Today, indicated the extension would add seven years beyond the two remaining on Yelich’s current deal, for a total of nine years plus a mutual option for a 10th year in 2029.

A source familiar with the situation confirmed the Brewers and Yelich have been working toward a long-term extension but wasn’t sure which side made the first overture. Yelich has said in the past how much he likes Milwaukee and preferred to stay there as long as possible, and principal owner Mark Attanasio indicated earlier this year the club had definite interest in making that happen.

Well, that article I linked to yesterday spoke the truth…...

 

QLE Posted: March 04, 2020 at 12:39 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, christian yelich, contract extensions

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Brewers owner claims team “had an operating loss” in 2019

PHOENIX (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio claims his team “had an operating loss” in 2019 but that isn’t why the club’s projected payroll has dropped nearly $30 million.

Attanasio says the Brewers are down from last season’s franchise-record $132.6 million payroll because president of baseball operations David Stearns didn’t find any splashy free-agent fits, instead preferring to rely on depth, versatility and manager Craig Counsell’s knack for balancing options.

“There’s nothing that David didn’t do this offseason that he wouldn’t have done if we’d have had a different budget number,” Attanasio said. “He’s always free to come to me and say, ‘I want to do ‘fill-in-the-blank.’ I want to acquire ‘fill-in-the-blank.’”

Milwaukee was fifth in the National League last year in attendance at 2,923,333 and has been in the top-6 each of the past three seasons, yet it was 11th in the NL in payroll. Only the Pirates and Marlins spent less than $100 million among NL clubs, which is roughly where Milwaukee projects for 2020.

As always, good luck interpreting this in a world where the figures in question are held very close to the chest.

 

QLE Posted: February 20, 2020 at 12:49 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, finances, mark attanasio

Monday, February 17, 2020

Brewers sign Suter to 2-year deal, avoiding arb

PHOENIX—Reliever Brent Suter and the Brewers agreed to terms on a two-year contract Sunday, about 24 hours before the sides were scheduled to go to an arbitration hearing.

Suter, the left-hander who starred for the Brewers last September in the wake of Tommy John surgery, had filed for a $1.25 million salary in his first year of arbitration eligibility, and the Brewers countered at $825,000. According to two sources, the two-year deal guarantees $2.5 million. Suter gets a $100,000 signing bonus and salaries of $900,000 in 2020 and $1.5 million in ‘21. The ‘21 salary would increase by $50,000 each for 80, 100, 120, 140 and 160 innings pitched this year.

“[A hearing] was always in the back of my mind,” Suter said. “I kept on thinking of things—maybe we can add this or that [to the case]. The competitor in me was trying to give our best case possible. But I’ve certainly heard that it’s not the ‘funnest’ process going in there and hearing how bad you stink for an hour and a half. I’m glad we were able to avoid it. Like I said, it’s a day of super gratitude and a breath of fresh air, like, ‘OK, now we can just play baseball and forget about that stuff for a while and be with my teammates and coaches and great fans for another two years.’”

A Harvard man drafted by the Brewers in the 31st round in 2012, Suter has a 3.63 ERA in 223 Major League innings over the past four seasons. He was at his best last September, going 4-0 with a 0.49 ERA in 18 1/3 innings before working a scoreless inning in the National League Wild Card Game.

Given how arbitration has been going for the players this season, this is an understandable move.

 

QLE Posted: February 17, 2020 at 12:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brent suter, brewers

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ryan Braun pleads case to special panel Thursday trying to avoid 50-game suspension

I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to play this game, and I am appalled that you would begin a three-member panel inquiry with a topic like that!

Ryan Braun, the National League’s Most Valuable Player, pleaded his case Thursday before a three-member panel that will decide whether he faces a 50-game suspension for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone.

The appeal came just two days before Braun will accept his MVP award at the New York Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s dinner Saturday night at the New York Hilton, sources familiar with Braun told the Daily News.

A decision by the panel, which includes MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner, MLB executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred and independent arbitrator Shyam Das, is not expected to come before Braun accepts his award. It was unclear if the hearing would continue into Friday.

...The Milwaukee outfielder, however, is playing a game that no major leaguer has won; despite conflicting reports, no player has ever seen a suspension overturned by the arbitration panel, according to people familiar with the process.

