Eric Gagne had few ups and many downs last season. Those downs were magnified by his mammoth contract. By signing a minuscule deal (in comparison) for 2009, he has a great chance to come in and provide depth to the bullpen with far less pressure on him than he had in 2008. Depth in the bullpen is a great problem to have, and with the acquisitions of Jorge Julio, Chase Wright, Trevor Hoffman, and now the return of Gagne, the Brewers have, arguably, better depth this season than they did in 2008. As a matter of fact, there may be too many arms out there and the Brewers may be forced to release a guy like Todd Coffey if they want to keep Rule 5 pick Eduardo Morlan.
Back to the Gagne signing, the original reason for this post, I think it is a no lose move. If he fails, we got him on the cheap and can discard of him without major repercussions. If he succeeds, he can redeem himself for the downs of 2008 and again, we got him on the cheap. By the way, to make last year’s mega contract feel a little better, I added 2008 and 2009 together and divided by two. Last season does not seem as bad after doing that!
It looks like over 150 games will be broadcast this season between Fox Sports Wisconsin, ESPN, and the Fox mothership. If I recall correctly, Brian Anderson said last season that most, if not all, of the games on FSW would be in glorious high definition. We know the ESPN and Fox games will be, but as a HD TV owner (and self proclaimed “HD Snob”) anything less than 90% of the remaining games being in HD is unacceptable. There are fewer things that look better in HD than Brewers baseball games (really any baseball game, but I am a tad biased).
Another tasty morsel of information gleened from the Brewers 2009 broadcast schedule was the fact that they are scheduled for two ESPN Sunday Night Baseball games. The first of the two is the first Sunday game at home against the Cubs. I believe this marks the first time in 12 seasons that the Brewers have had a game on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball… back when they played Hideki Irabu and the New York Yankees at County Stadium. Why do I remember that so clearly? Well, I was a 18 year old usher in the rowdy left field bleachers and witnessed Irabu’s post game presser after getting smacked around by Dave Nilsson all night long (box score).
According to jsonline.com, Prince Fielder showed up to camp skinnier than he ended last season, which is a very good thing. Now maybe it will only take 10 seconds to get from home plate to first base rather than the 14.7 seconds he was timed at during the final week of the 2008 campaign. Rumor has it, he got skinny by increasing his cardio, but I would venture to guess that cutting his Twinkie consumption in half also played a major role.
Just a few quick things to catch you up on before we get started for the 2009 season:
1) I now have a son, Chase Joseph Dempsey, who was born on December 23, 2008.
2) I previously mentioned a weight loss program I was running at work last spring, well I started at 217 and now weight 170.
3) I attended game 3 of the NLDS. It was the greatest sports event I have ever been to.
I guess other than those three life changing items, everything else is pretty much the same with me!
After an absence from MLBLogs for an extended amount of time, I am back and will update the site on an “as often as I am able to” basis. I will reintroduce myself to the masses in the next couple days and get the ball rolling again on the blog in preparation for the 2009 season. I am excited to be back and hope that readers will be excited by what I have to say about the Milwaukee Brewers, Major League Baseball, and life in general.
When will the NL Central start to get some respect from the national media? I am assuming that, since three of the top six records in Major League Baseball (and top three in the National League) reside in the NL Central, the time will come real soon. But we all know that saying about the word ‘assume’.
Isn’t the NL Central the worst division in baseball? I guess not.
I am having a really tough time finding time to write anything of substance this season. Whether it is that I do not actually have the time or am just not finding the time, my posts have been few and far between. I am still the big Brewer fan I was last season. I still have strong opinions about the team. I still enjoy writing. I just can not get posts up like I could last season. I will try to improve, but I would anticipate a post or two a week from now on.
A few quick hits:
- Great to see Ryan Braun crushing again.
- Eric Gagne will ultimately choke and be a one and done in Milwaukee, A clean inning would be nice.
- Sorry to hear about Rob Edwards having a heart attack. Hopefully he recovers quickly, but I am sure Gene Mueller will do a great job in his place.
- What is this now… three games in a row where the starter gets the win? Can we make it five in a row and get Manny and Benny a win, too?
- Gotta love Brewers in HD almost all week!
- Jeff Weaver has two weeks to make the club or he will leave the organization. I can not decide which I want to have happen?
- Would bringing up Matt LaPorta for the series in Boston be dumb? Probably. But can you imagine him DH’ing and going nuts on Daisuke, Wakefield, and Buchholz?
- For anyone that cares… I am down another 1.2 pounds to get to 196.0 in our Biggest Loser competition at work. That is a 17.6 pound loss overall…. or 8.24%.
I was laying on the couch watching the game last night after a long week at work. It was the bottom of the eighth and I was fighting to stay awake. The next thing I knew, my phone was ringing. I had fallen asleep and was getting a call from my dad after Rickie Weeks gave the Brewers a walk off win. It is the second time this season I have fallen asleep before a come from behind win (see: Prince Fielder’s two home run game against the Marlins). I was kicking myself for not staying awake, but I’ll take the win.
I am heading down to the game today. My wife and I will be meeting my parents at their house and then heading down to Miller Park. After never seeing Ben Sheets live (timing and injuries), I will now see him for the second time of the young season. Last time he pitched a complete game shutout against the Giants. That game is ranked third on ESPN.com’s Best National League Games. I can only hope he has a similar game today against the first place Cardinals… especially since it will be on FOX.
The Brewers and their fans must have a “catch the team in front of us” attitude. It is way too early to worry about who is in first and by how much. Just worry about who is immediately in front of you and catch them. Right now, that is Houston. They are 19-17 and 1.5 games in front of us for third place. Two Brewers wins and two Houston losses, and the Crew will be back in third place. Then they can look to whoever is in second place at the time. After we catch that team, then we can aim to take out the first place team. You can not reach the top of the ladder by skipping all of the rungs between you and the top.
Even after last night’s two hit loss… their fourth in a row… and seventh in their last ten games… dropping them into fourth place… I am still attempting to stay optimistic. It is way too early not to. The Cubs were in the same position last season and they won the division… and we had a much bigger lead on them than the Cardinals have on us. If the Brewers can salvage one of the last two games in Miami, then they can come home and take it out on the Cardinals and Dodgers, and hopefully make up some ground before heading to Boston, then they are right back in the thick of things… in mid-May.
- I can not support Eric Gagne anymore. I have said “one more chance” so many times, you can start to call me the Notorious B.I.G. I think it is time to replace him before the Brewers fall further back than they already are. My vote goes to Guillermo Mota.
- Maybe Ned should pull the lineup from a hat. Have Prince lead off? You can not blame Yost for a team being in the type of slump they are in. He does not hit. I argued that he should quit tinkering with the lineup last season, so I would be a hypocrite if I suggested he start doing that now.
- I dropped another 1.6 pounds with my company’s Biggest Loser competition. That brings me to 197.2 and increases my total pounds lost to 16.4, or 7.68%. At 6′ 0″, 197, I am roughly the size of Pedro Martinez (5’11”, 195).