Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Brewers Need to Go Around the Van Horn

It’s all right. I get it.

I understand that one exhilarating postseason run doesn’t erase twenty-six years of futility. I understand that CC Sabathia picked the Crew up on his over-sized shoulders and carried them into that series in Philadelphia. And, most importantly, I understand why no one gives my Brewers a chance to return to postseason play.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t.

It’s been several months since I last blogged about the Brewers hopes (or rather, mine) for signing CC. I want to make it very clear that I harbor no resentment for Carsten Charles’ departure to the Big Apple. (Of course, that doesn’t mean that I’m not a wee bit pleased to see him get lit up a bit today in Baltimore.) This article is not meant to take anything away from the masterful second half of a season that CC composed or undermine what his performance means for this franchise. I just happen to believe that life will go on.

But before I go too far, let’s acknowledge that much has happened since my last blog. My long-time friend Brian asked why I haven’t been blogging of late, and my only answer is that I have been extremely busy with work, my playwriting hobby and my charismatic daughter.

But let’s take a moment to review what we have learned over the past few months:
1. We’ve learned that Aaron Rodgers probably would have got the Jets into the play-offs.
2. We’ve learned that Cleveland getting Mo Williams in exchange for Damon Jones has the rest of the Central division (and perhaps the entire league) cheering for the Bucks to be contracted.
3. We’ve learned that Arizona has a professional football team.
4. We’ve learned that a Bo Ryan team should never be counted as “off the bubble”, just because they’ve lost six consecutive league games.
5. We’ve learned that you don’t ask a blind guy to step away from the piano to shake things up a bit.
6. We’ve learned that success in the NCAA tourney is still dictated by point guards (Reynolds, Lucas, Lawson).
7. We’ve learned that, despite his inability to make a free throw, Marquette’s point guard was a pretty important piece of the success.
8. We’ve learned that Matt Sorenson can actually play a little wide receiver. (By the way, I feel sorry for anyone who decided to watch Friday Night Lights this season. Go back and watch season 1. And then desperately try to burn everything you’ve seen this season from your mind.)
9. We’ve learned that women in Wisconsin still play the best hockey (though I’m not sure that’s a positive for our tourism department).
10. Finally, we’ve learned that if you manage to get off a remote island, which has the unique quality of being able to travel through time, you never EVER intentionally go back.

And that brings us to today. April 6th. The night of the National Championship game and the home opener for most teams.

(By the way, it is completely idiotic that the Brewers start the opening series in San Francisco on Tuesday. Not only does that leave them with a horrible travel schedule for the home opener, it also gives them no wiggle room in the event of a rain out. I really hate the Giants. We take Ray Durham’s salary off their hands. We give them Ernest Riles for Jeffrey Leonard, and this is how they repay us? Jerks.)

A day of optimism. Of: what might be. Of: this could be our year.

But yet optimism for the Crew seems to be limited, at best. It started for me last week when several friends sent emails about a potential rough season. Then on Sunday, it continued when only one writer from the Journal staff predicted a postseason appearance for the Brewers. No one on ESPN.com had the Brewers in the post season. The same was true for the folks who write for Yahoo.

And like I said—I get it. So why, then, do I remain optimistic for the ’09 season? Well, for one thing—I pee Brewer blue. (Okay, really I don’t. But if there was a beer that allowed you to pee your favorite team’s colors, tell me you wouldn’t buy it by the case and buy stock in the company…) And also…I have a theory.

I call it the Van Horn. And it’s a phenomenon that occurs when a team overachieves, even after losing their star and essential heart of the team. To fully understand this theory, you have to rid yourselves of any memories of Keith Van Horn the Milwaukee Buck. Forget the pasty white forward who was the embodiment of the Bucks inability to play defense.

No, instead I need you to remember the pasty white college star from Utah, who was one of the most dynamic scorers college basketball had to offer in the late ‘90s. The guy who led his Running Utes to the Elite Eight in his final college season. And the guy who caused the pundits to write off Utah the following season because he was off to the NBA.

