Monthly Archives: July 2015

FAQs for People Who are Trying to Argue With Me on the Internet

Hi.

I am not a laid-back individual.

This is something you may have noticed about me. If I disagree with someone, I will usually tell them. Loudly, bluntly, and without reservation, whether you’re an acquaintance or a dear, personal friend. For both of those types of folks, I have created this FAQ about my feelings about certain things. I will add to and subtract from this FAQ periodically as things become more and/or less relevant to the realm of current events. If you have been directed here by a link that I posted, please refer to the number that I mentioned in posting the link — but feel free to browse the entire FAQ if you wish.

1) It’s fine if you do not think it is a good idea for Milwaukee to build an arena for the Bucks. It might be a good fiscal move, and it might not. I do not know because I am not an economist and I do not have all the facts. Neither are you, and neither do you. I want them to build it because I want my basketball team to stay in Milwaukee. That is the only reason, and it is selfish. There are all sorts of things that I don’t use/care about that I still pay for with my tax dollars. We all just have to deal with that, because we live in a society and that’s the way it is.

2) I am not saying that all police are bad. To echo Donald Trump’s views of the Mexican population in the United States, “I’m sure some of them are good people”. When I say things like, “Hey, maybe that police officer shouldn’t have shot that unarmed black person because he might have committed an non-violent crime,” or “Hey, maybe it was wrong for that policeman to wrestle that woman to the ground and arrest her because she didn’t want put her cigarette out,” please stop setting up the Straw Man argument that I hate all police, that I think your friend Paul the Nice Police Officer Who Never Does Anything Wrong is a jerk,  that I am condoning violence against police, or anything of that nature. Please take my anger at face value, and stop projecting my frustration with the actions of the police officer(s) directly involved in the incident on the population of law enforcement as a whole. Your weird position of defending a murderous and/or out of control police officer in the name of protect the good names of some nebulous group of people that I’m not disparaging is discomforting and I would like you to stop.

3) Yes, I do think the Cardinals are the worst and that all of their fans are also the worst. This also applies to Seahawks fans and anyone from Boston. If you don’t like it then quit being a fan of those teams because they are objectively the worst and that is a fact.

4) It doesn’t matter that the Bible says that being gay is wrong, because it doesn’t matter what the Bible says about anything ever when it comes time to make some laws. If you don’t think it’s “right” for gay people to get married, then don’t go to their weddings, don’t let them get married in your church, and you can’t wear any clothes from anywhere except Farm and Fleet from now on. It doesn’t affect you. Most of the gay folks don’t think it’s “right” for you to cut your hair like that but they aren’t trying to make your mullet illegal because they aren’t jerks.

5) No one should have any guns. I don’t think all gun owners are bad or irresponsible. But facts tell us that other countries that have banned and/or restricted guns have significantly decreased their crime rates. In Japan, where it is nigh impossible to legally obtain a gun, they have a 0.3/100,000 murder per capita rate, and no one has been shot by a police officer since 2012. That is the 5th lowest of all countries for which such information is available. By contrast, the United States has 4.7 murders/100,000 people, which ranks them among Niger, Yemen, and a host of other third world countries. Unfortunately, we have to make laws to protect us from the few people who do use things inappropriately, which is why we also have to ban and/or restrict alcohol, drugs, etc.

6)I don’t care about your baby, I don’t care about anyone’s baby unless the baby is related to me. Babies are useless. They can’t carry on any kind of decent conversation, they don’t even know how to work a toilet, you have to carry them around everywhere because they can’t feed themselves or even walk and they’re always crying. It’s really good that you care about your baby, because someone definitely should care about it and I am not going to. Just don’t  be offended if I don’t want to see 12 videos of him doing some super easy shit like rolling around on the floor. Everyone can do that. Now if he’s doing some cool shit like drilling threes while blindfolded or playing the piano really well, definitely show me that video.

7) It doesn’t matter what [Skip Bayless/Colin Cowherd/Jay Mariotti/Other Old White Upper-Class Sports Talker] said. He said that so that you would get upset and talk about him for several days, and now that is what you are doing. If you stop paying attention to him he will go away.

8) Just because I disagree with you about something doesn’t mean that I think you are a jerk. I might think that you are a jerk, but my disagreement with you probably doesn’t have anything to do with that. I think sometimes people aren’t jerks can act like jerks, either because they get carried away with an argument and end up saying something they didn’t really intend, or because they just aren’t that well informed. I love you even if I think that you are wrong.

