Ramble on the Roof

Torrin Thatcher

While listening to my iPod this weekend and dreaming of Ryan Braun bringing home a pennant, images of Bernie Brewer and mugs of beer came to my noggin. The reason was George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You.” Please allow me to explain to you my reasoning for the images of our lovable mascot and our more lovable beverage.
The last number one single of any Beatle in the United States is a catchy little tune, and it displays exactly what Doug Melvin will have to do if he wants some players to stick around his ballpark: “I got my mind set on you / but it’s gonna take money / a whole lotta spending money / It’s gonna take plenty of money to do it right, child” is what some players are currently thinking.
Prince Fielder said in spring training, “My time is going to come. It’s going to come quick, too,” and that pretty much means that the pocketbooks will need to open up if Prince is going to stay in Milwaukee. It’s been reported that a contract offer has been made to Prince, but fans aren’t sure if he’ll sign because of the big chunk of change that Ryan Howard won in arbitration earlier this year. Prince is making $670,000 is his third season, and Howard is up to $10 million after winning the MVP in his second full season in 2006. Fielder clearly feels that he is owed more money because of the monster year he had last year becoming the youngest player in MLB history to hit 50 bombs.
Corey Hart is our 26 year-old right fielder who consistently bats around .300. This year he is making the most of any season at $440,000 for a one-year contract. The Brewers likely signed him to this year long deal to see how he’d improve after his first full season in the club, and he has responded well. His power numbers are down a bit, but he’s still over .300, has three outfield assists, and is in the NL top ten for steals. Melvin is going.
Corey is a player who is a “must” re-sign for the Brewers because of his ability to play anywhere in the outfield — or even at first base — and speed on the bases.
Ben Sheets is in the last year of his four-year contract, making $12.125 million dollars, and is looking like possible trade bait.
I personally love Sheets, but he hasn’t made more than 25 starts since 2004 when he finished in the top ten in Cy Young voting. He needs to fix his blisters, his back, his ears, his shoulder and just take the ball every fifth game. I would like to see Big Ben continue in a Brewers uniform, but if Ben or the team officials don’t think it’s going to happen, he’s probably on his way out.
By not re-signing Sheets, we’d open up money for our other right-hander, Yovani Gallardo. He’s a 22-year-old with good stuff. In 17 career starts after being called up mid-season in 2007, he went 9-5 with a 3.67 ERA. He could have compiled more numbers, but he was bumped to the bullpen in the latter part of the year to conserve his young arm. This year, Gallardo tweaked his left knee, requiring surgery and rehab before making his season debut. In three non-decisions this season, he had a 1.80 ERA.
The reason he’s only made three starts? While at Wrigley Field, he tore his ACL on his other knee in an unusual play at first base and had surgery on May 14. Let’s hope he’s back by September to help the Brewers win the NL Central!
As of Monday, the Brewers were in last place in the division with a record of 20-24 with five-game and six-game losing streaks the last few weeks. Brewer fans are obviously hoping they turn it around, but some guys on the team are playing like they’ve been listening to the Beatles’ Nowhere Man a little too much.
The only bright spot from watching the last week of Brewers baseball is the Ryan Braun deal and Braun killing the ball: eight homers in seven days. not too shabby.

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