It is possible for a player to test positive for a banned substance and see his case dismissed in advance of arbitration because of chain of custody or other issues, without the public ever learning of his positive test. But Braun is past that point, and is looking to the arbitration panel as his final chance to avoid suspension.

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, rumors, steroids

The Onion: Prince Fielder Wondering If He Has Truly Free Agency

NEWPORT BEACH, CA—After meeting with his agent Monday to discuss his free agency prospects, Prince Fielder told reporters he was left wondering if he or any man can ever say his agency is truly free.

“Free agency suggests I am able to make a choice void of any constraint, but right from the get-go, that premise is problematic,” said Fielder, adding that it isn’t as if he can just get a job as an acoustical engineer, or even as a professional athlete in another sport.

“In the end, I am not an autonomous entity who can choose a path based on multiple options. Instead, I am one link in a causal chain, so my actions are merely the inevitable product of lawful causes stemming from prior events. What I’m saying is, I’m essentially limited to the 30 baseball organizations in North America; realistic, long-term socioeconomic factors have already decided which cities can support a team that pays the kind of salary I demand; and roster decisions dating all the way back to the invention of the game have determined which teams are in need of a first baseman today—so there are only a few clubs that could logically take me. And human nature will compel me to pick the one that offers the best, highest salary.”

Fielder concluded the press conference by saying that he is essentially a determinist, and that he enjoys hitting baseballs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 07:59 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, business

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MVP Ryan Braun to speak at dinner

BBWAAH, must we?

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, who faces a 50-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, is expected to speak at a banquet where he will accept his award for being voted National League MVP.

Braun will appear at the annual awards dinner of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Saturday in New York, a spokesman for the player told The New York Times.

“He will be there and he will accept his award,” Matthew Hiltzik told The Times.

...He has not made a public appearance since news of the positive test broke on Dec. 10. Hiltzik told The Times that Braun does not intend to do interviews Saturday. Braun was named MVP on Nov. 22.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 09:14 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, brewers, rumors, steroids

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Brewers sign Japanese slugger Norichika Aok

This “slugger” hit four home runs and slugged .360 in 643 PAs. In Japan.

The Milwaukee Brewers have signed three-time year contract with a club option for 2014.

The Brewers won the negotiating rights to Aoki on December 19.
The 30-year-old Aoki has played his entire eight-year professional career with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, batting .329 with 84 HR, 385 RBI and 164 stolen bases in 985 games.

The Central League batting champion in 2005 (.344), 2007 (.346) and 2010 (.358), Aoki won the CL Rookie of the Year award in 2005. He is also a six- time Golden Glove Award winner.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 07:11 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, japan

K-Rod signs for $8 million

Why make billions when you can make millions?

The Brewers have struck a one-year deal with Francisco Rodriguez for $8 million, avoiding what could have been a complicated arbitration case.

Rodriguez had a base salary of $11.5 million last year and was a free agent who unexpectedly accepted the Brewers’ offer of salary arbitration last December.

The Brewers plan to use “K-Rod” as a setup man for closer John Axford. His agent, Scott Boras, views him as closer material, and thus the stage was set for an interesting philosophical debate.

Instead, this deal was struck, leaving the Brewers with three players in arbitration: RHP Shaun Marcum and relievers Kameron Loe and Jose Veras.

Rodriguez was acquired from the Mets at the all-star break last season and formed a dynamic 1-2 punch with Axford. In 31 games, he compiled a 1.86 ERA and held batters to a .209 batting average. He logged 33 strikeouts in 29 innings.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Brewers’ Craig Counsell retires

Advisory Counsell, if you will.

It’s official. The Brewers have named Craig Counsell as a special assistant to general manager Doug Melvin. There will be a news conference at Miller Park at 1:30 p.m.

“We are pleased to have Craig join our organization in a very significant role,” Melvin said. “His knowledge of how to play the game along with his work ethic and passion to see the Brewers succeed will now be utilized and welcomed by our front office.”

“I am excited to begin a new challenge in baseball,” Counsell said. “I look forward to contributing in any way I can to the success of an organization that has been a special part of my life for many years.”

