End Of Round One

So, how does it look today in the marathon called a ‘Season’?

There have been so many unusual happenings on the fields of play in April 2016. Jake Arrieta threw his second no-hitter. Adam Conley of the Marlins tried but was taken out after 7 2/3rds and 116 pitches. The Brewers threw up the first triple play of the season, around the horn, 5-4-3 on Friday while the no-hitter was being attempted against Miami. Dee Gordon, after a spectacular beginning of a season following his NL Batting Title, was banned for 80 games for PEDs violation. Chris Colabello of the Toronto Blue Jays was also suspended 80 games for PEDs violation.

The Orioles are leading the AL East; the White Sox are leading the AL Central and the Rangers are leading the AL West.
The Nationals are leading the NL East; the Cubs are leading the NL Central and the San Francisco Giants & Los Angeles Dodgers are leading the NL West.
The Minnesota Twins & Houston Astros are at the bottom of the NL with 7 wins.
The Atlanta Braves are at the bottom of the NL with 5 wins.
Nick Castellans of the Detroit Tigers is the American League leader in batting average with .363.
Aledmys Diaz of the St. Louis Cardinals is the National League leader in batting average with .423.
Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays & Robinson Cano, Seattle mariners are the American League home run leaders with 8.
Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, both of the Colorado Rockies, are the National League home run leaders with 10.
Robinson Cano of the Seattle mariners is the American League leader in RBIs with 24.
Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals and Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs are the National League leaders in RBIs with 24.
Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox, Jordan Zimmerman of the Detroit Tigers & Rick Porcello of the Boston Red Sox leads the American League pitchers with 5 wins.
Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs leads the National League pitchers with 5 wins.
Jordan Zimmermann of the Detroit Tigers is the American League ERA leader with 0.55.
Jason Hammel of the Chicago Cubs is the National League ERA leader with 0.75.
Shawn Tolleson of the Texas Rangers, Ryan Madson of the Oakland A’s and David Robertson of the Chicago White Sox lead the American League in Saves with 8.
Kelley Jansen of the Los Angeles Dodgers lead the National League in Saves with 9.
The Kansas City Royals are the best fielding team in the American League with a .990 FLDP.
The Washington National are the best fielding team in the National League with a .991 FLDP.
The Texas Rangers have pulled off the most Double Plays in the America League with 35.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have completed the most Double Plays in the Nation al League with 29.
The Boston Red Sox have scored the most runs in the American League with 126.
The St. Louis Cardinals have scored the most runs in the National League with 142.
The Houston Astros have struck out the most in the American League with 238 Ks.
The San Diego Padres have struck out the most in the National League with 230 Ks.
The Oakland A’s have the most errors in the American League with 19.
The St. Louis Cardinals have the most errors in the National League with 24.
The Texas Rangers have given up the most home runs in the American League with 35.
The Cincinnati Reds have given up the most home runs in the National League with 43.

