Coming off of a winning major West Coast road trip, one in which they won 7 games against just 3 losses, the youthful Milwaukee Brewers are fast with minor league seasoning to take on the 2023 campaign. This season, Joey Wiemer usually plays right field. Big, strong and very fast, is batting .204 but is a thrill every time he is at bat because he swings like he’s going for the fences on every pitch and runs as if his hair is on fire. And he is not even the fastest.

In centerfield, Garrett Mitchell is one of the fastest players in the major leagues. His home-to-first sprint speed of 4.01 seconds last season was the fastest time of more than 500 players tracked by Major League Baseball’s Statcast system. A rookie, he came up late last season for a cup of coffee but impressed all with his hitting and speed. Big and fast, he plays the outfield as if he owns everything from the fences to the shortstop and between the left fielder and right fielder. In this final series of the road trip, he extended his left pec in a slide into third after stealing second. While being safe on the play, as a result of his aggressiveness, he went on the 10 day IL. Wiemer will take his place in Center while Brian Anderson will play right.

In left, is the dean of the Brewers, the oft injured and once MVP, Christian Yelich. Still hits the ball very hard and is extremely fast on the bases and in the field, while his arm is sub-par and his back is not allowing him to be the player he used to be. Even with the highly anticipated new rules of the no-shift rule, he is still not hitting (.234) like he used to slash the ball for .300+ average. But he is still Christian Yelich.

In short, the new look outfield is one of the fastest in the league and with the exception of Yelich, they have the best arms in the league as well.

The infield is exceptional. Rowdy Tellez, is becoming a Milwaukee favorite at first and is hitting .237. He is a power in the lineup (5 HRs) and is backed by Luke Voit, batting .270. Voit beat out Keston Huerra who passed through waivers and is now again hitting well in Triple A Nashville.

At 2nd base is another rookie and sensational defensive player, Brice Turang. Hitting .264, he is one of the fastest and sure-handed infielders in The Show. A highlight reel, Turang reminds many of Robin Yount when he first came up. This is one if the bright young stars of team.

The soul of the team is Willy Adames, the brilliant shortstop, who is another highlight reel with an arm as powerful as any in the league. Hitting .254, his powerful 4 HRs is second highest on the team. His energy and constant positiveness influences the younger players and has driven this team with his royal presentation of the Cheesehead, this season’s crowing award for those who hit a home run.

Over at third, a new entry with a cannon for an arm, Brian Anderson holds down the hot corner when not needed in right field. He is hitting .273 and is constantly in the middle of things and producing when needed. He leads the club with 15 RBI. When he is patrolling right field, Mike Brosseau (.233) takes over at third.

William Contreras is the biggest acquisition of the year. Coming from the World Champion Atlanta Braves, Contreras is hitting .302, well above his career average of .264. He will be the cornerstone of the up the middle strength in the Brewers future. He is a threat every time he is at bat. To back him up is Victor Caratini, who is batting .350 and has one of the best arms in the Majors.

Jesse Winker is this season’s new DH. Hitting .270, and producing 9 RBI. He came over from the Mariners (for one season) but was a big hitter with Cincinnati prior to that. A veteran, Winker is proving very versatile, not only having the duties of DH, but also as a outfielder when needed.

Pitching was to be a main strength of this team. However, before the season started Alan Ashby was sidelined for a season with surgery after signing an extension; Adrian Houser came up with a groin injury and is on the DL Corbin Burnes, the former Cy Young Award winner came up with a left pectoral strain in Seattle. That leaves Eric Lauer, with 3 victories after a horrible spring training; Freddy Peralta, with 2 victories and Brandon Woodruff & Wade Miley with one victory each so far. Colin Rea was brought up from Nashville during the road trip and had one good outing. This could be the question mark of the early season for the Cream City Nine.

As far as relief pitching is concerned, the Brewers have hit a high note so far. Matt Bush, Peter Strzelecki, Hoby Milner, Joel Payamps, Bryse Wilson and Devin Williams have been the closing stars of the season thus far.

