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What we learned this week: September 28, 2013

This week's lessons include the written rules, unwritten rules, street rules, and imaginary rules of baseball.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Buster Olney sees a tough offseason ahead for the Brewers.

There's a lot of criticism about ESPN around here, and some of it is deserved while some is not. It's hard to argue with some of the experience that some of the people there bring. Recently, Alec had a chance to talk to Buster Olney of Brew Crew Ball, and he posted the transcript of the interview on here last Saturday. Buster Olney answered some questions about Braun, Gennett, Weeks, and several other players. The interview was focused on the Brewers offseason, and what the Brewers can do to improve their team. His conclusion was that the Brewers have a long way to go to strengthen the team, and it could be a tough offseason.

There's hope in the Brewers minor league system.

We hear a lot about how the Brewers minor league system is weak and the Brewers don't have help coming up in the system. However, it doesn't mean that the system is completely empty of talent. One of the pieces that the Brewers pulled out from the minor league system recently is Scooter Gennett. John Sickels over at Minor League Ball posted a profile on Gennett, looking at what he has done and what he's projected to do. The conclusion he came to is that while Gennett has been playing above his head so far, he can be a very solid major league player for years.

Looking further down the minor league system, there are also some prospects doing well in the lower levels. Earlier in the week, Baseball America released their list of the top 20 prospects in the Pioneer League, and three members of the Brewers minor league system were included in it. Those three players are OF Michael Ratteree, P Barrett Astin, and C Dustin Houle. There's still a lot that can happen as they go through the remaining four levels of the minor league system, but at least the Brewers have some players off to a great start.

The majority of people support shutting down Peralta and Segura

As the season comes to a close, the Brewers have some players who are dealing with the aches and pains of a season. Jean Segura has been dealing with some ankle problems, and Wily Peralta has developed a blister than has affected his pitching ability. In this week's tracking poll, the majority of voters were in favor of shutting both of them down for the remaining few games in the season. The Brewers seem to agree with that, as the Brewers will have Jimmy Nelson start in place of Peralta, and Segura has not played over the past several games. Segura could still make another start before the end of the season, but his season could also be done.

There's a lot that we learned from Wednesday's fight.

Wednesday night's fight had a lot of lessons to it. First of all, here are the critical articles that came out from the fight:

Let's go through the chain of events now:

  • We believe that the problem started three months ago in a game at Miller Park between the Brewers and Braves. In the first inning of that game, Paul Maholm hit Carlos Gomez in the knee with a pitch. It didn't seem like much, but it may have sparked something in Gomez's mind.
  • In the first inning of Wednesday's game, on the second pitch of the second at-bat, Carlos Gomez hit a home run out to left field. As the ball flew, Gomez took a few seconds to watch and then stared at Maholm as he started jogging around the bases. While he was jogging, a few of the Braves started yelling at him, and Gomez started yelling back. As he reached home plate, Brian McCann blocked his path and that's when it really escalated. Both benches emptied as Gomez and McCann had to be separated, and Gomez restrained. During this, Reed Johnson also threw a few punches, hitting a couple of the Brewers.
  • Once both teams were separated, the umpires and managers met to discuss what happened. Their decision in the game was to eject Freddie Freeman and Carlos Gomez from the game. No other players were ejected from the game. In addition, the umpires ruled obstruction on the home run and counted the run under those rules. The rest of the game went by without an incident and the Brewers won 4-0.
  • After the game, Carlos Gomez apologized for his actions during the game and admitted that he was wrong with what he did. The next day, MLB came out and suspended Gomez and Johnson for one game each, and fined Freeman and McCann.  Gomez served his suspension immediately, but Johnson is appealing his.

Now that we've cleared up the chain of events, let's go through what we learned about the whole situation.

  • Carlos Gomez was clearly wrong with what he did. He admitted that much after the game. He did instigate the situation, he did go crazy with his actions, and he deserved a suspension. That is clear.
  • There is some uncertainty about who is at fault on the Braves side. A lot of arguments have been started and are ongoing about this exact thing. This mainly revolves around four Braves: Paul Maholm, Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, and Reed Johnson. In terms of punishment, here's what each one received:
    - Paul Maholm: No ejection, no suspension, no fine
    - Freddie Freeman: Ejection, no suspension, fine
    - Brian McCann: No ejection, no supension, fine
    - Reed Johnson: No ejection, suspension
    The one in this list that doesn't make sense is McCann. Maholm didn't do anything to make this worse so he didn't deserve a punishment. Freeman and Johnson did escalate the situation and received punishments that fit what they did. However, McCann punishment does not make sense. He violated the written rules of baseball, and his actions led to the fight that happened on the field. Gomez may have instigated it, but you can't have a fight with just one person. McCann may have been standing up for his teammates, but that doesn't mean that he didn't do anything wrong. He was just as guilty in this as Gomez was.
  • The unwritten rules of baseball are out of control. Noah talked about this on Thursday with an article that discusses how some people take the game of baseball too seriously. People have forgotten how to have fun in baseball, how to enjoy the game. They see the game as more of a symphony than a game. A symphony is meant to be quietly and politely enjoyed, while a game is meant to be fun and enjoyed with excitement. There are greater problems in the game than making sure an unwritten code is followed, There are too many problems in life to care about the proper way to play a game. A fresh dose of perspective is needed on many of these things.

I'm sure there are more lessons than what I covered here. What did you learn from this? Post the lessons that you learned in the comments below.

Remember the Games

9/21/2013: Cardinals 7, Brewers 2
9/22/2013: Brewers 6, Cardinals 4
9/23/2013: Brewers 5, Braves 0
9/24/2013: Braves 3, Brewers 2
9/25/2013: Brewers 4, Braves 0
9/26/2013: Brewers 4, Mets 2
9/27/2013: Brewers 4, Mets 2

The Collection of Mugs

9/23/2013: Closing down Miller Park
9/24/2013: Super Marco
9/25/2013: Thornburg passes auditions
9/26/2013: Fracases, Melees and Brouhahas
9/27/2013: The wins keep coming

A Quick History Lesson

9/24/2008: Brewers win 4-2 with only two hits
9/27/1987: Phil Niekro, last active member of the Milwaukee Braves, makes his final appearance in an MLB game.
1984's Face of the Franchise: Mike Caldwell