The Atlanta Braves have Ender Inciarte on the 15-Day DL.
The Baltimore Orioles have Yovani Gallardo and Jimmy Paredes on the 15-Day DL.
The Boston Red Sox have Joe Kelly, Eduardo Rodriguez, Joe Kelly, Pablo Sandoval and Carson Smith on the 15-Day DL.
The Chicago Cubs have Miguel Montego on the 15-Day DL.
The Cincinnati Reds have John Lamb n the 15-Day DL.
The Cleveland Indians have Tommy Hunter on the 15-Day DL.
The Colorado Rockies have Charlie Blackmon, Tyler Maszek, Jason Motte, Miguel Castro and Jorge De La Rosa on the 15-Day DL.
The Detroit Tigers have Cameron Maybin, Shane Greene and James McCann on the 15-Day D:.
The Houston Astros have Lance McCullers on the 15-Day DL.
The Los Angeles Angels have Huston Street, C.J. Wilson and Andrew Heaney on the15-Day DL.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have Andre Ether, Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson on the 60-Day DL along with Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alex Guerrero and Scott Van Slyke on the 15-Day DL.
The Miami Marlins have Dee Gordon suspended as he tested positive for Testosterone and Clostebol. He is out for 80 games and will not be eligible for post season action.
The Milwaukee Brewers* have Matt Garza on the 60-Day DL and Scooter Gennett on the 15-Day DL
The Minnesota Twins have Ervin Santana, Glen Perkins, Kyle Gibson and Trevor Plouffe on the 15-Day DL.
The New York Mets have Zach Wheeler on the 60-Day DL and Travis d’artaud on the 15-Day DL.
The Oakland A’s have Sam Fuld and Felix Doubrant on the 60-Day DL along with Danny Valencia, Chris Bassitt and Henderson Alvarez on the 15-Day DL.
The Philadelphia Phillies have Michael Mariot and Charlie Morton on the 15-Day DL.
The Pittsburgh Pirates hav Jared Huges on the 15-Day DL.
The San Diego Padres have Alixi Amorist, Cory Spangenberg, Yangervis Solarte and Robbie Erlin on the 15-Day DL.
The San Francisco Giants have Sergio Romo on the 15-Day DL.
The Tampa Bay Rays have Brad Boxberger on the 15-Day DL.
The Texas Rangers have Tanner Scheppers on the 60-Day DL along with Shin-Soo Choo, Josh Hamilton and Yu Darvis on the 15-Day DL.
The Toronto Blue Jays have Devon Travis, Aaron Loup, Bo Schultz and Franklin Morales on the 15-Day DL. Chris Colabello tested positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a performance-enhancing substance and has been suspended for 80 games.
The Washington Nationals have Wilson Ramos under Bereavement while Ben Revere and Matt Belisle are on the 15-Day DL.

*The Milwaukee Brewers, while playing in the Major Leagues in 2016 are closer to a AAA team. They are in danger of relegation along with Atlanta, Minnesota and Houston in place of Toledo, Des Moines, Salt Lake City and New Orleans.

On a high note, the Milwaukee Brewers won 2 more games in April 2016 vs same month 2015.#watchingattanasio

Play Ball!

There Ain’t No Pitching In Pigsville

On the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s death, when the buds of Spring state ’Now is the Winter of our discontent’, two teams met near the Johnson Cookies sign atop the factory that produced the legendary Johnson Cookie cards of ’1953, ’54 & ’55, exactly two seasons removed from a time when they ruled the Senior League. On Saturday in a Park called Miller, with a roof over thine selves, they came out of the dugout dressed in togs alike Major League uniforms taking the field as though they were the real, genuine version of those teams not so long ago. ‘There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest’ said the merchants wence I answered ‘Why, though hast put him in such a dream, that when the image of it leaves him he must run mad.’ This was not Sir Toby Belch but a fellow named Anderson, once removed from the team of D’Backs in the land of Sun, who is to say politely in a crowed of boisterous fans, is not the best of pitchers. He is not a Sir. He is not a Toby. But he does make us belch.

On this night, not the ‘Twelfth Night’, but the Eighteenth night of the new season’s play, two pitchers decided to set back time and proceeded to throw 59 pitches in the first inning where there were more 3-2 counts than the master of liver pills could provide. ‘If it be thus to dream, still let me sleep!’ said ol Sebastian. I wanted it to be a nightmare. The game became unwatchable as that first inning lasted nearly an hour. And they wonder why the younger women and men do not grasp the game as their parents and grandparents do. The home team with the funny logo on its cap, however, had fans in the stands, young and old, mostly older. ‘It is the cause’, they said. It certainly was not the pitching. When this many come out to witness such trivial play where the three basic tenants of the game of ball is played…pitching, fielding, hitting (‘You are three men of sin’)…is not in evidence, then in the stands they say, ‘I must eat my dinner.’ Ah, The Tempest. But after all, this is one place where you don’t have to ask another if they want to grab something to eat. After all, this is the land of beer and cheese for butter or wurst.

