Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In Like a Lion, Out Like Mike Lamb

On October 29th of last year, I wrote a quick article entitled "Brewers Claim Cubs Scraps". The article was about the signing of Casey McGehee, the Cubs third basemen I only knew because of Lou Pinella's crazy lineups at the end of the year. In the article, I wrote "With Branyan a free agent, Counsell unlikely to be traded, and Hall a major disappointment, McGehee has about as good of a chance as anybody to see regular time at 3rd base for the Crew next season. By the time the season starts though I'm sure the Brewers will have figured out a better option to head into '09 with."

Even though I was half right / half wrong, I do have to admit that in the article I spelled it MeGehee, and that for some reason I tagged the article with "Willis MeGehee", a guy who I'm not sure even exists. But I was much younger in those days, so forgive me.

I was half right in that article because Casey McGehee apparently will see a good chunk of time at third base this season, as Ken Macha has informed Mike Lamb he will not be making the club out of Spring Training. Lamb will have the option of heading into free agency or taking a role in the minors, and I have no idea what he'll do. He wasn't really the impact player the Crew was looking for at the end of last season, so maybe he'll take the demotion and try to work hard to get back. Or get could sit around in free agency and collect the $3 million that the Twins still owe him this season. Either way.

McGehee makes the team to the delight of many fans who have been calling for the Brewers to keep the McGehee, Duffy, and Nelson trio instead of the Lamb, Nixon, Gwynn alternatives. Casey Mac deserved the spot by hitting .370 so far in camp, as well as smashing six home runs with 15 RBI. He can not only play third, but also a little first and second, and apparently can be serviced as an emergency catcher as well. The more you can do, the less expendable you are, and McGehee can do a lot. Although it is still undetermined which former Cub will have a bigger impact with the Crew this season, whether it be McGehee on the field or Cory Provus in the booth.

As for the other two guys we've been rooting for, it looks like Brad Nelson will be making the team, and the final position spot is going to come down to Chris Duffy and Tony Gwynn Jr. I see the Brewers calling San Diego about a trade, the Padres wanting too much, and the Brewers keeping him (for now) and sending down Duffy because Gwynn doesn't have options. We'll see though. I'm actually a bit surprised that the Brewers made the right move and kept McGehee, so you never know.

You can catch the Brewers tonight against those Padres at 9pm on either FSN Wisconsin or the MLB Network. 

(By the way, best Bucky Channel headline ever? Maybe?)

McGehee's Walk-Off Leads Crew Past Mariners

So a two-run, walk-off blast that gives you six bombs for Spring Training means you make the team, right? Or do you get screwed because you have more options remaining than some wash-up like Mike Lamb? Hopefully, Casey McGehee's dramatic win was enough to clinch him a spot on the team, but we're not going to know for a couple of days yet. Either way, he played a major role in helping the Brewers knock off Seattle 9-7.

The Crew is hot right now. Not only is McGehee playing well, but so is most everyone else. Rickie Weeks continued his hitting streak, going 3 for 4 with an RBI. Fielder hit a home run as well which was a two-run shot in the 5th inning. Hell, even Mike Lamb, who I ripped on 45 seconds ago, found a way to knock in three runs.

On the mound, it was another quality start for Manny Parra, who gave up three runs in six innings, and struck out four. Carlos Villanueva got a nice inning of work in as well, and he's about to take a bit larger of a responsibility know that Trevor Hoffman has been sent to the DL. Hoffman's stint will probably be retroactive, so he may only have to miss four days. In the meantime, Villanueva will assume the closer duties.

In other news, Craig Counsell may or may not need surgery, while a few more guys were sent back down to the minors, none of which are too surprising. At least none of them were Casey McGehee. Not yet, anyway.

Box Score. TBC Player of the Game: Casey Mac.

Ha. Better Late Than Never I Guess.

I don't really know how to approach the recaps of these final few Bucks games. I mean, they are four games back of the 8th seed with seven games to go, so I guess there is still a chance, but very few of us have a good feeling about that happening.

Yet, after a five-game losing streak in which it seemed the Bucks were dead, these guys showed some signs of life on the side of the road after all. The Bucks rolled into New Jersey and knocked off the Nets 107-78, keeping their very slim playoff hopes alive. Whether they make the playoffs or not, I'd still like to see them end things on a high note.

Richard Jefferson had 29 points and 10 boards, while Charlie Villanueva added 20 points of his own. RJ gets the honors, here's the rest of the numbers.

Monday, March 30, 2009

McNeal a 2nd Team All-American

Is Jerel McNeal one of the top ten basketball players in the country? The Associated Press seems to think so, and I can't say that I disagree. McNeal was named to the second-team All-American team by the AP, the highest honor for a Marquette baller since Dwayne Wade was named to the first team in 2003. It's a nice honor for McNeal, especially as he sets toward the NBA Draft.

Since Wade in '03, two other Golden Eagles have been named as All-Americans: Travis Diener (obligatory Fondy mention) in 2005 and Dominic James in 2007. McNeal has been in contact recently with Diener as well as Steve Novak, gaining insight on how to look for an agent and prepare for the NBA Draft.

I think we can officially let the "McNeal to Bucks?" rumors start here on The Bucky Channel, just as the "Wade to Bucks?", "Diener to Bucks?", and "Novak to Bucks?" rumors came before us, and the "James to Bucks?" and "Matthews to Bucks?" will likely follow. It would always be nice to see a Marquette alum keep playing ball at the Bradley Center, but if I know John Hammond, he would pass over McNeal for some lanky white guy that has potential that he will never live up too. Just a hunch.

Click here for the rest of the AP selections.

Buy Your Preseason Tickets Now!

The dates have yet to be finalized, but the opponents on the Packers preseason schedule have been released. Hopefully the following is enough to tide us over before the actual NFL schedule is released, but something tells me you won't be watching any of these games unless you have free tickets or the Brewers are out of contention. (Actually, the first preseason game of each year I always get really excited for, but that dies quicker than my XFL party did eight years ago.)

Without further ado, here is the sked, along with the predicted storyline for each week:

Aug. 13-17 - vs. Cleveland Browns (Midwest Shrine Game) 

After being on the fence about whether to accept a gig with Eric Mangini and the Cleveland Browns, Brett Favre agrees to mentor the quarterbacks after learning the Browns will head to Green Bay this season. Favre's sole reason for coming back will be to create another drama-filled week of Rachel Nichols following him around in GB. Seriously, we may never escape this Favre drama.

Aug. 20-24 - vs. Buffalo Bills (Bishop Charities Game)

Something Terrell Owens related, lame.

