Monday, April 30, 2007

More Brewers Publicity

ESPN.com's Page 2 has some new guy who writes about stuff in a column. Name is Jonah Keri. Has a column called "Keri the Ten" (hah - get it? A play on words using his last name and math - genius). Ten things about baseball. You can read the first installment here.

Well, he makes two predictions that I rather enjoyed - the Brewers will make the playoffs and Dave Bush will end up having an ERA under 6.

4. Bud Selig doesn't need to rig the 2007 season.

His beloved Brewers will make the playoffs without his help. The former Brew Crew owner still has close ties to the team and remains beloved in Milwaukee. (We remember a road trip to County Stadium in the mid-'90s, in which Selig popped his head out of the owner's box for the seventh-inning stretch, causing the assembled masses to cheer "Bud! Bud! Bud!" at the top of their cheese-clogged lungs.) [Editor's note: It's cheese-clogged arteries, idiot. Not lungs. I digress...] So you know he has to be delighted to see the Brewers in first place in the NL Central, tied for the second-best record in the National League.
The Crew owns one of the most underrated pitching staffs in the majors, with Ben Sheets supported by a deep, talented group in Chris Capuano, David Bush (more on him in a minute), Jeff Suppan and Claudio Vargas. With Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks & Co. on board, the Brewers have a dynamic, young offense that only figures to get better. They even have an X factor on their side: Yovani Gallardo and Ryan Braun, two of the top prospects in baseball; both are terrorizing the minor leagues, and both are poised to come up and give the Brewers a big lift.
The Brewers haven't made the playoffs since 1982, by far the longest such streak of any team in the four major pro sports leagues. That streak ends this year.


My take: I never liked Bud much. Some people did. I was not alive when he brought the Brewers to Milwaukee, so he didn't have that built-up good will that he had with the older bunch. Bottom line - I've never cheered "Bud Bud Bud" in my life - I'm a Miller Lite guy.

And...

6. David Bush, Jeff Francis and Erik Bedard all have ERAs of more than 6 … and we'd trade most of the pitchers in MLB to get them.

One of the theories that has gained traction in analytical circles the past few years is this: A pitcher has very little control over where a batted ball will go if it doesn't fly out of the park. The idea seems counterintuitive. How can Greg Maddux, one of the best pitchers of all time, have no more influence on what happens to a batted ball than his brother Mike? We're not quite prepared to speak in absolutes about the subject. But for the most part, major league pitchers will, over their careers, end up allowing about 30 percent of the balls hit in play against them to drop in for hits -- give or take any lucky or unlucky outliers.
We bring this up because Bush, Francis and Bedard are three excellent, under-30 pitchers who loom large in their teams' future plans, and they own ERAs of 6.09, 6.23 and 6.52 so far this season. Now here's another fun stat: Bush, Francis and Bedard are No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 in highest batting average allowed on balls in play (BABIP) this season among the 96 major league pitchers with at least 25 IP, at .407, .392 and .384. Those numbers will start dropping soon as all three pitchers revert toward the mean. What you do with this information -- go see Brewers, Rockies and Orioles games with these pitchers on the mound, acquire them on your fantasy team, make funny hats with the word BABIP on them -- is entirely up to you.


My take: I already have Bush and Bedard on my fantasy team, so I guess I'll make a funny hat. Or not. But that's kind of interesting.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have to like Bud. Without his efforts, the Brewers would be in San Antonio, or Portland, or somewhere like that.

Tony said...

I agree with Matt. I'm not old enough to thank Bud for bring us Baseball just old enough to know he dumps cash into lossers like Hammonds and thinks this will make me believe. But at least we do have the greatest game thanks to him.

Brad said...

Anonymous is right. Bud was the #1 driving force behind Miller Park. No Miller Park = No Brewers. Without Bud, we would be cheering for a PCL AAA team.