‘Alas poor Counsell’, the fans sympathetically murmured. No matter what he did, the more he changed pitchers, the more he knew this would be a long season of discontent. He has no pitching except for the horse from Klamath Falls, OR. Of the eighteen games this season, in just the first three weeks of the dream of the impossible, this team, our team…the team of our hearts and of our youth, languish near the bottom of quality starts. In a world filled beyond the a cup full of stats, quality start stats measure the strength of a team. As for the Cream City nine, they rank 29th out of 30 teams with with only 4 quality starts as that horse, James Jacob Nelson, has three. Without quality starts, the bullpen is soon to wear out. As Craig of Whitefish Bay must say, ‘O, reason not the need.’. ‘Hey, David of the House of Stearns. I need some pitching!’

If this season is to be measured by the owner’s need for being competitive in each and ever game, the team named after the monk’s brew of Miller, shows promise. On Saturday, they came back, time after time to give hope. As late as the bottom of the eighth, a fellow on the Crew, another from his former team of D’Backs named Hill, drove a ball which dreams are made of…flying up and up…with hopes of bringing in the leading runs, fell into the hands of that cheesesteak fellow up against the fence in left.

The fans were perplexed. Flummoxed, if you will. In the stands they were heard to say, ‘Once more unto the breach dear friends’ to which the fellow named Romeo yelled out, ‘Dreamt a dream tonight.’ His seat mate, Mercurio, stated ‘That dreams often lie.’ Everyone of the lads laughed. Sitting behind the dugout on first, the only place to watch a game, the lads continued the banter of the moment, Hammy said, ‘A dream itself is but a shadow’. Caliban stated, as the home team took to the field in the top of the ninth, ‘Who I waked, I cried to dream again’. Give me another brat. And some mustard. Now standing, glaring at the pitching mound, he yelled, ‘Did you hear that new pitcher from the pen of bull, some mustard on that ball…now.’

His friend, Antigonus, harking the vendor for more mustard, looked back and up at Cal said ‘Dreams are toys’. After all, these are the kids who pretend they play in the Major of Leagues. This is the fate of a feigned philosophy called ‘rebuild’. It is false hope for us, the diligent bees of the Crew…the True Blue Brew Crew of 2016. ‘What’s in a name?’ Hammy stated, raising one of Wisconsin’s finest brews, standing up with cup held high in his right hand, foam slipping over the top and dropping upon his bald noggin, ‘To die, to sleep-To sleep-perchance to dream…ay, there’s the rub, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pass.’ To which Mac responded, sitting watching the next action on the field unfold, talking on top of Mac’s soliloquy, ’Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.’ he muttered to no one in particular, showing his disgust for that fellow who weaves the tales for the faithful to follow from afar.

The owner, that fellow from afar, basking in the warm climes of a California so Southern, watching via satellite on his telly, was heard saying he is pleased the team is competitive, no overwhelming losses (except for last Monday or Thursday against a team at the bottom of the Junior Circuit called the ’Twinkie’).

’This is the excellent foppery of the world’.

Playest some ball!

#watchingattanasio ⚾️

It’s A New Year.

‘There are only two seasons…Winter and Baseball.’ Bill Veeck

It is a time when every fan has hopes of having a brilliant, unbelievable season. It is a time when no one has lost. Every star will have a great, Hall-Of-Fame year. The ground crew has prepared the fields from the long winter’s rest. Chalk has been laid down from Home to First and Home to Third as well as the batter’s box.

Now, who will win in 2016?

In the American League East, Toronto Blue Jays will win the division. They are a national team with a huge fan base that leads all teams in daily television viewership with an average over 500,000 fans tuning in day after day, night after night. Plus they have Joey Batts.

In the American League Central, in what is the most competitive division in baseball, virtually every team has an opportunity to win the title and it promises to be a heart breaker for many. You have the past World Champions as the Kansas City Royals know how to win. The Minnesota Twins have tremendous rookie presence. The Detroit Tigers have an aging lineup that has been left as a bridesmaid before. There is a fantastic pitching staff in Cleveland with a great manager. But in the end, the Chicago White Sox will take the crown.

In The American League West, it will come down to Texas. Last year’s division champions, the Houston Astros were the miracle team. But the power this coming season will rest in Arlington as the Texas Rangers will win the title. It’s all about the ‘Power of Yu’.

