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ALL NEW BUCKY CHANNEL - Coming Soon

The Bucky Channel is making a triumphant comeback. Stay tuned for the latest.

ALL NEW BUCKY CHANNEL - Coming Soon

The Bucky Channel is making a triumphant comeback. Stay tuned for the latest.

Monday, June 30, 2008

If I Ever Meet Tim Krumrie, I'll Buy Him a Beer

While my stretch of being homeless continues (long story), I've found myself blessed to be spending a night in a home with the NFL Network. As I watch Terrell Buckley return a punt for his first NFL touchdown, I don't think I could be happier. Yes, tonight just happens to be the night NFLN is replaying the 1992 matchup between the Packers and the Bengals. You may know it more commonly as the game in which Brett Favre relieved an injured Don Majkowski and earned his first comeback victory in the process.

As much as I don't like to root for injuries (unless fantasy implications are involved), I think we all are in debt to Tim Krumrie, who was a defensive lineman for the Bengals from 1983-1994. Krumrie was the guy who injured the Majik man, paving the way for the comeback, and essentially launching the career of the legendary Number Four. Fun fact for you as well. Krumrie went to school at Wisconsin, and is from Mondovi.

What's also interesting about this game is watching a broadcast where the announcers aren't gushing over Brett Favre the entire time. For the first quarter or two, they are talking about how much of a miracle a Brett Favre touchdown would be, and how the "young kid" just needs to hang in there. Of course, that changed as soon as he made your typical Brett Favre play, where he was hit by a defender, stayed on his feet, and then completed the pass for the first down. All the love, all the admiration, and all the career success started on September 20th, 1992.

I think the least we can do is buy Mr. Krumrie a beer.

Here Comes the Packers Defense


We've been hearing some whispers the last couple of weeks about how much more aggressive the Packers defense figures to be this season. I'm all for blitzing as much as possible, especially with how much speed we have throughout that unit, and how confident I feel in our secondary. But just how physical with the defense be this year (with or without Jason Taylor?) Let ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert count the ways.

Gagne Returns... But to Where?

Let's give a big Milwaukee welcome back to Eric Gagne, who has been taken off the DL and placed back on the Brewers 25 man roster. Gagne says he's ready to "rock and roll", but Yost won't say anything about his role with the team other than that he's a "reliever". All that we do know is that it's going to take a long time before he ever sniffs the closer role again, especially with the way Salomon Torres has been pitching.

Sent down was Mark DeFelice, who will likely get another chance with the club sometime this season.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Spain wins Euro 2008!

In a decent final match, Spain was able to knock of Germany 1-0 in the Euro 2008 title, for their first European Championship since 1964. They were able to do it by exploiting Germany's..... wait, what? Did you hear Richard Jefferson got traded to the Bucks?

Brewers Blanked in the Border Battle

Well, the Twins was this year's "Border Battle", one of the lesser creative names for an interleague rivalry. For some stupid reason, I've always liked when rivalries were named after an interstate, like when the Cubs and Brewers series is refereed to as the "I-94 Series". It's simple, but whatever. Anyways, the Twins beat the Brewers 5-0.

Sheeter just didn't have his best stuff Sunday, and the Twins were able to just tack on runs one or two at a time. Kevin Slowey of the Twins, meanwhile, threw a complete game, striking out eight batters and giving up just three hits. Perhaps had the bats been going, things would have been able to work out in Sheets favor, but the Brewers just weren't destined to win this one.

So the Twins take 4 of 6 out of the "Border Battle" series, but now that I think about it, there's no reason you couldn't call the series between Milwaukee and Minnesota the "I-94 Series" either. Either way, the Cubs better lose tonight.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Look at the box score, man. There are no good options. So let's give it to the one inning of scoreless work from Brian Shouse. Think of it as a reward for the work he's done so far this season.

(AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)

Sabathia to the Brewers? It's More Likely Than You Think.

One year ago at this time, the Brewers looked like good odds to either win the NL Wild Card or their first ever NL Central Division title. But as we got deeper into the summer, the Brewers started faltering a bit, and those pesky Cubs from Chicago were right on their tail. If the Brewers were going to live up to their dreams of the postseason, they would need to make a move. They'd become buyers at the Trade Deadline, something we haven't seen in Milwaukee for... well, a really long time. And after countless hours on the phones working other GM's, Doug Melvin finally got his catch, the man to help put us over the edge.

Scott Linebrink.

As you well know, that trade didn't really have the effect Melvin may have been looking for. Linebrink's career as a Brewer was short and inconsistent, and he's now pitching on the South Side of Chicago, long out of the memory of Brewers fans. Milwaukee gave up some good prospects to get Linebrink too, in Will Inman, Joe Thatcher, and Steve Garrison. Those three pitchers have a fairly decent chance of all being on the Padres big league roster withing a couple of years. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the Brewers lost that deal.

Looking back though, I can't say I disagree with the move. I supported it at the time, and I'll support it today. The Brewers needed bullpen help, and Scott Linebrink was a good option. It was one of those high risk, high reward scenarios. Give up three decent prospects for a guy who may or may not be able to turn his season around in a new environment. It's a great deal if it would have worked out and earned the Brewers a trip to at least the playoffs.

You'll never find me arguing against a high risk, high reward scenario. Then again, I've always been a gambling man. I can't tell you how much money I've spent gambling money away in my life (Powerball, Crossword scratch-offs, Chip-In Casino in Escanaba, Michigan). Was it stupid? In hindsight, yes, but hindsight's 20/20. I blew the money then hoping for a huge payday, similiar to how Melvin blew the development of those prospects hoping for a huge payoff. Melvin took a gamble last year, and I hope he doesn't drift from that school of thought this year.

So what do the Brewers need? Well, barring injury, I'd say the offense is in decent shape. There have been a lot of trade rumors regarding the Brewers in recent weeks, and I can't recall any of them including a hitter. As Gord Ash said himself, the Brewers are looking for pitching. Specifically, starting pitching.

The Brewers' staff is currently pitching better than they have all season, but as the old adage goes, you can never have too much pitching. Remember in the beginning of the season, when the Brewers had their pitching surplus? After they cut Claudio Vargas loose, and lost Chris Capauno and Yovani Gallardo to injury, it became Milwaukee's biggest need. While the guys that have filled in have been pitching well, you never know when that next injury will occur or when one of them will go all Cappy '07 on us.

Let me finally get to the point of this column, if I may. The biggest name this trade deadline season is the Indians C.C. Sabathia, and he seems to be the focus of the Brewers trade discussions as well. The speculation around him coming to Milwaukee isn't as intense as it may have been a week ago, but I would say this deal has about a 30% chance of happening. A recent Ken Rosenthal column suggests the chances might be even better than that. Realistically though, if the Brewers were to get Sabathia, it would likely just be a rental. It's going to take a lot of money to get the 2007 AL Cy Young award winner to settle down in Milwaukee, much more money than I think we'd be able to, or are willing to, give. With that said, I still say it's a trade the Brewers need to try to pull off.

First, let's look at the negatives to such a deal:

1) Goodbye LaPorta or Gamel (or...gulp...both)?

You'd think either Matt LaPorta or Mat Gamel would have to be included in a deal to acquire Sabathia, even though I've heard the Brewers are going to do whatever it takes not to let either of those guys go. If I'm the Indians though, I don't make that trade without one of them. The Brewers do have a deep system though, and the Indians could definitely make this trade worth their while in the long run. However, I don't see them taking a deal where Alcides Escobar is the headliner.

2) High Risk...

Imagine C.C. Sabathia in a Brewers uniform. Imagine him getting hurt in his first appearance in said uniform. It's a real possibility, which would make any such deal one of the worst trades in baseball history that didn't involve Richie Sexson.

3) The Brewers wouldn't be able to sign Sabathia long term.

If the Brewers trade for Sabathia, it wouldn't be because they want to see him pitch at Miller Park for the next 5 years. It will be because they want to make the playoffs and win the World Series. What better time to make a push at it than now? Again though, it's a high risk for a high reward.

Naturally now, the positives.