Do you remember what happened to that Utah team the following season? They not only got as far as the original team, they went two rounds further. They managed to knock off the top seeded and reigning champ Arizona Wildcats to get to the Final Four and then beat a second #1 seed (North Carolina) on their way to the championship game. They pulled off the ultimate Van Horn. And on this championship night, it is that team that should give Brewers fans hope for 2009.

It’s not like Wisconsin sports teams don’t have a history of Van Horning. The Wisconsin Badgers team that lost Alondo Tucker (who represented something like 97% of the team’s offense) Van Horned the following season quite nicely. The Packers wide receiving core Van Horned after Sterling Sharpe was injured and the whole world decided that Brett would now have no one to throw to…

So I say this 2009 Brewers squad can Van Horn too. Their sum can be greater than their parts. And here’s just a few reasons why:
1. Jeff Suppan. Come on. Do you really think he could be as bad as he was last year again? I figure Suppan is worth at the very least two more wins this season.
2. Ryan Braun. Just like that Utah team had Andre Miller when they Van Horned, the Brewers have their own spark plug for their offense. Like Miller, he sets the pace and leads by example.
3. Prince Fielder. The Brewers have a Doleac too. A big guy who is an enforcer (just ask Manny Parra) and can also knock one (from) deep.
4. Ken Macha. You hated how Ned Yost kept playing guys mired in month long slumps? Won’t happen this year. Not while Macha’s in charge. Not while McGehee, Duffy and Nelson sit on the bench waiting for their turn to swing it. Put up or shut up will reign supreme in Milwaukee this year.
5. Rickie Weeks. I know, I know. I can hear the guffaws and scoffs of Jonny and Darren from miles away. But by my math, had Rickie not been rushed to the majors, this would have been his second full season. It’s time for the unleashing. And if not, well then…see #4 above.
6. Alcides Escobar. I know I’ve already mentioned the three stellar plays he made in the four innings I saw of spring training ball last season. It was the sexiest debut I’ve seen since Jamie Presley first disrobed in Poison Ivy 3. The Brewers have (wisely) decided to let Escobar mature another year in Triple A. But don’t think for a second that he won’t be summoned if he manages to hit like he did in Double A, come July. He should also be a reminder that the future is still very, very bright in Milwaukee.
7. Dave Bush. Take away his horrible April last year, and you have a legitimate #2 starter to team with Yovani. So let’s do that. Let’s not have a horrible April, okay Dave? I’m predicting 15 wins from Bush this season, which will make for a huge escalator next year if the Brewers want to keep him…
8. Corey Hart and JJ Hardy. Many fans can’t seem to get past Corey’s September swoon. But this kid was an all-star for three-fourths of the season, and there’s no reason why he can’t become a little more consistent this year. I had been begging for JJ to hit in the 5 hole last year, and I’m glad Macha is putting it in motion. JJ is probably the best fastball hitter on the team, and if Prince is getting walked, he’s going to see a lot of fastballs for strikes. Although I’d still hit Corey 1 and Rickie 2, I really like having these two guys at the top of the order. Needless to say, I have big hopes for the top 5 in the order this season.
9. Yovanni. I’m really trying to temper my enthusiasm for this kid, but I just can’t wait to see what he’ll accomplish in a full season. He carries himself on the mound the way Braun carries himself at the plate. And that’s saying something.
10. CC Sabathia. I know, I know. We don’t have him anymore. But the fact that the Brewers went out and got him last year should never be lost on the fans. The ’08 Brewers still had to play well enough to convince Doug Melvin to go out and get CC. And I predict that this year’s Crew will have a better record come July than last year’s squad. Is there another CC out there? Who knows. The Cubs haven’t landed Peavy just yet. Halladay has already been mentioned in rumors. Options exist. Granted, there’s probably less payroll flexibility than year’s past, so a trade might have to include a major leaguer. But that’s where having major league ready talent like Escobar and Gamel can pay off. And if you think the Brewers cupboards are bare, think again. I’d guess that Escobar and Cain are the only two untouchable position players. Hope is only a Doug Melvin phone call away.

