Put Pitchers in the Derby!
Recently in the media there have been tons of buzz about a pitcher possibly being in the Home Run Derby. Specifically, a lot of talk about Madison Bumgarner . Noah Syndergaard, aka “Thor,” has expressed interest in this event as well as Jake Arrieta. Also, Adam Wainwright wants a part in the derby. Should the MLB have a pitcher’s Home Run Derby or let them hit with the big boppers? The answer to either question is YES, absolutely.
This is something baseball needs. It’s a breath of fresh air to the All-Star break and would be wildly entertaining. The new derby rules the MLB put into place were a fantastic addition last year, but this would make the event even better. Having either a pitcher derby or throwing some in with everyone else would make the event must-see T.V. The MLB has even discussed the possibility having a pitchers derby. It would probably make more sense to only add a pitcher or two to the mix of all other players.
It is totally understandable for teams and managers to be worried about the health of the pitchers if they partook in this. It’s the ony arguemnt on why pitchers shouldn’t be included. It’s safe to to say all of Chicago would be furious if Arrieta went out there swinging out of his shoes, causing a severe oblique strain. No team wants their ace going down for a fun little show. It’s risk that has to be taken for every player that participates.
Out of all players, I truly believe MadBum could give everyone a run for their money in the derby. Some players are mesmerized by his batting practice sessions. He’s simply a BEAST or “ox-strong, farm-bred,” as Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson described him. After all, he has homered twice off one of the greatest pitchers of our time, Clayton Kershaw. Watch, in awe as MadBum drops two bombs off the star lefty. If these two swings don’t influence you to put him in the derby, I don’t know what will.
Imagine MadBum sailing balls into the sand of Petco Park, Thor using his hammer to crush balls out and Arrieta hitting bombs off of Western Metal Supply Company in left field. Talk about a the best All-Star event ever. Baseball, it’s time for pitchers to be involved in the Home Run Derby!
What would you think of this? Should they be included or have their own derby?
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David Stearns Finding Hidden Gems For The Brewers
David Stearns has been making quite a splash in the MLB since becoming the youngest GM, at age 30, for the Milwaukee Brewers in order to help them rebuild. Other than the splashy Segura move, Stearns has made some under-the-radar moves that could positively impact Milwaukee baseball. A team like the Brewers is not rebuilding from a dominant, star studded team. They are rebuilding from the ground up. It’s important for a rebuilding team to acquire young, cheap, and controllable talent. David Stearns has been quietly acquiring some low budget, former top prospects under our noses. However, all that’s heard in the media is the Segura trade and Lucroy rumors. These players below are low-risk, high-reward for the Brew Crew. I do believe Stearns could be up to something, uncovering some cheap valuable talent that could turn out to be hidden gems. Meet Garin Cecchini and Rymer Liriano.
Garin Cecchini 3rd/1st and LF
In 2014, at Triple-A, Cecchini had a very average year, but 2015 is what really made the Red Sox want to move on from the once top prospect with the awful slash of .213/.286/.296 and a OPS of .583. The Milwaukee Brewers decided to scoop him up acquiring him for cash considerations. 3rd base couldn’t be any more shallow for the Brewers and adding Garin seems more like a depth and competition move. I feel David Stearns could be uncovering a very solid player in here in Cecchini.
Look past his dreadful year to see his potential.
Garin Cecchini was once one of the Red Sox’s top prospects before 2014, ranked #51 by Baseball Prospectus. He plays third base, first, and some outfield. Cecchini’s slash was .322/.443/.471 with an OPS of .915 split between A/AA. These are very good numbers that prove he can handle the bat well. This shows where the top prospect status comes from. Cecchini also possesses some speed as he stole 51 bases at the Single A level. He is a not a complete burner with his speed, but runs well. Getting on base has always been the strongest aspect of his game. Pure hitting and his on base expertise has always been praised in scouting reports. Cecchini is average defensively, not great. Garin has good size at 6’ 3” but his size doesn’t translate into power. In fact, he has never hit more than 7 home runs at any level in professional baseball. His lack of power may not be a huge factor for the Brewers at this point regarding the 3rd base position for them since it is so shallow. Scouts have always raved about him and Stearns sees something worthwhile in him.