Now the Brewers head into the final third of the first full month of the season. What are their chances? At this stage, the youth with their energy, enthusiasm and extraordinary speed, should come out with a respectable record through April. And this will be the period to see you this new, young team will set up for the season ahead. #watchingattanasio

Play Ball!

Fatugue In August

The ‘Dog Days Of August’ in baseball is not relegated to teams out of the running. Following the 2020 year of Covid, where players new and veteran alike, walked through a 60 game season in a breeze with the winds of pandemic everywhere. But not this year.

This is a Big League season.

This season, the younger players who are in their 1st, 2nd and/or 3rd year, are beginning to wilt. The flowers of their inexperience are drooping, making their minds wander as they face the heat and humidity of everyday sameness. These are groundhog days.

A big, multi positioned bench is critical. And there is a noticeable increase in injuries, especially in starting pitchers and stars who are trying to carry the entire load of the team on their backs.

This is a different year where on day a team can lead by four games and within a whisper, be trailing by two.

This is a year where a team can go and win 13 straight while another loses 19 straight.

This is the year of exhaustion.

Look at the Brewers. Built for the duration with a bench loaded with players who can fill in at a number of positions. And, arguably this team has the best top three starters in baseball with Woody, Corbin & Freddy. They are a horror show for opponents and are built by Stearns to win a post season short series.

But fatigue has set in.

Brandon Woodruff in August is not the same tight control pitcher who dominates, as earlier in the season. Freddy Peralta only finished two inning in his last start and was placed on the 10 day IL. Corbin Burnes is finding the paint gard to cover as umps become entangled in the ‘Dogs’ as well.

In certain innings, their minds wander and let opponents get back into the game, placing additional pressure on the relief corps.

Then there is this: last week in four games, the Brewers lost a starting player each of those game days. The fourth, willy Adames, left the game early after the first inning Tuesday, following Eduardo Escobar on Sunday with Tyrone Taylor out on last Saturday following Freddy Peralta on the Friday a week past.

While Adames cam back this Saturday’s loss to the Twins in Minnesota, this is the time to put all of these players and starters on a rotation missed. They all need to recover and welcome the freshness of Fall ahead.

If not, the best chance for the Brewers to win the World Series may vanish. And that would be a shame. Attanasio, Stearns and Counsell have crafted this team brilliantly to win now.

This, arguably, is the best Brewer team ever assembled.

Rest is the cure, even if we lose a series or two before the big post season arrives.

Rest is the cure.

We need to win in October.


It Was Heaven

For every kid who ever entered a baseball stadium, it becomes a treasured memory. It is usually the biggest thing one has ever seen or experienced at that time. And the moment you first get a glimpse of the grass, perfectly mowed and greener than green could be, your mouth curls into a smile and eyes light up as the entirety of that moment…that single moment opens up a world that you had only dreamed about.

On one Thursday evening in August, that experience was reawakened in all of us in a corn field in Iowa.

Joe Buck perhaps said it best. ‘It is a quiet crowd…almost reverential…like going to church.’

To baseball fans everywhere this is their cathedral of dreams…dreams of childhood…a thousand Christmases all rolled into one.

Everything was perfect. The old fashioned scoreboard with people dressed in the era putting up big numbers.

The dugouts crafted in every detail.

The background was absolutely perfect.

In the 9th, the mighty Yankees showed why they are legends. Behind by 3, and a man on, Babe hit a majestic home run followed by Lou to give the Yanks in grey a one run lead.

In the bottom of the 9th, after the catcher got on, Joe stepped to the plate…cue the music…’I knew what I was looking for and I didn’t miss it. Just coming here playing in the middle of corn, who would have thought that? And who would have thought I’d walk it off as well?

Who would have thought?

Who would have believed?

It was a game played in reality base on a novel filled with hopes and dreams which turned into something better than one could ever imagine or written.

Is this heaven?


But in this world, it is as close as one could hope. Perhaps this is the way it should end.

Perhaps they should never play a game here again. Perhaps, you cannot improve on perfection.

They walked out of the corn fields with wonderment in their eyes. And one could not help notice the stacked Sox logo over one of the team’s left breast on their uniforms. Was that Gandil, Cicotte, Williams, Risberg, Felsch, McMullin, Weaver and Jackson?

