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The BCB First Half Review, #5: Hello, Hangwith'em Rach

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Our one-day series looking back at the first half of the 2011 season continues. Our guest for this post is none other than Hangwith'em Rach.

KL: All season long you've been handing out weekly El Super awards at Hang with 'em Brewers . Who're your three candidates for El Super of the First Half? (El Super Grande?)

HW'R: When you do these sorts of awards it is tempting to overlook those players who you expect to be good. All Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder have done is put up .308/.390/.554 and .305/.426/.611 lines, yet I found myself thinking of players that have outperformed my expectations. El Supers have never been completely logical anyway.

Top three candidates for El Super Grande!

  1. Nyjer Morgan. Not only has TPlush put up good numbers—.330/.363/.476 line in 42 games—he makes watching The Crew more fun. I’ll admit it. Sometimes I throw up the T. And that interview was pure gold.
  2. Shaun Marcum. Turns out pitching in the NL agrees with him. In going 7-2, he posted a 2.95 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 3.34 xFIP.
  3. Rickie Weeks. This is the sort of season we hoped our oft-injured second baseman would have. He has a .290/.360/.498 line with 14 home runs and leads the team with 92 hits.

Follow the jump for the rest.

KL: As an out-of-market Brewer fan, you get to hear opposing team announcers more often than most of us. Who's your favorite and least favorite set of non-Brewer announcers?

HW'R: To put this into perspective, when I have a choice between the Brewers’ feed on WMLW and the opposing team’s feed in high def, I have to stop and think about it. I’m a terrible homer. Even though Rock and BA have their faults, at least they cheer for the right team. With that said, Vin Scully is always a pleasure to listen to. In the non-legendary category, I like the Diamondbacks’ Mark Grace and Daron Sutton. All opposing announcers enjoy the sausage races. It’s always interesting to hear their take on the Milwaukee tradition.

My least favorite announcers are Al Hrabosky of St. Louis and Chris Welsh and Thom Brennaman of Cincinnati. I try to document anything/anyone that strikes me as especially douche-y on my site. Preachy former players are the worst, in my book.

KL: You were in Arizona shortly after I was this spring. If you had made season predictions then, what would you have gotten right? On the flip side, what would you have gotten wrong?

HW'R: I would have been correct about the Brewers leading the NL Central but I would have been wrong about how they got there. The slow start was surprising to me. Likewise, I thought that Axford would be a solid closer in 2011 and show that 2010 was not a fluke. In retrospect, the food poisoning that caused him to lose 15 pounds and miss part of spring training probably affected him more than I anticipated. 

Conversely—and this one is embarrassing—I thought that Erick Almonte would be an above average pinch hitter and I didn’t think that the Brewers would struggle to score runs.

Now, the lightning round:

If you had to grade Ron Roenicke's performance to date, what would you give him? B (A for his player interactions; C for his player substitutions)
Give me one roster move the Brewers should make today
. Brandon Boggs for Mark Kotsay.
Do you think this Brewer team will make the playoffs?
Yes.
If so, do you think this Brewer team will make the World Series?
No.
Which Brewer are you most excited to watch in the second half?
Zack Greinke. He has the potential to do something historically significant and I do not want to miss it.