Keith Law scouted Cecchini saying, “He showed he could really hit, projecting as a consistent .300-plus hitter whose future hit grade is a 65 or a 70.”
Baseball Prospectus describes him, “Excellent hand/eye coordination; natural bat-to-ball skills; hit tool could end up well above average.”
A change of scenery could rejuvenate his career. Let’s say he bounces back, makes the Brewers and slashes around .285/.390/.425. That would result in quality player for the Brewers to have. Maybe as he figures things out in a few years, he could be up around .300, This could all very well be wishful thinking, but Cecchini has had scouts raving about him for reasons. There is definitely a reason to keep an eye on this young man. It sometimes takes players a little while longer to figure it all out and David Stearns is hoping Garin finds his mojo with the Brew Crew. Third base is his to win and hopefully that inner top prospect talent comes back for him. This was literally a no risk, high reward move for Milwaukee, and that reward could be a quality 3rd baseman. If he still struggles, then nothing is lost.
Rymer Liriano OF
Rymer Liriano, a toolsy outfielder the Brewers acquired from the San Diego Padres for left-hander Trevor Seidenberger. Liriano is a very intriguing player to look into.
Bernie Pleskoff wrote in 2014, “That fall, what I saw daily from Liriano was a rare mix of power and speed tools for a player his size. Along with his potent bat and better-than-average speed for his 6-foot, 230-pound frame, Liriano flashed a much-better-than-average arm from right field. In fact, he threw so hard, his mechanics and velocity may have even contributed to the need for his career-interrupting elbow surgery last year. At the time of his operation, Liriano was ranked the No. 3 prospect in the Padres’ organization. He is currently ranked No. 6 on San Diego’s Top 20 Prospect list.”
In 2014 he slashed .291/.361/.473 with 14 home runs and an OPS of .836 between AA/AAA. In the 14 games he played at AAA, he hit a whopping .452 which led his Major League call-up that year. Then, in 36 games with the Padres, Liriano struggled mightily hitting, .220/.289/.266 with an OPS of .555. This poor play resulted in his demotion back to AAA for the 2015 season. Last year, he had similar numbers to those of 2014, even slightly better, .292/.383/.460 with an OPS of .843 and 14 bombs as well. To show his speed, in 2011, Liriano had 66 stolen bases.
Liriano has a very unique skill set and could be a special player. His numbers at Triple-A were great in 2015 and for the position the Padres are in, it is baffling they would trade him right now. He is a player with an immediate chance to positively impact a team with many tools. It is unclear where he would fit in with the Brewers in the outfield right now, but could definitely compete for time in center field. Liriano showed his talent last year and could translate it to the Major League level with the Brewers. With his track record of minor league success and various tools, Rymer Liriano could end up being a gem for Milwaukee.
These two moves are both low risk, high reward. It seems that these transactions could be great for the Brew Crew. Let’s hope these two players pan out and David Stearns could look like a genius to us all. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.
All stats from: Baseball-Reference.com
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Bleacher Boy At #BrewersOnDeck
I will be attending the annual Brewers fan festival, Brewers On Deck on Sunday, January 31. Look for me in my retro Brewers jersey that says “Bleacher Boy” with the number 10 on the back! I will be handing out my new business cards pictured below. What do you think? Hope to see you there!
#BrewersOnDeck And My Good Hair Day
One of my favorite days of the year came last Sunday, the Brewers fan festival, Brewers On Deck! It’s the same feeling of waking up on Christmas morning as a five year old. That’s how excited I get for this. It’s become a yearly tradition that I share with my dad. This year was my favorite of all!
To help publicize, I made my own business cards! I handed them out to every person I met. I just became official….ohhhh yeaaa. Here’s one:
Like the business cards? Craig Coshun, in the picture below did. He was super friendly and so was former player, now announcer, Jerry Augustine. I did not get a photo with Jerry, but he’s a regular guy, just like what he seems on T.V. The voice of the Badgers, Matt Lepay was a fine gentlemen to meet as well. I also want to give a shout out to Caitlin Moyer and the Social Media stage. Caitlin is the author of Cait Covers The Bases. As busy as she was working the stage, she was extremely nice to me when I introduced myself and what I do. Also, mega shout out to the author of, The Brewer Nation! I met up with him and he gave me some well appreciated blogging advice!