The 2014-2015 Brewers: A Tale of Two Aprils

Let’s run the clock back a year. It’s July 21st, 2014, and the Brewers are frantically trying to hold off the storming Cardinals, having regained a half game lead in the division with a 5-2 win over the Reds. Brewers fans, nervously scoreboard watching as the Pirates sit just 2.5 games back as well, are wondering what sort of moves Doug Melvin plans to make to bolster the pitching staff and find a left handed hitter to plug holes that have allowed the rest of the NL Central to climb back into the race. Brewer Nation is nervous, having watched what once seemed to be a healthy division lead evaporate, but fears of missing the playoffs haven’t yet begun to take hold for even the most cynical fans; the shade of the horrors of the oncoming September collapse is creeping but remains in the shadows, just beyond our peripheral visions.

Now bring it back to the present. The surging Brewers have won 16 of their last 22 games, but at 41-52 still find themselves decidedly out of the playoff picture, and are one of a small handful of teams universally regarded as sellers at the trade deadline. After a decade-long commitment to winning now that resulted in only two playoff appearances and only one series victory, the farm system is weak, and the Brewers are expected to make a big push to trade most of their veteran players for whatever they can get in an effort to further bolster a recovering minor league system.

The Brewers rather famously got off to a 20-7 start last year, the best start in team history and one that put them in the driver’s seat for most of the year in the NL Central race. This season began just slightly worse, when they all but obliterated their playoff hopes with a disastrous 8-19 start over that same span.

But what about after those aberrational starts? Let’s take a look:

2014 Milwaukee Brewers 2015 Milwaukee Brewers
First 27 Games: 20-7 8-19
Next 66 Games: 32-34 33-33
Final record: 82-80 ???

So the difference between a solid World Series contender looking to buy at the deadline and one of the worst teams in the league due for a fire sale is … a month’s worth of games in April? It seems silly to judge these teams based on a number of games that amounts to about 16% of the season. More likely, last year’s team was significantly worse than we may have thought early on, this year’s version is quite a bit better than their record has shown to date, and the true talent level for both years is right around that 82-80 mark that the 2014 squad wound up with.

None of this is to say that the Brewers were wrong to go for it last year, or that they shouldn’t be sellers at the deadline this year. Often, all it takes is for an average team to get hot for a month to find your way into the playoffs. Remember the 2007 Colorado Rockies? They sat just four games over .500 on September 15th  and were just another NL West also-ran, but went on to win 20 of their next 21 games, including a walk-off win over San Diego in game 163, to find themselves in the World Series. On the flip side of that coin, as we’ve seen this year, a disastrous stretch of bad play like the Brewers experienced this April is more than enough to knock a borderline team out of contention.

That being said, if you thought the Brewers were a legitimate threat to win the World Series in 2014 (and we did), then there is little reason not to believe that going forward under the right circumstances, because it’s essentially the same team. For that reason, and especially given the Brewers recent surge, do not be shocked if the Brewers hold on to their assets that could help them win in the very near future at the trade deadline. Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Gomez, Mike Fiers and Adam Lind – the Brewers’ four most valuable trade chips outside of the blistering-hot Gerardo Parra – are all under team control next year in one way or another: Gomez and Lucroy are on team-friendly contracts that run through 2016, Lind’s $8 million club option next year is almost certain to be picked up by whatever team he’s playing for at year’s end, and Fiers won’t even be eligible for arbitration until 2017. All of this give Mark Attanasio and Doug Melvin the flexibility, if they so choose, to make one last run with this core in 2016, and should the fall flat again, trade them next July for a smaller but still substantial bounty.

There are holes that would need to be filled if the Brewers’ meant to compete as early as next year. Matt Garza remains under contract through 2017 (with a vesting option for 2018 that bears discussing sometime soon if he remains with the team), but he isn’t likely to offer a ton of value to a contender going forward, and his contract will make him difficult for the Brewers to move. Kyle Lohse is a free agent after this season, and he’s clearly outstripped his usefulness as a major league starting pitcher. The Brewers have some young talent in Wily Peralta, Jimmy Nelson and Taylor Jungmann in addition to Fiers, but that’s certainly not the kind of rotation that wins you a playoff series. The Brewers will also have to find a third baseman Ramirez retiring after this season, a position at which their farm system is totally bereft of talent. This is neither an endorsement nor a denouncement of a potential effort by the Brewers to try to reload for next year; I present this as a mere statement of fact. If they wanted to fill those holes, they would need to do so through free agency – to gut the already thin system again for an outside shot at a wild card spot in a spectacularly tough division would be a franchise-crippling mistake that I’m willing to trust Attanasio won’t make, no matter how great his drive to produce a team that can fill seats on a yearly basis.