Aug. 27-31 - at Arizona Cardinals

How do the Packers match-up against the defending NFC Champions, even though I don't think too many people are going to predict the Cardinals to even make the playoffs again next season. I think the Nines win that division, personally. Also, the Packers play at Arizona during the regular season, and because of this game, I'm guessing they probably won't make the Pack travel back there until late November or December. Let's starting booking flights now, people!

Sept. 3-4 - at Tenessee Titans

The Packers and Titans face off in preseason for the 103rd consecutive straight year. Why do they keep doing this?

All the games are going to be broadcast locally, which means four games of Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon, which is fine with me. I'll let you know when the dates are finalized. Although if Favre does take a role with the Browns, and comes to Lambeau that week, you can bet your bottom dollar that some station will pick up that game. 

Who Is The Greatest Athlete Of My Lifetime?

After yet another incredible Tiger Woods victory, I was asked today who I think the greatest athlete of my lifetime might be. Immediately, I burst out this response: "Jordan, LeBron, Lance, Tiger. Not sure about the order though." Without question question, it has to be one of those four. The other guy brought up Roger Federer, but I said that Tennis didn't count, and I brought up Gretzky, but he said that hockey didn't count. We ruled out Phelps right away because he is a tool.

The easy answer here is Jordan, who was assumed to be the most clutch person in history, until Tiger came along. Tiger might lose points because he's "just a golfer", but the things he does on that course continue to prove he's not human. Lance has won seven Tour de France's after coming back from cancer, but there are still lingering questions about his alleged doping. LeBron may be too young for this debate, but he could retire tomorrow and go down as one of the best to ever play the game of basketball.

I've left a poll on the top of this page for you to chime in. Who do you think is the top athlete of the past 25 years? Should we consider someone else?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Brewers Weekend Recap

Spring Training records mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it's always better to enter the season on a high note, which is exactly what the Brewers are doing. Three games over the weekend, three victories. Let's take an abbreviated look-see, shall we?

Friday - Brewers 7, Rangers 4 

Milwaukee looked good in a primetime slot on the MLB network, thanks in part to Brad Nelson's 3-run shot in the first. Nelson, competing for a backup outfielder spot, is now hitting .392 on the spring. If he doesn't make the roster.... Also starring for the crew was Hernan Iribarren, who hit a two-run triple in the fourth inning. Dave Bush had another fine performance. 

Box. Player of the Game: I'm giving yet another to Nelson, who seriously needs to make this roster.

Saturday - Brewers 4, Athletics 2

Suddenly, this game saw Rickie Weeks continue on a six-game hitting streak, so that's nice. J.J. Hardy hit a three run shot in his return to the lineup, and Jeff Suppan pitched seven solid innings. Yes, that Jeff Suppan. The same Jeff Suppan we all love to rip on even though he's our Opening Day starter. 

Box. Player of the Game: Seriously, that Jeff Suppan.

Sunday - Brewers 1, Giants 0

Make it a seven-game hitting streak, as Rickie Weeks was the game's only run via a solo shot in the 5th. Mark DeFelice got the start and pitched pretty well, and the Brewers are 11-2-1 in their last 14 games. But records don't matter, remember.

Box. Player of the Game: Seriously, that Rickie Weeks.

And there is no reason why I used Villanueva has the picture for this posting.

U.S. Salvages a Point in El Salvador

Well, that could have been uglier. For those of you that don't know, and I'm assuming you don't, the United States men's soccer team had a World Cup Qualifying match Saturday night in El Salvador. Basically, the U.S. is in a group with six other teams from the region, and after they play each other a few times, the top three teams will go to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The United States is all but guaranteed a spot, but still, you gotta play the games.

The game the U.S. played this weekend wasn't looking good at first, as they found themselves down to El Salvador 2-0 at the 76th minute mark. This definitely would have been a shocking loss, as America is currently ranked 17th in the world. But Uncle Sam came back, getting goals from Jozy Altidore at the 77th minute mark, and another one from Frankie Hejduk at the 88th minute mark. They had a few chances in extra time, including a beautiful bicycle kick from Brian Ching, but the end result was a 2-2 tie. A good tie though, if there is such a thing.

I somehow convinced the bartender to turn this game on after the basketball games were over for the day, and surprisingly nobody complained. When Ching nearly hit that shot that would have given the U.S. the lead, I predictably jumped up and down in excitement. There are few less embarrassing feelings than being the only guy cheering in a crowded bar, but what I can say, I love soccer (most of the time).

If you missed this game, don't you fret! The U.S. plays again on Wednesday at 6:30, hosting Trinidad & Tobago on ESPN2.

The Bucks are Impossible to Watch Again

With the Elite Eight and even a U.S. soccer qualifying match going on Saturday night, there was no way in hell I was going to skip either of those events to watch the Bucks continued collapse. It's a good thing I didn't, either, because they eventually lost to the Heat 102-85. Don't we lose every game 102-85? That's what it seems like, anyway.

There's not much else I have to say on the matter. The Bucks season is over, and it's always tough to watch these games when there is nothing on the line. Two weeks ago, the Bucks were in the thick of the playoff race playing hard. But now it just seems like they are about as ready for this season to be over as we are. Don't get me wrong, I love the Bucks as much as the guy who has seats next to Herb Kohl, but I don't feel like suffering through these two weeks of games. 

Do you?

Box Score. Player of the Game: Richard Jefferson.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Latest Reason I Like Jimmy Fallon: Saved by the Bell Reunion?

I realize that Jimmy Fallon's new talk show has been hit or miss for many people, but I am loving it. His personality works perfectly for this time slot, and I find myself laugh out loud more than I ever thought I would. The latest reason I love this show? He's trying to get the cast of Saved by the Bell to reunite.

This is already Dennis Haskins second appearance as a guest on the new Late Night. Look's like he's becoming Jimmy's version of Abe Vigoda.

Enjoy your Saturday night.

And The Milwaukee Iron Season is Underway

One of the great privileges about running this site is that from time to time people take me seriously. That's how I was able to manage a press credential for the Milwaukee Iron this season, the latest entry in to the league that is af2. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the game on Friday night because of an interesting fantasy baseball draft (more on that in this week's Winks Thinks). Either way, it's Iron time, baby.

I'm still not sold on the Iron, but I won't make any judgements until we are able to get to a game. I can't find the attendance anywhere, although I'm told it was announced in the area of 5,000, which if it's true, has to be encouraging to Iron officials. If nothing else, it's another thing to do on a Friday night in Milwaukee.

