Tom "Sky" Skibosh covers the Wauwatosa, Brookfield and New Berlin prep scene for Community Newspapers. If something is going on in local sports, Sky has an opinion about it. If you agree or not with what Sky says, we want to see your comments.
With the high school winter season about to pick up again this week, I thought it might be a good time for a blog on the Brewers.
Many fans are starting to panic because the Brewers have not done much to improve last year's Wild Card team. Everyone knew that C.C. Sabathia and Ben Sheets wouldn't be coming back, but they figured Melvin would do something to add some arms - you are not going to replace them with similar talent, of course. Not much as been done - but except for the Yankees, Mets and Angels - no one has done too much.
Let's take a closer look at the problem areas.
Starters: The Brewers need starting pitching and starting pitching depth desperately. So far, no good. Bullpen: Jorge Julio (FA) and Eduardo Morlan (Rule 5) from the right side and R.J. Swindle (FA) from the left have been the roster additions - all bullpen candidates. The Brewers don't have a closer, but that never seems to bother Melvin who feels like he can just pull one out of his hat when he needs one. That was fine when you were building a team, but not when you're openly telling the fans your team can contend.
Same old, same old. This team will hit home runs and strike out a lot and have an embarrassing on base percentage. Prince Fielder and JJ Hardy are fine, although the former won't win any games with his glove. The Brewers are counting on Willie Randolph to help Rickie Weeks at the bat and in the field. Weeks is too good a talent to give up on yet. There is this tremendous fear in the front office that if they trade Weeks he will finally reach his potential. Mike Lamb has averaged 12 homers and 46 RBIs the past three years, but does have a .363 OBA the past two years. Hopefully Bill Hall's eye surgery will help his batting eye this year.
Ryan Braun is a stud and Corey Hart will hopefully bounce back from a terrible September. Mike Cameron is a good defensive player, a home run hitter, a stolen base threat, and a strikeout king. Melvin said the Brewers felt he was the fourth-best CFer in baseball, which means it must be the weakest position in the game.
Melvin has gone bargain shopping for a lefthanded hitter - Trot Nixon, Scott Thorman and Chris Duffy - which once again is something a building team might do, not a team that is pretending to be a contender. The Brewers could be better off with Brad Nelson or Mat Gamel making the team than those guys.
WAIT AND SEE
I believe in Doug Melvin, so let's give him the month of January to see what he can get done. Let's also hope that Mark Attanasio uses a little - just a little - of that $100 million dollars they offered to C.C. - a $100 million dollars that was never really going anywhere - to help improve this club.
Years ago, a former Brewer player who was also a WTMJ TV and radio broadcaster in the offseason - Mike Hegan - said then Brewer owner Bud Selig would go shopping at Marshall Fields with a JC Penney's credit card.
Let's hope Attanasio doesn't do the same thing this winter.