So go ahead. Tell me what a horrible bullpen we have this year. Throw out names like Riske and Julio. I understand your concern. Or if you prefer, give me your concerns about starters like Looper and Suppan. I’m not dumb. I get that they are average at best. Or tell me how we’re too strike-out prone and throw out names like Hall and Cameron.

(By the way, Doug Melvin should win an award for his PR work this season. Remember in Bull Durham, when Crash taught Nuke how to interview with appropriate baseball speak? How he made sure Nuke had phrases at the ready like “We’re just going to take it one game at a time”? Well Doug must have held a similar coaching lesson this off season. Go back and look at interviews of different players, coaches, Gord Ash, and even Doug himself and count how many times the following three phrases were used this off season:
1. “We’re not going to change who we are. We are a home run hitting team.”
2. “You don’t replace a player like CC Sabathia.”
3. “The strike-out isn’t the worst out in baseball. The double play is.”
I guarantee you’ll find those quotes from at least five different members of the organization. Kevin Costner, eat your heart out.)

And, I suppose if you really want to make your point as to why the Brewers are doomed, you’ll just mention two names: Ben Sheets and CC Sabathia.

But just know that I have a name for you as well.

Keith Van Horn.

And for the record, two rounds further would mean a trip to the World Series.
Go Brewers.

250 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 250 of 250
gree said...

greeで楽しめちゃうであい掲示板実現!ここで楽しみませんか?いろんなであいをここで見ていきましょう

出会い said...

エロセレブとの出会いを完全無料でご提供します。逆援助で高額報酬をゲットしよう

不倫 said...

あなたの人生が大きく変わります!薔薇色の不倫であなたの望む不倫体験ができる!割り切り~契約型など、あなたの理想を現実に変える!当サイト独自システムだから誰にもばれずに、安心してご利用頂けます

宝塚記念 2010 said...

宝塚記念 2010 予想データから完全攻略!出走馬 枠順などからはじきだすデータは最強!これで平成22年の宝塚記念はもらったも同然!波乱の展開もあり

メル友 said...

全国からメル友募集中の女の子達が、あなたとのであいを待ってるよ!無料エントリーで自由な恋愛を楽しんじゃお

スタービーチ said...

スタービーチがどこのサイトよりも遊べる確率は高いんです。登録無料で新しい恋をGETしてみませんか

出会い said...

出会い系サイトで逆援助生活をしよう!エッチなセレブ女性たちが集まっています

モバゲー said...

モバゲーを使ってご近所さんと知り合えちゃう!新感覚のコミュニティサービスを利用してみよう

玉の輿度チェッカー said...

今の時代簡単に金持ちになる方法は中々無いけど、可能性は誰しも秘めてます!!そう一番手っ取り早いのは玉の輿です。この玉の輿度チェッカーをキッカケに金持ちになった方が、意外と多いのです。是非あなたも一段高みを目指しませんか

出会い said...

一流セレブたちが出会いを求めて集まっています。彼女たちからの逆援助でリッチな生活を楽しみましょう

出会い系 said...

セレブの為の出会い系、セレブの雫では女性会員数も増え、男性会員様が不足するという状態となっております。そこで先着順に、男性会員様を募集しております

スタービーチ said...

日本で一番会員数が多いのはやっぱりスタービーチ!若い娘から熟女まで好みのご近所さんがすぐに見つかる☆無料期間中に試してみませんか

出会い said...

お金持ちの女性と出会い、彼女たちとHするだけで謝礼がもらえるサイトをご存じですか?高収入の女性ほど、お金を使っていろいろな男性と遊んでいます

モバゲー said...

流行のモバゲーで友達たくさん!運命の出会いがあるかも!?まだ初めていない人も無料ゲームで遊ぼう

Hチェッカー said...