1) Think about it, it's C.C. Sabathia!!!

This guy is one of the best pitchers in the game. In his last four starts, he's gone 3-0 and posted a 1.13 ERA. Why we wouldn't be going after this guy? I really think this year's Brewers team is better equipped for a postseason run than last season's, but so are this year's Cubs team. If the Brewers are going to keep up with them, they are going to need to bring in all the quality players they can. And how good would a Sheets/Sabathia/Suppan/Parra/BushClung rotation be?

2) We'd gain back the prospects we'd lose (in terms of draft picks anyway).

When the Brewers lost Scott Linebrink this offseason, they were rewarded with the 35th and 54th picks of this year's draft. Those picks are much higher than the picks we used to get guys like Inman. Sabathia leaving, and not to mention if Sheets leaves, would net a good of picks as well. They may not replace a LaPorta or a Gamel, but it would be a good start.

3) .... High Reward.

The Scott Linebrink was looked at a way for the Brewers to make the 2007 postseason. A C.C. Sabathia trade could be the ticket for a 2008 World Series run. If the Brewers have to make a few sacrifices in order to get their first World Series title, I'd say that's a pretty acceptable trade-off.

Let me re-iterate though, the Indians are not going to just give Sabathia away. The Brewers are going to have to pay a heavy price to get him, and it's going to have to come from the farm system. There is also speculation Milwaukee could settle for a guy Like Greg Maddux or Randy Wolf, but I think that would just be playing it safe. I say we go after the big prize. I say we get Sabathia.

But then again, I've always been a gambling man.

Parra Leads Brewers to Another Victory

I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes, but the Brewers somehow scored 5 runs without the benefit of the long ball. Aided by RBI's from Braun, Hart, Kendall, and even two from Bill Hall, the Brewers were able to take game two from the Twins 5-1. The Brewers are also sort of following a trend lately in their victories. They score the runs early, and then leave it up to the pitching staff to take care of the rest.

Manny Parra answered the call, with another brilliant game. I was down on Manny earlier in the year, I've always thought he's been the benefactor of too much hype. I keep hearing people (specifically, Bill Schroeder of FSN Wisconsin) tell me how great Parra is going to be, and how he has future ace potential. I heard the same thing for years about Ben Hendrickson, so you can understand my hesitation. Yet, Parra has been hitting his stride as of late, and went seven innings, giving up just two hits.

The rubber match is going on as we type, so we're going to get back to that now.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Manny Parra

(AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

You Can't Not Like Aaron Rodgers

I hadn't seen this interview until I saw it on the Daily Drink at the SportsBubbler, but if you have seven minutes, it's worth your time. Aaron Rodgers appeared on Rome is Burning the other day, and to me there is no question he is more than capable of succeeding as the Packers' new starting quarterback. He's a down to earth guy, and tells it like it is.





Offensive Battle Goes to Twins

Before Friday's Brewers/Twins game, there was a point I actually compared Seth McClung to what Yovani Gallardo was supposed to be. I compared a journeyman converted reliever into one of the best prospects the Brewers have had in years. I love Seth McClung as much as the next guy, but I was wrong on this one.

Rough outing for Big Red yesterday, going just 4 2/3 innings, giving up 9 hits and 5 runs. It will take a lot more of these kinds of outings before his spot in the rotation is questioned, or before he's the odd man out if the Brewers make a deal, but I was getting used to McClung pitching like a No. 2 starter for a while there.

However, when he left the game, the Brewers actually had a 6-5 lead. The Brewers were again the benefactors of the long ball, getting shots from Hardy, Branyan, and two from Corey Hart. It wasn't enough to pull it out however, as a Joe Mauer home run off Guillermo Mota won the game for the Twins.

Game Two tonight at 6pm.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Corey Hart

(AP Photo/ Tom Olmscheid)

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Future of Brian Butch

Coming from the Fox Valley Association of the WIAA, we can't say we were the biggest Brian Butch fans. However, we have to admit we came around on him after his success with the Badgers (well, at least I did). I would have been shocked to see him get drafted, but he does have some options. According to Mark Stewart at JSOnline, Butch will be in Boston next week to participate in the Celtics minicamp. He'll visit the Hawks mini-camp next week, and then play with the Hawks in the Utah summer league. If neither team works out, he may be headed to Europe.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

NBA Draft LIVE BLOG!!!

Weeks Gets Player of the Game Honors

We've already added it to the standings, and this is just the formal announcement. Weeks was the only Brewer with more than one hit in their 4-2 loss to the Braves on Wednesday, and he also had an RBI. It's his 3rd honor of the season.

Brewer recaps will resume this weekend, as they wrap up interleague play against the Twins.

We're Back, And Chicago Ate Me Alive

Historic day at The Bucky Channel yesterday, although that's not necessarily a good thing. For the first time ever, a day went by without an update. I gave the keys to Bear for the day, and he failed me. I've forgiven him, and we roll on. The reason for the slow day was my day trip to the Windy City. Besides the fact their sports fans actually enjoy when their teams lose, Chicago is one hell of a town. I'd could easily see myself living there, even though it's expensive as hell and I would have to become a FIB.

Let me share some of the details with you, if you don't mind. I make the trip to Chicago to check out a job fair, which was an absolute joke. If you're ever looking for jobs, NEVER go to anything sponsored by Diversity Job Fairs. The vendors that are there don't tell you anything except to go to their websites and apply online. What kind of bullshit is that? I could have done that from my parent's basement for Pete's sakes! Although, if I'm playing devil's advocate against myself, I should have known that the fair would likely be a joke.

I had a good day though, as I had the chance to watch the Euro game between Turkey and Germany with people that actually liked soccer. Not just that, but the people were actually from Germany and from Turkey! I've always thought the excitement of a soccer game depends on who you watch it with. If you're alone, it's boring. If you're with a ton of people, you wonder why you don't watch soccer more often. Of course though, I ended up sitting next to the one guy who just starting watching soccer last week. And he spent most of the second half making out with his girlfriend. Nothing worse than watch two uglies make out in a bar, especially when I'm trying to enjoy a 15 dollar burger.

So overall, the day was a wash. The one silver lining of the day though had to meeting my new friend, Garmin. Seriously, these little GPS things that you put in your car are incredible, and I just wish I would have figured that out sooner. The trip to FIB Land may not have gone as planned, but I'm back within the lovely borders of Wisconsin, and ready to make up for the day we missed.

Believe It, the Bucks Made a Good Trade

Was she part of the deal? GDK broke the news for us in our Spain / Russia live blog earlier today (which for a soccer post, was hardly about soccer), that Richard Jefferson will be acquired by the Milwaukee Bucks. No draft picks are involved in the deal, which sends Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons to the Nets. Clearly, the Nets are setting aside cap room for a run at LeBron in 2010 (which I believe they'll pull off). This is one of those trades you don't believe when you first hear it, and I think it was a great day.

Jefferson shores us our weakest position, bringing his 22.7 points per game average with him. Together, Yi and Bobby brought about 16 points per night. Jefferson is also a stud, while Simmons is trash and Yi is a joke. I love this deal.

The only downfall to the trade is that we get rid of the financial benefit Yi brings to the table because of his greatest skill, being Chinese. But let me tell you, I'll buy a Richard Jefferson jersey a lot faster than I would a Yi Jianlian.

In short, best trade we've made in years.

Spain vs. Russia LIVE BLOG

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Milwaukee Escapes With Victory Over Braves

I don't know who's wearing number 31 for the Brewers these days, but it certainely isn't Dave Bush. After going 7 no hit innings in his last start, Bush follows up the performance with a 4 hit, 1 run outing. I don't know who you are, Dave Bush imposter, but I'm glad to have you.

Bush was lights out in the beginning, and so was the Brewers offense, scoring 4 runs in the first four innings. Just as was the case on Monday, 4 early runs would be all the Brewers would need. The Braves did attempt a comeback, but Salomon Torres was able to hang on and pick up his 13th save of the year, as the Brewers won 4-3.

And hey, the Cubs lost too!

That's all I got for you tonight, I wasn't able to watch the game because I was driving through central Wisconsin, and as I've learned, there is no Brewers signal within 60 miles of Oxford, so that's too bad. Also, I'm resting up for a day trip to Chicago tomorrow, so Bear will take care of the recap tomorrow afternoon. We'll be back in business on Thursday, with a live blog during the Russia/Spain Euro '08 semi, to get us warmed up for our NBA Draft live blog which starts at 6pm. Also expect an article about Brewers trade possibilities sometime this weekend. Thanks again for your patience, and while we're here, we'd like to make a shoutout to our friends at the Fond du Lac YMCA!

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Dave Bush.

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

NFLN vs. ESPN.... To Be Continued....

Sad day for us here at The Bucky Channel. Many of you are probably familiar with our ongoing NFLN vs. ESPN contest, where we turn on each channel to decide which program I'd rather watch, thus deciding which channel is better (the current score is NFLN 5, ESPN 4, and you can see all previous editions of the game here). While wildly popular, it appears the game needs to take a haitus.

Your hardworking founder of The Bucky Channel, me, has had to cancel his subscription to the DISH Network, which means no more NFL Network. It also means no cable in general, now that I think about it. This is the case because I'm in the middle of the moving process (and could be for awhile, but I'll spare you the details).

Even though I'm moving, you won't see a difference here at The Bucky Channel, except for the lack of the NFLN vs. ESPN game. However, by the time we're settled down somewhere, the game may cease to exist, as the networks talk of a merger!

To be continued....

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sheeter 4-Hits Braves

Coming into this season, I prepared myself for the final year of Ben Sheets in a Brewers uniform, thinking there was no way we'd be able to afford him next year. Now, as I look into the future of this franchise, I don't think we can afford not to keep. Simply put, he's our ace, and I've never seen him pitch more dominantly. Monday night he did it again, giving up four hits in his third complete game of the season as the Brewers beat Atlanta 4-1.

The Brewers were looking for some rest out of their bullpen, and tonight Sheets allowed that to happen. In fact, no relievers even threw a pitch of warm-ups, Sheets was that in control. Pretty impressive outing from the guy who could be the NL's All-Star starter.

Not much offense was needed from the Brewers bats, but they delivered just the same. Mike Cameron hit his 12th home run of the season to put the Brewers up 2-0 in the 2nd. The next inning the Brewers got another two runs off of consecutive doubles from Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy, and Ryan Braun.

If you're looking to get off a good start on a 3 series road trip, this is a pretty good way to do it.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Ben Sheets

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

I Think Shaq Could Take Down B-Rabbit

If you ever wondering what would happen if Shaq was given the chance to freestyle less than a week after Kobe Bryant and the Lakers lost in the NBA Finals... wonder no more.



Thanks to Awful Announcing for the video, and thanks to TMZ for digging up this little piece of video gold. To top it all off, Sportscenter ran this entire thing tonight! Finally, the 5pm Sportscenter proves to be worth watching.

Remembering George Carlin

We just got the news that George Carlin, 71, died Sunday evening of a heart failure. The edgy comic is probably most well-known for his "7 Dirty Words You Can't Say on Television" bit, but nearly everything this guy did was hilarious. He's an inspiration to all comics out there, and he will be missed.

Here's one of our favorite Carlin routines, "Baseball and Football".

Sunday, June 22, 2008

How About Some Soccer News?

Let's spin around the globe for some soccer updates, shall we? I'll try to make this quick and painless for all you soccer haters out there. First, the last Quarterfinal game of Euro 2008 was played today, and what a game it was. After 120 minutes, Spain and Italy couldn't separate themselves, so the game went to a shootout, Spain won on PK's, and advanced to the Semis.
So the semifinals look like this:

Wed June 26th, 1:45pm CT - Germany vs. Turkey (ESPN)

Thur June 27th, 1:45pm CT - Russia vs. Spain (ESPN2)

We're already live blogging for the NBA Draft, I'm thinking about live blogging the Russia/Spain match, as well as the Finals on Sunday. I have the day off, so why not, right?

Also, closer to home, the U.S. men's team beat Barbados today 1-0 in Barbados. Not a thrilling performance, but they win the home and home series by a score of 9-0. That means the USA will now advance to the group play stage of World Cup Qualifying. Play starts sometime in August, and the U.S. needs to finish in the top two in the group featuring them, Guatemala, Cuba, and Trinidad & Tobago.

And on a sad note, some punks in Brazil robbed Pele!

Crew Take Care of Orioles

In the last month, the Brewers have compiled a record of 20-10. They've picked up a few games on the Cubs, and are the near leaders in the Wild Card race. Even though they've been plenty of games, and series for that matter, in which they fall behind early, the Brewers have been able to roll to a 20-10 record via the comback. Today was no exception.

It wasn't the best outing for Manny Parra today, struggling a bit early and giving up two runs in the first inning. He would eventually make it through the 5th, giving up three runs on the day. But if there are two things the Brewers are good at, it's comebacks and home runs. A Corey Hart 2 run shot in the 2nd. A Bill Hall homer in the 5th. Those two swings of the bat were enough to give the Brewers the 3-3 tie, and from there they never trailed again.

DeFelice, Riske, Mota, and Torres were able to keep the Orioles at bay for the rest of the game, while Torres picked up his 12th save of the year in the process. With the help of their bullpen, the Brewers went on to win this one 7-3, thanks to a J.J. Hardy RBI single in the 5th, and two home runs from Prince Fielder in the later innings.

At 21-10 in their last 31, the Brewers are putting together a run similiar to how they started the 2007 season. Here's to hoping they can keep that momentum going until the All-Star break, and then avoid the annual Ned Yost 2nd Half Collapse.

The Brewers now travel to Atlanta for a three game set, as it's their turn to play in the non-interleague series during the interleague play season.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Prince Fielder

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Brewers Lead Sabathia Sweepstakes?

Even though the starting pitching as been throwing well as of late (minus Jeff Suppan's rough outing), the Brewers are still in the market for another starting pitcher. Funny how in Spring Training we couldn't have enough pitching, and now we're looking for help. Guess that's baseball. If the Brewers do trade for a pitcher, I'm expected a Randy Wolf or Greg Maddux type. However, we may be not only in the market for a the biggest prize, C.C. Sabathia, but we might also be the frontrunners for his services (as long as the Indians are sellers, of course).

Buster Olney laid out some potential suitors for C.C. in his Saturday morning post, and if it were a horse race, the favorites would look like this:

1. Milwaukee Brewers
2. Chicago Cubs
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Texas Rangers
5. Boston Red Sox

I don't what exactly we'd give up, but I've read we're more likely to give up guys like Escobar and Jeffress, while trying to hang onto Matt LaPorta and Mat Gamel. As for the trade, I'll believe when I see it, but I would be first in line for a Sabathia jersey t-shirt, I'll tell you that much.

(And if there's any worries about how he'd fare in the National League, he beat the Dodgers tonight, helping his cause with a home run.)

I Thought This Was Worth Sharing


You gotta admit, it's kind of catchy.

(h/t Awful Announcing)

Big Red, Brew Crew, Continue to Roll

You can't not be impressed with the month Seth McClung has had since he's joined the Brewers starting rotation. He's still working up that pitch count of his, but tonight when a season high 6 2/3 innings. In that stretch, he gave up two runs, earned 6 K's, and picked up the win as the Brewers edged the Orioles 3-2.

It was a nice bounceback for the Brewers after losing a tough one to Baltimore on Friday night. A Prince Fielder RBI got the game started in the first, and Corey Hart followed with a 2 run shot in the 3rd. That would be all the Brewers would need on offense, as they won another nailbiter, and Salomon Torres picked up his 11th save of the season.

Couple of other notes from this one: Not sure what happened to Brian Shouse in the 8th inning, as he went from wind-up to the splits while getting the strikeout to end the inning. He limped off the field, but seems to be ok. I'd imagine he gets the day off tomorrow.... Rickie Weeks is back on the 25 man roster after being activated from the DL. Hernan Iribarren was sent back to Nashville to make room for Weeks. I don't know about you, but I was starting to get used to the idea of Craig Counsell as our everyday second basemen... Gabe Kapler started again in center for Mike Cameron, going 2 for 3.

