ryan braun

To Trade or Not To Trade: The Case of Jonathan Lucroy

-David Strobach-

Milwaukee Brewers catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, was already one of the hottest names on the trade market and with his return this year to elite status, everyone has an eye on him.  The tough question for the Brewers is whether to trade Lucroy or not.  Let’s examine the pros and the cons.


To Trade

Milwaukee’s farm system is already among the best in the league and a Lucroy trade would make it a top 3 farm system with ease. Catchers who rake and field their position well are rare so Lucroy’s value is through the roof.  He is currently hitting  316/.372/.539 as of June 6, with 9 bombs and an OPS of .911 after a DREADFUL 2014. The Brew Crew would receive an elite prospect package, adding to the already impressive group of  players featuring Orlando Arcia, Brett Phillips,  Josh Hader, and Trent Clark.  The Brewers also have the 5th overall pick in the upcoming draft, bolstering the farm even more.  Luc’s contract is incredibly team friendly, making him even easier to move.  The future is already bright, but with a trade and draft here, it gets even brighter, looking at possible young stars. Lastly, Lucroy has expressed interest in being traded to a winning team.

Top Prospect: Orlando Arcia Benton Reed/Biloxi Shuckers

To Not Trade

Jonathan Lucroy is a fan favorite with the “LUUUUUCCCC,” chants heard every at-bat.  It’s hard to give up one of the faces of the franchise that is so well liked.  Everyone thought the Brewers were going to be quite dreadful while rebuilding this year, but they’ve actually been playing well. They are working their way back to .500 with only a few games under now.   The bullpen has showed it’s elite with the likes of Tyler Thornburg, Blaine Boyer, Will Smith, and the dominance of closer Jeremy JeffressJimmy Nelson is coming into his own and looks like he could be a 1, 2, or 3 for the rotation for years to come.  Overall,  the rotation has been serviceable other than the liability of Wily Peralta on the mound.  Ryan Braun has returned to his old self and is having one of the best years of his career.  Hernan Perez keeps hitting his way into the line up and Aaron Hill has heated up since his rough start.  Jonathan Villar has been an absolute stud, hitting over .300, leads the league in stolen bases, and plays an exceptional shortstop.  Lucroy is a core player and a leader.  Finding another catcher like him is almost impossible. He could be vital in developing young pitchers and will be a valuable bat in the line up.  With the revelation of Villar and the elite bullpen, the Brewers could become more competitive sooner than people think.  Top prospect Orlando Arcia will soon be playing gold glove caliber D at short and hopefully Villar gets moved over to second because his bat has to stay in the line up.  A Braun, Phillips, and Domingo Santana outfield could be great.  Josh Hader is showing ace flashes featuring an ERA under 1. It’s hard to put a timeline on young prospects like Trent Clark, but let’s say these prospects I’ve talked about make their way up within 3 years, it could make the Brew Crew competitive.  Lucroy would be a central piece for the years to come if he can be retained.  The Brewers are quietly putting together a solid core that Luc is crucial to.

Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

My Verdict: To Not Trade

I see Luc being  too valuable down the road to trade! The Brewers with their solid play this year may convince him to want to stay.  He is more valuable to the Brew Crew for the years to come to help anchor a line up as well as help develop up and coming pitchers.  He is one of the few “veteran” leaders on the team along with Braun – which also helps sell tickets.  This is an incredibly tough decision that David Stearns will have to make.  Would I be upset if he was traded and they received a great return?  Absolutely not, I  can accept their wanting to position the team for the future.  Either way, there are positives and negatives to keep Luc. Personally, I would miss him – and so would my sister who cherishes his autograph and catches because of him.

What would you do as GM?



The Effects of Steroids

 -David S.-

Anabolic steroids are heard about everywhere in the sports world.  They are thought to give you superior strength incredibly fast.  Athletes feel that taking steroids gives them an edge at beating the competition.  They think they can rise to be number one in their sport.  This may be true, but there are consequences that can change your life forever in very negative ways.  Although steroids strengthen you in the short-term, it will deteriorate your body over time.  The negative effects, physically, as well as mentally, are staggering.

The proper name for anabolic steroids are anabolic-androgenic steroids. The word anabolic means building or growing.  So your muscles are growing and building in this case (Crane).  Testosterone is the main chemical on your body that anabolic steroids imitate (Taylor).  Testosterone is an androgen and  thought of as the “male hormone,” but it is actually found in women as well.  An androgen is a male sex hormone.  Ninety five percent of testosterone in men is produced in the testicles.  Testosterone in men is responsible for a man’s muscular build.  Womens’ testosterone is eighty-five percent produced by the ovaries and  fifteen percent produced by the adrenal glands.  The testosterone produced in women is much less than in men.  A deep voice, beard, and slim hips are all caused by testosterone in a man.  Muscle protein building, and the formation of red blood cells are promoted by androgens.  Also, they increase your appetite (Silverstein). When people work out, they create micro tears in their muscle fibers. A muscle then regrows, like scar tissue and comes back larger than before. If you use anabolic steroids, this cycle gets faster and better. People can work out more often, as well as get stronger quicker (Taylor).