In the National League East, the New York Mets have the pitching staff. No question about that. But the Washington Nationals, who have knocked at the door, finally have a manager who can take them to the Division title and they will win the National League East this season.

In the National League Central, the title has been given to the the boys on the North Side of the Windy City. They have the great young players. They have the prize veteran who signed over the winter. They have a tough pitching staff. They have the second best manager in baseball. But they have two other teams who will treat the Cubs like the hated brother. St. Louis is riddled with injuries already. But they are the Cardinals and that alone makes them a threat. And they open today with the first game of the 2016 season against their rival, the Pittsburgh Pirates. And the Bucs will win the Central Division title this season. They simply cannot be the Buffalo Bills of baseball. This is the year at PNC.

In the National League West, it is an even year and that means that the San Francisco Giants, with the best manager in baseball, will win the crown. The pitching staff is the best in the division. The Dodgers have lost one of their best pitchers. The Diamondbacks have two big time players but nothing else. The Padres and Rockies will battle for the basement. Give it up to the boys who play at AT&T Park.

Play Ball!

It’s Spring Training For Goodness Sake!

Get your Convenience Fee ($1.50) and your Pre Order Fee ($2.00) and a free Wily Peralta Bobblehead Doll and a seat in the lawn is only…$11.50.
Get your Service Fee ($4.00) and a baseline reserved seat to see a split squad match against the Rangers at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick for only … $39.00.

OK. The prices to see most of these teams have skyrocketed and as a result, attendance in the Cactus League have dropped 10% in 2016 from last year.
The California Angels of Anaheim have dropped 304 fans in the first two weeks this season (7,280 in 2015 vs 6,976 in 2016).
The Oakland Athletics have dropped 2,236 fans in the first two weeks this season (7,892 in 2015 vs 5,656 in 2016).
The Milwaukee Brewers have dropped 712 fans in the first two weeks this season (5,684 in 2015 vs 4,963 in 2016).
The Chicago Cubs have increased 595 fans in the first two weeks of this season (14,493 in 2015 vs 15,188 in 2016).
The Arizona Diamondback have dropped 1,329 fans in the first two weeks of this season (11,716 in 2015 vs 10,287 in 2016).
The Los Angeles Dodgers up 1,178 fans in the first two weeks of this season (9,221 in 2015 vs 10,399 in 2016).
The San Francisco Giants down 103 fans in the first two weeks of this season 10,699 in 2015 vs 10,596 in 2016).
The Cleveland Indians down 881 fans in the first two weeks of this season (5,206 in 2015 vs 4,325 in 2016).
The Seattle Mariners down 838 fans in the first two weeks of this season (8,379 in 2015 vs 7,541 in 2016).
The San Diego Padres down 1,272 fans in the first two weeks of this season (7,096 in 2015 vs 5,824 in 2016).
The Texas Rangers down 231 fans in the first two weeks of this season (6,069 in 2015 vs 5,838 in 2016).
The Cincinnati Reds down 230 fans in the first two weeks of this season (4,171 in 2015 vs 3,941 in 2016).
The Colorado Rockies down 974 fans in the first two weeks of this season (9,307 in 2015 vs 8,533 in 2016).
The Kansas City Royals have increased 711 fans in the first two weeks of this season (6,686 in 2015 vs 7,397 in 2016).
The Chicago White Sox down 903 fans in the first two weeks of this season (5,977 in 2015 vs 5,074 in 2016).

In the first two weeks the Cactus League attendance is down 7,531 fans (games through Sunday March 13, 2016 vs Sunday March 15, 2015).
Last year, the second week was the biggest in attendance in the Cactus League, with 489,000 fans. This year, the second week drew only 442,000 fans.

The average ticket cost in the Cactus League in 2016 is approximately $25.25. Consider that an attendee will purchase a drink and a hot dog which will cost approximately $10.25, and don’t forget the parking at about #5, the average fan will spend $40.50 per game. That means that the Cactus League is down $305,005.50 in estimated gross revenue in just the first two weeks of Spring Training 2016.

