Wednesday, August 18, 2010

That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age

When I was in third grade, my teacher made us draw a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up. We then had to get up in front of the class and explain why we picked that particular career. I said I was going to be President of the United States.

I’m not sure where I got off track. Maybe it was that first beer party in the middle of a cornfield …

In any case, I certainly did not expect to end up as a middle-aged real estate attorney, trying to hang on for a few more years in the Cities Sports Connection slow-pitch co-rec softball league. (I’m on the DL for the rest of the season because of my knee surgery. I have a solid rehab program in place and I expect to return to my role as utility IF/OF next April.)  Most of my team is in their mid-to-late 30s. The teams we play are getting younger.

In order to stay competitive, we’ve devised a risky strategy. We use crappy bats. We have two bats that are OK, one of which is double-walled. The rest are little more than dented pieces of aluminum. I don’t think they even have one wall.  Solid hits fall in front of the outfielders and crappy hits bounce numerous times before getting to an infielder.  This has reduced the number of lazy fly balls and one-hopers to the shortstop.  It actually works most of the time. So affectionate are we toward our bats, they all have nicknames—like Denty and Goldie.  If you have to get older, the hope is that you’ll at least get smarter.

With his use of words such as stinker and poppycock, Ken Macha has always struck me as much older than  59. (Exhibit A from last night: "He's on fire," Macha said of Casey McGehee. "I told him I didn't want to stand next to him because I was afraid of spontaneous combustion.")  I bet he said it with a smirk.

With his continued use of John Axford in multiple inning appearances (and about 900 other decisions), I wonder whether Ken Macha has gotten any smarter. Yes, Axford is the best chance for the Brewers to win but it also seems like a good way to give your closer of the future arm issues. Has Macha gone to the Ax too often?

Axford has appeared in 36 games and pitched 42.1 innings since being called up May 15--36 games into the season. He has 18 saves in 20 chances with a record of 7-1.

In the entire 2008 season, Trevor Hoffman appeared in 55 games and pitched 54 innings (after coming off the DL on April 27).  Saves leader Heath Bell has appeared in 52 games and pitched 52.2 innings this season, with Brian Wilson appearing in 50 games and 52.1 innings.  

Axford says that his arm is fresh and that he doesn’t feel over-used. “I don’t mind doing it. I don’t think ‘Mach’ or (pitching coach) Rick (Peterson) are going to risk me.”
Speaking of old—Craig Counsell, who turns 40 in a couple of days, cleared waivers. He said he loves playing in Milwaukee but the thought of playing for a contender is enticing. Counsell has appeared in 83 games this year, batting .246 in 188 plate appearances. He has 17 walks. 

The so-hot-that-he might-spontaneously-combust Casey McGehee hit a two-run homer in the third inning to spark the Brewers to a 3-2 victory over St. Louis on Tuesday. Dave Bush bounced back from giving all those consecutive homeruns against the D-Backs to give up just one run (a homerun) over six innings and the possibly overused John Axford got the last five outs for the save.

Brewers 3, Cardinals 2
Game played 8-17-10

**This post is dedicated to Dane, who is stuck in China on business and missed the playoffs. What now, bitches? **

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