In the four days since YOUR Milwaukee Brewers pulled off the trade of the decade, plucking rose-amidst-the-manure stud Zack Greinke from the woebegone Kansas City Royals, we've failed to address a critical question: what does your poorly-informed and excessively-verbose friend Rubie think of the deal?
In three words: I love it. In 1309 more words*, here are ten reasons why:
* Some of which were supplied by my boy klwillis45 -- though, it should be noted, I was the first to confirm that what he wrote was good.
(10) We get to have a legitimate debate about who should be the opening day pitcher that doesn't involve the words: "Wait, why the **** are they throwing Suppan against Tim Lincecum?" On Tuesday night, Kyle, Lar from wezen-ball.com and I had a fifteen minute discussion regarding how the Brewers would set up the rotation for opening weekend and the opening homestand the following Monday. When's the last time we got to do that? (If you answered "never," I think you win.)
(9) I never, ever, ever again have to read Anthony Witrado wax (in)eloquent about Alcides Escobar's hose.
(8) 88 m.p.h. If it's the top speed of your flux-capacitor-outfitted Delorean, that's one thing. If it's the max-out velocity of the fastballs of four-fifths of your starting rotation, that's quite another. I've had my fill of Suppans and Villanuevas and Rusches and Wolfs and Davises and Santoses, thankyouverymuch. Gimme a couple guys who can push it over 94 when they need to.
The top seven reasons await those who JUMP.
(7) Misery loves company. As you might have noticed, I'm generally a miserable bastard. Hating is one of my favorite ways to pass the time. But with the way this team was shaping up before the Greinke trade, my cupboard was looking pretty bare for the upcoming season. Escobar? Liked him. Cain? Really liked him. Going around the field, it was starting to look like Corey Hart, by default, was going to be the object of my disaffection once again.
But now? Now I've got Carlos Gomez AND Yuni Betancourt! This is almost an embarrassment of riches for someone who likes to complain as much as I do. At the least, GoGo and Yuni will make for a compelling "can either of these guys put together an OBP higher than Ruben Quevedo's weight?" post this summer.
(6) I don't mind that we didn't hire Bobby Valentine anymore. I was all twitterpated when the rumors that the Brewers were close to hiring Bobby Valentine started swirling last month, for one simple reason: I figured the Crew was due for another 76-82 win season, and, that being the case, I wanted a nutjob manager who could hold my attention and keep me entertained through the dog days of summer. Thus, when V was bypassed for Ron Roenicke, I was bummed.
Unfortunately, nobody forwarded me the memo that said we were actually going to try to win the whole damn thing this year. Had I known, my pouting would have been noticeably subdued.
(5) @notkenmacha is sure to be back this season. If you don't think our crackpot (fake) manager has some thoughts on the Brewers upgrading their rotation after he was forced to try to plug square holes with round pegs like Jeff Suppan and Doug Davis, you haven't been paying attention.
(4) I heart Prince. Trading for Marcum and Greinke put an end to any speculation that the Crew might look to deal Prince Fielder this offseason -- if you're going all-in, you might as well keep your best offensive weapon in the fold, right? I, for one, am very excited about this development.
Do you remember the movie They Live, the epic Roddy Piper vehicle about a man who finds magic sunglasses that allow him to see that some people are actually aliens holding the rest of humanity captive through subliminal mind control? (No? You haven't seen it? Do yourself a favor and watch it with the family this holiday season. Great for kids and grandparents alike.) ANYWAY, in the film, Piper utters one of the greatest lines in the history of history:
I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubble gum.
If you swap the words "crush Skittles" for "chew bubble gum" and "destroy baseballs" for "kick ass," you've got Prince Fielder in a nutshell. Maybe it would've been better for the long-term health of the team if Doug Melvin dealt the big man this winter, but I don't really care: the kid is a rare talent, and I can think of worse things than having to watch him obliterate National League pitching for another year.
(3) Growing up, my favorite television show was 'Saved by the Bell.' As a result, I will seize on any and every excuse to deploy the term 'Zack Attack.'
More importantly: although my contacts inside the Brewers organization are very, very limited (read: do not exist), I do know somebody who works in the audio booth at Miller Park. Accordingly, I make this pledge to all of you: at some point this season, in a game that Greinke starts, the Brewers will take the field to "Friends Forever."
(2) Zack hearts his FIP. By now, you've seen that Zack Greinke is a quote machine; from burritos to ... burritos with overpriced guacamole, the kid can make any topic interesting. But did you know that he's also a True Believer? Check this:
If you type "Zack Greinke is awesome" into Google and run an "I'm feeling lucky" search, you're directed to this page from U.S.S. Mariner, which contains quotes from this New York Times piece, written after Zack claimed the 2009 Cy Young. Here are the money shots:
"David DeJesus had our best zone rating," [Brian] Bannister said, referring to the Royals’ left fielder. "So a lot of times, Zack would pitch for a fly ball at our park instead of a ground ball, just because the zone rating was better in our outfield and it was a big park."
To that end, Bannister introduced Greinke to FIP, or Fielding Independent Pitching, the statistic Greinke named Tuesday as his favorite. It is a formula that measures how well a pitcher performed, regardless of his fielders. According to fangraphs.com, Greinke had the best FIP in the majors.
"That’s pretty much how I pitch, to try to keep my FIP as low as possible," Greinke said.
Emphasis mine, awesome-ness Zack's.
(1) The only thing better than baseball is October baseball. No more words needed here: if you were where I was on October 4, 2008, you know exactly what I'm talking about: