Most Despised Milwaukee Brewers of All Time, Johnny Estrada Region (Round One)
Most Despised Milwaukee Brewers: Johnny Estrada Region (Round One)
In last year's tourney, Johnny Estrada made a run for the ages. The former catcher went all the way to the championship game as a seven-seed, falling to top-seeded Gary Sheffield in the final. Regardless, Estrada's run is what the brackets are all about.
Who knew he was more despised than the first, second and third seeds in his region, which included the forever-loathed Jeff Suppan? It was fun to watch in a way, and it will be interesting to see who can make it deep into the tournament as a lower seed.
Much like the real NCAA tournament, an individual can pick up momentum from the voters, collecting "fans" who begin to realize how much they despised his play, attitude, contract or a combination of factors. There's a certain mob mentality that is created, much like Wes Helms getting booed one season on opening day at Miller Park.
You now have the opportunity to vote in the Estrada Region, where the winner will take on the top individual from the Gary Sheffield Region. In the slideshow, you’ll see each individual matchup and a short synopsis of each player’s inclusion. The final slide will show you a full breakdown of the 16 seeds in this region.
The Sheffield Region will be posted soon.
You can submit votes in the comments section below, on Facebook, by tweeting @brewersblend or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The voting for the Estrada Region will remain open until 11pm (ET) on Monday, March 3rd, so check out each matchup and get your votes in now!
#8 Mat Gamel vs. #9 Marc Newfield
Mat Gamel had the look of an All-Star hitter, with a .304 average and an .873 OPS in seven minor league seasons. Early in his career, Gamel showed up late to spring training, displayed a bad attitude and didn't put in the work necessary to succeed at the MLB level. Injuries and lack of performance derailed him later in his career.
Marc Newfield was a sixth overall pick with huge promise. There were questions about his work ethic, injuries plagued him, and he was mediocre (at best) in the outfield. He hit seven homers and slugged .582 in his first 49 games with the Brewers; the last two years it was a .312 slugging percentage and four home runs. He was out of baseball at 25 years old.
#7 Sean Berry vs. #10 Jose Valentin
The Brewers thought Sean Berry could fill their hole at first base, having hit .314 with an .895 OPS the year before they signed him. Instead, he batted just .216 and slugged a measly .295 in his time with Milwaukee. Berry was released midway through his second season, a complete waste of the Brewers' limited free agent funds.
Jose Valentin had a couple of solid seasons, but never quite put it all together. He struck out a lot, made constant, egregious errors (37 in 1996), and had a .225 average in his age 28 and 29 seasons. He was that frustrating guy you always thought you'd get more from.
#6 Marquis Grissom vs. #11 Alex Sanchez
Making $5 million with the Brewers, Marquis Grissom had a .304 OBP and .687 OPS, the only team he had a sub-.700 OPS for in his career. Brought in to be a table-setter, Grissom had an OBP of .281 one year and played below-average defense in center. Players said was a bad teammate, self-absorbed and ill-tempered. The picture above says a lot.
Alex Sanchez had incredible speed, but a world class attitude problem. His defense was inconsistent, he ignored and disrespected coaches, and irritated teammates in the clubhouse. The final straw was his laughing fit on the field after he missed a fly ball, fell over a teammate and watched the runner circle the bases.
#5 Juan Francisco vs. #12 Geoff Jenkins
Juan Francisco makes playing first base look like the toughest thing in the world. Stone hands, slow feet and a lack of instincts makes him epically bad, even on routine grounders and throws. His all-or-nothing swing has also been a source of frustration for fans, despite some huge homers.
He had some great moments and some solid years, but Geoff Jenkins also got under the skin of many fans with his helpless cuts at breaking balls in the dirt. He also had the tendency to turn relatively routine fly balls into tough plays, before diving to make them look spectacular.
#4 Franklin Stubbs vs. #13 Cal Eldred
Franklin Stubbs "earned" about $4 million over two years to hit .220 with a .288 OBP for the Brewers. He had 23 home runs and 71 RBI the year before joining Milwaukee. The two years with the Crew, he managed 20 long balls and 80 runs driven in. Add on below-average defense at first, and that was an ugly pair of seasons.
After coming out hot his rookie year, Cal Eldred couldn't stay healthy and never blossomed into the ace he was set up to be. As a first round pick with good size and a power arm, many saw him at the top of the rotation for years to come. Instead, it was a 4.51 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in Milwaukee, and plenty of time on the disabled list.
#3 Jose Hernandez vs. #14 Pat Listach
Jose Hernandez showed good pop for a shortstop, when he actually made contact. He was on pace to break the single season strikeout record, but was spared with a benching to avoid the feat. He did lead the league twice in whiffs. A poor attitude, questionable defense and $10 million over three years made him a target.
Pat Listach won the Rookie of the Year award, then turned into a glass figure, only once playing more than 100 games in a season. In his four years following the rookie campaign, his OBP fell to .306 and his slugging percentage below .300, all while his stolen bases declined. He was out of the league by 26 years of age.
#2 Yuniesky Betancourt vs. #15 Tony Graffanino
Yuniesky Betancourt never saw a pitch he didn't like, averaging just 15 walks per season in Milwaukee. Aside from his .271 OBP, an infield pop up was tradition with a man on third. Meanwhile, he had no range, slow feet, rock hands and an inconsistent throwing arm. Fans literally cringed when the ball was hit his way.
Tony Graffanino was meant to be a sound veteran presence for the Brewers, but he managed to be an irritant and instigator in many cases. He wasn't horrible as a defender or a bench bat; he was just a guy.
#1 Jeffrey Hammonds vs. 16 Rob Dibble
Jeffrey Hammonds had never played more than 125 games in a season, and only surpassed 100 games three times in his 10 years before joining the Brewers. He made over $22 million in three seasons with Milwaukee, batting .248 with a .398 slugging percentage. For a guy brought in to create power, he hit 16 homers in 187 games (he only played 49 games his first season in Milwaukee). He was also a poor center fielder.
Rob Dibble was a jerk, but most people already knew that before he came to Milwaukee. He put up an 8.25 ERA in his only season (and last of his career), but he bothered at least one fan enough to make this list. Maybe it was his radio personality that iced it.
Estrada Region - Round One
Here's the full region so you can check out the potential future matchups. The person who makes it out of the Estrada Region will take on the winner of the Gary Sheffield Region in the Final Four. The Sheffield Region will be posted soon.
You can submit your votes in the comments section below, on Facebook, by tweeting @brewersblend or you can send an email to email@example.com. Voting for the Estrada Region will remain open through Monday, March 3rd at 11pm (ET). So, get your votes in now!.