Craig Counsell played all or part of 16 seasons in the major leagues, appearing in 1,624 games as a versatile infielder who played second base, shortstop and third base. He compiled a .255 batting average with 218 doubles, 40 triples, 42 home runs, 647 runs and 390 RBI in 4,741 at-bats.

Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Stein: Judaism on Steroids

The widespread use of PEDs in baseball is nearly as old as the game itself. In 1889, pitcher Pud Galvin of the Pittsburgh Burghers began endorsing a testosterone supplement made from dog testicles. He won 23 games that season. Anecdotal evidence indicates that baseball legends Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Babe Ruth experimented with testosterone, amphetamines, and sheep testicle extract, respectively. By the 1970s, amphetamine use was rampant, and an increasing number of ballplayers soon began experimenting with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. Cocaine reached epidemic levels in the 1980s.

Jewish sources confirm this human desire for self-improvement, but also discuss the potential moral and medical drawbacks. The most comprehensive study of medicine in the Bible and Talmud remains Biblisch-Talmudische Medizin (Biblical and Talmudic Medicine), published by Julius Preuss in 1911. Preuss, who was a doctor and Hebraic scholar, utilized a rigorous, analytical approach in studying the ancient texts, and this extensive volume reflects a lifetime of serious medical and Judaic scholarship.

Over 18 chapters, Preuss covers anatomy, neurology, psychology, obstetrics, sexual health, Jewish medical rituals, dermatology, and a range of obscure and familiar maladies as discussed in talmudic and biblical writings. He also chronicles ancient remedies, some fantastical, others familiar. For an earache: pour lukewarm kidney fluids in the ear (though melted chicken fat works in a pinch).  A fever calls for radishes; a cold for beets; and cabbage works across the board.  Wine, small fish, and leeks were known to aid digestion. Fred Rosner, who translated Preuss’s tome in 1978, summed up the general health and nutrition advice of the Talmud: “Eat moderately, eat simply, eat slowly, and eat regularly.”

However, the advice is not merely gastronomical. Rabbis throughout Jewish history also experimented with a range of concoctions meant to increase strength and stamina—kosher PEDs.

In tractate Gittin, the sage Abaye recommends a mixture of ground safflower boiled with wine to promote vascular and sexual health. Rabbi Yohanon appears to have been a fan of the formula and offers an emphatic endorsement: “This restored me to my youthful vigor!” Maimonides, in his treatise “The Regimen of Health,” mentions oxymel, refined syrup of roses, and infusion of tamarind as effective means to increase strength and ward off disease.

Of course, Braun was not busted for high levels of tamarind in his system. Regardless of talmudic inspiration, cheating is certainly frowned upon in Jewish law. At the least, steroid use represents a violation of gneivat da’at, deceit; at most, it is downright theft. If steroids influenced Braun’s on-field performance (which, I understand, is kind of the point), then he effectively robbed another worthy ballplayer of the MVP trophy, a spot on the All-Star team, and perhaps a lucrative spot on the Brewers’ roster.

PEDs also violate the biblical prohibition of self-endangerment. Based on the verse “you shall guard yourself rigorously,” rabbis derived a series of laws prohibiting physical or spiritual self-harm. Steroids may qualify as both: Physical consequences of steroid abuse include liver tumors and cancer, jaundice, high blood pressure and increased cholesterol, kidney tumors, fluid retention, and severe acne; men may experience shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, breast development, and increased risk of prostate cancer. Psychologically, steroid abuse can lead to increased aggression, anxiety, and depression.

H/T DSM

Stormy JE Posted: January 13, 2012 at 07:22 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, steroids

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On balance, Bud Selig has been good for baseball

I bring all this up because word came out this week that Selig, who has said he would retire at the end of this year, will be offered a contract extension at the owners meetings this week. And by all accounts, he’ll take it, adding at least two more years to his tenure as commissioner. He’s been on the job since 1992, and two more seasons would take Selig to his 80th birthday.

cardsfanboy Posted: January 11, 2012 at 06:27 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, business, history, mariners

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mattingly: Braun shouldn’t be MVP if PED appeal fails.

Throwing that bogus 4.2% bump in HOF voting weight around already, eh Donnie.

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he hopes that Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is successful in appealing his positive test for a banned substance, but that it would “make sense” to revote on the MVP award, or strip Braun of the award if it is found that he indeed used a banned substance.