There are various techniques of taking steroids. Steroids can be ingested by a pill, injected with a needle, and also can be rubbed on your skin with a cream.  Most people take a hundred times the amount that is prescribed normally. Another method is

called cycling. Cycling is most commonly used with body builders. This form has the individual taking the drug in certain time cycles. Most commonly, they are taken in 6 to 12 week cycles.  Another way is called stacking. You put the substance into your body by both pill and injection. This isn’t scientifically proven to work, but is meant to double muscle growth. Pyramiding is a common way to take steroids. It is just like cycling, but slightly different. In your first cycle you take a low base dosage. Then each cycle you keep increasing your dosage until you hit a peak. Then you gradually decrease (Anabolic Steroid Abuse).

Steroids are very addictive.  When usage is stopped, severe migraines, depression, and fatigue commonly occur.  They have effects on the body that would encourage usage. Steroids increase muscle mass while lowering body fat with the increase of testosterone.  It also increases the concentration of hemoglobin in your blood and your blood volume.  Hemoglobin is in your blood and it  carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.  Steroids will also escalate bone strength  and the mineral density in your bones.  Your pain tolerance heightens.  Steroids accelerate your recovery from muscle injuries and injuries caused from overuse.  A sense of euphoria is felt by steroid use making you feel on top of the world (Taylor).  In other words, steroids give you a sense of well-being and strengthen you abnormally quickly.

Anabolic steroid use is commonly found in many sports and most  commonly associated with Major League Baseball.  Athletes believe that using steroids will enhance their performance and give them an edge over the competition.  Steroids, also known as performance enhancing drugs, are banned in sports for that very reason of giving them an edge over everyone else and to protect the health of the athletes.

People with a psychiatric condition known as muscle dysmorphia often abuse steroids.  Muscle dysmorphia is the disorder of being absolutely obsessed with your body image.  If someone is built and strong, they believe that they appear weak and skinny.  There is no believing that you look good enough ever. Nothing is good enough for them concerning their body.  This causes people with muscle dysmorphia to abuse  anabolic steroids to improve their body image (Rohman).  A common misconception among anabolic steroids is that they treat and prevent injury (Taylor).  This has some truth, but can severely destroy the body in the long run.

Steroids will destroy your body physically.  Specifically, men experience the development of breasts.  The testicles also shrink (Crane). As a result of this, a  reduced sperm count and temporary impotence also  occurs. At first, using anabolic steroids increases the sex drive rapidly, but it eventually decreases.  When the body experiences another source of testosterone, artificially introduced, the body may stop or slow the production altogether.  This may actually make a man appear more feminine (Silverstein).

Women who take steroids appear to be more masculine.  This is result of the increased testosterone.  Another result is the deepening of the voice and breast size decreasing (Silverstein).  Women lose their hair on their scalp, but it rapidly grows on their body.  The hair lossage on the scalp is called male-pattern baldness (Anabolic Steroid Use).  Menstrual irregularities often develop as well (Crane).  Horrific side effects in women are the degeneration of the uterus and an enlarged clitoris (Silverstein).

Adolescents who take anabolic steroids usually do it to build muscle to improve in athletics and to attract women they are interested in.  Sometimes boys take them to start puberty if it has not been reached at an older age.  Adolescents using steroids may have premature baldness and may even have stunted growth.  The stunting of growth happens because instead of bones and muscles growing, the bones become fused together.  This makes no room for the bone to grow, just the muscle (Silverstein).

There are many side effects that develop in both men and women.  The most common are severe acne and tendon and ligament damage.  Tendons and ligaments become damaged because muscles are strengthened so fast that they can’t keep up.  This could also cause a bone breakage (Crane).  Users get a very oily scalp.  Steroids also alter the level of lipoproteins which carry cholesterol through the bloodstream.  Atherosclerosis can then occur.  Atherosclerosis causes the arteries to have deposits of fatty substances within them.  This can confound blood flow.  If this arises, then the risk for heart attacks and strokes are greatly increased (Anabolic Steroid Use).

Anabolic steroids can destroy the body’s liver.  Painful cysts will develop on the liver.   Tumors can build up too and blood filled sacs can form.  These blood sacs, cysts, and tumors can end up rupturing resulting in hemorrhaging and internal bleeding (Silverstein).  Jaundice is also terrible side effect.  It is a dysfunctional  kidney condition that results in the yellowing of the skin and/or eyes (Crane).  Another severe side effect  is the possibility of infertility (Anabolic Steroid Abuse).

There are many personality and psychological effects.  Users can end up experiencing suicidal feelings (Crane).  Commonly people become delusional and experience mania.  You may hallucinate and hear voices in your head.  This is commonly referred to as ‘bodybuilders psychosis’ (Stein).  Most often it is expressed as severe rage and aggression.