In this cathedral of the game, the legend of Shoeless Joe will endure, one hundred and two years after the fact. Anderson made sure of that as the Sox won.

This is the end of the greatest story ever. Man created illusion. Man extended the illusion into a movie that touched us all. Man then perfected the fiction into unbelievable reality of greatness with a Major League game that may have been the greatest ever played.

Man now should leave it the was it was…filled with a cavalcade of memory of what perfection is.

Dad? Did it really happen?

Did you see it? Tell me all about it?

But first, let’s play catch.

#PlayBall #FieldofDreams #Glorious

The Case For Electronic Balls & Strikes

On Saturday evening, way down South in the town Sherman set ablaze, one of baseball’s finest pitchers, Brandon Woodruff fired a strike on a 1-2 pitch, inside the pitching zone over the right side of the plate. The inning was done with runners on the bases, stranded again with the game tied 1-1. Astonishingly, CB Buckner, the guy in blue behind the plate called it a ball. The catcher, Pina, held the glove where it was thrown, well inside the strike zone. Woodruff glared at the ump in futility.

This is the same ump who consistently calls balls outside the strike zone strikes. He has clearly been judged as one of the worst umpires in baseball.

But he is the jury and the judge on thrown balls.

He and he alone determines the fate of the game. And he doesn’t even play.

On the next pitch, Dansby Swanwon smacked the fastball over the left field fence to take a 4-1 lead which the Brewers could never overcome during the rest of the evening.

The Brewers had won seven straight road games And in this game, Wong, Garcia and Cain had multiple hits. But that one single pitch by Woodruff took the toll of momentum in another direction.

Perhaps it is time for baseball to take a hard look at the lessons tennis learned decades ago. Electronic equipment must be brought in to call the balls and strikes. Sure, purists with object, just like they did in tennis years ago. But today, the electric eye tells the truth. It sees balls on the line and over the line. It see balls inside the lines. It calls them the way it should be called.

Empires are still important in baseball for plays at the plate and bases, down the lines, on the fence line and if it were a catch or not.

But as long as umpires call balls and strikes, this game is phony. It suggests it could be rigged. Not to say that Saturday nights game wasn’t on the level. It just was another example that people like last night umpire should not be calling balls and strikes.


December Was A Month To Remember In Cream City

Now we understand how the Milwaukee Brewers will attack the new 2021 season.

What a December they had. While they did not take up the final year of The Great 8’s contract, they did sign Zach Green to a minor league deal. His credentials in 2020 totaled 16 plate appearances and picked up two hits. Then they jumped on Luke Maile from the Pirates. He didn’t play last year because of a fractured right index finger in July. He is another catcher who batted .198 with 10 home runs in his career. On the pitching side, they got Leo Crawford in the Corey Knebel trade. He last played in Double-A in 2019. They also signed outfielder/first baseman Dustin Peterson to a minor league deal. He had big number for the independent Sugar Land Skeeter in 2020 and is hitting bonanza in the Mexican Pacific Winter League.

This is an off season you dream about if you are a Cream City Nine fan. 

The Crew gained Luis Perdoma, a right handed pitcher who is recovering from Tommy John surgery as the Padres cut him. When he was pitching he had a 5.19 ERA in 444 1/3rd inning. Then the Brew Crew signed left-handed reliever Hoby Milner from the Phillies. Why he still isn’t with the Philadelphia club is a mystery but a 7.77 ERA might be a clue. They also signed Dylan Cozens to a minor league contract. He hasn’t played since May 2019 because of surgery to remove bone spurs and repair torn cartilage in his left foot. 

Then one of the highlights, the Brewers claimed outfielder Tim Lopes off waivers from the Mariners. In 46 of the 60 games last season, he hit .252 and stole 11 bases in 14 attempts.He has value being multi-positional bench player. He could be a super-utility player on the Crew’s bench. Now before you scoff at the batting average, that would have been the third highest batting average on the team last year just behind the leader, Daniel Vogelbach (.328) and Orlando Arcia (.260).