“In the end, I hope the appeal it’s something that was a mistake. I don’t want to see anything bad come out of it for him,” Mattingly said.

When asked if a player who tested positive for a banned substance should be stripped of the MVP award, Mattingly answered, “I don’t know. It makes sense though, a little bit. It’s not 10 years later, it’s a month later.”

...Mattingly said he thinks Kemp should’ve won the award in the first place.

“To me Matt was the best player in the game last year,” Mattingly said. “Ryan had a great year too.

“But you guys (the media) always ask me about unwritten rules, about catchers and stuff like that. Then we have the unwritten rules about voting, because he wasn’t on a winning team. You guys gotta get your unwritten rules together.”

Repoz Posted: January 10, 2012 at 05:59 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, dodgers, steroids

Monday, January 09, 2012

Another shutout for Brewers Walk of Fame

For the second consecutive year, no former Milwaukee Brewers or Milwaukee Braves players earned enough votes for induction into the Miller Park Walk of Fame. Candidates must be named on 75% of the returned ballots to be elected.

The closest candidate in 2012 was former Braves shortstop Johnny Logan, who received 61.5% of the vote (24 votes). Top vote-getters among former Brewers were Teddy Higuera (51.3%, 20 votes) and Geoff Jenkins (48.7%, 19 votes). This year marked the first time that Jenkins was on the ballot and eligible for election…

Past winners of the award include Hank Aaron, Rollie Fingers, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount in 2001; Commissioner Bud Selig and Cecil Cooper in 2002; Bob Uecker and Harry Dalton in 2003; Jim Gantner and Gorman Thomas in 2004; Don Money and Harvey Kuenn in 2005; Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn and John Quinn in 2007 (the first year that former Braves players appeared on the ballot); and Lew Burdette in 2010.

Complete voting totals in the article.  (Is Wes Obermueller a better or worse Walk of Fame candidate than Bill Mueller is a Hall of Fame candidate?  Meditate upon this.)

The District Attorney Posted: January 09, 2012 at 11:45 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers

Stein: Judaism on Steroids

The widespread use of PEDs in baseball is nearly as old as the game itself. In 1889, pitcher Pud Galvin of the Pittsburgh Burghers began endorsing a testosterone supplement made from dog testicles. He won 23 games that season. Anecdotal evidence indicates that baseball legends Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Babe Ruth experimented with testosterone, amphetamines, and sheep testicle extract, respectively. By the 1970s, amphetamine use was rampant, and an increasing number of ballplayers soon began experimenting with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. Cocaine reached epidemic levels in the 1980s.

Jewish sources confirm this human desire for self-improvement, but also discuss the potential moral and medical drawbacks. The most comprehensive study of medicine in the Bible and Talmud remains Biblisch-Talmudische Medizin (Biblical and Talmudic Medicine), published by Julius Preuss in 1911. Preuss, who was a doctor and Hebraic scholar, utilized a rigorous, analytical approach in studying the ancient texts, and this extensive volume reflects a lifetime of serious medical and Judaic scholarship.

Over 18 chapters, Preuss covers anatomy, neurology, psychology, obstetrics, sexual health, Jewish medical rituals, dermatology, and a range of obscure and familiar maladies as discussed in talmudic and biblical writings. He also chronicles ancient remedies, some fantastical, others familiar. For an earache: pour lukewarm kidney fluids in the ear (though melted chicken fat works in a pinch).  A fever calls for radishes; a cold for beets; and cabbage works across the board.  Wine, small fish, and leeks were known to aid digestion. Fred Rosner, who translated Preuss’s tome in 1978, summed up the general health and nutrition advice of the Talmud: “Eat moderately, eat simply, eat slowly, and eat regularly.”

However, the advice is not merely gastronomical. Rabbis throughout Jewish history also experimented with a range of concoctions meant to increase strength and stamina—kosher PEDs.

In tractate Gittin, the sage Abaye recommends a mixture of ground safflower boiled with wine to promote vascular and sexual health. Rabbi Yohanon appears to have been a fan of the formula and offers an emphatic endorsement: “This restored me to my youthful vigor!” Maimonides, in his treatise “The Regimen of Health,” mentions oxymel, refined syrup of roses, and infusion of tamarind as effective means to increase strength and ward off disease.

