Lou’s Brewers Banalaties: The 2014 Edition


It’s amazing how well Lyle Overbay impersonates Mark Reynolds after a strikeout. Simply amazing. Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Now before I dive into this, it needs a little back story. The Brewers Banalaties are one of my favorite re-occurring articles to write, because they allow me to show you my true form. It is a hideous, despicable, rage fueled, but occasionally poignant…piece of my life force. Thus are the darkest fathoms of my  soul, the Brewers Banalities.

I thought I would have, at the very least, until Spring Training before I needed to unleash the beast. Lucky for you Uncle Mark and aunt Doug couldn’t resist pulling the old “Let’s see what this old dog has left in his bag of tricks” card…in the nick of time. You guessed it, it’s Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay time!

"If you are not sure what a banality is, it is just a fancy way of saying “old news” or “cliché”. Essentially, once a month I am going to lay out a couple of Brewers issues or topics that may be a little played out, but then I will give them my spin. I have been told that my spin is sometimes stupid, uneducated, and even immature."

The thing about Mark Reynolds is…

He is really good at striking out. Like what Derrick Zoolander is to fake modeling, or Ron Burgundy is to fictional news…THAT is how good Mark Reyonolds is at getting K’d. He is also pretty adequate at hitting the long ball. This would not bother me, unless of course we already had such a player. Perhaps a left-handed, half-hearted, first baseman already on the 2014 roster. You know the one…his name rhymes with John Crayondisco. Mark Reynolds and Juan Francisco are just mirrored images of each other. Reynolds bats from the right side of the plate and Francisco from the left. Now in his defense, Reynolds flashes some mean leather at first base. Our boy Juan…not so much. Did I really emphasize how much Mark Reynolds strikes out? I feel like I didn’t.  The guy averages 209 strikeouts per 162 game season. This is unacceptable to me. Had they spent any more than the league minimum, I may have done something irrational…like swore off drinking, or bought a Members Only jacket. The point is, I had made some kind of half-arsed peace with this signing. It would not have truly been a Brewers off seasons without an ill-advised trip to the MLB old folks home. I expected this.  So it was easier to swallow. Then, something terrible happened…

Lyle Overbay: Bucket List Edition

“This signing is stupid.”  “What purpose does this serve?”  “Will his Grandchildren be at Spring Training?” All three of those things were direct quotes from yours truly. This signing made me want to throw all of the tv’s, out of all of the windows, in all of the houses. Then I peaked at Baseball Reference and had a moment of euphoria. Lyle Overbay has 200 fewer career strikeouts than Mark Reyonlds…in TWICE as much playing time. Overbay’s career bating average is 30 points higher than Reynolds. In fact, both players wore pinstripes in 2013 and both proved to be as advertised. Not good, not great, but perfectly adequate in a pinch. The real issue here is age, not ability. Lyle Overbay is 36 years young. His best chance at finding meaningful playing time rests in the AL, as a DH.  In my estimation, there is no way that a 36-year-old player is going to beat out a 26-year-old in ST. So, what was the point of this signing? Is it so that he can retire as a Brewer? Doubtful. He will probably retire as either a D’Back or a Blue Jay, so again I ask…what is the point of this? Did you want Juan Francisco to look into his possible future in the hopes of “scaring him straight”? That would at least make an ounce of sense. While we are just spending money on non-sense, we should invest in Laser Disc!!! As you can tell, I am not mad…I am furious.

In Comes Garza 

Awww snap!!! You didn’t see this one coming did you? Me neither. While the contract itself seems to be a bit much (4yrs/$52M), I will not sit here and deny that when Garza is on his game he is one of the best pitchers out there today. Matty does have a sordid and lengthy injury history to worry about though. Plus, shouldn’t we have been spending our real money on a first baseman? Matt Garza is a really nice surprise, but couldn’t we have spent a few more dollars to spare me the grief of the two nerds we discussed moments ago? Until I was forcefully told the rotation needed help, I had actually lulled myself into believing that Lohse, Peralta, Estrada, Thornburg, and Gallardo would be perfectly fine. Clearly I was living in a fantastical dream land, made out of crystallized sugar and Mountain Dew streams. Since we needed to spend an extra $13M a season to make that core better, I better hop on the back of that candy cane and ride back to my home inside of a Snickers bar. Welcome to Milwaukee, Mr. Garza. It isn’t you, it’s me.  Unlike every person who has ever used that as a break-up excuse, I am using this to start our relationship…so that you know I am telling the truth.