This week, I got an email from Kyle Lobner, a contributor for "Brew Crew Ball," about trading questions for one another prior to this weekend's home opener against the Brewers. I took full advantage of the opportunity. Many thanks to Kyle for being a good sport here. His responses go as follows:
Meanwhile, this entire process was supposed to be confidential but was dragged into the spotlight by someone who violated privacy laws when leaking the information and reporters that were all too eager to run with illegally obtained information.
If nothing else, at least this entire situation brought some of the more ridiculous elements of the testing program to light. If you can't ship a urine sample on a Saturday, for example, you probably shouldn't be collecting it on a Saturday at all. And if for some reason you have to wait a day to ship a sample you should keep it refrigerated and secure, not take it home and leave it sit on your desk for the weekend. As the Braun situation has demonstrated here, there's a lot at stake. The least baseball can do is be certain they're right in their accusations before a player gets his reputation ruined.
The falloff from Prince Fielder to Mat Gamel at first base is significant, of course, but at least some of that difference should be covered by upgrades at third (Aramis Ramirez) and short (Alex Gonzalez improves the defense, if not the offense) and a full season of Corey Hart.
(I ask real questions after the jump...)
Barring that, though, this team is pretty clearly built to win.
I think on paper this Brewer team is roughly as good as they were last year at this time. Even if they fall a few games behind that pace, I think 90 wins or maybe even a little less will be enough to win the Central.