Of course, Braun was not busted for high levels of tamarind in his system. Regardless of talmudic inspiration, cheating is certainly frowned upon in Jewish law. At the least, steroid use represents a violation of gneivat da’at, deceit; at most, it is downright theft. If steroids influenced Braun’s on-field performance (which, I understand, is kind of the point), then he effectively robbed another worthy ballplayer of the MVP trophy, a spot on the All-Star team, and perhaps a lucrative spot on the Brewers’ roster.

PEDs also violate the biblical prohibition of self-endangerment. Based on the verse “you shall guard yourself rigorously,” rabbis derived a series of laws prohibiting physical or spiritual self-harm. Steroids may qualify as both: Physical consequences of steroid abuse include liver tumors and cancer, jaundice, high blood pressure and increased cholesterol, kidney tumors, fluid retention, and severe acne; men may experience shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, breast development, and increased risk of prostate cancer. Psychologically, steroid abuse can lead to increased aggression, anxiety, and depression.

Stormy JE Posted: January 09, 2012 at 06:56 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, steroids

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Milwaukee Brewers Top-15 Prospects of 2012

1. Wily Peralta | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B

2. Taylor Jungmann | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B

3. Tyler Thornburg | RHP | Age – 22 | Grade – B/B-

4. Jed Bradley | LHP | Age – 21 | Grade – B-

5. Jorge Lopez | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – B-

6. Logan Schafer | CF | Age – 25 | Grade – C+

7. Scooter Gennett | 2b | Age – 22 | Grade – C+

8. Cody Scarpetta | RHP | Age – 23 | Grade – C+

9. Taylor Green | INF | Age – 25 | Grade – C+

10. Michael Fiers | RHP | Age – 26 | Grade – C+

11. David Goforth | RHP | Age – 23 | Grade – C+

12. Orlando Arcia | SS | Age – 17 | Grade – C+

13. Caleb Gindl | OF | Age – 23 | Grade – C+

14. Michael Reed | RF | Age – 19 | Grade – C

15. Khris Davis | OF | Age – 24 | Grade – C

NoVaO Posted: January 05, 2012 at 01:01 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, fantasy baseball, minor leagues, prospect reports, sabermetrics, scouting

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Haudricourt: Nationals a favorite for Prince Fielder

An MLB official told me over the weekend that word is spreading in the industry that the Washington Nationals have emerged as a favorite to sign free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder.

The market was slow to develop for Fielder, even after Albert Pujols signed a 10-year, $254 million deal with the Angels during the winter meetings in December. But now that the calendar has turned to 2012, you have to assume Fielder and agent Scott Boras will try to get a deal done soon.

For public record, the Nationals have played down any interest they might have in Fielder. General manager Mike Rizzo said recently that “unless something extraordinary and out of the ordinary” happened, he was planning to go with Adam LaRoche at first base in 2012.

...The MLB official I talked to wasn’t sure the Nationals would go the eight to 10 years that Boras is seeking for Fielder, however. They might prefer to go shorter on the deal but as long as Boras is able to match or exceed the $25.4 million annual salary that Pujols is getting from the Angels, I’m guessing he will be happy.

So, we’ll see how this plays out. But keep your eye on the Nats. The Brewers would love for Fielder to go to the American League so they rarely have to face him but as long as it isn’t an NL Central club—i.e., the Cubs—they still won’t have to do battle with him that often.

Thanks to ST.

Repoz Posted: January 03, 2012 at 05:00 AM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, business

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Report: Braun’s suspension likely to be upheld

Future Saint Tainters, get in line!

Ryan Braun may be itching to tell his side of the story, but having his appeal upheld is very unlikely, according to a report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The details:

  An MLB official told me there are only two ways for Braun to win his appeal: Prove there was a lab error with the testing or say the Brewers signed off on the treatment.

  I was told to forget proving a lab error because the system is designed to prevent such an occurrence. Each player’s urine sample is divided into two samples. The first is tested and if it’s positive for any banned substance, the second sample is put through a more rigorous, comprehensive testing regimen to assure the result is valid.

  The MLB official also told me that the Brewers did not sign off on whatever substance Braun took. So, it’s unlikely that excuse would be used during the appeal process.