As for the game itself, the Iron lead early but eventually lost to the Iowa Barnstormers 60-38. Their "star player", Tyler Donovan, didn't even start but did complete 12 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Their starting quarterback, Shane Adler, had a touchdown of his own, but was pulled after his mistakes lead to two consecutive defensive touchdowns for the Barnstormers, as well as his apparent shoulder injury.

Here's a link to the recap, but it was emailed to me so I'm not sure if it works for everyone. You can also go to the team's website, but be warned, audio of a highlight will start playing even though there is no video and no way to stop it. On second thought, the SportsBubbler has a pretty good recap that I probably should have just linked to in the first place.

Their next game is April 4th somewhere in Ohio.

The Bucks Know It's Over, Too

As I was flipping through the channels on my TV earlier this week, I saw something very, very odd. First, ESPN's First Take was doing a feature story on the Bucks. Secondly, the story was about the Bucks contending for the playoffs. I later figured out that the only reason this was probably a story is because Richard Jefferson was probably the only person they could get on the phone that morning. But still, it was weird to see nonetheless, because we all know the Bucks playoff chances are next to nothing at this point.

Friday night's 110-94 loss to the Orlando Magic was more of the same for the Bucks. Milwaukee did get out in front early in the second quarter, but it turned into another double-digit loss for the ever-struggling Bucks. As far as a Bucks Player of the Game, let's give it to Malik Allen. His plus/minus was +6, the best of the night, so that's the half-legitimate reason. The other is that if Bear can give the honor to Joe Alexander even though he sucks, I can give it to a personal favorite of mine. You dig? If not, chew on this yourself.

The Bucks are now 31-42, with nine games to play in the season. The problem with that is they are now a full four games back of the Detroit Pistons for the 8 seed. Somehow, they are also behind the Charlotte Bobcats somehow, so things are looking quite bleak. 

At this point, a lot of you would rather the Bucks miss the playoffs so that they have a chance for the lottery, but I've been rooting for them to get into the playoffs the entire year. Even though the result would likely not be pretty, if you're in, you're in, and like Kevin Garnett, anything is possible! Plus, if this team is going to stay together for awhile, it'd be nice for them to have a little playoff experience under their belt sooner rather than later. That, and it seems to be a pretty weak draft class this year.

So to review, the Bucks season is over. 

Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm Not Sure How I Feel About the NFL's Desire to Lengthen the Schedule

Out of all the things Roger Goodell has done in his short tenure as NFL commissioner, I disagree with very few of them. Goodell is clearly a football guy, and you see can that everything he does is in the best interest of the league. Despite all this, I'm not completely sold on his idea of expanding the NFL season to 17, maybe 18 games

Usually, I embrace change. I think things get boring if they stay the same for too long. So when the NFL switched to their current alignment of eight divisions, I thought it was awesome. The rotating schedule works perfectly, with six games in the division, four against another conference division, four against the division of the other conference, and two other conference opponents based on records. As far as that goes, it's flawless. God knows I'm a geek about scheduling.

But while I embraced that change, I think I like it enough to keep it that way for awhile. Sure, the preseason is too long and incredibly boring, but I would rather see them slash two preseason games than I would see them slash two games and add two regular season games. I just think 16 games is the perfect amount for a regular season, and that length has worked out pretty well so far.

Some will tell you that they want to get rid of a couple of preseason games to make sure players don't get injured, but the real issue here is that the NFL can make a lot more money if those two weeks of preseason clunkers turned into two weeks of real NFL action. While that's true, there's no doubt the players would then want more money, and that's never a pretty spiral. 

Another minor issue is that look how hard it was for the Patriots to go 16-0. While they were undefeated in the regular season, they fell short in the Super Bowl, allowing the 1972 Dolphins - the most overrated team in sports history - to uncork another bottle of champagne. Do we, as a nation, really want Mercury Morris to continue to get face time for being an enormous jackass when the last undefeated team falls?

I guess, as I re-read the incoherence I just wrote, I really don't have a good reason for why I don't think the NFL should expand their season. I just like things they way they are now, for a change.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Looper Struggles, Brewers Win

Braden Looper finally made his first start of the spring, but it wasn't pretty. Loop's Troops threw two innings, but in that duration gave up six runs (five earned) off of seven hits. The most important thing is that he was able to finally start a game, and I think he'll be able to squeeze another start in before the season starts. Still, not a good showing. 

Despite his collapse, the Brewers offense was once again able to deliver and outscored the Texas Rangers 11-10. J.J. Hardy and Mike Cameron both hit dingers in the game, as did Mike Lamb, who is finally made somewhat of an impact this spring. I don't care what McGehee's real numbers are, there is no way I want Lamb on the team over him.

So the Brewers got another win, and they also got some good news in the form of Ryan Braun's MRI. While he doesn't have a cracked rib or anything that serious (that's the good news), he's still feeling tightness. It's probably not that big of a deal, but I'd rather that he didn't feel tightness than he did feel tightness, you feel me?

The Brewers have Texas again on Friday night at 8:05pm, which is worth mentioning because the game will be on MLB Network. So there you go.

BOX. Player of the Game: Hardy.

Packers Signed Some Guy

The Packers signed offensive lineman Duke Preston, formerly of the Buffalo Bills. I don't know much about him except for that he's big (6-5, 326lb.), but the Journal Sentinel knows more than I do, so here's that article

Winks Thinks: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Edition

Another new edition of the column that stopped being cool like two months ago. The latest edition of Winks Thinks is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year Edition, in which I try to rank which months are the best when it comes to sports. I don't like hockey too much, so the list is definitely up for debate. In addition, I reflect a bit on the NCAA tourney so far, as well as talk myself down from a ledge about my gambling addition. As always, enjoy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's Getting Painful

Without any bit of hope for the playoffs the Bucks have become borderline unwatchable. Before at least they played like it was a possibility, but now? Yikes. Milwaukee dropped another game tonight 115-106 to the Toronto Raptors. The Bucks now sit at 31-41, and a full 3 games back of the 8th seed. With only 12 games left on the schedule things are looking very bleak.

Ramon Sessions had a nice bounce back game with 18 points and 7 assists. Session has been rather awful to watch lately. Richard Jefferson led scoring for the Bucks with 22 points. Charlie Bell had a nice game off the bench dropping 20, 7 assists and 6 rebounds, we'll give him the player of the game. Damon Jones even got in the mix with 12 points in 13 minutes. CV.....where.....are....you?

Oh when is it going to end?

Milwaukee plays at Orlando on Friday at 6. You can bet if I'm watching this game, I'll be enjoying beverages.