Are the Brewers really, truly done this year? Probably, yeah. They were sitting at about the same spot they are now back in 2012, when a seven game losing streak left them 10 games under .500 and 10 games back of the second wild card spot. That late July slide forced Melvin’s hand toward selling, and Zack Grienke was dealt to the Angels. The Brewers, however, would rally all the way back to get within a game and a half of the Cardinals for that last playoff spot on September 21st before finally fading away. So there’s a slight gasp of hope if you feel like holding onto something, but the NL Central was a lot weaker in 2012, when the both the Cubs and Astros lost 100 games and the Pirates were still a year away from breaking their long streak of losing seasons. So the best case scenario, if you’re the impatient type, is a quick reload (though the free agent third baseman class for next year looks downright brutal) for next year.

What will the Brewers do at the deadline this year? At this point, who knows. It’s been a slow starting trade season across the league this year, but with so much parity throughout the league, the Brewers man be one of a very small amount of teams willing to toss in the towel and sell assets over the next week and a half. If you were hoping for a home run return for the likes of Gomez or Lucroy, the promising signs the Crew has shown over the past month has probably wiped that possibility out, if it ever really existed at all. Parra is the Brewers best and most obvious piece, and were he to still be on the team on August 1st, it would not only be shocking, it would be a grievous mistake on the team’s part. Ramirez may be traded, if he wants to be and if they can find a buyer. The Brewers would love to offload Lohse and/or Garza, but will find it difficult to find a contender that believes either can offer value down the stretch. For anyone else on the roster, the Brewers would really need to be blown away to consider moving pieces with multiple years of team control left. Whatever the Brewers choose to do, I would expect the big league team to look substantially different come August 1st.

Being An Idiot On Twitter: A Tragicomedy in Three Acts

I did not have a very nice morning.

I woke up tired and sore after a weekend mini-vacation to the Wisconsin Dells to celebrate the wedding of a college roommate. Two days of carefree fun in the sun had been replaced with five days of weirdly patterned cubicles, fluorescent lights, and a lot of decidedly un-fun things like spreadsheets that aren’t about baseball statistics, making phone calls to people who do not want to talk to me, and capitalized interest. I didn’t not drink fully 126 ounces of tropical-themed drinks with names such as The Kings of Rum Poolside Punch and Wild Blue Yonder on Sunday out of a giant margarita glass large enough to fit a women’s basketball into, so I was dealing with the aftermath of that as well. I was cranky, and I needed to take it out on someone. I decided to take it out on you, Brewers Twitter.

Oh boy. Oh no.

But wait. Assuredly, there’s no one out there that would take such a preposterously hot take seriously, is there? 10.5 games back is a LOT of games to be back. Orlando Arcia is super NOT going to be traded. I mean, this is @PFTCommenter done very poorly. You have to be a BIT more realistic, right?

Well, look. Brew Crew Ball has upwards of 8,000 followers, and it’s just not reasonable to assume that some portion of them are awe-inspiringly stupid. This is Twitter, after all. They don’t check your official transcripts before they let you join. It’s reasonable for them to assume my reply was in earnest.   Let’s take it up a notch.

Alright now wait just a gosh darn minute. Now, not only am I implying that a single at bat during a meaningless exhibition game in any way affects a prospect’s value, but I am making this claim based on an at bat that I didn’t even see, I only read about it. This is very obvious trolling, and anyone who doesn’t see it just doesn’t want to and feels like havin’ an argument. Definitely, the rest of y’all aren’t fooled, right?

This phrase is trademarked by Elsa you will need to sent $3.99 to Disney to use it

BUT DID YOU SEE THE AT BAT IT WAS BAD CHRIS IT WAS SO BAD

Another $3.99 in the coffers for Disney. Pay the man, Eric

Heh! You an me both, pal. Who wants to be a part of a team that gives up on a season because of silly things like “reality” or “because there isn’t any hope of us competing this year” or “the long term health of the franchise”

“Math” is on to me, you guys. PLAY IT COOL

A stunning development in our story. This is brand new information to me!

So anyway, the experience of pretending to be the world’s worst Brewers fan this afternoon gave me the chance to blow off some steam on my lunch break, while simultaneously making a few folks feel real nice about themselves for being so right in an argument on the internet. Imagine the gift I’ve given these folks! All of them won an argument on Twitter today. What a treat. And my imaginary beef with whoever runs the Brew Crew Ball social media accounts ended with a nice talk about sandwiches.

Happy Monday, everyone.