The Crew lost a close one yesterday afternoon despite mounting a couple of late-inning charges, including one off of Rockies closer (and Team USA lefty specialist) Brian Fuentes. And yes, Prince Fielder tripled. Next thing you know, someone will say that Prince's range is as good as Overbay's.
Corey Hart was the only Brewer with two hits. Hall, Koskie, and Weeks all doubled for their lone hit. I seem to recall Aaron Cook, the Rockies starter, giving us fits during the regular season last year, too.
Good news and bad news on the mound: Ohka gave up three runs in the fourth, and he didn't come back out for the fifth. No walks in his four innings, but no strikeouts either. Matt Wise coughed up two runs as well. The good news is that Rick Helling pitched two innings, giving up no runs and only two hits. There wasn't really much doubt, but this means he'll start the year on the roster, rather than back-dating time on the DL or something.
- We talked a few days back about changes in beer-serving liability at Miller Park. Turns out it might be much ado about nothing:
The New Jersey suit "would not happen here," said David Relles, a Madison attorney. "It is nearly impossible to sue someone if they over-serve someone else. These people at Miller Park would be immune."
- Here's a J-S article about bat size, focusing on Rickie Weeks. I'll let you think up your own joke.
Here are the Opening Day rosters for Nashville and Huntsville. Gord Ash says:
"We're pleased with our Triple-A roster, particularly the rotation because there are so many good young arms there," Ash said. "It's hard to handicap teams at Triple-A, because you don't know what the league will be like."It is one heck of a minor-league rotation: Eveland, Hendrickson, Sarfate, Jackson, Thompson.
- The weekend Wall Street Journal (sub req) looks at "payroll equity"--the idea of teams not handing over too much of their budget to one player. Jenks makes an appearance:
Even some of the players making the big contracts say a more evenly distributed payroll can ease the pressure on the highest earners and boost team chemistry. "It helps everybody relax," says Geoff Jenkins, a veteran outfielder with the Brewers. Mr. Jenkins was making almost $9 million of the Brewers' paltry $27 million payroll in 2004. With his new deal, he now makes closer to $7.5 million a year (14% of the team's $53 million payroll this year). Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, who bought the team after the 2004 season, has become a big proponent of payroll balancing after studying the success of the A's and Minnesota Twins.
Al points out that Brandon Phillips, the Cleveland middle infielder, may be on the market, and the Brewers--as usual--may be interested. If we traded for him and had to keep him on the roster, I'd imagine Gabe Gross would be the odd man out, though I really don't see why a deal would do us much good. Phillips is still young, but he's stalling as a AAAA player, and everybody currently on our roster is better than he is right now. We certainly don't need the positional flexibility--we're three or four deep at every position except shortstop.
- Today's game is at 2pm CT, again against the Rockies. Dave Bush pitches for us (on short rest, though he'll have five days rest before his first start) against Jeff Francis.
Two days until Opening Day!