The biggest problem with hoping to have the 50-game suspension overturned, according to the report, is that it doesn’t matter why Braun took a banned substance. Even if it was accidental or he didn’t know a certain substance was against the rules, the only thing that matters is that he took a substance and violated the MLB rule. He has proclaimed his innocence due to not believing what he took was “performance-enhancing” and that he has a prescription for a personal medical condition. Again, though, it’s reportedly unlikely that either of those reasons will matter in the appeal.

Repoz Posted: January 01, 2012 at 07:54 PM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, rumors, steroids

Monday, December 26, 2011

Jayson Stark (ESPN): Strange stuff … in the 2011 postseason

The postseason edition of trivia and oddbits that Jayson Stark excels at collecting and presenting…

Here’s one I didn’t know:

All four teams that advanced to the LCS—the Cardinals, Brewers, Rangers and Tigers—got outscored by the teams they played in the Division Series … and won.


Goold: ‘Rarity’ Fielder remains unsigned

Inside the Boras Binder on Prince Fielder (“It’s NOT a cookbook!”...Graeme Lloyd Bochner stares in total disbelief).

The binder contains glorious statistical factoids:

• Only three Hall of Fame first basemen had as many as 200 home runs by the age of 27: Jimmie Foxx, Orlando Cepeda and Killebrew. Fielder has 230.

• Fielder is the seventh player to hit 32 home runs or more in five seasons by the age of 27. The others: Miguel Cabrera, Eddie Mathews, Pujols, Rodriguez, Foxx and Vlad Guerrero.

• Pujols and Fielder are the only players with at least 32 home runs in each of the past five seasons.

• Fielder hit a home run that reached a velocity of 119.2 mph, the highest of any homer this past season, according to ESPN Stats.

• He is the only player to average .280 with more than 40 homers and at least 100 RBIs from 2007 to 2011. (Not mentioned: Pujols averaged .324, 39 homers and 114 RBIs in that same period.)

“You see who has as many home runs by the age of 27 at first base and you see Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig and the list is only four guys,” Boras explained this month. “You have to double-check. Then you start looking at what accomplishments this man has had at such a young age. You look at the game and the younger core that’s coming and you’d say there’s no one (like Fielder). You’re going to have to average 37 home runs in this period of time. Who’s going to do that?”

Repoz Posted: December 26, 2011 at 01:43 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, business, history, media, projections, sabermetrics

Monday, December 19, 2011

BALCO founder Victor Conte: Ryan Braun is Dead in the Water

What is HGH?
I’d like to know!
What is HGH?

Were you surprised that Ryan Braun tested positive?:

“No, I was not surprised. In fact, three weeks before that, I was in Vietnam and I was interviewed by somebody from the New York Daily News. It was when the growth hormone testing was being introduced. And I don’t think growth hormone is effective as a performance enhancer. At that time, I basically said that what they’re doing is using fast-acting testosterone — creams, gels, orals, patches — and they clear so quickly, sometimes in a matter of hours. … They could conceivably, after a game, use testosterone to help with tissue repair and healing and recovery and by the time they’d show up at the park the next day, their PE ratio would be normal. I always knew there was this giant loophole that you could drive a Mack truck through.”

How many players do you think are still using things that are banned by baseball?:

“A significant percentage. Way back in 2004, I said that I felt 50 percent were using steroids and 80 percent were using stimulants. The numbers are obviously less now, but I think it’s a significant portion. … I’m including the offseason, where they really don’t do testing. … When you’re considering offseason and during the season, it may have dropped, but still 30 or 40 percent?”

What argument can Braun’s people make to win their appeal?:

“The first thing I hear that they’re saying is it’s an extremely high level, the highest that’s ever been recording. Are they talking about in baseball or are they talking about in general? … I’m not sure about that, but this is a double-whammy for him. Unless there’s some chain-of-custody issue, other technical problem during the collection and transport process, he’s basically dead in the water. … I believe he’s going to serve the 50-game suspension.”

Repoz Posted: December 19, 2011 at 09:57 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, steroids

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Brew Crew reportedly wins negotiating rights for Aoki

Hardly seems fair that large market teams like the Brewers can just replace their MVP left-fielder with a three-time batting champ.

