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Yuniesky Betancourt has hit 2 grand slams this season (6 in his career), Pete Rose hit 1 grand slam in his entire 24 year career among his record 4,256 hits

(Photo: Ted Warren / AP)

Aug 5

Arena Five: The Mystery Man at Miller Park

On Biogenesis suspension day here is a story that will help restore your faith in humanity and the national pasttime.

Aug 5

How did the players suspended in the Biogenesis investigation avoid detection?

I asked it a month ago and I’ll ask it again; how broken is the drug testing policy of MLB?

Bud Selig, the players union, and all of MLB seems to be very publicly certain that the PED testing program is working. Last season’s aborted Ryan Braun suspension seemed like the first chink in the impenetrable armor of the collectively bargained PED testing program. Despite the belief that his appeal was successful on a mere technicality, MLB and the union took steps to make sure that any holes that may have been present have been plugged. The program was thought to be even stronger. 

In the 2012-13 offseason a word few had heard before would captivate fans of baseball again; Biogenesis. There was a list of 20 or so players that were linked to the Florida clinic that was run by Tony Bosch. Some on the list had already been suspended by MLB for drug offenses, some (Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez) had been linked to PEDs, and some had no previous PED suspicions or ties. This last group is the most curious of all; they are all of an age that they have been tested since they entered the minor leagues. In regards to the effectiveness of the PED testing program, this raises some potentially disturbing questions.

Were they on sophisticated, long-term regimens or did they use a few times for specific reasons, such as injury recovery? How were these players able to avoid detection? If these players are users of PEDs and were able to proceed undetected, how many more are out there that went to a clinic other than Biogenesis? At the very least this has to call into serious question the effectiveness of the drug testing program in MLB. 

 

Aug 5

People need to quit bringing up Pete Rose in their PED discussions

It is absolutely debatable if Pete Rose deserves banishment from baseball, but in no way does another player’s (of many players’) PED use have anything to do with him or what he did. It is like saying a thief isn’t a bad guy because there are murderers around.

Personally, I think what Rose did was much worse and could have possibly had a much larger direct impact on individual games than any player ingesting artificial testosterone. He also went on denying what he did MUCH longer than any current player has denied his wrongdoing. That is my opinion and others are entitled to their own, but for anyone to act like it is a cut and dry, this-is-worse-than-this issue is absurd.

On to better news…the Brewers have won two straight tight games over the Reds

Monday, July 8th

Good:

  • Carlos Gomez’ defense. Enough said.
  • Jean Segura had 3 hits, which was nice after a rough couple weeks. Juan Francisco and Rickie Weeks had 2 hits each. Jonathan Lucroy hit a 2-run home run.
  • Segura and Logan Schafer stole bases.
  • Kyle Lohse was cruising until getting into trouble in the 7th. John Axford allowed an inherited runner to score before getting a huge strike out of Joey Votto. Jim Henderson and Francisco Rodriguez worked scoreless innings.

Bad:

  • Gomez was hitless, but more than made up for that. Sean Halton was also hitless.

I don’t know why, but I love seeing Joey Votto get all pissy. I don’t know much about his personality and have never really heard anything bad about his attitude, but his face when he is whining about a call or after getting robbed of a hit (like a lead taking home run with 2 outs in the 9th inning) just screams douchebag to me. The guy is a great hitter, but he looks like a dickhead.

Tuesday, July 9th

Good:

  • Wily Peralta did his thing tonight. He stopped the Brewers record streak of 407 games without a complete game shutout, which is enough. Couple that with this being the first time his mother was able to see him pitch since becoming a professional and it adds a whole new level. Peralta’s mother has had issues getting a visa to come to the US to watch her son pitch and tonight’s game was the first. He performed in a big way with his first career complete game and first career shutout. He never allowed the Reds to have more than a single runner on base at any time. He also only allowed 3 players to reach as far as 2nd base, one on a sacrifice bunt, one on a wild pitch, and one that tried to turn a 2-out triple into an inside the park home run.
  • Logan Schafer hit his first career home run and it proved to be the game winner.
  • Ryan Braun made his return to the lineup and smoked a single on the first pitch he saw.
  • Jean Segura made a great relay throw to cut down Derrick Robinson at the plate. He had to because…

Bad:

  • Jeff Bianchi replaced Braun in left field and completely misplayed a ball hit into the corner. After taking a less-than-perfect angle, failing to cut the ball off, and then bobbling it when trying to pick it up he fired it in to Segura. Segura threw a strike to Martin Maldonado who blocked the plate nicely and put down the tag.
  • The offense only managed 4 hits, but it was enough to win.

