Another Brewer Trade & Monday Mailbag

Hello again everybody...

Welcome to the start of another week. Hope you had a good weekend.

Generally I limit most of my chattering to sports, but I wanted to throw in a quick plug for The Dark Knight. Wow. I saw it Friday night and I still can't quite find the words to describe it. Heath Ledger's getting all the Oscar buzz - and he certainly deserves it, he's brilliant - but if the director, Christoper Nolan, doesn't win a bushel-full of awards for this movie, there is no justice! If you enjoyed Batman Begins, this blows that movie away. Really, it's not even close. Do yourself a favor. Go see this movie.

My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what's really going on to be scared.
- P.J. Plaguer, author and entrepreneur

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Well Crew-fans, the wheeling and dealing continues. Fresh off a 3-game sweep over the Giants, the Brewers announced a deal for Giants' 2B Ray Durham. Milwaukee gave up two minor leaguers for Durham. None at the level of the prospect that they traded to Cleveland for CC Sabathia.

So on the surface, it's a solid deal for the Brewers. They add a veteran presence that will be able to spell Rickie Weeks, who's been struggling mightily for the Crew, hitting .218 with 8 home runs. Durham brings a .293 average and a .385 on-base percentage. I presume that Ned Yost will platoon the two guys, at least for the balance of the regular season. But if the Brewers make the playoffs, I'd look for a healthy dose of Durham as your starting second baseman.

I'd also imagine that this isn't the end of the wheeling and dealing for the Brewers. They've come this far, so I'd be fairly surprised if they didn't manage to cut a deal for some late-inning bullpen help. The bullpen is still the Achilles heel of this club, so if they don't make some moves to shore that up, then the trades for Sabathia and now Durham will be fairly well wasted.

I like what your club's doing Brewer fans. Now if they'd just cut bait with Gagne, I could actually start rooting for you fellas!

Finally, today's Sports Take Mailbag question comes from David in Milwaukee:

What in God's name is going through Brett Favre's head? Ted Thompson's? This is going to end very, very badly.

I've addressed the beginning of the Favre saga in an earlier Mailbag question, but a lot has happened since then.

The last time I talked about Brett, I chastised him for not being more direct and making a more definitive public statement about his desire - or lack there of - to return. Well the Fox News interview that he did pretty much took care of that.

(Aside: Did anybody hear an explanation as to why the hell he was on Fox News for that interview? Isn't that like John McCain going on SportsCenter to discuss his latest domestic policy issue?!)

Brett made it quite clear, I thought, in that interview that not only does he want to come back and play, but that he has no intention of doing so as a backup.

That leaves the Packers in a tough situation. They've already named Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback for the upcoming season. So do they bring Brett back and cut Rodgers' legs out from under him? Or do they keep Rodgers and trade Brett away, potentially losing out on the better of the two quarterbacks?

Brett might have made that decision process slightly easier by the comments he had about the Packers organization. He essentially called Packers G.M. Ted Thompson a liar. And intimated that he'd have preferred it if Green Bay had hired Steve Mariucci over current head coach Mike McCarthy.

Not exactly the kinds of statements that are going to endear you to an organization.

It's my suspicion that these comments were calculated to have exactly that effect. Brett realizes that he's probably not going back to Green Bay as the starter, so he wants to affect a trade as soon as possible. And what better way to do that than to take a blowtorch to whatever bridge he might have had back to the frozen tundra.

So now what is Ted Thompson thinking? Well the first thing he's thinking, is something that I won't put in print. After all, this is a family-rated blog! But my guess is that he's working on trade scenarios. Preferably, he'd like to send Brett to an AFC team (hence the rumors to Baltimore). If he can't work a worthwhile deal with an AFC club, then he surely will want to send Brett someplace outside of the NFC North. The last thing anybody in Wisconsin wants is for Brett to come back and stick it to the Packers twice a year.

That brings us to the "tampering" charge that the Packers have levied against the Vikings. The NFL has a rule that disallows teams from speaking to players under contract with another club about trying to engineer a move to their team. This is a rule that's violated nearly as often as the rule against filming other teams signals was prior to Spygate.

So Green Bay, in an effort to nip any such activity in the bud, found the most likely violator and sent a formal letter to the league office charging the Vikings with tampering. The accusation is that Vikings Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevel had several inappropriate conversations with Favre to determine his interest in joining Minnesota. Bevell was formerly the Quarterbacks Coach with the Packers, so he has a pre-existing relationship with Favre. And while this provides the logic the Packers will use to create the tampering charge, it's also the fact that will render such a charge impossible to prove. If both Bevell and Favre claim that the conversation was strictly personal, and that no discussions about joining the Vikings were had, how do you prove them wrong?

Instead I think this move by Thompson is more about signaling to other clubs that the Packers are watching this situation very closely, and aren't the least bit afraid to file formal charges if another team has those kinds of talks with Favre.

Ultimately, I think the Packers will move Favre somewhere. But they want to create the perception that they're doing so on their terms, not Brett's.

It's too bad there wasn't an amicable way to work this out. And I think most of the fault for that gets put on Brett. Yes, he deserves to come back and play if he's decided that retiring was a mistake. But there are plenty of less-acrimonious ways he could've gone about it.

Remember, if you want your question answered in the Sports Take Mailbag, email me at: with your question. And remember, creativity counts!

That's all for today. I'll be back on Wednesday with more Sports Take wonder. Until then, thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Dan-O,
    Thanks for including me on the e-list. Brewers talk is for Brewers fans, which of course, I am not. Let me know when you are going to write something about a real team like the Twins- nothing against the Brew Crew, they're just not my team....

    Favre is acting like a primadonna in every sense of the word. Favre seems to have more in common with Roger Clemens than anyone else right now- hopefully there's no HGH headlines in Favre's future- although...38 and still zipping 'em in there- hmmmm.......