Ex-Jay Marcum big man on Brewers staff

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:29 PM ET

The off-season trade between the Blue Jays and Milwaukee that sent right-hander Shaun Marcum to the Brewers for hot Canadian prospect Brett Lawrie looks like it will be beneficial for both teams.

While Lawrie is ripping it up in Las Vegas and should be promoted by the all-star break, Marcum has wowed them in Milwaukee.

The former Jays starter has been sensational through the opening two months of the season.

The big off-season acquisition by the Brewers was Zach Greinke but so far Marcum has stolen the show.

Marcum, at 6-1 (before last night’s start), leads the team in victories, earned run average (2.37) and strikeouts. Since his opening start loss to Cincinnati, Marcum has won six of nine starts with a 2.10 ERA, struck out 55 and walked just 10.

“He’s amazing,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said following an eight-inning effort against Washington. “He’s one of those rare guys that really gets it, that doesn’t have electric stuff. He has good stuff, but it’s because he knows how to locate it, use his off-speed pitches, he knows when to try to throw it by a guy inside, and he has a great feel for the game.”

GREED KILLS PROMOTION

Here’s example No. 4,786 of why I hate most people.

It’s the Bernie Brewer brouhaha, a Milwaukee Brewers promotion that went off the rails last week due to good old-fashioned greed by a number of money-grubbing killjoys.

The promotion was supposed to be a grown-ups Easter Egg hunt with 1,400 lawn ornament statues of mascot Bernie Brewer stashed around Milwaukee and other Wisconsin cities. Some of the ornaments had prizes attached.

Clues to their whereabouts were provided by the team through social media.

But that wasn’t good enough for certain fast-buck artists.

Almost as soon as the promotion got underway social network sites were erupting with complaints claiming individuals were staking out the sites and the workers planting the ornaments — and grabbing them as soon as they were hidden.

One fan posted a photo on Twitter that showed one individual with 10 statues stuffed into the trunk of his car and in no time at all, the ornaments were for sale on eBay.

A team spokesman said they didn’t anticipate the “sharp guys” beating them to the punch.

“Because of the magnitude of the promotion, when you have 1,400 across the state, to put guards at the location wasn’t practical,” spokesman Tyler Barnes said. “There was a bit of the honour system here.”

Honour when a buck’s at stake? Please.

POKER FACE

David Einhorn, a white knight for the New York Mets after pumping $200 million into the team via a minority purchase this week, has a grander resume than simply being the founder of the $3 billion hedge fund Greenlight Capital LLC.

He’s also one hell of a poker player.

Back in 2006, Einhorn placed 18th and won $659,730 in the World Series of Poker No Limit Texas Hold’em tournament. He was one of 8,773 contestants who ponied up $10,000 and after he was knocked out he donated all of his winnings to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

“I wanted to play well, and I was hoping to get lucky and have a good time,” he said at the time.

His play was good enough to impress the experts.

“Eighteenth is better than any of the big-name TV pros,’’ said John Wenzel, editor of Poker Pro Magazine in Boca Raton, Fla. “No Limit Texas Hold’em is the chess of poker. You have to be willing to take a risk, so people who are high-risk Wall Street players are particularly well-suited for it.”

And well-suited for helping to bail out the mess that is the Mets.

AL ROOKIE RACE

It’s early and all that but why not take a look at the rookie race in the American League?

In the history of the Blue Jays franchise, just two players have copped the award — Alfredo Griffin in 1979 and Eric Hinske in 2002.

By his play through the opening two months, Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia is among the front-runners just past the quarter pole of the season.

Among position players, Arencibia is first or tied for first in home runs with eight, walks (12), RBIs (24) and extra-base hits (17). He also ranks second in runs scored (14), total bases (68) and hits (33).

Then there’s the fact that he is playing one of the toughest and most critical positions in the game.

At this point, though, the front-runner by a wide margin would have to be Seattle right-hander Michael Pineda who has a 6-2 record, a 2.16 ERA, has walked just 14 batters and struck out 61.

AL ROOKIE POSITION PLAYERS

PLAYER TEAM HITS HR RBIs AVG.

J.P. Arencibia Tor 33 8 24 .244

Hank Conger LAA 23 3 12 .247

Brent Morel CWS 24 1 12 .231

Mark Trumbo LAA 40 8 24 .245

AL ROOKIE PITCHERS

PLAYER TEAM W L ERA BB K

Zach Britton Bal 5 2 2.35 21 35

Jeremy Hellickson TB 5 3 3.14 25 40

Ivan Nova NYY 4 3 4.29 21 26

Kyle Drabek Tor 3 3 4.34 37 38

Michael Pineda Sea 6 2 2.16 14 61


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