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Article:Some Beef from The Brief

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Brewers missed one trade deadline move

Getting rid of Ned Yost.

Watching last night’s ESPN2 game between the Brewers and Astros, I couldn’t help but think two things: 

1)      CC Sabathia is pitching like a beast right now

2)      Ned Yost will be the reason the Brewers tank at the end and miss the playoffs AGAIN

I think the first point is indisputable. Just look at CC’s numbers since coming over from Cleveland. He’s 8-0 with a 1.60 ERA and the Brewers are 8-1 in his nine starts. He’s flooding the strike zone with his entire arsenal, and when you’re talking about a low to mid 90’s fastball on both sides of the plate mixed in with a plus curve and changeup, any offense will have its hands full. That being said, if CC keeps this up can he make his way into the Cy Young discussion? I understand everyone is foaming at the mouth over the trio of Brandon Webb, Tim Lincecum and Edinson Volquez, but it’s just so hard to overlook what Sabathia is doing to the National League thus far. Volquez has looked human as of late, and if Webb and/or Lincecum hit a rough patch, I think CC could steal a few votes. It’ll be hard to overcome him only playing half a season, though.

Regarding Ned Yost... For anyone watching last night’s game, was it me or was Steve Phillips nailing it right on the head? There was NO reason to trot out Sabathia in the bottom of that ninth inning. He was already at 111 pitches, right around his season average, and you could see him clearly laboring, especially after allowing a couple guys to reach and one run to score. Look, Ned, any dimwit paying attention saw that you were leading 9-2 and while I realize you’re at home and want to give the fans something to go nuts about – such as CC’s 5 th complete game with Milwaukee – that 9 th inning was the perfect opportunity to trot Keefe or I out there to get in some work. If we load em up or surrender a run or two, you could get Mota and Torres warming, which you did, and bring either or both of them in to shut the door. Even Gagne would have been a safe choice in that situation. And not only did ole’ Neddy not recognize that, but he let CC labor through the last couple batters of that inning, including the at-bat to Tejada in which every fastball was up at his eyes. I realize you’re trying to maximize your value with the guy, but it’s the middle of August and he’s probably going to make another six or seven starts. If, miraculously, you do make the postseason, let’s try and make sure he’s got enough in the tank to avoid a tumultuous flop like last year. He hit a career high 241 innings and was clearly showing signs of being taxed in his three postseason starts. During that three game stretch he surrendered 21 hits in 15.1 innings and had a K/BB ratio of 14/13. Ugh.

Manny (or CC) for MVP

Again, I know it’s hard to make the argument given these two will have only played half a season for their respective ballclubs. But I can’t help but think that if either, god forbid both of these teams, makes the playoffs, it will clearly be because of Manny and CC’s contributions in the 2 nd half. I already pointed out CC’s numbers in Milwaukee thus far, and Manny’s, from an offensive standpoint, are just as gaudy. He’s hitting .421 with six homeruns and 21 RBI in 16 games. He’s got eight multi-hit games and has been held hitless only twice. Not only that, but look at what he’s done for a guy like Jeff Kent. While Kent is clearly too arrogant – he tried to fight Barry Bonds, who would’ve crushed him – to admit it, Ramirez’ presence in that lineup has brought him more pitches to hit, and he’s responded to the tune of .421 in the month of August.

Let’s face it, the Utley for MVP train has de-railed, the Pujols will lose votes to Ludwick, the Cubs are getting production from everyone, and the Diamondbacks’ offense sucks. David Wright was my sleeper at the midway mark and I think he’s starting to turn into a real contender with his 95 RBI and .322 clip after the break. But in my opinion this award should go to a guy who’s had the most impact and a direct correlation to a team’s success. Both Manny and CC, to this point, exemplify those qualities and they have some filthy numbers to back it up. We’ll see how it plays out, but if this keeps up, I think it needs to be considered.

Jason Bay is an idiot that can hit

I’ll preface this by saying that the Red Sox did not replace Manny Ramirez with Jason Bay. They merely acquired the most value available at the time.

But Bay has been a welcome addition to that lineup, and his .348/3/16 line with the Sox so far is impressive. Coming off last night’s 2-homer game in which he also stole a base, it looks like Bay could be a nice catalyst and solid player down the stretch. But he’s not a cleanup guy, and the Sox will need Youkilis or a healthy Mike Lowell ready to deliver when David Ortiz starts getting walked every time up.

The reason Bay is an idiot is because of his comments to alleged mistress to the captain in a post-game interview. When Heidi Watney asked Bay to comment on Jon Lester’s performance, he said he was impressed and that not many people knew about the guy outside of the AL East.

Are you kidding me?

The guy beat cancer and was back pitching in the majors a year after his diagnosis.

He won Game 4 of the 2007 World Series. Were you watching? Or do you literally shut it down after game 162?

He threw a no-hitter against the Royals back in May.

He’s 12-4 with a 3.17 ERA this season.

I’m pretty sure people know about the guy.

What people may not know is that he’s a legitimate Cy Young candidate in a non-Cliff Lee season. Lee more or less has a stranglehold on the honor with his 17-2 record and 2.43 ERA. It’ll take a Brian Bannister v. Yankees type bombing, on more than one occasion, or a season ending injury right now in order for Lee to lose it. But if it weren’t for him, Lester would be and still should be right up there in the discussion along with teammate Daisuke Matsuzaka. He’s got 16 quality starts in ’08 and the Sox are 18-8 in games which he has started; not to mention Boston is 11-2 in Lester’s last 13 starts. Pretty filthy. To compare, Lee has 18 quality starts in two less starts and the Indians are 18-6 in those 24 games. Hey, if he gets lit up to the tune of 10 runs in one inning ala Bannister in his next two starts, he’d be 17-4 with a 3.44 ERA when the dust settles. Improbable? Yes. Impossible? Yes.

Oh and don’t forget about Roy Halladay, either. I tried trading for him with Shark for fantasy, offering up Chris Volstad and David Price in our keeper league. He threw me John Lackey instead, which is fine, but Halladay is a monster. Eight complete games, a 14-9 record and 2.64 ERA. The Jays have lost 11 games in which Halladay started, but they’ve only scored 19 runs in those contests, being shutout three times and scoring three runs or less in nine of them. Tough deal.

Tom Brady injured?

In my NBA MVP debate, I mentioned that Lebron James should be given the Lebron James MVP award every season based purely on the fact that his team would absolutely suck without him. We’re starting to see that perhaps Tom Brady falls into that category, as well. No only are Matt Cassell, Matt Gutierrez and Kevin O’Connell not the answer, but the defense is porous and won’t carry this team at all in ’08. If Brady isn’t healthy, not only will the Pats struggle to finish 8-8, but Moss won’t catch 80 balls and he’ll end up bitch slapping someone on the sideline. Peyton Manning probably falls into this category, as well, but there’s much less concern here for the Colts.

And I apologize if I spelled any of the names wrong for those three backup QB’s, but they’re so bad I didn’t care enough to look it up.

Classic commercial

For anyone that hasn’t seen it yet, check out the new Nike commercial with LT and Kimbo Slice. Pure comedy at its finest. If you can’t ignore and work past the clear cut stereotypes here for the terrific humor involved, then you’re an idiot. This is absolute gold. Check out the part where Kimbo tosses open the freezer door. That might have sealed it for me. '


That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.


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