The Wily Peralta/Mama Peralta story is a nice one. There have been a few times this season that Peralta has really shown that he has the stuff to be a top of the rotation starter. Unfortunately inconsistency has been an issue. He is only a rookie, so he has plenty of time to work out the kinks and be a piece to build around in the years to come.

Jul 7

3 hits aren’t going to win you too many games, although not allowing an earned run is probably not going to lose you too many games. SOMETHING HAD TO GIVE!!!!

Good:

  • Tom Gorzelanny gave the Brewers a solid start that gave the taxed bullpen a bit of relief. He scattered 8 hits around 8 strikeouts and allowed just 2 runs, both unearned. A blown call at 2nd, followed by an error led to the first run and an error led directly to the 2nd run as well.
  • Mike Gonzalez, Brandon Kintzler, and John Axford worked the final 3 scoreless innings.
  • Jonathan Lucroy had a solo home run to account for the only Brewer run and 1/3 of their hits.
  • Carlos Gomez stole his 20th base, joining fellow All-Stars Mike Trout and teammate Jean Segura as the only players in the majors with at least 10 home runs and 20 stolen bases.

Bad:

  • More errors leading to runs. Two more unearned runs ups the Brewers total to 47 on the season.
  • A complete lack of offense doomed the Brewers just as much as the unearned runs. Credit needs to go to Mets 2nd year starter Jeremy Hefner for commanding the zone and keeping Brewers bats off of solid contact.
  • The Brewers allowed another virtual no-name to kill them again. He of the porn name, Josh Satin, had 3 hits, including 2 doubles. He was also the beneficiary of a blown call stretching a base hit into a double. I saw his picture on ESPN and he is pretty much a white dude with two day’s worth of beard growth and Drake’s eyebrows on steroids.

Another frustrating loss to a below average team. However, it is tough to be too upset, because the Mets actually have a better record than the Brewers right now. 

The Brewers are right back in action tomorrow with a three game series against the Reds. Kyle Lohse takes the hill against Homer Bailey, coming off of his most recent no-hitter. Tom Haudricourt has an interesting blurb about Homer Bailey/Mark Rogers in his column (the one with the Biogenesis stuff, I’ll post it). The Brewers were debating whether to draft Homer Bailey or Mark Rogers way back in 2004. The rest is history.

Jul 2

Why does this whole Biogenesis “scandal” seem manufactured?

One of my best friends is an asshole. You know, the type of person that will get on Facebook or Twitter and post an “I told you so” after the local team loses or something bad happens. He was the first one on Facebook when the Brewers were knocked out of the NLCS in 2011 talking about how he knew their pitching wasn’t good enough to make the World Series and laughing at all the “bandwagon” fans. And he was pulling for them! He isn’t necessarily a fan of any team in MLB, but he does love the sport. The NFL is a different story, he is a Cowboys fan and his tendencies to talk shit even though his team sucks is the reason we are not friends on Facebook. Anyway, we were watching my stepson’s baseball game and he mentioned how he can’t wait until Ryan Braun is suspended so he can rub it in everyone’s face that thought he was clean the first time. He doesn’t really delve deep into any news story, however, so he really has no idea that the “new” report was pretty much the same as the report from January or February. 

Ryan Braun’s name isn’t going to be going away from these stories for three reasons. First, MLB really want to nail him to the wall. For some reason, his successful appeal was viewed by many in the media and

Read More

Wisconsin student wins 2013 SABR Lee Allen History of Baseball Award | SABR

Grace Olson of Lincoln Middle School in La Crosse, Wisconsin, won the Lee Allen History of Baseball Award for her junior individual exhibit, “The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.”

Very cool, congratulations!

Brewers let one slip away

Wily Peralta lets one fly.

Good:

  • Wily Peralta went a solid 6 innings, allowing 3 runs. He had one shaky inning, but was otherwise very good. He added a base hit.
  • Jean Segura was the only Brewer with multiple hits. The Brewers as a team only had 5 hits.
  • Segura also stole 2 bases.