Rubber match Sunday, 1:05pm.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Seth McClung

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Taylor Not Interested in Packers

The hot Jason Taylor-to-Packers rumor we discussed earlier this week seems to be losing it's buzz. Sure, Jason Taylor would like to be traded, but he's looking big-time. Give him the Cowboys, Patriots, Eagles, Jaguars, Chargers, or nearly every other team in the league. But the Packers? He's not interested.

“I don’t see it happening,” a source close to Taylor said Friday.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also reports that Green Bay might just be too small of a market for Taylor. “He’s been through that quarterback thing before,” the source said. “He doesn’t want to go through it again. Maybe if Favre was still there, but even that wouldn’t be a given.”

So Jason Taylor doesn't want to play for the Packers? If that's the case, let's leave it at that. Sure, he'd upgrade an already strong position for the Packers, but I don't want to trade for someone who doesn't want to be there. The Packers have a group of guys who love playing with each other, and love playing in Green Bay, so let's not ruin that by trading for someone who will think they are bigger than the team.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Brewers Comeback Efforts Not Enough

(First off, we try to keep this site PG-13, but this picture is dangerously close to crossing that line. Don't blame us, blame Morry Gash.)

When I watched the Cubs come back against the White Sox and then win with an Aramis Ramirez walk-off home-run, I knew today was not going to be a good day. That karma continued into the first inning of the Brewers/Orioles game tonight, as Baltimore jumped out to an early 4-0 lead against Jeff Suppan. Things were not looking good.

However, the Brewers still had nine innings in them, and they weren't about to go down easy. J.J. Hardy responded with a 2 run blast in the bottom half of the first. Baltimore answered with another two runs, but then Milwaukee came back with three in the next two innings. After a first inning that looked like a blowout was about to ensue, the Brewers were now within just one run.

It would be up to the bullpen to keep the Brewers in this game, as Jeff Suppan was only able to go 1 2/3 innings, giving up six runs. Just before the game I was thinking about re-adding him to my fantasy squad, as he's been pitching well of late. Then, almost like clockwork, Jeff Suppan shows his true colors and gives us this kind of performance. I should say, I do think Suppan is a good pitcher, and he's been throwing well this year. I'm not quite sure he earns the $10 million per year salary, but he was a good free agent pick up last year. But you have to realize, every third or fourth game Suppan will implode like this, and I guess that's just part of the territory.

Mark DeFelice (2 1/3 innings), Carlos Villanueva (4 innings), and Mitch Stetter (1 inning) only gave up 2 runs, and kept the Brewers close as their offense struggled late in the ballgame. By the time it was the bottom of the 9th, the Brewers were down 3 runs, 8-5, and George Sherrill was about to take the mound.

Then Ryan Braun somehow kept one fair along the foul line for an infield hit. Then Prince Fielder walked. Corey Hart walked soon after. With no outs, the Brewers were in business.

Enter Bill Hall.

It's been a troubling season for the guy, who has found himself starting twice a week now, if that. He came in for Branyan in a big spot, and he could be the hero with a grand slam to win the game. Honestly, any sort of hit, or even a sac fly, would have been enough for me. Hall, like he always does, thought longball, and struck out. One out.

The Brewers were still in position for a comeback....... but then Gabe Kapler hit into an anti-climatic double play, and that was your ballgame. Nice to see the Brewers mount a comeback, and never quit in this one, but we're already at the point in the season where we can not afford to lose on days the Cubs win.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Carlos Villanueva. He went four innings, kept the Crew in the game.

Rotating Door Continues in Brewers Bullpen

Remember when Mitch Stetter was sent down, and many of us were like, "Um, why?" Well he's back up in the bigs, giving the Brewers a second lefty out of the pen. Tim Dillard was the one sent down because of the call-up. We liked Dillard, and he had been pitching well for most of the season (minus the small implosion on Thursday). But Stetter is back in the 'pen, which will change yet again once Gagne is ready to return. He may just have to make an appearance tonight, because as I'm writing this, Jeff Suppan is getting yanked in the 2nd(!) inning.

Two other notes - Weeks is likely to come back from the DL on Sunday, I'd be surprised if anyone else besides Iribarren was sent down. Also, Mike Cameron has hyper-extended his toe, and will miss the rest of the series (not season, like Trenni said).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Could ESPN Be Any More Obvious?

Nearly every one of their anaylsts pick the Cubs to win the World Series this year. Cubs highlights are one of the first games showed on Baseball Tonight and Sportscenter night after night. And they are really playing up this 100 years since a title thing. Well, just went you thought ESPN's hard-on for the Cubs couldn't get any bigger, this appears on the front page of ESPN.com.


What the hell is this? Are you telling me the biggest story in sports on June 20th, 2008 is why to jump on the bandwagon of the Chicago Cubs? A Wojciechowski article, a Uni Watch write-up, and article on how to be a Cubs fan, and highlights from their game, even though they just got swept? That's another thing, the Cubs just got swept! By the Rays! Instead of putting a cover story on how the Rays are playing better than ever before, they try to cover up the sweep by telling us how great being a Cubs fan is. A little propaganda going on here, if you ask me.

Man, I hate the Cubs.

Those Last Six Outs Were Tough to Get

So, which one of you out there jinxed the no-hitter today? No matter who it was, Dave Bush's quest to a no-no wasn't meant to be today. It was still a valiant effort from a guy who was sent to the minors a little over a month ago, and who has since then solidified himself in the Brewers starting rotation. (Note: I could of thought of a better headline for this article, but "From No-No to Uh-Oh was already taken. By like everyone.)

Bush took the no-hitter into the 8th inning, where he was just six batters away from the Brewers first such occurance since Juan Nieves in 1987. Ultimately, it would be one of the men he was traded for, Lyle Overbay, that would eventually break up the no hitter. Great effort by Braun in left to try to preserve it with a diving catch, although he was just short. Also, if Overbay ever makes it back to Miller Park again, do we still cheer him, or breaking up the no-hitter too much to forgive him for?

At this point, the Brewers had an 8-0 lead, so nobody was really too concerned. I've noticed though that when no-hitters are broken, the game either goes one of two ways. Either the pitcher and his staff regroup, and limit the opposition to either one or two hits, or the opposing team uses that momentum to keep the hits coming. Today, we saw the latter.

First, I want to mention how the Brewres got to those 8 runs. The scoring was highlighted by a Russell Branyan 3 run shot in the 3rd inning, as he's up to 10 already in his short season. The Brewers hit another home run in the 5th, although this one never left the park. Prince Fielder hit yet another inside the parker, as the ball got stuck under the padding in right field. Alex Rios thought it would be ruled a double, and backed off. Prince just kept on running (from the law?) and it was ruled as a home run. It was a good effort from the Brewers offensively, once again.

But would it be enough? The Blue Jays came storming back with home runs from Lyle Overbay and a grand-slam from Joe Inglett, which put the Blue Jays to within one. Bush gave up the first run, Dillard the next two, and Riske gave up the grand slam. It should be noted that Riske was activated Thursday after the Brewers DFA'd Julian Tavarez. Perhaps he'll clear waivers. Gagne is apparently ready to return soon, by the way, but it appears like Torres will continue to close. Which is fine with me, as he picked up another save today.

The Brewers gave us a little bit of everything today, which is fine with me as long as they got the win. The Cubs lost as again, so the team is now just 5 1/2 back, and just 2 out of the Wild Card.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Dave Bush (first time this season!)

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Taylor to Packers Rumor Gaining Steam

This is becoming somewhat of an annual tradition for the Packers organization. It's the yearly off-season rumor that Green Bay is close to acquiring or signing a big name NFL star. A few years ago, there was speculation about Warren Sapp. We all know the drama that surrounded the Randy Moss courtship. But this year, the rumors focus around Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor. We're also going to get the obligatory Dancing With the Stars reference out of the way right now, so we can focus on the rumors.

