Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Milwaukee Brewers baseball updates

Quick (Sports) Hits, Friday Edition

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Folks, I’d hoped to write a post tonight about P.G. Wodehouse, which is the second of my “Learning from the Fiction Masters” blogs. However, that needs must be postponed as I have lots of work at the moment and very little time to do it in . . . I apologize, but I’m going to make this a bi-weekly series for the time being, and will have a new blog in this series up next Friday instead.

Anyway, I do have a few quick hits for you, updates regarding previous blog posts about sports. So here we go!

  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has changed his mind about domestic violence. Instead of the piddly two-game suspension Goodell gave to Ray Rice for hitting his then-fiancée and dragging her off an elevator (I wrote about this here), new domestic violence offenders will be penalized six games for the first offense, and have a lifetime ban after the second — but the lifetime ban is a qualified one, meaning the offender can try for reinstatement after a year away from football (and presumably improving his life in some way). This is good news, and I applaud Goodell for taking a step in the right direction.

    But Ray Rice still got over, and I remain deeply unhappy about that.

  • Chris Kluwe had filed a lawsuit against the Minnesota Vikings over the way special teams coach Mike Priefer behaved during the 2012 season (I discussed Priefer’s behavior in this blog, though I did not discuss the lawsuit as I was waiting for a resolution there — or perhaps for the trial to start, take your pick.) The Vikings initially were going to fight Kluwe, but instead have settled with him. The proceeds of this lawsuit are going to several LGBT and transgender charities, and are believed to exceed $100,000 (but are perhaps shy of the cool million dollars Kluwe’s lawyer was initially asking for); none of it benefits Kluwe directly in any way.

    I see no losers in this deal.

  • I continue to watch the Milwaukee Brewers, 2014 edition, and am cautiously optimistic that they can win the National League Central division. (Despite them stinking up the field thus far tonight in San Francisco, where as of this writing they are down, 6-1, in the bottom of the 4th.) The best position player thus far has probably been Jonathan Lucroy, and the best and most consistent starting pitcher all season long has been Kyle Lohse. (Don’t get fooled by Wily Peralta’s current pitching record of 15-8. Peralta can be very good, or very awful, and tonight he was awful as he gave up six earned runs.)

    Mind, I am worried about the relief pitching. Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez has been giving up homers lately in his save opportunities, and blew a save on Wednesday precisely because of that. Will Smith has looked good again lately, but has had a ton of appearances; so have Zach Duke and Brandon Kintzler and most of the rest of the Brewers bullpen.

    At some point, the Brewers pitchers may hit the wall, collectively. (We’re already seeing that with Peralta, and may have seen signs of that already with Smith, Duke and Kintzler.) If that happens, and the Brewers cannot bring up fresh and experienced arms, that will imperil the Brewers playoff chances — much less their chances to win the NL Central.

Oh, and as for folks wondering what I’m up to with regards to reviewing books over at Shiny Book Review? I hope to review something tomorrow, but it still won’t be “Mad Mike” Williamson’s excellent FREEHOLD. (I want more time and energy than I currently have to discuss that book. Let’s just say, for now, that I really have enjoyed my re-read and that it’s unlikely any fans of Mad Mike will be displeased by anything I have to say.)

It’s more likely that I will review a romance of some sort for Romance Saturday, even though I’m not exactly sure what at this point…still, I will find something, and we’ll all know tomorrow!

Quick Hits for April ’13, Pt. 1

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Folks, you know me and my “quick hits” blogs, right?

As I’m still way, way, way under the weather, I may end up writing even more of them than usual this month, thus the appellation “part 1” . . . at any rate, let’s get to it.

First off, what is with my Milwaukee Brewers baseball team?  Pitcher Kyle Lohse has gone out there and pitched two solid games thus far — the only pitcher who’s done so to date — and has an 0-1 record to show for it due to the Brewers lack of contact hitting.  (Or any other hitting, either, to be exact.)