(AP Photo By Chris Young)

Brewers Bring Out Long Ball; Braun Leaves With Injury

Mike Cameron. Prince Fielder. Corey Hart. J.J. Hardy. The four of them, all with clear roles on the Brewers for this upcoming season, each hit a home run in Milwaukee's 12-8 victory over the Dodgers on Wednesday. But there was one more Brewer that hit a home run, and he better have just as clear of a role of the rest of them. And that was Casey McGehee. McGehee gets the Player of the Game as part of our effort to get him on the squad, as he went 2 for 3 with 4 RBI. He better make the team, Macha!

But the real news out of Wednesday's game was the early departure of Ryan Braun. Braun left with right side stiffness, the same injury that kept him out of a couple games during the World Baseball Classic. Braun is downplaying the injury, but I'd feel better if he sat out the rest of Spring Training and was fully rested for the start of the season.

Other than that, the Trot Nixon experiment has come to an end. With the emergence of Chris Duffy, and Melvin's strange obsession for Tony Gwynn Jr., there just wasn't any room for Trotter on the roster. Elsewhere, Mat Gamel was officially sent to Nashville, while Wes Littleton cleared waivers, and will remain with the club.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Suppan Will Start Opening Day After All

At least, that's what Ken Macha is "indirectly" saying. The Brewers manager laid out his pitching schedule to the Journal's Tom Haudricourt, and if the schedule holds true Suppan would indeed get the ball on Opening Day. Normally, the team will send their "ace" out on the mound for the season's first game, but Macha isn't ready to anoint Gallardo that role just yet, and I'm not sure how much his rough performance in the Brewers 7-1 loss to the Rockies on Monday had to do with it (Player of the Game: Carlos Corporan, who?) Either way, Soup's Troops will start against the Giants on April 7th. 

If that were to hold true, Gallardo would pitch game two of the series, while Parra would get the finale. That would leave Braden Looper to start the Brewers home opener against the Cubs, with Dave Bush to pitch the next day. Barring injury or absolute awfulness, that's probably the way the rotation will look for the first half of the season.

This is just one of the many decisions Ken Macha will be forced to make before Opening Day, along with the many roster moves needed to trim the roster down to 25. It appears there are already 21 sure things for the roster, with four spots left to be filled. Their is one bullpen spot available, which appears to be between DeFelice and Julio. I don't really care who makes it though between the two of them, even though Julio has shown nothing special during camp.

That leaves three spots, which I think need to go to Brad Nelson, Chris Duffy, and Casey McGehee. Besides Corey Hart, these three guys have had the best Spring, and should be rewarded. Macha and Melvin have said that sometimes it's not that easy, and that roster considerations need to be taken into place. Whatever that is supposed to mean. Basically, a guy like McGehee may be left off the Opening Day roster because he has options left, and could be sent down to the minors. I say if he's good enough to make the club, put him on the roster.

If it's really between him and Mike Lamb, is there even a choice? The only thing Lamb has going for him is that he's a southpaw, although he was pretty much useless in his stint with the Brewers last September. Give the McGehee kid the chance he deserves.

In the outfield, I think you have to go Nelson and Duffy. Nelson gives you a quality backup at 1st base, something the Brewers could use because I think you'll see a lot more of Mike Rivera behind the plate this season. Nelson is also a great hitter, and no slouch in the outfield. As for Chris Duffy, he could be sent down because he's already on a minor-league contract, so no option would need to be used. But in my opinion, Duffy is light years ahead of Gwynn. Tony Gwynn Jr. is like a cat at this point, using every one of his nine lives to stay with this team. Potential is one thing, never living up to it is another. Send him packing and give Duffy the spot.

But sometimes these things don't work out the way the fans think they should. Case in point? Look at the title of this posting.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Packers Already Given Two Nationally Televised Games

Kicking off the season on national television is nothing new to Aaron Rodgers, who began his career against the Vikings on Monday Night Football. This season, Rodgers will open things up on national television once again, as the Packers quarterback will lead his team onto Lambeau Field on Sunday, September 13th. As you can tell by the graphic, NBC carries the Sunday Night package, with kickoff sometime in the 7:15 vicinity.

The actual full schedule won't be released until quite sometime, but the NFL always likes to release the Opening Weekend primetime games a little early to keep their name in the papers. The Titans will face the Steelers in the Thursday Night game, continuing the tradition of showcasing the Super Bowl champions in the first game of the season. Monday Night games will feature the Bills against the Patriots, and the Chargers against the Raiders.

Also, I am going to need to quit by waiter job at least before Thanksgiving, otherwise I am going to miss the Packers play. Once again, they will be heading to Detroit for the Thanksgiving Day game, this year's game being broadcast at 11:30am on FOX. Raiders/Cowboys and Giants/Broncos will be the other two games for your enjoyment on Turkey Day.

You Think I Don't Proof-Read Well Enough?

Brewers Weekend Recap

First off, if you're reading this before 6pm, the Brewers are on TV right now against the Rockies. I completely forgot they were on television today, but it's awesome to have them back. Gallardo just got shelled in the 4th inning to some Rockies homers, but it's still spring training. Looks like FSN has new graphics, too. God, I am just so much happier in life when the Brewers are playing. Now, to recap the weekend:

Friday - Brewers 6, Mariners 5

McClung pitched well in the early outings, but got roughed up in the 5th inning. J.J. Hardy gets POTG honors for leading a three-run rally in the sixth, thanks to a big home run. Casey McGehee also hit a home run, his fourth of the spring.

Saturday - Brewers 4, Angels 4

Another good day for Brad Nelson, he doubled twice and drove in two runs. Somehow, Tony Gwynn contributed in a positive fashion, knocking in the go-ahead run in the 10th. New recruit Wes Littleton couldn't hold the lead though, and the game ended in a tie. Dave Bush pitched pretty well over six innings of work. Still, Nelson is our POTG in this one.

Sunday - Brewers 10, Giants 9

It was a wild one on Sunday, with the Brewers coming back from the 8-0 deficit they found themselves in during the third inning. Weeks, Kendall, and Nelson all hit homers, and each finished the day with two RBI. Mark DeFelice was the guilty pitcher, giving up six runs in the first two innings. My boy Todd Coffey was credited with the win. Nelson gets POTG honors for the second straight day.

Now go turn on FSN Wisconsin.

Unless Your Daughter Was on the Team, This is Breaking News to You

When someone at work asked me today if I had seen the Badger game over the weekend, I replied with a somber "yes". They seemed confused at first, which confused me, and then we were both confused. Where I thought they were talking about the basketball game, they were actually talking about women's hockey, more specifically the team's 3rd NCAA title in 4 years.

