Friday, January 23, 2009


Auburndale native Jordan Zimmerman, could crack the starting rotation for the Washington Nationals this season. The UWSP alumnus had a great start in the farm system and has worked his way up to a top 10 prospect for the team. If he doesn't crack the rotation, he will surely be used in the bullpen.

This kid is tearing it up in the Nats organization and has been ranked the #1 prospect for their club by the coveted Baseball America. He will make an immediate impact in the Bigs.

Another Wisconsin native will get his chance soon in the Bigs....
West Bend native and UW-Milwaukee player Paul Hoenecke was drafted by the Tigers last summer in the 42 round. Instead of reporting for duty, he has already started practice for the Panthers as their third baseman.

Lastly, just because I'm bored....did you know that Jeff Jagodzinski went to UW-Whitewater? He's the prick that got fired by an even bigger prick at Boston College. He was also an Offensive Cordinator with the Packers prior to. guessed it, pretty bored.

Great News in the Suds City!

Prince Fielder has signed a 2 year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers for 18MM. Doug Melvin and Scott Boras had been working on it the past week and were able to finalize it yesterday!

I think most of Milwaukee knew that the announcement of Prince Fielder attending the On-Deck event this weekend was a good sign. The shocking part is the deal that was done after both sides submitted their figure during arbitration. Considering that Prince & Boras put in for 8MM and Milwaukee put in for 6MM, they were 2MM off from one another (math skills yo). I think Fielder put his best foot forward as a goodwill gesture, by submitting a lowered offer than what had been anticipated. Most thought he would come in just under Ryan Howard's 18MM, seeing that both play first and Howard has one or two more years under his belt.

In all, this is great news. Not only does it lock up Prince Fielder for a couple of years, but it also allows the Brewers to position him to be traded if needed. If he blows up (not his weight) and pounds out 30+ homers for consecutive seasons, the Crew would have certainly gotten it's money worth. It will also raise Prince's value and we could unload him for much more.

I think the icing on the cake was what Boras told Melvin regarding Prince's weight. He said Fielder would be reporting to Spring Training in shape and has shed some pounds. We will see this weekend just how much he has worked on his conditioning. Although he doesn't have to report to Arizona for 3-4 weeks and he could still take off 5-10 lbs more, Milwaukee's fans will have a good indication if he has been working on his eating habits. Listen to me, like I should even be commenting on this....

The only question is why Milwaukee picked 18MM as the figure? After all, had they settled on 7MM in arbitration, he would've been owed 14MM. Unless I'm missing something here, they overpaid by 4MM. Unless that was an act of good faith for the brass' locking-up Braun last year for a 7 year contract before they did with Prince?.?


The pay-roll has swelled to just over 80MM and it looks as if the Brewers are done "building". Which I can completely agree with. If something runs a muck during the season or a trade can be made off CC proportions, they wouldn't have the wiggle room to fork out that sort of coin. Last year their payroll ballooned to 90MM, which is a pretty significant bump up the ladder for a small market team. Look at the Twins, and you'll see how it compares to them.

So this means our starting rotation is set with: Gallardo (R), Parra (L), Bush (R), Supan (R), and either McClung (R) or Capy (L, possibly brought up in May). Keep in mind, Carlos Villanueva could step in if needed. Although has an ideal fit with a mid-relief role. Same goes with McClung.

The infield and outfield are pretty much set as well, with no changes being made by Macha. Counsell will be back as the utility man (so it appears) and Nixon will share some starts in the outfield. Gwynn will be brought for a test run to, but not right away.

The Young Guns will make their appearances this season too. Mat Gamel, Escobar, and Salome should all get the call this year. Gamel probably being the first with Escobar to follow shortly after. Salome won't be until September, as Mike Rivera is backing up Kendall.


Jim Powell has left Milwaukee for Atlanta, as expected. It's his old stomping grounds and I must say that I can't blame him. Good luck to the guy.


Milwaukee has exceeded the 1MM mark in ticket sales. Fastest in franchise history.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

29 days and counting....

Only 29 Days and counting, until Milwaukee's pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Still a ways to go before first pitch at Miller Park, but I am still excited.

