Brewers Leap Day Junk Drawer
By Lou Olsen
Well this week we had a great many things slip through the cracks, so I had to whittle it down. This has been a very exciting week for RtB in particular, as we have added two new writers. Don’t worry, you will get to know these two gentlemen very soon.
Since it is Leap Day, which of course is a day that does not really exist, I decided to theme the Junk Drawer. The 5 things I chose for this week, seem like maybe they shouldn’t be real…but they are. So, sit back, relax, and try to remember that nothing that happens today matters.
Aaron Rodgers shows up at Spring Training
Today, NFL MVP and Wisconsin state treasure, Aaron Rodgers made an appearance at Maryvale ballpark. His purpose for being there was a little cloudy early in the morning. As the day progressed he went into the outfield and attempted to shag balls in skinny jeans. Note to Levi-Strauss, make skinny jeans for the Right Fielder on the go. Once he was done acting kind of foolish, he went to hang out with Ryan Braun in the indoor batting cage. No one knows what they discussed, but I am sure we all have a pretty good idea. When they emerged, Rodgers and several other Brewers spent the afternoon shooting advertisements for the Brewers 2012 season. Can’t wait to see them. Hope they are better than his State Farm commercials. Those things really got old fast. Anyway, I love that the Brewers and Packers players appear to be each others number 1 fans. It makes my heart warm.
John Axford wants to stay in Milwaukee…For-ev-er
Nothing makes my heart grow fonder of a player, then when they admit their love for my team and city. John Axford has done just that over the past day and a half. John is a friend of this site, so naturally we would love for him to stay here forever. Not like career forever, like the creepy twins from ‘The Shinning’ forever. We need to keep in mind that Ax man won’t be eligible for free-agency until 2016. However, when a guy earns a contract, I am of the belief that you pay the man. Axford learned from one of the best closers to ever touch a baseball, Trevor Hoffman, and we have no reason to doubt that he will continue to dominate for years to come. Plus, he wants to be here. There seems to be some Brewers fever sweeping through the pitching staff right now, it is up to the Brewers to take advantage of those opportunities. Axford should be a no-brainer, but as of this morning he is the only Brewers left without a contract…so…time is a wastin’.
Ron Roenicke insists that Aoki will get ample playing time
I would like to think that when the Brewers agreed to terms with Japanese superstar, Norichika Aoki, it was because they feared losing Braun for 50 games…and were not so sure about what Carlos Gomez would bring to the table offensively. Now that we know Braun is going to be around, many of us wondered what would happen to Aoki. Ron insisted that Melvin did not sign Aoki specifically to fill in the gap left by Braun. This leads me to believe that Corey Hart will be playing more first base than the skipper has lead on. When the Crew faces tough left-handers, the outfield will be Braun, Aoki, and Gomez with Hart at first base. That would probably get Aoki a solid 250-300 plate appearances this season. If he excels and shows that he deserves to be playing out there every day, I find it hard to believe that Carlos Gomez and Mat Gamel will have very much job security. We will just have to see what Aoki brings to the team in a few weeks (37 days to be exact).
Roenicke intends on keeping 12 pitchers
This was a development that was a bit surprising, not because of the pitchers, but because of the lack of available bench space. With 12 pitchers on the roster, that leaves only 5 bench spots. Personally, I think the team will be fine with 6 bullpen arms, but Ron thinks differently. So, with only 5 bench spots you have to assume they will go to: Aoki, Gomez, Izturis, Kottaras, and…either Taylor Green or Brooks Conrad. This is why I believe that they should only carry 11 pitchers to start the season. Conrad and Green both serve very specific purposes on this roster. You all know my position on these things. I believe that you should almost always go with youth. Izturis can fill the middle-infield and Green can take 1st and 3rd base duties. Unfortunately for me, Ron Roenicke is already eyeing Conrad to be his new Mark Kotsay. And as we well know, Ron loves Kotsay…loves him long-time.
LaTroy Hawkins is the coolest
A story emerged this week that really sums up what kind of a guy Hawkins was and why many Brewers find themselves missing him this season. As Tim Dillard tells the tale, the team pulled into New York for their series with the Yankees (we all remember how well that went). Before they went up to the hotel, Hawkins called Dillard up to the front of the bus and asked him if anyone had ever bought him a suit before. Tim said that he could not remember anyone buying him a suit. So, LaTroy took him to a really nice place that alot of MLB players go to get suits…and bought the kid not one, but two suits!! After it was all done, LaTroy asked Tim if he knew why he was doing this for him, to which Tim said no. Then, Hawkins points to a picture of Kirby Puckett hanging on the wall and says, “Because he did it for me”. What a great story. I read that and it just made me miss the guy. I still follow him on Twitter because he is the nicest dude on the planet. Hope that Tim gets the opportunity to pay it forward someday too.
I will leave you with that story. Seems to good to be true, but it isn’t. Happy Leap Day!!