There are plenty of reasons why I did not know about this little accomplishment of the women's team, and there are plenty more reasons why I don't care. I will preface this by saying that it's awesome to be the best at what you do, no matter what it is, and offer my congratulations. But as far as being a sports fan goes, I could care less.

Who even likes women's sports these days? The only time women's sports were even remotely cool was during the movie "A League of Their Own", and that's only because Tom Hanks gave us the quote, "There's no crying in baseball!" Other than that, unless you're at your daughter's sporting event, never should you find yourself watching sports in slow-motion.

Think of all the chicks you know for a second that like sports. They are pretty cool, aren't they? Now, think a little harder. Have you ever heard about them talking about women's sports when they are chatting with you? How many times do they race home to catch the weekend's WNBA action? Probably never. Chicks don't even like chick sports.

It's always nice for Bucky to add another banner to the rafters, but I'm curious about the level of competition here. Is the Wisconsin hockey team good because they are a dominant program, or are they good because they are like one of four schools that take this seriously?

Other than that mini-rant, congrats ladies!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

US Bows Out of World Baseball Classic

Well there goes that excitement. Just days after being swept up in World Baseball Classic fever, Japan drops a bomb on America by..... um, they really detonate a victory through.... um, they find a way to blow up the... um, they expose U.S. Baseball to years of radiation that will lead to the deaths of thousands. I don't know how else to phrase this. Japan won 9-4, and the U.S. is done.

We've been excited for this game for a couple of days now, thanks to the U.S.'s captivating victory over Puerto Rico last week. But despite an early home run from Brian Roberts, our excitement was quickly short-lived. Japan eventually rocked Roy Oswalt, and the Americans could never recover. It's another Japan / Korea final on American soil, while we watch other nations revel in our national pastime. 

This game did feature the return of Ryan Braun, who was out for much of round two with a rib injury. He returned with a 1-4 performance, and also scored a run. 

The World Baseball Classic finals are Monday night at 8:30pm on ESPN. I'll be watching RAW.

Heartbreaking End to Marquette's Season

Oh..... crap. After Marquette found themselves down 16 points in the first half to Missouri, it looked like the Golden Eagles season was coming to an abrupt halt. But when Jerel McNeal hit that three point shot before the half, you could sense that maybe Marquette had a little bit of a comeback in them. And that they did.

MU came storming back and eventually took the lead with a huge bucket from Lazar Hayward late in the second half. But the jubilation would be short lived. Some may say the reffing was a little hairy down the stretch, but that's college basketball. Their were two big mistakes in this game made by Marquette: Hayward stepping over the line on the inbounds pass, and the fact that Dominic James saw playing time.

Earlier I wrote that this team was not going to do anything without James, but it turned out they couldn't do anything with him. I understand what it meant to have James return to action, especially for his senior leadership and the fact that he's really, really good. But clearly, James was in no way ready to return to action, as he couldn't even shoot the ball in fear of how much it would have hurt to jump. James' facial expressions were exactly like mine when I was in a high school soccer all-star game: "What the hell am I doing out here?" . It's probably unlikely he also thought "What exactly did my dad do to get me in this game?"

Perhaps I'm overstating how poor of a decision it was to play James, as he didn't see too much action. Even though if MU would have won, his presence in the game today would have gone a long way to him recovering for the Sweet Sixteen matchup, the team did suffer when he saw that court. That, and Missouri is really, really, good. 

Marquette had a great team this year, and had the dice shaken differently a couple of times they could have easily made a trip to the Final Four. But even though every thing didn't go in Buzz Williams' favor during his first year as coach, it was still a pretty impressive campaign. The team is definitely going to miss their three guards next season, especially James, but you have to feel positive about the beginning of the Buzz Williams era. 

Xavier Too Much For Bucky

Our dreams of a Marquette / Wisconsin final ended a little after 3pm on Sunday, as the Badgers fell to Xavier, 60-49. The Badgers were actually in this one for most of the way against #4 Xavier, even leading at halftime. But Xavier eventually broke away in the second half and keep Wisconsin at bay until the final whistle, leaving the Badgers eleven points short of the Sweet Sixteen. 

Hats off to the Badgers, regardless, as I didn't think they even had a chance to beat Florida State. It was good to remember that this team isn't as bad as they've played all season, and I'm not too upset with the way this season ended, realistically anyway.

In the end, the Badgers were hurt by the same thing they were hurt by all year - not having that one guy to be "the guy". Hughes did at a times, and other guys would step in occasionally, but they didn't have that Alando Tucker kind-of guy. It certainly wasn't Hughes on Sunday, as he went 3 for 16 from the field in a game where the Badgers shot 25 percent in the second half. 

It was the final game for several Badgers today, most notably Marcus Landry and Joe Krabbenhoft. Krabbenhoft will be thinking about his final game for a long time, and how he didn't score a single point in the contest. Even still, both will be missed next season.

Not the best season for Bucky, but not the worst either.

Bucks' Playoff Chances Fading Fast

When you're nine games under .500, losing games can sort of become a habit. Not a good place to be when you're within reach of a potential playoff spot. But it's a problem the Bucks are going through this season, losing again on Saturday night to the Trail Blazers by a score of 96-84. Charlie Villaneuva led the Bucks with 26 points, once again putting up the stats in a losing effort. 

I read an article a couple of days ago about how people in Milwaukee were coming up to Scott Skiles and congratulating him, thanking him for the job he has done this year. Make no mistake about it, Skiles has done a tremendous job with the pieces he's been given (those pieces include Justin Harrell type waste of a pick Joe Alexander, one of the many moves that leaves us questing Hammond's judgement so far). However, Skiles will be the first to admit that their record isn't something to be applauded for.

No matter what happens the rest of the way, it's hard to not call this season a success. Competing for the playoffs or not, the Bucks have improved on last year's record and brought some sort of excitement back to the Bradley Center. They've found some decent guys like Ramon Sessions and Charlie Villaneuva that they could build a future around, and for the most part they seem to be buying what Skiles is selling.

But, the season is not over quite yet, and if the Bucks have it in them, they could put together a decent little run and head into the second season. The rest of the sked looks like this: at Toronto, at Orlando, at Miami, at New Jersey, vs. the Lakers, at Philly, home against Memphis, Atlanta, OKC, and Orlando and then on the road in Indy. Not the easiest of roads to walk down, but achievable nonetheless. If I were a betting man, which I am, I wouldn't be placing too much money on the Bucks pulling it off. But stranger things have happened, and I'm not giving up hope just yet.