The Brewers reportedly submitted a winning $2.5 million bid to negotiate with Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki, a three-time Central League batting champion with the Yakult Swallows.

According to a tweet by Yasuko Yanagita of Hochi Shimbun, the Swallows announced that they accepted the Brewers’ bid for Aoki. The Brewers now have negotiating rights for Aoki for the next 30 days….

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound left-handed hitter slipped to a .292 average and four homers in 2011, after going for career highs of a .358 average and 209 hits in 2010. He was the 2005 Central League Rookie of the Year, batting .344 in his first full season.

Aoki will turn 30 on Jan. 5, and could join a Brewers outfield that includes Ryan Bruan, Corey Hart, Nyjer Morgan and Carlos Gomez.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 18, 2011 at 02:58 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, japan

Friday, December 16, 2011

NYBD: Silva: The Real Crime is the Leak to Braun’s Test Results

This has been floating around for a few days so…..

Despite these claims, it hasn’t stopped the media from assuming he is guilty and preaching from their sanctimonious pulpit. The hot debate has been whether he should be stripped of his MVP award. Yesterday, however, gossip site Terez Owens reported that Braun could indeed be innocent because of medication he is taking for an alleged sexual transmitted disease. Since there is no cure for the alleged disease, doctors are forced to increase testosterone levels to prevent its outbreak. This is what triggered the odd result.

Later in the day, TO went on to say that sources within the Milwaukee organization told them that “Braun will be let off because he tested positive for an STD and the medication given to him by his doctor is what caused the spike. Braun and his lawyers plan to go after whoever leaked the story because of HIPAA laws.”

This, I believe, is the real story. The results of drug tests are not supposed to be public under the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program established by MLB and the Players Association in 2006. The Health Policy Advisory Committee (HPAC) notifies the Player and the Club of the positive drug test result. In theory, there are only a handful of privileged people in on the process.

So where is the leak? It can be coming from one of five places: the commissioner’s office, the Brewers, Nez Balelo and CAA Sports, the HPAC, or CDT, the company that administers the drug tests for MLB. Since the process informs the player and team about the results, logic states the leak is coming from some corners of the Brewers organization, or worse yet, the commissioner’s office. Again, we can only speculate, but logic makes this a fair assumption.

Repoz Posted: December 16, 2011 at 09:38 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, rumors, steroids

Bill James Mailbag - 12/9/11 - 12/15/11

Hey Bill, I really dislike the best-of-5 first round playoff format. Shouldn’t MLB move to a best-of-7 format for all series? After a 162 game regular season, don’t we want the best teams to advance in each round of the playoffs?

No.   Absolutely not.   Nothing is more certain to kill a sport than the certainty that the best team will win.   It is the possibility that the best team will NOT win that keeps the game alive. 

Bill, with this whole ryan braun scandal, do you think he is the kind of player who will have to have an asterisk next to his stats, or MVP in the future (literally or figuratively)?

We have generations of PEDs ahead of us.   After we go through this fight four or five times people will give up on the idea of distinguishing between “real” and “artificial” seasons. 

Hey Bill, Scott Rolen’s career appears to be winding down. Assuming he continues on this path for 1-2 more years, roughly where would you rank him among all-time 3B, 10-15 somewhere around Ken Boyer or does he crack the top 10?

I would guess that he’s easily in the top ten.  Rolen must be among the most under-rated players in baseball history.  He doesn’t meet the easy definitions of a Hall of Famer—500 homers, 3,000 hits, multiple MVP Awards, those sort of things—and I don’t think most people think of him as an obvious Hall of Famer, but I think that in terms of the won-lost contribution to his team, he’s been a truly great player.

About 2004, when the Red Sox were in the market for a shortstop, we tried to trade for Adrian Beltre, with the idea of moving him to short.  I’m certain, having watched him play third, that he could do it.  But you have to overcome that resistance, of “this guy doesn’t LOOK like a shortstop”, and it’s really hard to do that, because organizations tend to make decisions by consensus, and the consensus is always going to rely heavily on images.

Regardless of whether it ultimately worked, the immediate reaction to trading Nomar Garciaparra for a guy with seven career games played at shortstop woulda be fun…

The District Attorney Posted: December 16, 2011 at 03:30 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, hall of fame, history, red sox

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