Sorry I've been AWOL for the last few days. Still not 100% healthy and I've got a few other things on my plate. (What? Other than the Brewers? No comprende.) Let's look at a few things, shall we?
Weeks to bat leadoff?
It happened when Brady Clark was hurt last year, and according to Ned, it could happen even more this year:
I don't like it. I don't like it. I don't like it. I don't even like thinking about it. Rickie will be developing into a power hitter over the next couple of years. If he and Prince Fielder both reach their potential, from 2007 to 2011 or so we could have the most potent 3-4 combo in the game. We don't need Weeks focusing on becoming a role player. He is better than that. If Ned wants Brady in the two-hole, better to give JJ Hardy a shot at leading off if he looks good this spring. This lineup situation...we'll be monitoring it closely, I'm sure!
Dan O'Brien on board
Hey, you Red fan in the corner: stop laughing at us! Okay, Dan O'Brien, recently fired GM of the Cincinnati Reds, is not somebody you want in a leadership position right now. Luckily, we've got a real GM, and O'Brien is around as a scout. Or something. Doug Melvin has seemed to find a great role for Gord Ash--another ex-GM who, shall we say, did not display Schuerholz-ian panache in the job--so maybe O'Brien will become a useful component in the management team.
Now, dialing back to some of what I've missed:
Turnbow could get an extension
Okay, if it's cheap. Let's remember, though, the magic of Melvin has given us some of the best closers in baseball over the last 2 1/2 years--more or less for free. Just because we like Derrick Turnbow doesn't mean his fragile arm deserves to be called our closer for the next two or three years. For a team with a small payroll, no reliever should ever get more than $2m a year or so, no matter how nasty they look coming out of the 'pen in the 9th inning.
Brewers keep selling tickets
Way to go, Mark. There's no reason Milwaukee can't support a medium-market baseball team, and I'd love to see three million butts in the seats every year. Put a good product on the field and it'll happen.
Yost signs an extension
I'm seriously lukewarm about this. Obviously Brewers fans have a lot to thank Ned Yost for, as he's given us the first .500 season in too long. But, mumblings like batting Weeks leadoff and the sanctification of the sacrifice make me nervous about committing to a generation of Ned-ball. It's nice to have a manager who we know isn't horrible, and it's comforting to know he'll be around for quite a while, but...I don't know. Maybe analytically-minded fans will never be more than lukewarm about managers not named Earl Weaver. Say, Earl doesn't have a job these days...
Crew signs Jason Romano
Romano will probably never be a starter, but he's still more proof that the 2006 Brewers will have way more depth than the '05 team did. It still gives me the shivers to think that Chris Magruder was our number one option to replace Carlos Lee or Geoff Jenkins. Romano's a better player than Magruder is, and as long as Corey Hart and Nelson Cruz stay on track, Romano's no better than Milwaukee's 7th outfielder behind the starting three, Gross, Hart, and Cruz. If everything goes well (for the Brewers, not Romano), Jason will never make it out of Nashville, but it's the same thing as with guys like Jared Fernandez--if he is needed, he won't make us embarassed to wear our ball-and-glove hats into work.
So, what do you think?