To top off an exciting month, Jacob Nottingham, one of four catchers on the squad, underwent surgery on the radial collateral ligament of his left thumb. He’ll have two months to get ready for spring training in American Family Fields of Phoenix.

And with all of that improvement, Ray Montgomery, Brewers VP/Special assistant to the GM jumped to the Angels to work in an exec capacity under the Halo’s new GM Minasian. Must have been the year-round weather which prompted the move. 

Oh, at Midnight Thursday, December 31, 2020, it became official. Miller Park is no more. It is now officially American Family Fields.

Yep. It was a December to Remember.

Can’t wait for the excitement to hit American Family Fields of Phoenix in a couple of months.


A Game Changing Play Brings Us Spring

Game #7 of the NCLS on a cold Fall evening in the upper Midwest is a rarity. Baseball in October hasn’t been played in these parts since the Fall of ’82, then for the American League Championship. But on this October day, the 20th of the month in the team’s 173rd game of the season, in the bottom of the 5th inning, the right fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers, Christian Yelich, who has had a miracle season and expected to be the National League’s MVP, slammed a ball to left center field. With a runner on second, this was surely going to tie the game and get the Brewers crowd roaring and the team exploding to a National League Championship.

But there was a fellow named Taylor, who began the game as the Dodger’s second baseman, who was moved to left field in a switch earlier in the game. And at the crack of the bat, he ran 85 feet to his left at full speed, raising his arm and extending it to its fullest and miraculously caught the ball in the glove’s webbing to make what some consider the best catch since Willie May’s in the 1954 World Series. Sliding to the ground Taylor still had the ball and took the breathe out of the capacity crowd in Milwaukee’s Thunderdome, better known as Miller Park.

The life came out of the team. It also took away hope from the fans in the park and throughout the State and the nation who had hopes of rekindling the days of Robin, Mollie, Rollie, Coop, Simba, Vouch and the gang so long ago.

But four months from now, in a refurbished baseball park in Maryvale, AZ, the weather will be warm and the the sound of another season will be upon us with a team that is now a contender, a team with a legacy of accomplishment and a host of great young pitchers who will finally bring the City and the State, along with all of Brewer fans everywhere the chance to hope that this season will be the best ever in team history.

Play Ball!


Revisiting Medwick

In National League baseball history, which began in 1876, the last man to win the Triple Crown was Joe Medwick, left fielder of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1937. Today, Milwaukee Brewers’ right fielder, Christian Yelich, has the possibility of becoming the first man to do so in 81 years.

He has clinched the National League in batting average with a .324.
He is tied in home runs with Matt Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals with 36 home runs.
He is 2 RBI behind Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs with 109.

Before Hall of Famer Medwick, only Hugh Duffy, Paul Hines, Rogers Hornsby and Chuck Kline have done it.

In 1878, Paul Hines, center fielder of the Providence Grays, won the Triple Crown with 4 HRs, 50 RBI and a .358 batting average.
Hugh Duffy, an outfielder with the Boston Beaneaters in 1894 led the league with 18 home runs, 145 RBI and a .440 batting average. Coincidently, in 1901, he was the player-manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1945.
Twenty-eight years later, in 1922, Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby, second baseman of the St. Louis Cardinals won the Triple Crown with 42 HRs, 152 RBI and an .401 batting average. In 1925, he did it again with 39 HR, 143 RBI and a .403 batting average.
In 1933, Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, right fielder of the Philadelphia Phillies won the Triple Crown with 28 HRS, 120 RBI and a .368 batting average.
Then came Joe Medwick who banged out 32 HRs, 114 RBI and a .343 batting average.

Now on Sunday, in Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewer right fielder, Christian Yelich has the opportunity to do something improbable in the Senior Circuit. He has a chance to win the Triple Crown. It has never been done in Milwaukee baseball history.

In the Cream City’s Major League baseball history, only Henry Aaron has ever won a batting title, in 1956 with a .328 batting average for the Milwaukee Braves, and again in 1959 with a .355 BA, both times in the National League.

In Milwaukee baseball history, Eddie Mathews (47 in 1953) & (46 in 1959), Henry Aaron (44 in 1957) & (44 in 1963 led the National League in home runs when they were with the Milwaukee Braves while Prince Fielder (50 in 2007) and Ryan Braun (41 in 2012) led the National League in home runs as the Milwaukee Brewers.

