Small market teams are small market teams, right? Having a little hope for the future won't change the fact that the Brewers are doomed to be perennial 4th-place finishes, will it?
On the contrary, it's amazing watching what has happened this offseason with the combination of a more involved, positive management and the results on the field. We've been hearing for the last month about the record-setting ticket sales, but now, the real money is pouring in from sponsors, new and old:
Miller may be substantially upping their involvement; new sponsors like McDonalds are getting in, and perhaps most importantly, 95% of sponsors renewed this year--usually, that number is around 80%. Heck, it's impressive that Milwaukee Brewers sponsorships merited an article in MSNBC.
A few other things:
JJ Hardy will be out for "several days" with lower back spasms. What this team needs is a magical back-spasm remedy. Attanasio: get on it already! Yost isn't worried, but it's hard not to be a bit concerned.
Here's a team preview, which continues to prove that USA Today is not your #1 source for baseball news. (Brew Crew Ball is!) It's mostly a puff piece on Prince Fielder. Not that I mind some recognition --something tells me that's a happier tone that the Pittsburgh Pirates preview took.
- Speaking of puff pieces, here's one on Wil Rodriguez, one of the army of NRI lefties in Brewers camp. One oddity: I think he's in camp as a LOOGY, but he throws a screwball. Screwballs move in the opposite direction of most breaking pitches, which counteracts the usual advantage pitchers have over same-side hitters. In other words, I'd expect Wil to be better against righties. But heck, if he can render Ichiro harmless, I don't particularly care what he throws!
- Yost is completely obsessed with what his pitchers do at the plate...which I suppose is a good thing. After all, Ben Sheets tallied negative 104.7 win shares as a hitter last year. (Okay, it was really about 2.5--still pathetic.) I didn't notice this in the short time I watched yesterday's game, but while Dusty Baker used a DH for the Cubs, Ned went without.
- Just in case you were worried that Shane Nance, a minor leaguer the Brewers sent to Arizona in the Richie Sexson trade, would become a lights-out closer and make the Brewers losers in that deal, fear no longer: Nance has retired.
At the moment, Zach Jackson is on the mound for the Crew against San Diego in the top of the 6th...and he just gave up a dinger to Doug Mirabelli. That makes it 3-2 San Diego. Come on, [minor league] boys, let's get some runs!