But do Major League Baseball teams really care? They have huge revenue streams and with BAM about to go public as a separate IPO, the owners are set to get richer than ever. Their players enjoy some of the best wages in the world and certainly they have the best pension program in the history of the world. New local cable television packages are giving most of the teams more than they ever dreamed they would earn. And the gate isn’t that important any more.

In looking at the Cactus League this season, there are other things to consider.
The Southern California American League team with the longest name in sports has arguably the face of baseball in their magical centerfielder, Trout. But they are also the second fiddle to that team in Chavez Ravine.
The Oakland As’ have nothing except the new centerfielder from Milwaukee who can hit but can’t throw. Plus the move to Mesa has worn off. Plus, the team is always second in the Battle of the Bay.
The Cream City Nine is a AAA team disguised as a Major League outfit. Their star, Ryan Braun, finally played in his first game Wednesday. He got a hit and an RBI. So there. That is your draw. Besides, Lucroy is still almost with the team and if he continues to hit doubles, he will be unloaded as fast at Kareem was. Yet on a clear day you can see Mr. Baseball up in the booth.
The Cubbies have a dream. They have all the press behind them. This is gonna be the year at Wrigley. They are deep. They have the young players. They have the great manager. They have no parking. Watch out for dreams on the North Side of ChiTown. They tend to disappear.
The D’Backs have a new pitcher whom they signed for $zillion. No matter. They don’t have anything else except Goldie, although they are batting way above their head this spring. They have Tony at the helm.
The Dodgers are THE DODGERS. They will draw on a bad day at Black Rock (like the Hollywood analogy?).
The City’s big team occupy a favorite spot in the hearts of Cactus League fans as they were one of the first to come here more than a half a century ago. Besides, its an even year. And this is the team that plays at AT&T Park. And they have the best TV announcing team in the game today. All the more reason to see them and think of Racine Kringle.
The Tribe is the longest way from home but they have one of the most exciting teams to watch in baseball this year. They have a great young pitching staff. Still, they are a long way from home for their fans to travel and see.
The Mariners are the Mariners who will look like the Mariners all season long. They have a King, a 2bagger and really nothing else. Great weather in AZ cannot draw their fans down for a few days of high priced tickets and $250 hotel rooms.
The Padres just don’t have anything except Dick Enberg.
The Rangers have hope in Surprise but will the big pitcher come through this season and be injury free. Can Prince continue to bang the ball even though he suffers from Sleep Apnea? Besides they share a stadium with the World Champs.
The Reds are a long way from home as well and they have absolutely no reason to follow them besides they are the oldest team in the Major Leagues. And you can’t take that away from them no matter how badly they are managed in the front office. Who wants to travel this far to see them play? Even if you live in Scottsdale, the trip to Goodyear is forever.
The Rockies have a problem. They ask for high priced tickets and are not even the best team in town. They live in the shadow of a bunch from Elwayville. But they do play in one of the best stadiums in Spring Training anywhere.
The mighty Royals believe in themselves and that is all that counts. They are the Champions. Their fans follow them. They are the Champions. Their fans follow them. They are the Champions.
The White Sox are full of hope and The Hawk tells us like he sees them. This team is as good on paper as a watermark on quality paper. Can it stand up to what is on the field? And can they get the kid out of the clubhouse. Fans don’t want to see kids in the clubhouse. Thus the reason for their quandary. Who wants to travel to Camelback Ranch and not see the Dodgers? Bring back Bob Elson.

All in all, Spring Training is spring training. And as a spokesman for the world famous Milwaukee Brewers said it was premature to label spring training a disappointment. “To draw any conclusions at this time would be impossible,” said Tyler Barnes, a spokesman for the club. “Ultimately we expect our attendance will be at or close to what we have seen in the past.”

That, in a nutshell, is all you need to know about the Milwaukee Brewers, a team that has never won a World Series in 45 years and claimed only one pennant in a league it now longer belongs to. But who’s counting? #watchingattanasio

Play Ball!

