Good evening Brewskies and Brewskettes. Tonight we start on a very exciting journey.
Every team/sport has it’s own Hall of Fame or variations there of; Ring of Honor, Retired Numbers, and so on. But what about the players whose teams and fan-bases do not want them back, or want them associated with their team. I think that it is time those players got the credit they justly deserve.
Over the next 5 weeks, 10 former Brewers will be nominated for consideration into “The Hall of Brewers We Won’t Miss”. Each week, a different RtB staffer, or friend of RtB will chose two players who are not very near and dear to their hearts. I will then dissect why these men are worthy of this faux-honor.
Once all 10 players have been nominated, you will vote on which two players belong in the first HOBWWM class. Qualifications break down into 3 primary categories; stats, money/contract, and overall likeability. This is where we will separate the men from the boys.
Jeff Suppan – I know what you are all thinking, “What a Cheap Pick”. But who better for this type of honor? Plus, who knows about (hates) Suppan more than yours truly. That being the case, I am going to keep personal feelings out of this and focus on the categories at hand…I hate Jeff Suppan. Ok, that was the last one.
Brewers Stats: One Word Description — laughable
Jeff Suppan’s regular season pitching line as a Brewer looks like this: 29-36 in 97 starts, 5.08 ERA, 577 innings pitched, 700 hits allowed, 326 earned runs, 221 walks, 302 K’s, and averaged 11 hits per 9 innings of work.
Suppan’s Playoff pitching line: 0-1 in 1 start, 15.00 ERA, 3 innings pitched, 6 hits allowed, 5 earned runs, 2 walks, 3 strike outs, and was on pace to give up 18 hits if he had pitched 9 innings.
These stats would be deemed ok, for say the 5th starter in a rotation. The problem was, Suppan was not a #5 starter in our rotation. In 2007 Suppan gave up 243 hits, which was the 2nd most by any pitcher in the league that year. Which is depressing, because that was his best statistical year as a Brewers. That season, ol’ Supp had his best Brewers ERA…4.62
I have a hard time faulting Suppan for this. The Brewers fell victim to one of sports biggest blunders. Giving an average player, a huge contract, based solely on a singular playoff performance. In 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series and Suppan was a huge part of that. Jeff was even awarded the NLCS MVP for his postseason work.
And despite the countless times, this free-agency tactic has blown up in an organizations collective face…the Brewers thought they would give it a try.
Our management was stupid enough to give him a 4-year, $40 million dollar contract. Then to add to the stupidity, they back-loaded the contract. So, as Suppan got worse, the team paid him more. The guy got paid $12.75 million dollars in 2010, FOR MAKING 2 STARTS AND GIVING UP 27 RUNS!!!!! While the money and contract were not entirely Suppan’s fault, if you are going to sign a contract of that size…you should probably try to win more games than you lose. As we are all fully aware, Jeff did not do that. Which is why I believe that this is one of the worst signings in the history of the Brewers organization. And that is why I also believe that Jeff is most deserving of his spot in “The Hall of Brewers We Won’t Miss”.
This is the hardest part of this. Jeff Suppan is a super nice guy. Now, I have never met him, but I have never heard anyone say a bad thing about him as a person. Plenty of people rip on his pitching abilities, but no one can call this guy anything other than a model citizen. Very involved in charity and community work, the guy is hard not to like (when he is not on the field, that is).
Jeff Suppan is not a bad guy, just a below average pitcher that a team way overpaid. Do you think he deserves to be in the HOBWWM?
Guillermo Mota — His time with the Brewers was brief and very forgettable. Mota pitched in Milwaukee for one season, 2008. The only thing I really remember about Mota, was that every time I watched him pitch (this was before I began writing for this site, so I did not have access to watch as many games) he started with a walk and followed it up with a home-run. In fact, the one time I saw him pitch in person was with my family. The Brewers had a 4-3 lead on the Pirates going into the 8th inning. Dale Sveum (because he was the coach at this point), put in Mota to hold the lead. Instead, Mota did what I knew him to do….walk, home run, Pirates lead 4-5. Thank goodness for Prince Fielder winning that game in the bottom of the 9th. But, that is a story for another time.
Brewers Stats: One Word Description — underwhelming
Mota’s pitching line in a Brewers uniform: 5-6 record, a 4.11 ERA, 58 games, 52 hits, 26 earned runs, 28 walks, and 50 K’s.
Mota pitched in the playoffs for us (if you can believe that): No decisions, 1.2 innings, a 5.40 ERA, and he gave up a home run.
There is a reason the team did not bring him back for 2009, he just isn’t that good. His numbers speak for themselves. There is nothing memorable or special about this guy.
You will notice that both of my nominee’s are in the pool for the HOBWWM because of getting overpaid and then underproducing.
The Brewers needed some more depth in the bullpen going into 2008. Mota was the definition of a “filler arm”. His best years where in the early 2000′s and he had been a sub-4 ERA bullpen arm for the better part of 4 years leading up to his Brewers run.
That aside, the Brewers agreed to pay Mota $3.2 million for a season of work. Which, for those of you playing along at home, was (and still is) the biggest contract of his career. Just another example of the Brewers over-reaching for a bullpen arm. Something that they did quite frequently during the latter haf of the decade.
This one is tricky because he is not necessarily a bad guy. However, Mota has tested positive for Clenbuterol, a banned substance in baseball, not once…but twice. Which Mota quickly blamed on Children’s cough medicine. An acceptable answer…if you are 8years old, or making meth.
The first positive test came prior to the 2007 season, he was suspended for 50 games. Which obviously added to his resume, since the Brewers then went out and paid him $3mil. Then, just week ago, Mota tested positive again and received a 100-game suspension.
Not too much dirt on the guy otherwise. His teammates in San Francisco like him and are anxious to get him back, so take that for what it is worth.
Both of these men are deserving, for the same reason. Had Suppan and Mota both pitched at a slightly higher level, none of this would be necessary. The Brewers overpaid both of these men, putting an incredible amount of weight on their shoulders. I can not even begin to imagine the amount of stress that puts on you to perform.
In closing, while I can not blame either of these men for the money given to them, I can sure as heck blame them for their lack of performance. When a player is paid a large amount of money, there are certain expectations that should be met. I will not miss these two Brewers, because in the end they did not hold up their end of the bargain. And that is why Jeff Suppan and Guillermo Mota deserve to be in the “Hall of Brewers We Won’t Miss”.