‘‘Roid rage” is the term for the behavioral side effects of severe rage and aggression.  Increased testosterone has been linked with increased  aggression.  It has been reported that users would burst out raging.  Some examples are beating a spouse for no reason and smashing in a car window in front of you because the blinker was left on.  In the worst cases, ‘roid rage has resulted in murder.  “It made me feel real moody, violent.  I wanted to kill someone,” football player, Dan Steinkuhler said (Silverstein).

Anabolic steroids absolutely destroy your body.  There are virtually zero positive outcomes from taking this drug because of the harmful side effects.  Physically, your body will destroyed and deteriorate.  Psychologically, they will change your personality and not for the better.  The short-term enhanced performance, resulting from steroids, is in no way worth the risks of the detrimental effects on the mind and body.


Works Cited



Class Beats Swag Everytime!

-David S.-

I thought I’d write about one trait that sticks out as truly important to me as a ballplayer.  That trait is “CLASS”.  Mariano Rivera, of the Yankees, is one of the biggest class acts in the game of baseball.

My least favorite word I know is”SWAG.”   What is swag to me?  Swag, an ugly four letter word,  is cockiness and loud.  It’s that annoying conceited walk and air of aloofness that says, “I’m the best and gonna show everyone.”  It’s the “all about me”  attitude.

Those players with “CLASS’” display confidence, not cockiness.  You can hold your head very high, and let your actions speak for themselves.  At least act intelligent….and PRACTICE….PRACTICE! -Allen Iverson (lol).  Pick up your teammates, and nothing negative that would taint you or your team, other than critics.  Stay out of trouble and act like a true gentleman.

I think sports and this country are losing class.

Sure, “Swag” gets you all the Chicks, sells jerseys to thugs, and may make you an absolute media frenzy.  Their are even sites dedicated to ” who has the most swag.”  Supposedly it’s “cool” to have swag.  I say stop walking like you have a stick up your butt dude.  Class, though is different; It is not loud and boisterous and in your face.  Class is quiet: it separates the boys from true men.  It may not get you as much attention up front, but it is lasting and you’ll earn respect and honor.  Respect and honor are my most cherished qualities that I would like  to see in people.  It defines who you are.  Ryan Braun and Mike Trout are the swaggiest men (is that even a word?).  Can you say you respect them…. no, they are just great ball players with great stats.   But in my world that is not enough.   To prove my point, I went to a Brewers game versus the Angels.  I wanted to get Mike Trout’s autograph.  He did a cocky walk over to us, pretending to greet fans  and then sprinted away with a “just joking” attitude.  He was mocking the fans and loving getting flaunted over.  Mike was not a nice man to us in any way, I saw no class  in him. Ryan Braun, well……enough said.

Players like Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones and Prince Fielder  = class. They are happy and grateful to their careers, teams and fans.  Prince is a giant teddy bear.  When I’ve met him he’s treated you like a true person. On the field and in the dugout, he was a leader and a team player.

The classiest man that just retired from baseball is Mariano Rivera.  He has all of my respect.  He is never dirty and there is nothing to trash about him.  As much as I hate the Yankees, he is just one of the best.

The point of this is that class is becoming a lost trait. We need more of it.  At the end of the day who do you look up to?  An honorable man is timeless. You earn honor, don’t give it away.

Class truly beats swag.  It defines who you are.

What are your thoughts on this topic?  Who are your favorite “swaggy” players and “classy” ones?

Aggressive Hitters VS. Patient Hitters Part 1

Which is better at the plate, a patient hitter or an aggressive hitter? 

Let’s  get aggressive ….

Aggressive hitters go after many pitches and always try to hit the ball.  You approach the box as if you’re going into battle and ready to attack! Being aggressive can be a good and a bad thing.  You don’t want to be too aggressive because you can become too predictable and swing at everything.  Yuniesky Betancourt of the Royals (2011 Brewer) is a great an example of being too aggressive.  I had to watch his horrible hitting and it was painful.   Occassionally, he would crush the ball, but that didn’t overshadow what happened most of the time. Was it just me or did he swing and pop up the first pitch almost every at bat.  He made me sooooooooooo frustrated.  Betancourt seemed to have the mind-set of “I gotta swing at every pitch and get a big hit it!!!” Almost desperate to make something happen, he swung at almost every first pitch often popping up or striking. If I could predict what he would do at the plate,  the pitchers definitely did and used it to their advantage.

There are also many great aggressive hitters.  If you are a good aggressive hitter you always will go up to bat with a mind-set of “I’m gonna hit this, but I won’t swing if it’s not near the zone.”  These types of hitters are always ready to take a wack at the ball and make some sort of contact, but if it’s not there they simply don’t swing.  Josh Hamilton of the Rangers and Ryan Braun are great examples of great aggressive hitters. They approach ready to battle but will lay off the “bad” pitches.  My baseball coach has this philosophy and it really works.  My team was crushing the ball over the weekend with 3 home runs and many monster hits.  In the next few days I’ll be talking about patient hitters and my personal opinion

Please Comment on your opinion of aggressive hitters.

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