Where have you gone Teddy Higuera? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Copyrights infringe that Jayson Stark.
So after months of procrastination I have finally put pen to paper and written my first Brewerfan.com article.
This is where you cheer people.
I have struggled with a topic to focus my article on so I figured I'd just got with the shotgun approach. I may or may not stick with this format but if you expect me to churn these babies out faster then a bi-annual basis you will be sadly disappointed.
My first actual relevant point has to do with all the hoopla involved with the avalanche of Jeremy Burnitz rumors. Let me make my opinion clear that I am not in favor of trading Burnitz to the New York Mets unless we get at least one high level prospect in return that could possibly contribute next season. I have no interest in Robin Ventura, as he is exactly the type of player we need to avoid. Old, injury prone and grossly overpaid. Our only hope of pawning him off on another team is if he can actually stay healthy and perform at or near his past levels.
Was that Franklin Stubbs that just went by? Oh wait my bad. Sean Berry looks so much like him.
There are several other teas that match up better and would provide us with much needed young talent in return for Burnitz. The New York Yankees are loaded with young left-handed pitching and an opening in rightfield as well. Once everything with Jason Giambi is settled they might become very interested in acquiring Burnitz. The San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners also could be possible trading partners. Seattle in particular is loaded with pitching, while the Giants have the veteran lefthander, I'm looking your way Shawn Estes, that Taylor seems to be publicly coveting. And my personal sleeper pick is the Atlanta Braves. Package Burnitz, Jeff D'Amico, and Bucky Jacobsen for Marcus Giles, Jason Marquis, and BJ Surhoff. Or maybe Kevin Millwood, Odalis Perez, and Giles could be an option. There are plenty of available teams that could provide us with a better return for Burnitz. I'm not against adding payroll in the least, as long as we acquire viable young talent. And a below average 28- year-old lefthander is not young talent.
Wanted: Veteran left-handed pitcher. Former Milwaukee Brewers and/or Braves encouraged to apply, as player homecomings always sell tickets. Teddy Higuera, this means you.
Will Jimmy Williams be able to control the Houston Astros clubhouse better then predecessor Larry Dierker? He might if owner Drayton McLane stops using a locker in between Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio. I don't envy the headache Williams will be feeling mid-June when he realizes he just jumped out of the frying pan and into the fryer.
Kudos to Baltimore on making some of the worst roster decisions I have ever seen the past few weeks. My personal favorite is having to keep Albert Belle on the 40 man. They forfeit their insurance if they release him, and he can't keep cashing checks if he retires.
I still think the best and possibly the only reason to sign Marty Cordova to replace Jeremy Burnitz in the lineup is because he owns an ABNER hitting machine. He fell in love with it when he saw one demonstrated last winter. He quickly purchased one and began using it everyday. He credits much of his resurgence this past season to using it. Sign him and have Jenkins, Sexson, Belliard, and the lot have sleepovers at his place every night. Hey, I've heard of crazier ideas. And at $2-3 million, he'd be a solid and inexpensive acquisition.
Hi, I'm Carl Everett. You might recognize me from such tumultuous clubhouses such as the New York Mets, Houston Astros, and Boston Red Sox.
While improving on base percentage is probably the greatest need for improvement for the upcoming season, improving the overall talent base can't be far behind. The Chicago Cubs have a glut of 3rd basemen and one could probably be had for a minor prospect. Tampa Bay is offering Randy Winn around and he could make a nice 4th or 5th outfielder, as well as add some much-needed speed. While the most interesting player to watch this off-season could be Charles Johnson. If he chooses to return to the Florida Marlins he will effectively block Ramon Castro who would then become available.
Congrats to SS Billy Hall on his excellent showing in the AFL. He made himself into a legitimate prospect due to his excellent season. He'll probably start the season at AA, but a September call up is not out of the question.
I'm still an advocate of shipping out Jose Hernandez AND Mark Loretta for prospects. This would allow Marcos Scutaro to man the position full time. Scutaro could step in and perform at an acceptable level while costing a fraction of what Hernandez or Loretta would. This could potentially setup a fierce competition between Hall and Scutaro in 2003. As much as the Brewers will want to show improvement in the victory column next season they need to start developing young players at the major league level. They've done a fairly decent job with this when it comes to pitchers but until now they have had few position prospects to work with. Hopefully Scutaro and Hall represent the beginnings of a long pipeline of prospects from our minor league system.
Well that wasn't so painful now was it? Hope you enjoyed my first foray into rambling and I would appreciate any comments you might have. Whether it is on the general format, specific comments I had, or general critiquing my ignorance.