In other Bucks news, here's that new fan blogger for Bucks.com. I wanted Bear to enter this, but as you can tell he probably wouldn't have been very committed. Burn.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

That Might Have Been The Most Fun Ive Ever Had Watching Wisconsin

I've been pretty down on the Badgers all year, I will admit that. But unlike how I feel about their football program (I'm a bandwagon fan, at best), I absolutely love their basketball squad. It was tough for me to watch them struggle this season, but I was never uncertain that they were going to make the NCAA tournament, even during their six game losing streak. Nonetheless, there was no way in hell I expected them to beat Florida State on Saturday night.

What I would end up watching would be one of the best games I've ever watched as a fan of the Wisconsin Badgers. Maybe it was because I was still looking for revenge after the football loss in the bowl game, maybe it was because I trying to forget the sadness that was this wasted basketball season in the Big Ten. Maybe it was because I was a tad bit tipsy, or maybe it was because March Madness still was looking for it's Madness (this game definitely did that, with help for the Ohio State/Siena matchup). No matter what the reason, I can't remember a time I was more into a Badger game.

Earning my love way before Trevon Hughes made and Woos (college buddy) J in our P's, Keaton Nankivil continued to prove why he is my favorite Badger this season, and hopefully for years to come. Buckingham U. Blogger has more sober thoughts on last night's contest, so I recommend them for you.

Up next for the Badgers? Xavier. Do I think they can beat them, well no, I don't. But I didn't think the Badgers would beat Florida State, either. No matter what, it's going to be one hell of a game, and I can't wait until tip-off.

As for the "anonymous" reader who said they'd never read us again, welcome back. I'm sorry I didn't get this up sooner, but I'm in the craziest fantasy baseball league known to the common man, and that took priority today. My bad.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Marquette Moves On To Face Missouri

Honestly, I thought Marquette was going to lose against Utah State, and in the five different brackets I filled out, I picked Marquette to win zero times. I just figured it would be another typical game for them with James out - they'd play close but then lose it at the end. Thankfully, even though this was another game that went down to the wire, it was Marquette that was able to pull it out and get the 58-57 win. I provide more analysis in my live blog of the last 3:39 minutes, even though I was the only one to attend.

With the victory, Marquette moves on to the second round of the NCAA's where they will face Missouri. Missouri is the #3 seed, and they moved on after beating the Nard-dog's alma mater of Cornell. The time is yet to be announced. I don't think too many people picked them to make the sweet 16, but Dickie V is already predicting a Marquette victory over Missouri, so I guess you never know.

LIVE BLOG - Final 3:39 of Marquette / Utah State Game

WIAA High School Boys State Basketball Tournament Results 2009 What Channel Can I Watch?

If you're on this page, you're looking for state basketball tournament results, which I do not have, because if Fond du Lac isn't playing then I don't care. But since you're here, why not check out all of our great content? Thanks for stopping by!

Update: Alright fine, here are the results.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

MLS Starts Tonight: Horrible Scheduling Move or Brilliant Manuever?

It's 8pm right now. You've either drunk from watching college hoops all day, watching college hoops like crazy because you had to work today, or running back home from Goolsby's to take care of your prego wife. Either way, it's 8pm, and you're watching college basketball.

Unless you're not, and you're watching the MLS Season opener between the Seattle Sounders (new team) and the New York Red Bulls (sponsored by an energy drink). That's right, the brilliance that is the MLS decided that the best night to unveil their latest campaign would be during the first round of the NCAA Tournament. If you're looking to attract new viewers, you might want to rethink your scheduling strategy.

However, maybe I am wrong. Maybe everyone is wrong. Maybe the MLS is run by geniuses after all. You see, if the MLS were to start, say, like next Monday night, I probably wouldn't have written a post saying the season was starting. Deadspin probably wouldn't have decided an article to it. And you would have no idea the little league that could was even underway.

Ah, who am I kidding. Nobody likes soccer.

Crew Wins Again

Another win for the Brewers today as they knock off the Indians 7-5. Manny Parra got roughed up a little bit but the offense was able to knock in plenty of runs. Prince Fielder had a key RBI to help seal the deal, while Corey Hart hit his 5th home run of the season. J.J. Hardy also knocked in a couple of RBI's as well. Good for them.

Meanwhile, Jason Kendall batted from the lead-off spot in one of Ken Macha's little Ned Yost-like experiments. He went 0 for 4.

On the other side of the coin, former Brewer Zach Jackson was rocked by his former club. Matt LaPorta went 1 for 1, while Tony Graffinino was 0 for 1. I really do miss Graffinino. Not David Bell though. Remember him?

Player of the Game: Prince.

Live Blog - Final 3:39 of Purdue / Northern Iowa

Tournament Thoughts

Loyal reader Chad Lyons just called me out for not blogging the tournament, and I have to agree with him. Where's this "semi-live" blog I promised? My bad. Much of the reason I haven't written anything yet is because I had to watch Lost before I could fully engage, and the ABC.com video player is absolute trash. Between the buffering and the re-starts, it took a good two hours just to watch one episode. Not very pleased, ABC. Couple of thoughts about the day:

* Decent action so far, the Cal State Northridge / Memphis game had some people on upset alert, but everyone I'm with today easily predicted that Memphis would pull away late. I still think there will be a fairly major upset (larger than the 5/12 variety) sometime in the next two days. I'm looking at you, Duke.

* Glad that BYU lost, since I'm not a fan of Mormons. Sorry, but your religion doesn't make any sense. And my old Mormon girlfriend didn't put out in high school. So yeah...

* Not really sure what is up with all the announcers and their fake laughing. Lot of that going on today too.

* Shouldn't it be "N. IOWA" and not "NO IOWA". Seems weird.

* There's a crapload of people in The Bucky Channel bracket, but I think some of them found it because it's a public pool and not through our site. Which might make it harder for some of the loyal readers to win a shirt. Don't worry though, they'll soon be available for sale!

* However, not only will the first 3 people win a t-shirt, but I have just decided that whoever finishes in 83rd place as well as 247th place will also get one. Because I'm that nice.

* My final four in the Bucky bracket: Michigan State, Memphis, Pittsburgh, UNC. Tarheels over the Spartans.

* Still at work? Watch the games.

Be back in an hour.

More Proof Macha Will Name Gallardo Our Ace

Ken Macha has stated that Yovani Gallardo won't be the Brewers starter on Opening Day. Sure, Ken. I'm not even sure Macha believes himself at this point, especially after Gallardo's performance in the Brewers 4-1 victory against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. The soon-to-be ace pitched five innings of no-hit stuff and struck out three. He is awesome. Proof.