In Milwaukee baseball history, Henry Aaron as part of the Milwaukee Braves (NL) drove in 132 RBI in 1957; 126 RBI in 1960 & 130 RBI in 1963. George (Boomer) Scott delivered 109 RBI in 1975 (AL); Cecil Cooper had 126 RBI in 1983 & 122 in 1980 (AL); while Prince Fielder had 145 RBI in 2009 (NL) to lead the league.

All he has to do today is drive in 2 to 3 more RBI and the Triple Crown will come to Milwaukee for the first time in history.

Play Ball!

Schoop Mouthwashes MadBum & BochyBoy

All series long, there was a major dissatisfaction with the umpiring crew covering the San Francisco Giants and the Milwaukee Brewers. The strike zone is always an issue along with judgmental calls in the field of play. On Sunday, everything came to a head.

Madison Bumgarner, in an injury prone year, was noticeably a different pitcher than what one of the top mound performers had been in the past. And he knew it. His big sweeping curve really wasn’t there. His fastball absolutely was not there. His absolute perfect control was definitely not there. Or was it?

In the past couple of games, Bochy was barking at the umps for their calls, trying to get an upper hand for his under talented team. What just a few years ago was a juggernaugt, is now just a faint memory.

On the other hand, there is the powerful Milwaukee Brewers. As indicated by the Giant’s TV announcers, the first six batters in their lineup are all 20+ home run hitters. That is anything but a soft lineup to face.

But today, in Miller Park, in the bottom of the sixth, with the Giants leading 2-1, Bumgarner after retiring 15 straight hitters, walked Christian Yelich. Jesus Aguilar banged a single. Then came Ryan Braun. All series, when Braun wasn’t smacking balls over or off the outfield fences, Boochy intentionally walked Ryan to get to Schoop. But this time they wanted of faced him. Or maybe not. The first pitch came at Braun’s face. The second came inside. The third hit him. The moment after that became a setting for an explosion. Braun slowly walked to first, talking to his Giant blocking back, their catcher, as big bad Bumgarner came off the mound in the general direction of Braun mouthing big bad stuff. Braun at the same time was giving the catcher an earful. The Brewer bench posed just outside of the dugouts to defend their star while the Giants remained in the dugout clearly indicating that this was pre-planned. The Brewer manager, Craig Counsell went out to ask why the umpire had warned both teams when it was only the Giants who were headhunting. After all, Bumgarner is one of the best control pitchers in baseball. A discussion followed and that prompted the manager of the Brewers to get thrown out. Then tomorrow’s starter, Wade Miley got the toss while barking in the dugout, followed by recently called up catcher, Jacob Nottingham.

Then up stepped Jonathan Schoop, the apparent target of Bochy’s humiliating moves throughout the series. He again got what he wanted, not to face Braun but to face the weak hitting Schoop. On a weak 85 mph slider, Bang!. A grand slam home run gave the Brewers a 5-2 lead.

Bumgarner’s game was over.

The Brewers finally won 6-3, sweeping the series, finishing 5-1 on the homestead and now heading for a showdown at Gummy Park for the final regular season series with the Northsiders.

18 games to go. 3 games in the loss column behind with the second best record in the National League, 20 games above .500.

It’s going to be a heck of a pennant race.


Play Ball!

19 To Go & 3 Behind
One game to go with the Giants, three against the Pirates, the Reds and the Tigers remain on the Cream City Nine’s home schedule.
On the road, three game series with the Cubs, the Pirates and the Cards remain.
Ten at home.
Nine on the road.
Every Thursday is an off day for the final weeks of the Milwaukee Brewers regular season schedule.

This is the season The Crew makes it to the Playoffs.

The reason is they have veteran presence in both pitching and hitting.

