Little Chicago (34-29)
Dear Ken Macha,
As more than half of the Sunday crowd stood up and cheered for Mark Buerhle after he hit his first home run since high school, I saw the cliche’d writing on the wall: Milwaukee is destined to become a defacto territory of Chicago. It’s really not that bad, Ken. Yes, it’s going to take some adjustment, but why fight that which we cannot control.
Our former AL Central rivals brought a large chunk of their fan base with them for the weekend series. Slightly less intense than I expected them to be, they were still as south side as all get-out, which added a kinder, stubblier element to the interleague series. I know you’re still new around here, Ken, but I think we’d do our city better if we strove to emulate the better aspects of Chicago (better transit, broader variety of entertainment, slightly more diverse neighborhoods). It’s pointless to let a one-way rivalry with Chicagoans hinder our connection to the obvious source of our future economic success. The faster we link up, the faster we can move beyond our city’s faded glory.
Winks at The Bucky Channel provided some helpful advice for Manny Parra’s Saturday post-game traveling. It was a sad scene in the Macha clubhouse (Macha Manor?) after Wink’s advice was ignored and Manny Parra was strapped to the luggage rack of Doug Melvin’s Oldsmobile Cutlass 88 and personally driven to AAA Nashville by the Big Moustache himself. Parra’s ability to focus was sometimes in question, leading to a lot of games that simply got away from Parra before he could figure out how to correct what he was doing wrong. Hopefully a little time to marinate in the minors will do him well. I hope he brings his babysitter with him to Nashville.
Another player that’s turning your hair a lighter shade of gray by the day is JJ Hardy. Miller Park Drunk provides a glimpse in the minds of area youth …and it’s not pretty. Since I last wrote you, Hardy’s batting average has plummeted from .228 to .207. There’s an element of bad luck to Hardy’s struggles — his BAbip is .211, which, when translated from nerd-speak, means that a lot of the balls he hits in play are turning into outs and not dropping for hits — but with his OBP at a paltry .295, JJ’s simply not getting it done. It’s sad to have to say it, but our best line up at the moment is McGehee at 2nd, Counsell at shortstop and a lefty/righty platoon of Bill Hall and Mat Gamel at 3B. Having that much grit in the infield might sound attractive now, Ken, but it’s going to make for a short playoff run in October. Hardy must go, Ken. Get anyone you can for him — hitter or pitcher, at this point it doesn’t matter — and let’s turn the page on this chapter of Waiting For Yount and begin the Alcides Escobar era.
The best thing about the last week? Corey Hart’s 4-wheeler is running again, Jason Kendall is hitting over .300 in June (all singles! w00t!), Casey McGehee is thriving in the starting lineup, Jeff Suppan has a 2.12 ERA in June and — scraping the barrel of positivity — Frank Catalanatto’s entrance song is “Your Love” by The Outfield! How can that tidbit go unnoticed?!
A 1-5 homestand is a terrible way to say thank you to your fans, Ken, but don’t let that interrupt your focus for the week ahead. A tour of the Rust Belt is on your oxidized platter, taking you to exotic locales like Cleveland and Detroit. All three pitchers for Cleveland have ERAs over 5.00 and we get to avoid all but one of Detroit’s best pitchers, which means it’s going to be a no holds barred, designated-hitter fueled showcase of the best (and worst) of the depressed midwest. Best of luck, Ken!