Those rumors are that the Packers have contacted the Dolphins about Jason Taylor. The Dolphins aren't saying much, but the Packers defensive coordinator Bob Sanders, as well as their defensive tackles coach Robert Nunn, are speaking highly of Taylor. Reportedly, the Packers would like Taylor to commit to more than just his desired one season, and wouldn't want to give up a first-round pick to do so.

The defensive line is one of the stronger units on the Packers team, and we'd welcome this addition. Aaron Kampman and Cullen Jenkins are the assumed starters at defensive end, but surely Taylor would be thrown right into the mix. He could also fill a potential void left by Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, whose knee problem could be worse than originally thought.

I don't imagine this trade ever happening, but I certainly would welcome it.

Redd, White, and Blue (Man, How Many Times Has That Been Used? Sorry About That.)

Many Bucks fans want to see Michael Redd in a different jersey next year, and that's something I could see going either way. One jersey he will be wearing, however, is that of USA Basketball. Redd, along with Tayshaun Prince, Chris Paul, and Dwayne Wade, were the first four players named to the latest version of the Dream Team. They'll be joining by eight other guys, with that announcement coming Monday.

Redd has had experience with the team before, turning in an impressive performance at the FIBA Americas tournament in Vegas last summer. I've been a critic of Redd's play on the Bucks this season, mainly because I dont think he's best suited when he's supposed to be the leader of a team. But in a role-player position where he can be the sharp-shooter beyond the arc? You won't find too many people better in the game.

I may not want him to be in a Bucks uniform, but I'm more than happy to have him representing our country.

If that makes any sense.

Your NL All-Star Update

You have to admit, the Get Out the Vote campaign the Brewers have been running has been pretty effective so far. They seem to be doing a good job of campaigning at Miller Park, and it's also nice that Brian and Bill devote half of their FSN broadcast telling us to vote. So far, it's seems to be working.

* Prince Fielder is 4th for NL First Basemen, with Lance Berkman as the current leader.

* Rickie Weeks is 5th out of the guys playing 2nd, but there's no way he'll catch current leader Chase Utley. I'd be more upset, if he actually deserved it.

* Chipper Jones is the obvious choice for the NL at 3rd, but Bill Hall is 4th in voting? I say we start using the write-in vote for Russell Branyan.

* Jason Kendall is 4th in at the catcher position, well behind Geovanny Soto.

* Soriano, Fukudome, and Griffey Jr. lead the NL in the outfield. However, Soriano's injury would open his spot up to the 4th place guy, currently Ryan Braun. Let's see if we can get him into the top 3 outright. Also, Corey Hart is 14th in the outfield.

Not much time left to vote, so let's get after it. The complete NL list of leaders, as well as a link to vote online, can be found on MLB.com.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Brewers Slip Past Toronto

The Crew continued to play well as they beat the Blue Jays 5-4. This was a great game to watch with back and forth offense and just enough good pitching to make it an overall gem.

Russell the Muscle once again flexed his power swing, this now gives him 9 homeruns in 59 at-bats. That is incredible. Mike Cameron continues to be hit or miss, he slammed a big solo shot(11) in the 6th and also had a stolen base(5) but struck out twice.

I realize some fans are discouraged by Cameron's low average and plethora of strike outs that reminds everyone of Jose Hernandez, but 11 homers and 5 sb's in 40 games is a pretty solid contribution. Throw in his usually stellar defense, and you have a big contributor. These current numbers project to 44 Homers and 20 SB's over 162 games. That is huge, reguardless of his K numbers.

Ben Sheets picked up the win, where he wasn't sparkling but got it done. He is now 8-1 on the year with a 2.75 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 77 K's over 95.1 innings. He has all but locked up an all-star bid with a minute outside shot at a possible start.

Solomon Torres also shined as he pitched 1 and a third innings to pick up the save. I feel completely confident with Torres on the mound, something I haven't felt in the late innings since early last season with CoCo.

The Crew will try for the sweep tomorrow at 1:05 pm. Bush will go up against A.J. Burnett(a man who could be an NL Central pitcher by the trade deadline).

Box Score

TBC's Player of the Game: It's gotta be Mike Cameron. Clutch baserunning, a solo homer, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI's.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Boston Fans Lost Any Right to Complain Last Night

Let's, for a moment, imagine this scenario. Let's say that instead of choking at home in the NFC Championship, the Packers actually beat the Giants and then went on to Super Bowl 42 against the heavily favored New England Patriots. That'd be pretty awesome, right? The Brewers would still be competitive, but the Bucks would still blow, of course.

But then let's say that next year, the Packers have to miss the playoffs. It sucks, but we'll feel a lot better when they win the Super Bowl the following TWO seasons. By the time the Packers won their third Super Bowl in four years, keep in the mind that the Brewers would also have won a World Series. Not only that, but to get there they would beat the Cubs in the NLCS after trailing to them 3 games to 0. And I almost forgot, the Badgers men's basketball team would start that same season 20-0.

Two years would come and go without any titles, but then the Brewers would win yet another World Series, sweeping some upstart team from the American League. The Packers would go 18-0, but then lose the Super Bowl. As much as that would suck, we'd be comforted just four months later as the Bucks would regain their position as the NBA's elite.

Could you even imagine that scenario in which we'd be blessed with 6 major titles in 8 years? That's precisely what Boston fans are going through right now, after the Celtics dominating Game 6 performance to knock off the Lakers 4 games to 2. I mean, what you would give to know that in the next 8 years, the Packers would win 3 Super Bowls, the Brewers 2 World Series, and the Bucks 1 NBA Title. Your car? Your life savings? Your first-born? You'd have to consider it, at the very least.

However, in that span we'd become the most hated group of fans in America, and would have to put up with biweekly columns about Wisconsin from ESPN.com's most admired writer (me?). Actually, I'd welcome that scenario as well.

Four thoughts from the Finals last night:

* I love the raw emotion from Kevin Garnett, both in the on court interview, and in the press conference. I can't imagine a situation in where I'll ever feel that much joy that I be compelled to scream "ANYTHING'S POSSIBLE!" at the top of my lungs. I'd love to know that moment.

* Ray Allen. Gotta feel good for the guy. Out of the teams, general managers, and players invovled in the deal that sent him from the Bucks to the Sonics, he's the only one that really found any success afterwards.

* Also, Paul Pierce. Anytime a guy goes through hell with a team, and then is able to bring them a title, that's special.

* Brian Scalabrine.


(h/t Awful Announcing)

Enjoy this Boston. And may we never hear from you again.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Home Runs Give Parra the Victory

No question about it, the Brewers rely on the long ball. They've been dependent on the home run for a few years now, and tonight's game (I had originally wrote "gaetme". Add that to the list why bloggers aren't credible!) was a prime example of that. Sometimes, when the team struggles to find hits and has to resort to such tactics such as having Corey Hart bunt, it can be pretty frustrating. But when the Brewers smash five home runs, leaving not a single man on base, en route to a 7-0 victory against the Blue Jays? Things become a little less frustrating.

Fielder in the 2nd, Counsell in the 3rd, Branyan in the 4th, and then a pair from Braun in the 6th and the 8th was more than enough for the Brewers tonight. It was great run support for Manny Parra, who struck out five batters and only allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings. He was backed up from Mark DeFelice, who went two scoreless as well. You have to admit, Parra has been looking really good of late. The pitching staff has stepped up, and I'm less inclined to believe we make a trade for a Maddux/Burnett type. As I've said before, we're not moving either Sheets or Suppan, McClung has been delivering, Parra has been dealing, and even Dave Bush is holding up his end of the bargain. I still wouldn't be surprised by a move, but I also wouldn't be surprised if we didn't see one.

This was a very impressive win for the Brewers, who are coming off a disappointing series against the Twins. It was also nice to welcome back Lyle Overbay and Kevin Mench, and Miller Park responded kindly. It was sure nice to see those giant "O" cut-outs again.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: The home-runs were impressive, especially the two from Braun, but we're giving it to Parra for allowing just four hits and no runs.

(AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

The Lemmy Channel

You know the drill by now. Here at The Bucky Channel, we love sports. But we also love gambling. That's why we were so excited to team up with our new friends at Stock Lemon, a site about, you guessed it, gambling on sports! (and yes, I cut and paste that from last week!)

Speaking of cut and paste, here's what they have to say: "We told the fine folks here at The Bucky Channel to hold off on this week's episode until today. Why? Because the Brewers just happen to be our Free MLB Pick in an interleague match-up against the Toronto Blue Jays (ML -122).

We think the Brewers are the superior team overall and that Manny Parra's been pitching better lately than his season numbers would indicate. There's just too much value here for us to pass up.

We might have been a day late, but we certainly won't be a dollar short after this game."

I've Never Liked the Blue Jays

It seems like a lifetime ago when the Brewers played in the American League, and sometimes I have to convince myself that they actually did. There were different teams, different matchups, different rivalries. If last week I told you it wasn't the Twins that I hated, then which team was it? Judging by the title of this posting and the picture included, you'd be correct if you answered the Toronto Blue Jays.

I was only 8 years old during the playoff run in 1992, in a time before the wild card and three division winners. If the Brewers were going to make the playoffs, they had to outright win the AL East. They finished 92-70 that year, but were four games back of those unreachable Toronto Blue Jays, which broke my little heart. The Blue Jays went on to win the World Series.

I was so upset, I can honestly remember that as the first time I ever truly experienced hatred towards a given thing. As new as those feelings were, they were strong. I hated Toronto. The feeling only got worse when the next year Paul Molitor, my second favorite Brewer (Robin Yount was #1), crossed the border to play for the Blue Jays. That was also the first time I recall understanding that while fans have loyalty to a given team, players usually do not. It's just not the nature of the business.

The 1993 Blue Jays were even better than the '92 version, once again winning the World Series. The Brewers that year, by the way, went 69-93 to finish last in the AL East. I still remember the 1993 All-Star game, which was hosted in Toronto, and I swear half that team was made of up Blue Jays. Including my old friend Paul Molitor. The heart, now nine-years old, was broken again.

It's been 15 years since I've harbored those feelings against the Blue Jays, and now they have a squad with a completely different roster, unrecognizable from the teams that came before them. As for Paul Molitor, his number hangs on the rafters at Miller Park, and he has been forgiven. But as the Blue Jays come into town, I think of the younger version of myself, and how the 1992 and 1993 seasons molded me as a sports fan. I certainly don't hate Toronto anymore, as nothing heals wounds better than time (and a league switch, and lack of relevance for that matter). But, for the next three days, I am going to hate the Blue Jays with everything I have, and hope for some sort of payback against them.

I owe that to my 8 year old self.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Batting Stance Guy Does the Brewers

Ever since I stumbled upon this guy's impressions of the batting stances of the Boston Red Sox, I've been wondering if he would ever come out with a Brewers edition. Perhaps you've seen this already, but I never have. Without further ado, Batting Stance Guy does the Milwaukee Brewers:



Find out more about Batting Stance Guy.

Javon Walker Got Jacked Up

Javon Walker has had a topsy-turvy life over the last couple of years, which seems to just get more out of hand since he left Green Bay. I was just as mad at Walker as everyone else when he wanted to bolt town, but I can't say I'm getting any satisfaction over some of his recent struggles.

One of Oakland's newest Raiders was found unconscious in Las Vegas, and it was later reported he was robbed. According to FOX5 in Vegas, Walker was found with major injuries, including a busted eye socket. He's listed today as being in fair condition.

Hank Might Have a Point About The Whole DH Thing

Bad break for the Yankees in an already disappointing season. Just when the Bronx Bombers were starting to turn it around, they get word their ace, Chien-Ming Wang, will be out until September with a foot injury. Wang hurt his foot Sunday while running the bases in the Yankees 13-0 rout against the Astros.

The injury prompted some interesting comments from the new man in charge of the Yankees, Hank Steinbrenner. "My only message is simple. The National League needs to join the 21st century. They need to grow up and join the 21st century.... I've got my pitchers running the bases, and one of them gets hurt. He's going to be out. I don't like that, and it's about time they address it. That was a rule from the 1800s."

Sure, the man is frustrated. ESPN's Buster Olney says it's like complaining about the weather, in that it is what it is and the rule isn't going to get changed. Hank's probably not in the right for blaming the league for his pitchers injury, but the bigger issue here might be why the leagues are different in the first place.

I see reasons for both circumstances. The designated hitter allows the pitchers not to have to worry about working at the plate, and allows for more offense. Yet, having the pitcher bat creates more strategy, which I tend to prefer. I'm a box score nerd, that's why I post them after every Brewers game, and I love to look at the NL Box Scores much more than I do of the AL variety.

Hank is probably overreacted in blaming the National League for his pitchers injury. But he is right in one regard, whether they go ahead with the DH or no DH, both leagues should have some uniformity to them. It used to be cute, having the different leagues abide by different rules, and I know traditionalists love it. But we're in the era of interleague play, where these teams meet each other throughout the year.

Think about it, what if the AFC had a 2 pt conversion and the NFC didn't? What if the Eastern Conference of the NBA didn't have a shot clock? What if the Western Conference in the NHL didn't have the red line? Don't give me the "well, that's not the same argument" either, but it is EXACTLY the same. Having the DH or not having the DH is a major difference. It changes the way the game is managed, the way the game is played, the way the rosters are set, the way you attract free agents to your team. It's a huge difference, and I'm not surprised there isn't more debate about it.

So have the DH, don't have the DH. I don't care. Whatever they decide, both leagues need to have the same set of rules.

No Fred Slacks Fantasy Stats This Week

I anticipate Bear's weekly column as much of the next guy, but we'll have to wait another week for the NL West edition. As you probably know, Wisconsin was hammered with floods this weekend, Bear being no exception. But if you're desperate for some reading, you can always revisit his previous columns which can be found on the right of this page!

Don't You, Forget About Me(diate)

We never remember the losers. The second place finishes. The runners-up. Part of winning a championship is your place in the history book, left to forever be remembered for your success. As Tiger Woods went on to win his 14th major with his U.S. Open title today, he continued to fill that history book with record of his name. It's a book which after today, still does not include one Rocco Mediate.

Like many, I had never heard of this guy prior to the weekend. To me, he was just another one of those guys that strike lightning in a bottle at a major, only eventually to fade to one of the bigger names. But there was something different about this peace-buckle wearing all around good sport Rocco Mediate. Something that had me rooting between him and Tiger Woods.

He came up short today, after 91 holes he'll never forget. And because of that I say we should not forget Rocco, for going toe to toe with the world's greatest golfer, only to fall one stroke behind. Just this once, let's remember more than just the champion.

Rembering Tim Russert

I mentioned that Sunday was a great day of watching sports for me, with the US Open, a US World Cup Qualifier, the NBA Finals, Euro '08, and the Brewers game. But even with a steady stream of great sports to watch from 1pm til midnight, I found myself flipping back to MSNBC to watch old episodes of Tim Russert hosting Meet the Press.

Maybe his death hasn't resonated with you as much as it has me, but he really was a favorite of mine. However, it's only after his death I'm learning what a great man he was. He was a hard worker, a dedicated family man, and was passionate about his job and his career, all things I aspire to be.

If you don't mind, I'd like to post two more videos in remembrance of him. The first one is sort of comical, as it's some sort of promotional ad for Boston College hoops. It features Russert, his son, and even a cameo from Jared Dudley.



The second one is the interview his son, Luke, did with Matt Lauer on the today show.



If we learn anything from this, let's be reminded how short life can be, and that we shouldn't wait until someone's death until we realize how much they mean to us.

Thanks for allowing this brief interruption.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I'm Torn on this One

That was some finish to Round 4 of the U.S. Open, as Tiger Woods nailed that final 10 footer to force a playoff between him and Rocco Mediate on Monday. Now, I also root for Tiger in these things, I love seeing the guy win. I'm a big fan of success, and dominance, I'm always up for a good dynasty. But I am really starting to like this Rocco guy.