Bad:

  • Only 5 hits isn’t going to get the job done on most nights. Neither is going 0-4 w/RISP.
  • Jim Henderson blew his first save of the season and it wasn’t even in the 9th. He allowed a one-out, infield single and with two outs he made a mistake that Giancarlo Stanton hammered for a two-run home run. 

Carlos Gomez slides home on a sac fly.

This one is a bit of a bummer for a few reasons. First, Wily Peralta gave them a solid start. Second, the Marlins are a team the Brewers should beat (one of the few). And finally, they had clawed their way to a lead after being down 3-0. Henderson has been nearly flawless all season, so it stands to reason that he was due for a mistake that the opposition could capitalize on. Boy did they. The offense somehow managed to claw out 4 runs from their 5 hits, and that just wasn’t quite enough.

The final game of the series is tomorrow night with Alfredo Figaro taking on Kevin Slowey.

Jun 7

This whole thing is just really so stupid, I really don’t even want to talk about it. If MLB has legitimate means to suspend Braun for violating the rules, then have at it. Yet, what’s going on just looks more and more farcical as more info comes out. They seem to be willing to go to any end, sink to any level of shadiness to get these guys, and to what end? By doing it they’re turning it into a news story, and the sports press is more than happy to latch on to it over the coming low news months. They’re damaging their own product all in the name of cleaning up the sport, when the public has never seemed nearly as concerned about steroids as the media or Congress. People didn’t boo Barry Bonds because he was on steroids for the most part. They booed Barry Bonds because he was on someone else’s team hitting home runs and taking steroids. It’s just all so pointless.

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- Ryan Topp - Disciples of Uecker

This sums up the way I feel about the Biogenesis “scandal” and the steroid/PED debate in general. Fans aren’t mad that players use steroids, they are mad that players on other teams use steroids and do well against their favorite team.

Jun 7

Brewers ’13 Draft Tracker (Plus Scouting Reports) | Disciples of Uecker

Learn about the Brewers’ two draft picks from last night and all of the rest over the next couple of days. I know just short of nothing about any of these guys, but JP Breen and the boys at Disciples of Uecker have done the legwork to provide reports on the newest members of the Brewers organization.

Also, purchase their premium “Brewsletter” if you have a few spare bucks. They are $1.99 each and feature longer articles, charts, and a nice design. I was able to read one of the articles in issue 2 about Brett Lawrie and a bit of the backstory behind why the Brewers were willing to trade what looked to be a can’t miss prospect. Very good stuff.

Jun 5

New (old) reports that 20 players may be suspended

The mainstream seems to have finally picked up on the “news” that this group of players are going to be suspended. This was reported months ago, before the season started, by a blogger and it is just now hitting ESPN, CBS Sportsline, etc. This particular story has been reported by Outside the Lines, the same group of numskulls that “broke” the leaked story about Ryan Braun prior to the 2012 season. The story itself is just the same things that have been coming out about the Biogenesis lab in Florida and its head drug-peddler, Tony Bosch.

It is said that the league is seeking 100 game bans for up to 20 players, including the Brewers’ Ryan Braun. They are justifying the 100 games because they are calling it two offenses in one. First, the receipt of PEDs from the lab and second, lying about it. If that is truly the case than it would stand to reason that certain players on the list of 20, namely Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, and Yasmani Grandal would then face lifetime bans. Each has already been suspended once and the Biogenesis/Bosch investigation would be their 2nd and 3rd offense. 

I guess the moral of my story is that I’m not entirely convinced anything is going to happen to any of the players named in the report. The article even said that MLB may suspend those players “within the next few weeks”. Why so long? Are they in the appeal process? If they are or haven’t gotten that far, why are we hearing about any of this? In the end you know the player’s union is definitely going to have their say in the matter. Finally, does anyone really care about PEDs in baseball? I know there are plenty of people that love to spout on and on about how they hate cheaters and this, that, and the other thing, but in the end does anyone really give a shit beyond the opportunity to boo a guy and talk shit to that player’s fans? 

I’ve been a baseball fan for longer than most on tumblr have been alive and I can honestly say I couldn’t care less about steroids or other PEDs in baseball. I never have and I probably never will. In the end it doesn’t really matter, because the great players are great with or without any enhancers and we don’t know who has been on what and when.