The TeamWisconsin staff will start to trickle in to the headquarters in the coming weeks. Most flying in from vacation destinations and winter homes. Since October the desks in the office have been collecting dust, except for yours truly. I have been here the entire time and am committed to the Crew even during the cold winter nights and the lengthy off-season.

Not much going on in the world of Brewer baseball.

A number of fans seemed to be severely disgusted by a couple of things....

1. The joint sponsorship with Potowatomi Casino, announced a couple of weeks ago.

2. Opening Day "group" tickets are no longer available for opening day. The circus or what I call "amateur day" will be moved to the second game, which is on a Saturday.

3. Doug Melvin's inability to grow some nuts and trade Prince.

I can understand the reasoning behind the opening day group outings being discontinued. Yes, the bars of greater Milwaukee and even the state have supported this tradition for many years.

Having managed two bars in Milwaukee between 2003-2007, I know first hand just how popular these events are. I organized two such parties and both groups had a great time both years. With the growing fan base comes certain changes. We as fans should realize this. The organization needs to pinch every cent from it's fans in order to expand the payroll. This years payroll is anticipated to be 80MM, give or take. In order to be competitive in the MLB, teams have to rape the fans in order to keep up with other small market teams. It's sad and it sucks, but a fact.

Small market teams in the MLB consists of all teams besides: Yankees, Mets, BoSox, Angels, Dodgers, and Cubs. Possibly a few others I couldn't remember.

So one can't necessarily blame the Brewers for this. Instead, blame should be directed towards the Yankees who's payroll has swelled another half billion dollars with the signing CC, Tex, and Burnett. Like it or not, NY does set the pace for free agency along with the sky rocketing payroll that has clearly gotten out of hand. Kudos to teams like the Marlins who stay competitive with a payroll under 50MM.

Tis why the Brewers get sucked in to a sponsorship with a casino and holds on to a ballooning player like Prince; so that it can squeeze every hit, HR, and RBI from him before he skips town in 2011.
Babbling....I will stop. Spring Training is near!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Brewers hoan in on Trevor Hoffman; Anticipate signing today!

The all-time saves leader of the modern era, Trevor Hoffman (41 years old) is expected to sign with the Milwaukee Brewers today. If Melvin closes the deal, as expected, Milwaukee will have saved an otherwise dismal off-season. After losing their 1 and 2 starting pitchers, General Manager Doug Melvin seemed to be waiting-out the remainder of 2008. It seemed his focus was on concentrating on the first full week of the new year before he would make a move. Well, he has held true to his word.

The deal should be announced today and Trevor will be donning Brewer blue in 2009 and possibly 2010. The deal is thought to be worth 6 or 7MM dollars with an option the following season. The Padres allegedly made a 4MM offer to their closer of the past 16 years.
It looks like Trevor Time is coming to the Suds City!

Other news that occurred, to help Melvin's cause:

-LA Dodgers may not be able to guarantee the closing role to TH, if he signs there.
-LA has also been pursuing ex-Brewer Mota and jouneyman Dennys Reyes (is he plural?).
-The Pads are looking to exercise their option on Brian Gilles (9MM), and with their foreseeable change in ownership....they seem to be trimming some fat from their payroll.
+ TH does have interest in LA, but wants to be assured that he will be the closer. LA can't do that.

With the lack of closers available in this years off-season, Melvin has been setting his sights on Hoffman since November. I think TH will have a successful season in Milwaukee, despite his age. I will repeat what other blogs and publications have been saying this week....TH is a change-up specialist. Thus ensuring critics that his arm can with stand the stress of a full season in the closing role. Milwaukee was also going to consider Chad Cordero, or at least observe a try-out that CC was doing with other teams.

What's next? If Melvin closes the deal this afternoon....
If Milwaukee does indeed sign TH, I would expect them to pass on Brandon Lyon, who could be used as a closer or a starter. My long-shot bet would be on the Crew going after Mark Mulder, who is suspect to injury of course...and a lot of it .
Now on the scary side....
With this signing of TH, Doug Melvin's stock is skyrocketing and I would anticipate a plethora of suitors in the 2009-2010 off season. His GM skills and ablitity to bring big name acts to the city of Milwaukee has been the surprise story of the decade (yes, decade) for the MLB. He is, and should be, considered the break through GM of baseball. His ideology and keen eye for talent, is one of the best in the bigs.