There's nothing wrong with rooting for the underdog, and I'm really hooked on Rocco's story. I love that there is this guy that has been playing golf all his life, winning a few tournaments but never really sniffing a title in a major. All of a sudden, this father of three on Fathers Day finds himself leading the U.S. Open, trying to hold back none other than the greatest golfer in the world. I have no idea what to expect tomorrow, and I have no idea who to root for.

I'd take either of them over Lee Westwood though. Sorry Lee.

(On a side note, what a great sports day this has been for me. It started out with a Brewers victory over the Twins, mixed in with some Euro '08 including Turkey's comeback. Next up was the U.S. World Cup Qualifier, where they killed Barbados 8-0. Then you have the exciting finish of Round 4 in the U.S. Open. And now Game Five of the NBA Finals! What a day.)

Brewers Bounce Back Against Twins

I'm a little calmer than I was yesterday, thanks to the Brewers managing to pull out the 4-2 victory today against the Twins. It's just the first interleague victory of the year for Milwaukee, who will now face the Blue Jays and Orioles at Miller Park this week.

The Crew got another strong performance out of Seth McClung, who has been impressive in his time as a starter. You have to think he's the third best guy in that rotation right now, ahead of Parra and Bush. He went six innings today, giving up 2 runs on just 4 hits. He struck out 4 as well, and showed his stuff at the plate with a double into the gap. I'm loving everything about Big Red right now.

However, the Crew weren't giving McClung much support early in the game. That changed when, in the 6th inning, Mike Cameron hit the 2-run home run he told his kids he would hit. Many of the player's families were in town for Father's Day, and Cameron before the game talked about how he wanted to hit a home run for his kids, because they like to see Bernie come down the slide. He did just that, and put the Brewers into the lead 3-2.

The Brewers added another run from there, and then we got to see Guillermo Mota dominate in the 8th. In Yost's press conference on Saturday he talked about how he was playing the game to win that day, yet he rested Mota for Sunday. Contradiction aside, his move paid off today as Mota was brilliant. Still cost us the game yesterday, though.

Torres then came on in the 9th for the save, and he's pretty much locked down that closer role, whether Gagne is healthy or not. You would think.

Crew have Monday off, and then welcome in the Blue Jays (who were once my least favorite team in baseball, I'll have more on that tomorrow.)

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Mike Cameron

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

There's Still Time to Sign Up For the Barbados National Team

Are you Barbadian by birth, nationality, or descent? Let us check it out for you. Do you play football professionally? Would you like to become a member of Barbados' National Football Programme?

If so, you may be in luck, as that is the actual message the club has on the front of their homepage. Apparently, they are open to seniors, youth, and even women. All you have to do is send them at not at bdosfootball@caribsurf.com, or ronalddac@yahoo.com.

If you're interested, you better hurry up because they take on the United States National Team today at 4pm (ESPN2). It's part of a home-and-home series, so if you don't hear back by today there is always a chance to play in their next game. The loser of the two games is out of World Cup Qualifying for 2010 in South Africa, and the winner advances to group play.

The United States needs to win this game by at least 4-0 today or it will be an embarrassment.

Happy Father's Day

Just a quick note here this morning. Wanted to wish all the fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers out there a happy fathers day. There is nothing like the bond between a father and a son, and it's one I hope to someshare share from the father angle.

Sorry for the sap, I just am a really big fan of my dad.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Alright. I'm With You. It's Time to Fire Yost.

Coming into the game, the Brewers had yet to win against the American League this year. Friday night's loss to the Twins plus being swept by Boston earlier in the year put the Crew at 0-4 against the AL in 2008. Would this be the night the Crew would finally earn a victory against their former league mates?

Jeff Suppan was hoping so early in the game, as he ended up going 7 innings giving up 2 runs, for another quality start. He also had a double early in the game, and contributed to his effort by scoring a run. However, Carlos Villanueva gave up a run, and Salomon Torres would give up another (athough unearned, thanks to a misplay by Corey Hart) and the Brewers were down 4-3 come the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and the Crew down a run, Ned Yost made a great decision by pinch hitting with Russell Branyan. His decision paid off because Branyan hit the game tying homerun which actually had me jumping up and down, even though I was by my lonesome at the time. As a fan, you know there is a difference how you cheer, depending on the number of people you are surrounded by. So when you're alone screaming at the top of your lungs, you know something's going right.

The game went into extras from there, and was nearly over when Prince Fielder hit a ball that looked like it would be a homerun in the 10th. The ball did hit the yellow stripe, although never left the park, and the best Prince could do was muster up a triple. The Brewers couldn't score him, and the game went on.

Julian Tavarez came in relief for the Crew in the 11th, and he didn't look good from the start. He ended up loading the bases with 1 out, but somehow got out of the inning. When there was just one out, I told someone this, "I don't care if he gets out of it or not, Tavarez's days with the Crew are numbered." He eventually got out of it, and looked like he proved me wrong.

Guillermo Mota started to warm up in the bottom of the 11th, looking like he'd be the guy to pitch the 12th. Apparently, he was only getting warm incase the pitcher's spot came up, which it did not. So Mota sat down, didn't enter the game, and Tavarez came on for another inning.

Let me first tell you this. Tavarez is old. He shouldn't be pitching more than one inning in a game, ever. But Ned decided Julian was his best option, and kept him in. Tavarez looked awful from the start, and gave up an infield hit, and then a walk. With two runners on, I was screaming at my TV for Ned to take him out. He did not. Tavarez walked the next guy, and the bases were now loaded.

"TAKE HIM OUT NED!" I yelled to the TV.

Nope. Tavarez stayed in the game. Delmon young hit the ball back to Counsell, and Counsell threw it home for the force, and there was one out, bases loaded again. It was more of the fact that Young will swing at anything than it was Tavarez is a good pitcher.

"GET HIM OUT OF THERE NED!" I yelled again.

No such luck.

Wouldn't you know it, Tavarez gave up two runs on the next batter, and the Crew was down 6-4. Finally, Ned decided to take him out for Mark DeFelice, who then let three runs go by (thanks to a Mike Cameron error). By the time the Brewers finally got out of the inning, it was 9-4 Twins. The game was over, well before Dave Bush pinched hit for the final out.

I've been saying all year that we need to support Ned, as he is the manager for this team, and he will be the one to get us to the promised land. Well, I'm finally ready to admit that I was wrong. Ned Yost is an idiot. He's terrible. Remember when Grady Little caught all that flack for keeping Pedro Martinez in through the 8th when he should have been taken out? NED DOES THAT THREE TIMES A WEEK! Sorry for the caps, but it's true. Ned is clueless when it comes to managing his bullpen, and that is going to cost us at least 8-10 games this year, I guarantee that. This game was not about Prince's almost homerun, this was about Ned's mismanaging of Tavarez. Maybe your options were limited in the pen, Ned, but at that point you have to put in someone, anyone, other than Tavarez.

I'm going to post a Fire Ned Yost banner on this blog every day until it happens. I'm sorry to be the stereotypical Brewers blogger that hates Ned Yost because it's trendy, but it's finally time to let this guy go before he does any further damage to this team. This team is a playoff contender, we just need the right guy calling the shots.

Clearly, Ned Yost is NOT that guy.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Russell Branyan

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Dick Bavetta Might Want This One Back

I've been staying away from this "The NBA is Fixed!" mess because it's never really affected the Bucks, but mainly because I like to think whatever problem the league may have had was solved when Tim Donaghy was suspended (although I do remember a Bucks/Knicks game that had some questionable calls a few years back, keeping the Bucks out of the playoffs). However, I came across this video on Deadspin today (via The World of Issac), and though I'd pass it along.



It does look a little sketchy for Dick Bavetta there, especially the no timeout/5 seconds call.

Bristol to Invade Lambeau

Have you always wanted to meet your favorite ESPN personalities but could never afford the trip out to Bristol, CT? (or Disney's ESPN the Weekend, I suppose). Well, Wisconsinites, you're in luck. Anyone who has anything to do with covering football for the network will discend on Lambeau Field for Week One of the NFL Season.