みんなでワイワイやるならHチェッカー!!これ一つ有れば偶然を装いつつ、気になる人の隠れエッチ度も分ちゃいます。お近づきアドバイスも付いてるから、これを機会に親密になろう

モニター said...

副業 在宅 でも出来る モニターアルバイト 募集!数ある副業の中、馬券モニター程稼げる副業はない!初心者の方でも簡単にできるのが最大の特権です

スタービーチ said...

スタービーチで幸せ掴みませんか?楽しめる出.会.いをしたいならここしかない!今までとは一味もふた味も違う出.会.いを体験していきましょう

逆援助 said...

女の子に逆援助してほしい、女の子と真剣にお付き合いしたい、複数プレイをやってみたい、童貞・処女を卒業したいのなら新感覚コミュニティ・ラブフリーでメル友を探そう

モバゲー said...

大人気モバゲーが遂に出合いの場所に!モバゲーだから気軽に出会える!出合いに縁がなかった方も是非ご利用くださいませ

スタービーチ said...

スタービーチは誰にでも出逢いという奇跡をもたらしてくれる。スタビで理想の関係作りしてみませんか

SM度チェッカー said...

最近普通のプレイに物足りなさを感じているそこのアナタ、ワンランク上のプレイをしてみませんか?そんな時の目安にSM度チェッカーを使うんです。自分の深層心理を暴きパートナーとのプレイ時のアドバイスも付きますよ!!一度どうですか

井の中のカ○ズ君 said...

流行りの検索ワードの番組、井の中のカ○ズ君で紹介された在宅ホスト倶楽部っていうワードで簡単にお金稼ぎました。携帯からgoogle検索にアクセスして在宅ホスト倶楽部って検索してみてください☆男性の方なら家でいるだけで1日2万円ぐらい稼げちゃうから本当に楽ちんだよ。誰か一緒にこの仕事で盛り上がろう

モバゲー said...

モバゲーでは友達から恋愛まで、様々な出 会いを探せる無料のコミュニティサイトです。常時サポートスタッフが掲示板をチェック、サクラや業者を排除しておりますので安心してご利用いただけます

スタービーチ said...

日本最大級の出会いコミュニティ「スタービーチ」で探しませんか。素敵な出会いを経験して理想の人と楽しい思い出を作りましょう

モバゲー said...

出会い専門のモバゲーSNSが誕生!メル友、恋人、セフレetc…貴方の理想に合った関係になれちゃいます。素敵な人と過ごしたいならココで見つけてみませんか

スタービーチ said...

最近スタービーチが女の子のコミュニティーサイトで話題中みたい!!夏休み目前ってのもあり登録比率に女性の数が半端ね~、やっぱり夏に一人は辛すぎや~とか思ってたら、暇な娘多すぎ・彼女簡単に出来ちゃった

スタービーチ said...

出 会いを探しているのなら会員数ナンバーワンのスタービーチ!開放的な夏休みはここで新しい出 会いを見つけよう!

モテる度チェッカー said...

夏休み目前になり、一人で大事な休みを過ごすのは誰でもイヤと違う?そんな時にモテる度チェッカーで簡単診断、この夏アナタも彼氏・彼女と過ごすための貴重なアドバイスが手に入りますよ、もうアドバイスに対しての感謝のメールが毎日!!アナタもこの夏を乗り遅れるな

グリー said...

グリー発信!!出会い専門SNS誕生、今話題のgreeから出会いをGETしよう。greeにしかできない事が盛りだくさん!!気軽にメールするだけで出会えるサイト・・・貴方の理想の異性と出会いませんか

モバゲー said...

モバゲー専門の出会い掲示板が誕生!出会いを求めている方にはオススメのサイトです。幸せな時間を過ごしたい方、淋しい思いをしたくない方はぜひご覧ください

モバゲー said...

モバゲー出会い掲示板は色々な種類の出会いを扱っております。登録無料で新しい恋の始まる事は確実です

ツイッター said...