Elsewhere on the staff, Eduardo Morlan will not be a member of the Brewers' minor league system this season. Figuring he would not make the 25-man roster, the Brewers let him go earlier in the week. As a Rule 5 player, his former team, Tampa Bay, had the chance to reacquire him, which they did. Morlan will be a good player, but he had to really impress the Brewers if he was going to be on the big league roster all season, which he failed to do.

And in other baseball news, USA lost to Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic to wrap up pool play. They have, however, advanced to the semi-finals and will face the Japan/Korea winner on Sunday night.

Sinking Bucks Look The Part

Just a little too much of this going on last night.

Not only is Milwaukee a game and a half behind Chicago now for the 8th seed, but they played the game last night with virtually no intensity. It looks as if balloon of hope has finally deflated. The Bucks were consistantly down 25-30 points and would lose 106-80. Pretty sad sight.

The Bucks were led by CV who scored 17, Jefferson had 13, while Danny G and Luke Ridnour had 10 off the bench. Easily the worst performance by any possible TBC player of the game all season. I don't even know who to take. Soooo I'll pick from a hat........picking............unfolding the paper...............Congrats Joe Alexander, you win.

Manning Face.

(AP Photo by Darren Hauck)

Bucks get Portland at home on saturday, tip off at 1:30.

Winks Thinks: The Mexico Edition

Last week I went to Mexico. This week I wrote about it for my latest Winks Thinks. Before you start enjoying March Madness a little too much, why not give it a read? Speaking of the tournament, we'll have a few updates during the day, as we smartly took the day off to watch the games. But first, I have to watch last night's episode of Lost online, so we'll talk later.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Weird SportsCenter Reference on Scrubs Tonight

It's not everyone's favorite cup of tea, but I still do enjoy the former NBC, now ABC show "Scrubs". There's a new episode tonight at 7pm, and it features two of our favorite SportsCenter anchors, Hannah Storm and Josh Elliot. Even though SportsCenter kind of sucks, I do like these two, so let's give them a free plug.

Once again, this post brought to you by Awful Announcing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

USA Advances to Semi-Finals

Yes! Hell yes! At least that's what I was cheering while watching the 9th inning of Team USA's 6-5 victory over Puerto Rico on Tuesday night. Many of you may have been out at the bars because of St. Patrick's Day, but I was out for one specific reason: To watch the World Baseball Classic with a bunch of other baseball fanatics. 

However, I was apparently wrong in my assessment that people actually care about this damn thing. While the end of the game was tense, there was limited emotion from the crowd until David Wright's 2 RBI single that won the game for the States in the bottom of the 9th. Even then, there was limited applause that could barely be heard by my weakly-led "USA! USA!" chant.

Personally, I love the World Baseball Classic. Even though March may not be the best time to hold the event (I think late November / early December would be more beneficial, as long as the games were played in domes or warm weather locales), it's still a lot of fun. And even though our boy, Ryan Braun, is out until the Semis, it's always fun to root for the Red, White, and Blue.

With their win on Tuesday, the USA will face Venezuela for their group championship, which effectively means nothing. I'm not really sure yet about why the World Baseball Classic doesn't just hold a round robin style tournament instead of these convoluted schemes, but that's for another day. What we do know is that the US is guaranteed to advance to the Semi-Finals, something they couldn't pull off in 2006.

The U.S. will now face either Cuba, Japan, or Korea this weekend, and if they win they would advance to the finals next Monday. Even though it may not be a perfect system, and the fan support may be lacking (the stadium in Miami was all but empty for the US games), I love this thing and am so happy to see our country find success this time around.

You can enjoy your Irish holiday, but I had just as good of a time enjoying an American pastime on Tuesday night.

Elsewhere, the Crewers lost 7-5 to the Giants. Guess who was our Player of the Game though? Jeff Suppan! Check out the Box Score as to why

Five Things Not Worthy of Their Own Post

There's plenty of stuff going on in the blogosphere - some noteworthy, some minor, some just flat out stupid. They are all worth mentioning, although because I can't really come up with more than one thing to say about any of these stories, they aren't getting their own post. So basically, here's a bunch of links:

* First off, you may have heard by now that Charlie Villanueva used Twitter during halftime against the Celtics on Sunday, and it's apparently a huge deal. Guess what? Twitter sucks so much, it's a stupid trend that is pointless and stupid and doesn't contribute anything beneficial to society and is a waste of time and will fade out within six months and is not worth the trouble to either update or check out people's Twitters. How people are making money off of something so stupid blows my brains and now I must move on before I quit doing The Bucky Channel right this very moment, that is how much I hate Twitter.

* Former Packer George Koonce has been named the new AD at UW-Milwaukee. Koonce is living a pretty sweet live in Brew City right now, mainly because he lives in one of the best apartment complexes Milwaukee has to offer. Maybe I'll see him this weekend.

* The Rams won't be coming back to Mequon for their training camp. There goes any hope of the Cheese League returning.

* Brewers Rule 5 pick Eduardo Morlan won't make the team. Called it.

* Speaking of the Crew, Trevor Hoffman has a strained oblique. He'll be fine.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading.

Carl Landry Was Shot

Rough night last night for one of Milwaukee's own, 25 year-old Carl Landry. He got shot. I mention this not only of his connection to the Badger State, but because of how ridiculously dumb this shooting was. What happened was some guy get Landry's car in a fender bender accident. When Landry got out of the vehicle to check it out, the guy in the other car just shot him. The bullet wounded his calf, and he will be out anywhere from a week to one month.

Things like this really bother me, but I guess there's nothing you can do about it. We only get one life to live (probably), and it just makes my mind hurt when I think about how stupidly it could end. If I end up living until I am 55 and die from cancer or something, I will consider myself lucky. People are so fragile and can die so quickly, no matter how safe they try to live their life. To know that Landry could have been killed because he was checking out his back bumper is just disturbing.

Also, too many people are allowed access to guns in this country. The "right to bear arms" was meant for people in the Revolutionary age, not for people in 2009. The only people that should be allowed this right as it was intended should be people like this guy.

Anyways, off the soapbox and back to the blogging. Thanks for your time, and get well soon, Carl.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Monday, March 16, 2009

Even in Spring Training, Beating the Cubs is Awesome

Jeff Samardzija is a tool. That's why even in Spring Training, getting five hits and scoring five runs off of him in two innings is an enjoyable thing. Actually, Samardzija probably isn't that bad of a guy, but playing for the Cubs (and going to Notre Dame) isn't a good start. Nevertheless, his suckitude led to a 9-6 victory for the Brew Crew.