Meeting Brewers announcer, Brian Anderson (below) was a bonus! He was very sincere and genuine. He showed a lot of interest in what I had to say. We talked awhile about my blog, advice, and about my dream to either play, broadcast or write. As soon as I talked about wanting to be a broadcaster, he told me, “You’re off to a great start kid. You have your blog, plus you’ve got the hair already!” It’s all about the hair. 😉
I also played some ping pong with Brewers. I took a beating that was humbling:) I blame my partner……lol
Scooter Gennett is certainly the epitome of the eager, hungry to succeed, grateful to play, genuine baseball player kind of guy!! Holy tobacco in his mouth though! For your own health Scooter, please don’t chew! He was a very humble, fun guy. No wonder why all of Milwaukee loves Scooter. Thanks for the SELFIE! BTW-If you get rid of the chew, I may be able to set you up with my older sister (5 ft. tall and “hot” according to my friends – you didn’t hear that from me).
There’s nothing better than seeing professionals truly listen when I told them about this blog. That’s exactly what Michael Blazek and Shane Peterson did!
Luis Sardinas and Hector Gomez looked like they were having the best of times. They were super funny and goofy. As soon I as i walked up to meet them, Luis said, “Ayyeeeee let me see your hair. Ayyyeeee let me see the line shaved. Nice, fresh bro.” Like I said, it’s all in the hair.
Like last year, I said Mike Fiers was the nicest Brewer to meet. This was absolutely true again this year. Even better, he remembered who I was and what I do. He said something like “Oh yea! I know you. You’re the Bleacher Boy.” You totally made my day Mr. Fiers! Stay the way you are!
Clint Coulter and Matt Clark were stand up men! I love watching the two play and meeting them was fantastic!
O.K. So, this next pic is EPIC!!! The Brewers coaching staff getting a pic with Bleacher Boy was hilarious! They were rattling off one liners left and right. Mr. Narron (man wearing the Pharrel hat) kept asking me if I was going to write an article ripping about him and his hat. Watch our Mr. Narron! 😉 Ed Sedar (bottom left) kept counting down the picture times and had something awesome to say to every camera taking a pic. You couldn’t understand half the stuff he was saying, but man he was funny.
I finally got to meet pitcher, Kyle Lohse! He’s a super cool and chill guy to talk to! I got an autograph for my good friend, Kyle, since Lohse is like his favorite Brewer player! Kyle was psyched!
The most amazing part of the day was meeting the legend himself, Bob Uecker!! To add to it, Mark Attanasio, the owner of the Brewers was there to meet with Bob. The OWNER!!!! I was just as excited and pumped as when my sister got One Direction tickets. I was thinking to myself, “OMG he said my name and Bleacher Boy!!! I can’t believe I’m talking to Uecker himself, the man’s voice I hear every night in the summer is talking to me.” He might actually beat me on the hair thing……
I had a voucher to meet Khris Davis but I saw a tiny kid and his dad go up to get a voucher for him, and they were turned away. The little kid looked like a huge fan of Davis. I saw his lip quiver and the sadness in his eyes. I had to give him mine because I knew exactly what it felt like at the age to meet your favorite player or worse yet, not to meet him. There has been no better moment at any Brewers On Deck then to see this little kid’s eyes light up when he got the chance to meet Davis. I can’t imagine what it is like to see little kids look at you with such adornment. Maybe, I’ll see you next year Khris.
Brewers On Deck was once again a huge hit! I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Thank you to the Brewers for showing your fans a great time on and off the field!! Start the countdown to next year’s Brewers On Deck! In the mean time, spring training is right around the corner……..
Bleacher Boy at #BrewersOnDeck
HANGIN’ WITH THE BREW CREW!
“Brewers On Deck” 2014 was a day to remember! There was some insane CLUTCHNESS from my mom (no surprise) and of course Sophie used her “Wonder Twin” powers to help capture autographs and images! Soph was my photographer!