And Now There Are Two.

Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun. They are the only two remaining position starters remaining on the Milwaukee Brewers. Two position playing starters remain for the Brewers. Chris Davis was traded to the Oakland A’s for two prospects on Friday. Hopefully they can throw. One is a catcher (watch out Lucroy) and the other a RHP. A scout feels the A’s made a “great pickup” in obtaining Khris Davis from the Brewers. “Power has become so much more scarce in recent years that I’m surprised that Oakland could get a guy like Davis so cheaply,” the scout said.

While stocking the farm system with nearly every possible player, the Milwaukee Brewers are close to fielding a minor league team in 2016.


Born A Brewer.

It is the grass…the smell and the sounds of memories past. The voice of Bob resonates as a connection of life itself. It is spring, summer, fall and winter all wrapped into one. It is more than the ball, the bat, the gloves and uniforms. It is the excitement of arrival of another season ahead. You may not jump on it in a bandwagon approach on the edge of Pigsville nor accidentally become a fan of the Cream City Nine by switching a dial. It’s a blue pinstripe thing with a logo so unique, it can’t be copied. You are born a Brewer, just as you are a Badger and a Packer. It comes with the essence of life, when cheese and beer can sustain you through thick and thin. It has been passed down from Tommy Harper to Robin Yount, Paul Molitor and Rollie Fingers. It is about Prince, Go Go and Braun, Jonathan, Craig and whomever is next. They are the family. Sometimes you love them. And sometimes not so much. But it is a blood thing…a religion of sorts well beyond the norm. It is what Milwaukee is all about. Provincial at the core…the common man. This is the True Blue Brew Crew in a ballpark named after a beer. It has and will continue to be all about a single word…hope. If you don’t believe it, just look at this.

Vanishing Lineup

One of the things fans love about baseball is that consistency…consistency in a lineup that you can cheer for…consistency in Milwaukee, where you can play ons-ons knowing how the players perform day-in-and-day-out. It is where the love of the game is imbedded.

For the 2016 edition of the Cream City Nine, consistency doesn’t exist. There are only three players who were in the starting lineup in April of 2015 still on the team. Jonathan Lucroy, the catcher, along with Khris Davis in left and Ryan Braun in right. As of Saturday, there is a new second baseman in Pigsville as Aaron Hill and pitcher, Chase Anderson, who will wear the ball and glove logo traded for the starting shortstop, Jean Segura, to Arizona. That means that it is bye-bye time for Scooter. Gone too is the first baseman, Lind to Seattle; the third baseman went to Pittsburgh; the popular center fielder on Opening Day last year is in Houston. One of the game’s top relievers flew to Detroit. This year’s team will truly be the a ‘can’t tell the players without a program’.

Along with the deal for Segura came starting pitcher, Chase Anderson, who has a penchant for tossing gopher balls. With a hitter friendly stadium like Miller Park, he seems like a strange fit for Cream City.

So what does the starting lineup on Opening day look like at this point?

Lucroy behind the plate.
who’s on first.
Hill at second.
Arcia is a short.
I don’t know at third.
Davis in left.
Somebody’s in center.
Braun is in right.
And starting, who knows.

It’s going to be an interest spring training where hope is all that the Brew Crew has in 2016.

But by the time a team gets to Miller Park in April, one thing is for sure: the brats will be ready with the secret stadium sauce and raw chopped onions and mustard. Along with a cold Miller Light, and a bag of fresh popcorn, there will be a winning lineup in the Cream City this coming season. As for on the field, who cares.

After all, the Milwaukee Brewers have never won a World Series in their history of forty-six seasons. And the current ownership has never won a league pennant.

This year there are players who are named Barnes, Barrios, Blazek, Cravy, Goforth, Guerra, Houser, Z. Jones, Knebel, Pena, C. Carter, Cecchini, Villar, Walsh, Wilkins, K. Broxton, Flores, Liriano, Reed, Santana and Nieuwenhuis. Now, quick…what are their numbers.

‘Can’t tell the players without a program’.

Play Ball!