The acquisition of Jhoulys Chacin from San Diego gave the Brewers an ace no one ever realized he was.
The acquisition of Lorenzo Cain, (10 HRs & .308 BA) with playoff experience at Kansas City, from free agency was the first step.
The trade in acquiring Christian Yelich from Miami was astounding. At this writing, he has 28 home runs and a .314 BA, 2nd in the league.
The acquiring of Erik Kratz (5 HRs & .248 BA) from the New York Yankee farm system, now with his 7th team, gave depth to the often depleted catching position.
The trade in acquiring Mike Moustakas (25 HRs & .251 BA) from Kansas City gave added veteran strength, again with playoff experience.
The trade in acquiring Joakim Soria from the Chicago White Sox added yet another closer who was a set-up man.
The trade in acquiring Xavier Cedeño from the Chicago White Sox added another closer who is another set-up man.
The trade of Geo Gonzalez from Washington added the much needed veteran front-line starter which everyone knew the Brewers needed.
The trade of Curtis Granderson (12 home runs) from Toronto added additional veteran presence with huge playoff experience.

Then there is the remarkable journey of Jesús Aguilar. The massive Milwaukee first baseman, nearly cut after spring training as he and Ji-Man Choi battled for the last spot, didn’t really start until the middle of April when thumper went onto the DL with an injury. Aguilar has become a living legend in Cream City. Not only did he make the All Star game as the last player chosen by the fans (with over 20 million votes) but led the league in home runs for part of the season. As of this writing, he had a .276 BA with 31 home runs and 97 RBI. He is one of the top home run hitters in the game.

The Brewers went into the beginning of the season with Chase Anderson, Zach Davies, Brent Suter and Jhoulys Chacin. All but Chacin went on the DL during the season. Jimmy Nelson, who was the staff ace, was a no-show this season as he recovered from an injury sliding into first base toward the end of last season against the Northsiders at Gummy Park. Then there is Wade Miley. 3-2 record after coming off of the DL twice in the season with a 2.12 ERA. How they made it through being one of the finalists for a playoff position this season is the credit of the bullpen. Knable’s up and down season is not on the way up after a disappointing 4.79 ERA with 14 saves. All-Star Jeremy Jeffress has produced an 8-1 record with 9 SVs and a brilliant 1.46 ERA. Josh Hader, a first time All-Star, has averaged 15.2 Ks/9 in a nearly perfect on the field performance. Corbin Burnes has a 3-0 record with a 3.00 ERA, 1 SV and 8.67 Ks/9.

This morning, after the Northsiders lost a double header to the Nats early this morning, the Milwaukee Brewers are in second place of the Central Division of the National League down 3 games in the loss column.


Play Ball!

59 To Go
The Milwaukee Brewers headed into the All-Star break with six straight losses, making everyone think that this was another of the early beginnings of the Ron Years…that time in Cream City lore when one Ron Roenicke was the manager with one of the better teams in the National League, only to see the team fade from the top to out-of-consideration. The name send shivers through the body of Crew fans hoping against hope for a return to the playoffs.

They lost a three game series to the visiting Los Angeles (We can buy anyone we want to) Dodgers with their newly acquired Manny Machado. His presence in a Bum’s uniform was a dagger to Brewer fans who had hoped the Cream City Nine would have him at shortstop after the All-Star break.

Then on that series heels, came the KapNats, those delirious fellows from the Nation’s Capitol who have played like Trump has been running the government. After all, this team had been to the playoffs two straight years with more talent than most teams dream about. But, like they always do, they fired their winning manager, Dusty Baker, and elected to take a Disciple of Madden to head the team to their promised land. Not a chance.

The KapNats look more like a middle-of-the-road ball club. Tuesday evening proved it as they ran off to a lead and lost it to those wacky Brewers who look more like a M*A*S*H unit than a baseball club. The tandem of Cain & Yelich produced seven hits with the error-prone shortstop, Tyler Saladino getting the winning RBI in the 10th, going 0-4, yet became the hero to take the series.

Back-to-back wins, rare air for the past there weeks, with Chacin and Guerra starting on the mound and a bullpen that is coming back to life.

Now with 59 games to go, the Cream City Nine are three behind the Northsiders, after leading the league for most of the first half of the season.

What will the last 59 games produce for the City of Beer, Brats and Cheese? After all, they are 58-45.


Play Ball!