Week One, of course, is the week the Packers host the Vikings to kickstart the network's coverage of Monday Night Football. It's also the night a quarterback not named Brett Favre will start for the Packers for the first time since 1992. But don't worry, he'll be there anyways, as his number is to be retired.

With such a major event, ESPN has decided to pray upon us at full force. From the Green Bay Press-Gazette:

ESPN will kick off its coverage with "NFL Live" at 12:30 p.m. "PTI" will lead the live-from-Lambeau coverage at 2:30 p.m., followed by portions of "SportsCenter Monday Kickoff" (3 p.m.) and "Monday Night Countdown" (4 p.m.) before the 6 p.m. kickoff. The network will carry segments from Lambeau at halftime of the Denver Broncos/Oakland Raiders game, which starts at 9:15 p.m., and during its 12:30 a.m. "SportsCenter."


That should be interesting.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Slowey Leads Twins Over Brewers

I spent the early innings of this game bummin' because not only was my family at the game and I was not, but I could see them the entire time, as they had 2nd row seats behind home plate. All jealously aside, I was still hoping the fam would see a good game. They would have, too, if only they were Twins fans.

This one was an absolute rout, with the Twins winning 10-2. Kevin Slowey has never swung a bat in a major league, yet at one point he had as many hits as the entire Brewers team (2). He was lights out from the mound, effective until he ran out of gas in the 7th. For the most part though, he left the Brewers clueless at the plate.

Dave Bush put the Brewers down 4-0 by the 7th inning, and that's when the game slipped away. Bill Hall made a crucial error at 2nd to start the downward spiral (to a rousing chorus of boos). The Brewers then walked Mike Lamb with two outs to load the bases and bring up the pitchers spot. Gardenhire left Slowey in for the Twins, and as soon as Brian Anderson could say "this inning will be over", Slowey hit a 3-run single. Add an Alexi Casilla two run double, and that made the game 9-2. Tim Dillard gave up 5 runs in that inning, however none of them earned.

It was a frustrating game for the Brewers, especially on Friday the 13th. I read that before today's game, the Brewers had the best record all-time on Fridays the 13th's at 22-11. Today, however, wasn't so lucky, and the Brewers need to win the next two games or they will drop the home series to the Twins for the third year in a row.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Craig Counsell's triple in the 7th sparked a mini-rally, and that edges out Branyan's two doubles that had no impact on the final score.

Counsell, we should note, will likely start throughout the weekend as J.J. Hardy recovers from a strained rotator cuff.

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Remembering Tim Russert

Outside the world of sports, there was a man I admired greatly. He was one of my favorite analysts of any realm, and was a main reason I've been following MSNBC's coverage of the primaries this year. Of course, he contributed much more than that in his life, and for that, we remember Tim Russert, 58.



Where Does Your Manager Rank?

Ned is looking right at you, fellow blog reader. He's not too happy right now. He knows that even though his team is 35-31, and playing well right now, many Brewers fans still want his head. He also knows that the rest of "SportsNation" agrees with them. According to fans who participated in ESPN.com's latest poll, where you can rank the MLB managers, Ned Comes in at #19 in the league. I rated him at 15, but I know a lot of other Brewers fans think that's even too high.

So if you need to kill 10 minutes at work today, vote for Ned, wherever you think he may rank.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Don't Call it a Rivarly

There is nothing in sports quite like a rivalry. A history of battles between two teams that make every game between them seem that much more important. Pride, integrity, and bragging rights become so much more important in each victory than where it will put you in the standings. You'll witness a number of incredible games in any given season, but every game between rivals automatically becomes a classic.

In Wisconsin, we have our fair share of rivalries. Packers/Bears. Packers/Vikings. Brewers/Cubs. Wisconsin/Big Ten. What do all these rivalries have in common? It's a bitter history between the two sides, aided by their geographical proximity. It's a key component to nearly every good rivalry. Yet, as much as the MLB you like you believe it, the upcoming Brewers/Twins series is not a rivalry.

Let me just state, for the record, that I love interleague play. I also love the fact that the MLB makes sure to match up teams in similar areas on a year to year basis. No matter what the schedule says, you will always see White Sox/Cubs, Yankees/Mets, Orioles/Nationals, Angels/Dogders, Giants/A's and so on every given year. As a fan, it's a great opportunity to see your home team play without having to travel too far.

There are many feelings of hatred between teams from Wisconsin and Minnesota, but the Brewers/Twins have never been one of them. I've made the trip to the Metrodome for this series a few years ago, and besides the typical boneheaded fans of any team, the crowd was relatively friendly. I imagine a Miller Park crowd to be the same when the Twins come to town. Unlike the other rivalries I've mentioned, I feel the Brewers and the Cubs have a greater respect for one another. We used to play in the same division, but that was a generation ago. In the time since, we've learned to appreciate the other for being a small-market team trying to compete, as our franchises aren't all that different (besides the Twins success in the World Series of course).

Think about it. We both hate a team from Chicago more than we can put into words. We've both been in the area for relatively the same amount of time (the Twins coming from the Washington Senators in the 60's, and the Brewers coming from the Seattle Pilots in 1970). The Twins lost Santana because they couldn't afford him, the Brewers are likely to do the same with Sheets. The Brewers were never close to contraction, but that's because Bud Selig was our owner. But we have both shared the wonder that is Paul Molitor.

As our teams embark on the first three of six games we'll play this year, you can bet there will be some tense times from the first pitch from the final out. But, win or lose, we'll still have respect for the fans sitting next to us. After a Brewers/Cubs game, I'm out in the parking lot looking for someone to punch in the face. After a Brewers/Twins game? You can bet we're looking for each other in the parking lot, but only to do some extra tailgating together, and perhaps share a beer.

That's why this isn't a rivarly.

Unless, of course, the Brewers lose.

Long Ball Leads Brewers over Houston

I've been trying to tell you all season why Minute Maid Park is a joke of a stadium. You can't walk away from this series and not agree with me. Blink, and you missed a home run, as the Brewers took the rubber match 9-6 as they beat the Astros in MLB's best impression of a women's softball diamond.

There were seven home runs between the two teams in Thursday's contest, four of those came off the bats of the Brewers. Cameron, Hart, Fielder, and a pinch hitting Kapler all added to their yearly totals. All but the Kapler home runs were hit in the 2nd, when the Brewers went out to a 5-1 lead.

Like Wednesday night, the Astros kept chipping away at the Brewers lead, only to see the Brewers keep pulling away. Again, no lead is ever safe at Minute Maid, the park where pop flys are 3 run homers.

The Brewers were lead by Ben Sheets off the hill, going his usual seven inning minimum, giving up three runs. Mota and Torres took the final two innings, although gave up three runs between them.

The Brewers will head back to Milwaukee, where they take on the Twins. I'll have a post on that "rivarly" a little later tonight.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Could have been a few people, but I'm going to go with Sheets for holding the Astros to 3 runs, and also striking out 9 batters.

(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Farewell, Jeff Weaver

Well, that didn't work out. The Brewers have decided to grant Jeff Weaver his release, after he had signed a minor-league contract to play for the Nashville Sounds. The Brewers had until the 15th to either bring him up the majors or let him go.

This was most likely a mutual break-up, as Weaver was struggling and the Brewers had no room for him. McClung was probably the last option before the Brewers summoned Weaver, but Big Red has been pitching well in his starting role. Bush and Parra have picked up the slack as well, and putting Villanueva into the starting linuep again was an option as well. In 9 starts, Weaver went 2-4 with a 6.22 ERA, and was roughed up again pretty badly Wednesday night.

"He hasn't really performed as well as we hoped, and he hoped. We don't really have a spot for him on our staff at the present time," Brewers GM Doug Melvin said of Weaver.

I would have liked to see Weaver stick around and maybe eat some innings, or make an impact, once the September callup season had begun, but it's easy to see why they let him go. Yet, this was a low risk / high reward situation, and while it didn't work out, I hope Melvin looks into more kind of signings like this one.

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