今話題沸騰中!?新感覚出会いをツイッターで体験しませんか?リアルタイムで相手が何をしてるか分かるから、理想の人かどうかが簡単に分かる。貴方の理想の人をGETしませんか

mコミュ said...

素敵な出 会 いで愛を育む♪理想の人と楽しめる関係を築きませんか?mコミュでしか味わえない幸せを掴みましょう

スタービーチ said...

スタービーチで会える!?理想の異性をGETしよう☆素敵な出会いばかりだから求めている関係も作りやすい!!貴方が求めているのはどういった恋ですか?

名言チェッカー said...

他の人が言ってる名言や格言って良い事言ってるな~とか思ってる方、名言チェッカーで今日から自分に相応しい言葉を見つけませんか!!これでどんな人にも一目置かれる存在に為れますよ

mixi said...

mixiをも凌駕する出会い率!!出会いをするならここしかない♪mixiより出会えてしまうこのサイト。一度ハマれば辞めれません。スタービーチで素敵な出会いをしちゃいましょう

モバゲー said...

モバゲーで出会いをすれば楽しい事は間違いありません。暑いからこそ出会いを楽しむべきなのです。登録無料で簡単に利用可能!

モバゲータウン said...

モバゲータウンでは恋愛から出合いまでのキッカケをつかめる無料のコミュニティサイトです。常時サポートスタッフが掲示板をチェック、サクラや業者を排除しておりますので安心してご利用いただけます

スタビ said...

スタビが今一番アツイのはご存じでしょうか?夏休みで出会いを探している娘とすぐに会えちゃうんです。登録無料でここまで出会える所は他には存在しません。今登録して良いパートナーに巡り合おう

スタービーチ said...

出会いのシーズン、夏到来!スタービーチでご近所さんと知り合っちゃおう!ひと夏の体験も女の子は求めている

モバゲー said...

モバゲーでついに出会いができる!?楽しめる出会い、求めていた出会いはココから始まる。素敵な出会いでまずは関係づくりwしていきましょう

gree said...

greeで素敵な時間を過ごしたい・・・そんな願望を叶えてくれるサイト誕生!!今までにないドキドキ感と興奮をこのグリーで楽しみましょう

スタビ said...

スタビで出会いができる!!いつでもどこでも出会いが可能なスタービーチで最高の出会いをしてみませんか

mコミュ said...

簡単な出逢いはココでできる☆素敵な出逢いをmコミュで体験していきませんか?楽しめる出逢いを経験するならここしかない!!まずはお試しを

ツイッター said...

新時代突入!ツイッターで始まる出逢い…ここでしかできない出逢いが新しい風を巻き起こす!!素敵な巡りあわせを体験していこう!

SMチェッカー said...

あなたの秘められたSM度がわかるSMチェッカー!簡単な質問に答えるだけで自分の隠された部分が分かります!みんなで試してみよう

モバゲー said...

今やモバゲーは押しも押されもせぬ人気SNS!当然出 会いを求めてる人も多い!そこで男女が出 逢えるコミュニティーが誕生!ここなら友達、恋人が簡単にできちゃいますよ

モバゲー said...

もう夏休みも終わりに近づき、この夏最後の思い出を作りたいと焦ってる方が、モバゲーのコミュニティーに書かれてましたよ!!折角なんで夏の思い出作りに協力して自分も美味しい思いをしてみるのはどうですか?大手スポンサーサイトが付いてるので全部タダですよ

グリー said...

最近はどこのSNSサイトも規制ばっかりで、ちょっと出 合いに関して書き込みするとアク禁食らうけど、夏休み終盤に差し掛かり色々なサイトを調べた結果、グリーだけはどうも規制が緩んでるみたいです。今がチャンスの時期ですよ

デコログ said...

退屈な毎日から抜け出せるチャンスがここに!いろんな異性がいてるから確実に出会えること間違いない!中には芸能人も登録してるって噂だよ

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