Tonight’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals is a case in point.  The Brewers, down 2-0, had two men on (Nori Aoki and Jean Segura) in the top of the ninth with only one out and Ryan Braun at the plate.  While Braun battled, he ended up striking out against Cardinals’ closer Mitchell Boggs.

But Braun has been having neck spasms, and while he’s still hitting decently for contact, he’s not at his peak.  So in this case, even though he struck out in the clutch rather than advance the runners (or better yet, get a hit already), I’ll let it slide.

However, nothing excuses Brewers manager Ron Roenicke for sending Rickie Weeks to the plate after Braun.  I understand that Roenicke really didn’t have much in the way of cleanup hitter possibilities tonight when he made out his line-up.  I also understand that Weeks, when he’s on, is a power hitter and thus, by definition, could conceivably be a cleanup hitter one of these years.

But right now, Weeks looks awful.  Batting a dreadful .222 with one HR and one RBI, Weeks waved feebly at a few low and away fastballs — always his nemesis — and struck out on four pitches.

Game over.

Really, Roenicke should’ve sent up anyone else.  Even one of the other pitchers, if that’s the best he could do (though as far as I am aware, both Lalli and Maldonado were on the bench and available to pinch hit).  Because under the circumstances, Weeks was going to do exactly what he did — strike out — and everyone in the ballpark knew it . . . except perhaps for Roenicke.

That being said, Roenicke has had bad back spasms lately, which is a sign of great stress.  I feel for him in that respect, because I, too, have had bad back spasms and they’re no fun at all.

I’m sure Roenicke is doing his best with what little he has to work with.  I just wish he’d have a few more healthy players, that’s all . . . and while I’m not happy with some of his managerial decisions (letting Weeks stay up there to hit among them), I don’t think it’s time to fire him just yet.

Now on to something much, much different.

I’m absolutely disgusted with the reports that domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette has been attacked online via Twitter and Facebook postings due to her testimony in the high-profile Jodi Arias murder trial.  Arias is alleged to have murdered Travis Alexander (that Arias killed Alexander is not in doubt, as there’s been a confession and no one disputes it; the only thing disputed is motive), and Ms. LaViolette, as a domestic violence expert, has been asked to explain what she thinks of the written and recorded behavior of victim Travis Alexander.

Alexander, you see, was into some really kinky things.  He liked phone sex (though oddly enough, the phone sex I’ve heard discussed on HLN seems rather dispassionate except for the dirty words), he liked to humiliate Arias (though Arias didn’t see to have much of a problem with it in the one phone sex recording that has been played recently — since Ms. LaViolette came onboard, and since I started paying attention to what is going on there), he could say mean and vicious things to Arias (as seen in his text messages and IMs to Arias when Alexander was in a bad mood), and in many ways Alexander seems to have had not only a bad temper, but an abusive one.

And Ms. LaViolette said so.

But because she’s been a bit of an awkward witness — it seems like she wasn’t really expecting District Attorney Juan Martinez’s “bulldog” style (Martinez may be the meanest DA in America today considering how he’s treated several defense witnesses, not just Ms. LaViolette) — people have attacked her online.

And also because there’s definitely an “us-vs.-them” mentality going on here — people mostly do not like Arias (I, myself, do not like what I’ve seen), and thus they want to put Alexander on a pedestal even though he was obviously not a choirboy (if you’ve heard or read anything he wrote or said to Arias in a bad mood, you know he’s most definitely a sinner) — these people have attacked Ms. LaViolette because they cannot get at Arias.

And the attacks have been vicious according to several online reports (take a look here, here and here).

Put simply, there is no place for this in a civilized society.  ZeroBecause going after a witness online due to her giving her expert opinion in court — whether you like her opinion or not, whether it’s well-stated or not, whether you think she’s biased, or not — is plain, flat wrong.

So that’s it for the first “Quick Hits” column of April.  What did you think?  (Drop me a comment, if you so desire.  But be polite.  Life’s too short for anything less.)