As soon as I got there, I went immediately to get a Bob Uecker autograph voucher. My number was 330…remember that number! Then off to Marco Estrada, my guy! As I was standing in line with Sophie, I quickly ran to Brewers pitcher, Tyler Thornburg. One of the kindest guys of the day! I really like him now and I truly believed him when he said that he’d check out “Bleacher Boy.” I met up with Marco again and he recognized me and he still reads my blog!
To burn time before the certain Bob Uecker vouchers were called (remember 330?) I went to the Fox Sports Wisconsin announcer booth. I got into my “Uecker” mode and recorded a Fox Brewers Promo. I feel pretty natural behind the mic..future occupation!?! I also got a chance to chat with Bill Schroeder, the Brewers television announcer. He was friendly and just like what he seems like on T.V. I also met up with John Steinmiller, author of “John and Cait…Plus Nine.” John is a really cool guy and did some classy live stage interactive interviews! I just found out that John and my older brother, Zach happen to be friends! Hey John, I’m gonna take you up on your offer and visit you in the press box! Do you see Brewers manager, Ron Roenicke photo-bombing my picture?!
NICEST BREWER OF THE DAY: Mike Fiers! You are awesome man! Thanks for being so good to the fans, including myself. I hope you’re reading this!
Mark Reynolds, Donovan Hand, Logan Schafer, Elian Herrera, Sean Halton, Will Smith (no…not the Fresh Prince 😉 ), and Jimmy Nelson, you guys were great too! Thanks for taking time for me to talk to all of you. Welcome to Milwaukee Mark and Will!! Sorry, I couldn’t get a picture with all of them.
Oh yea…remember #330, the Uecker voucher? I also just found out that Mark Attanasio, THE OWNER would be with good ole’ Bob! Man, this was going to be great to spread my blog to the OWNER!! The voucher numbers were being released…….79-328. 328… 328….ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?! I missed it by 2..ONLY 2! My luck? I blame my mom…..lol. Terrible. The least I could do was wish him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Insane clutchness from my mum! I was walking around, and who would’ve thought…former Brewer, Geoff Jenkins was right behind me! That’s when my mom starting yelling to me! I then asked for his signature and introduced to my blog. Geoff seemed very happy to be back in Milwaukee. The fans loved seeing him back as well.
My mom’s clutchness wasn’t done yet. I was near the WTMJ radio booth and my mom spotted Doug Melvin right behind me!! Doug Melvin is the General Manager of the Brewers not to mention a regular “down to earth” kind of guy! We chatted about my blog and when I asked for the scoop on Matt Garza, Doug replied, “We got him!” with a smile on his face.
This was a day to remember! SOOOO MUCH FUN! I recommend this family friendly fan festival (say that 3x fast) to all Brewer fans! Thank you Brewers for such an outstanding day!!!
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Brewers on Deck 2013!!!!!!!
Sunday, January 27 was the Brewers fan fest, Brewers on Deck. I got tickets as a Christmas present and have been counting down to this day! Thank you Santa 😉
As soon as I got there, I had the opportunity to meet Telly Hughes, a Brewer T.V. host. He was very kind to me and I gave him one of my business cards. Yes, I created a card with my picture on it and, no, I didn’t photo shop those good looks. After that, straight to the Wily Peralta line. Wily is a huge Brewer pitching prospect and I’m a fan that thinks he will make positive contributions to benefit the team. Wily was a decent guy, but others I met were amazing! My dad and I waited in line for Brewer’s catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, for nearly 2 hours. Finally, I met him and gave him a card-something about a card says, “Hey, I’m Legit.” He seemed genuinely interested in my blog. My twin, Sophie, is a catcher and probably his biggest fan, so I had him address an autograph to Sophie. When I gave it to her at home she was screaming super happily! Jonathan was great! He took time to speak to me and truly listened rather then just blowing me off.
So, I’m walking around, “Holy Crap Dad, there’s Marco Estrada walking this way!” I ran up to him all excited! I definitely didn’t ask for an autograph because his ushers would’ve had a fit like last year. He listened to everything I said and He told me that he will definitely check out my blog! Many other Brewers told me this, but he seemed the most sincere. I’m not saying the others weren’t sincere, but he really seemed like he was fascinated by a 12 year old kid that likes baseball and writing. I felt the same way about the bullpen catcher, Marcus Hanel. I talked to him for like ten minutes! He is also from my hometown, so we were talking about home and what’s going on. Turns out I go to school with his niece. Lucky her, I’m just sayin….. He also accepted a card and just became the coolest and nicest guy from my town that I know of!
