Friday, July 16, 2010

And the second half begins

Welcome back!

I hope that you had a nice All-Star break.  I TiVoed the All-Star game and fast forwarded through most of it. I watched Ryan and Corey’s at-bats and Ryan’s catch a few times. I highly recommend this method of watching the All-Star game—all the action with only a fraction of the absurd hype falling out the announcers’ mouths. I have to be honest. I was ecstatic that the NL won. If I hear that the NL is the Quadruple A league again I will vomit. But it is hard to argue with the numbers—like the AL winning all of the All-Star games since 1996.
I meant to write some sort of first half wrap up or analysis or something but I drank beer instead. did a nice analysis using a grading system

The Journal Sentinel had an article called How the Brewers Can Turn Things Around  that didn’t really say how the Brewers could actually turn anything around (at least during this season).  The article pointed out why the Brewers are losing (inconsistency in every category and an inability to put pitching, hitting and defense together in the same game) and then discussed the personnel decisions that will need to be made before the trade deadline and over the off-season.  I have to admit, these personnel decisions are going to be hard for me. I can be as analytical as the next person—I’m a real estate attorney after all—but when the numbers show that there is no way that the Brewers can keep Prince I start to think with my heart. It sucks ~~~throwing temper tantrum now. I blame Jeff Suppan.

I can’t really blame Jeff Suppan, though. I mean, I can blame him for not performing but the blame for his signing and contract falls on Doug Melvin. Which begs the question: are the bad deals that Melvin entered into the reason we can’t re-sign Prince (or possibly Corey Hart or Rickie Weeks)? Obviously, signing players that underperform to large contracts is bad and is absolutely the fault of the GM. But how much of the blame for the 2010 season and impending personnel decisions should be placed on Melvin? I ask this because there is an abundance of criticism for Doug Melvin right now and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a link with the subject line “ouch”. Graph of percentage of total payroll paid to players no longer with the team.

The Brewers pay nearly one-quarter of their total payroll to players who are no longer on the team. The site concludes: “Teams like the Blue Jays, Brewers and Tigers have limited their options due to the millions of dollars being spent on players not on the team.” One commenter suggested that this wasn’t a completely bad situation. “At first I was relieved to see that the Giants were at zero. Then it occurred to me that being high on this list isn’t necessarily all bad – the teams near the top may have inked bad contracts, but their presence means that they identified the sunk costs and made appropriate changes. Teams like the Giants just keep running Aaron Rowand out there nearly every day.”

The Brewers have an $85.3 million payroll. (I think that this number includes all of the former players’ salaries.) That means that roughly $19.6 million is tied up by players not on the team. Ryan Howard’s deal will pay him $20-$25 million per year for five years. Prince is looking for this sort of contract. Of the $85.3 million, Prince makes $10.5 million. So that’s about $30 million between Prince’s current contact and the former player money. With that said, the Brewers have tied up a lot of future money in large contracts to Ryan Braun and Yovanni Garrado.

I need to crunch more numbers and think about this some more. Lots more analysis is needed. Unfortunately, I have a day job and it is calling.

The Brewers dropped their first game after the break to the Atlanta Braves. The Braves, holders of the NL’s best record, scored on two solo homeruns. Milwaukee’s only run came on a Corey Hart homer. Another hang with ‘em for Dave Bush. Not a terrible outing for the Brewers but you can see that the Braves have superior pitching and defense.

Braves 2, Brewers 1
Game played 7-15-10 

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