The day was wrapping up and I went over to the free autographs and pictures area. I believe prospects are kinder and more humble because they have less of an ego since they aren’t MLB stars yet. “SHOUT OUT!” to #4 first-base prospect Hunter Morris, Kentrail Davis, Jim Henderson and Johnny Hellweg. Those are some great guys! They didn’t have many people in line waiting so I could just take time talking with them.
Thank you to the many Brewer players who gladly accepted my card and are reading this now-I would love the opportunity to interview and feature any of these players. I appreciate your support. I ‘can’t wait for next year! What a blast! I can smell OPENING DAY !!!!
Hunter Morris and me!
My picture of Lucroy and I wasn’t loading or working correctly..sorry. I’ll try to fix it soon.
Coming soon will be a post on my time at Brewers on Deck. I had a blast!
If you saw me today I handed out blog business cards. If you received one, please feel free to comment. Thank you for taking a moment to read my blog, I really appreciate your time.
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FAN Firsts, Flops and Favorites!!!!
Sorry Sports Fans …….I haven’t posted because I had a Strepp infection and then got a concussion playing basketball against a caveman type center. My mom always says, “There is nothing less christian than Catholic school basketball!” The caveman won that battle, but he’ll be washing my car and mowing my lawn someday.
Anyhow, I wanted to share my experiences from The Brewers fan festival, Brewers On-Deck. It’s an annual meet, greet and autograph event held at a Milwaukee convention center. It was sooooooooooooooo fun! I got tickets as a Christmas present and I was thrilled to death. So, my “Fan First” meeting was with Nyjer Morgan, A.K.A., Tony Plush came up to me to chat and gave me a “high five”. I got on T. V. (I was the good looking one) with him and there was a mob of people following Nyger. So I joined in the fun. It was crazy. This guy was hilarious running all over. He grabbed a microphone and would interview random people and just do bizarre things like chowing down on someone’s nachos. He was great to the fans. Crazy fun…….or maybe just plain crazy………(my gramps is a psychiatrist and thinks you may want to go back on your meds…..I’m just sayin…)
“Fan Flop” Alert – Newly acquired Aramis Ramirez, took this intro opportunity to demonstrate to awesome Milwaukee fans what a complete arrogant, snotty jerk he is. Ramirez seemed irritated and barely acknowledged people that waited in line and PAID for his autograph. Hey Ramirez, show some respect to the people of this state and to the game that gave you your fame. Lastly, get over yourself!!!
“Fan Favorites” – The highlight of my day was meeting my favorite player, Tayor Green. I told him that he was my favorite Brewer and his face lit up. He looked at me, smiled and seemed sincerely grateful. He gave me his autograph and took the time to talk. I felt like he could remember what it was like to be a kid who loved baseball. He seemed kind and genuine to all those that greeted him – So…Big Shout Out to T.G.!!!!! My “spidey senses” tell me that Taylor will have a bright future. I look forward to seeing him play this season. Honorable mention also goes to Alex Gonzalez and Martin Maldonado, two young players that were humble and happy to see their fans. ( “Flops” – some of the handlers that overmanaged the access to players and weren’t too friendly)
“Legends” – It was great to see Stormin Gorman Thomasand get his signature. Truly a stand up regular guy. I also had the honor of speaking toBrewer great, Jim Gantner. He ran an instructional clinic then took the time to talk to me about the “weapon”. Mr. Ganter said that when he played second base he would throw the ball, a.k.a. -the weapon, during a double play right at the baserunner’s head to make him duck. He went on to tell me that when I’m not pitching, and I play third base – this approach is very effective. Thanks Mr. Gantner for talking to me like an old friend.
So there you have it. The “circle of life” in Brewer baseball…….Rookies and young guys happy to get paid to do what they love-playing ball; the Ramirez types with big egos that have lost perspective; and the veterans that want to share their knowledge and are gratefull to have been there………and a kid who can’t wait for the season to start!