Three off those runs off Samardzija came off the bat off Bill Hall, in the form of a three run homer in the first inning. Hall has been playing pretty darn well since he returned to the lineup, which is most likely due to his eye surgery, as well as his desire to actually live up to his contract. Good for him.

Also playing well in this one was another Brewer that I used to think enjoyed being booed, Corey Hart. The Lion King - look at him - was 3 for 4 with 2 runs and an RBI. He's hitting .429 in the exhibition season, which has prompted me to take my Corey Hart All-Star jersey shirt from the "Never Wear Again" pile into the "Wear If Everything Else is Dirty" stack. Good for him as well.

On the mound side of things, Dave Bush gave up only one run in four innings for the win, while Chris Narveson got the save. Sam Narron kind of sucked though. 

Spielbericht. Spieler vom Spiel: Corey Hart.

Elsewhere, it looks like Ryan Braun is going to stay with Team USA for treatment the injury to his right rib cage. Team USA will be taking on Puerto Rico on Tuesday night because of the 51st state's loss to Venezuela on Monday. USA got killed by Puerto Rico 11-1 just a few days ago, so this should be interesting. The winner will then take on Venezuela on Wednesday. Kind of weird, but whatever.

There is Hope For All of Us

Even in this bad economy, even the least qualified of us can still find decent jobs. How do I know this? Well, the Packers have matched the Titans offer for Jarrett Bush, which means he will be signed to a 3-year deal worth $4.5 million, including a $1 million signing bonus. He's not terrible on a Lenny McGill type level, but he's not that good. Why do I say this? Well, usually I attach pictures to articles, and these are the top pictures I found while searching Jarrett Bush.

My List Sucks

Last week I was asked to write a setlist for if I fronted a cover band. The task was to come up with 18 songs followed by 3 encore performances. The general consensus: My List Sucks. The main argument against my list is that I included a Coldplay song, but whatever. A few other blogs you may know participated as well, but my setlist isn't as 311 as theirs, so maybe that was the problem. My goal was just to throw my emo/indie/college rock tastes aside for one moment, and come up with a truly enjoyable show for everyone. Anyway, here is the setlist (mine is the second one).

I wrote that up last week, and if I had to do again, I might include this favorite from The Soundtrack Channel, which as Bear says, is the only good thing to come out of the movie Blades of Glory. And Bo Bice, for that matter.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Marquette and Wisconsin Will Both Lose on Friday

I can't believe we are just three weeks away until "One Shining Moment" is back in our lives. As in, the song that plays at the end of CBS's NCAA Tournament coverage. A montage in which I once spent a whole afternoon watching old clips of on YouTube while at my old job. And I wonder why that didn't work out.

Regardless, it's just around the corner, as are the two greatest days in the sporting world. Obviously, I'm talking about the first round of what we like to call March Madness, in which thirty-two of the best basketball games of the season will be played this Thursday and Friday. If you are a guy, or one of those girls that likes sports a little too much, it's basically a sin if you don't take these two days off and watch the games at my parent's house with me. 

Here are the matchups if for some reason you haven't seen them yet. Here's the link to The Bucky Channel's Bracket Challenge, where you can sign up for free and compete for prizes. I think the top three teams are going to at least get T-shirts, but that means I have to actually, you know, make T-shirts (which will also be for available for sale!)

Both of our teams, Wisconsin and Marquette, play on Friday night in Boise, Idaho. I don't know how that town is going to deal with having actual sporting events (Boise State Football doesn't count, blue turf is a joke), but I don't think our teams are going to come home happy. In the East bracket, #12 Wisconsin will take on #5 Florida State, while in the West bracket, #6 Marquette will be matched up against #11 Utah State. Neither are good matchups, in my opinion.

Marquette obviously has the better chance to advance, but I decided about two weeks ago that I was picking Utah State no matter who they were playing and no matter what seed they were. Even if Utah State isn't as good as I think they are, Marquette is 1-5 since James' injury, and while they have played tough, I just don't think they have anything left to give.

Even though Wisconsin kind of sucks this year, it was pretty much assumed they'd make the tournament no matter what. Although apparently they were one of the last ones in. Because of, you know, the suckiness. How bad do you have to be to get a 12 seed as a member of a major conference? Well, the Badgers are that bad, and even though they are in that sacred 5/12 matchup, the only upset they will pull is if they don't lose by more than 20 points. I guess it's a good thing they won't have to face the Seminoles punter.

We'll post the times when we know them, and again we'll have a sort-of live blog thing going on Thursday and Friday. All you have to do is make sure you get off work for these two days, because they truly are two of the greatest days of the year.

Unless you're a Northwestern fan, because they've never been to the tournament!

Bucks Lead For the 8th Seed Again... By .001

Let's think about this for a moment, shall we? The Bucks are currently 31-38. Normally a record that has you thinking about your chances in the lottery. But not Milwaukee. With that record, they are currently the 8th seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs, as their .449 winning percentage is higher than the Bulls .448. This Bucks team is seven games under just being average, but if the season ended today they would have a 1 in 16 chance (give or take) of winning the NBA Championship. 

I think this is awesome.

Obviously, I wish the Bucks didn't suffer the injuries they have suffered this year and I wish that their postseason fate was a little more clear. But I'm really enjoying the fact that we are competing for a playoff seed even though we seem to only play well one night a week. I'm enjoying that if Milwaukee gets into the playoffs, they'll have a losing record, and we'll spark the annual debate for a re-seeding of the "tournament", as one of the ESPN anchors call it. 

I like it because they are the underdog. I like it because they have no business being there. I like because they have nothing left to lose. For some reason, it's more fun rooting for a team that is seven games under .500 battling for the 8th seed than it would be rooting for a team that is seven games over .500. I can't really explain it better than that, hopefully you get what I'm saying.

The Bucks find themselves in this position after a monster win against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, winning 86-77. Boston lead for most of the first half, but then the Bucks took over in the second. My brother was at the game and said it felt like "the Bucks lead by three points the entire second half". That is, until Charlie Bell hit a big three and Milwaukee extended the lead for good. Yay!

So does Bell get player of the game for the big shot? Well, no, he only had 4 points. In fact, no Buck had more than 19 points, even though this was a game where Kendrick Perkins lead the scoring with 26. Charlie V will get the prestigious honors for his 11 4th quarter points. Also, kudos to all the Bucks for holding the Celts to 77 points.

I see the sunset in your eyes. (Seriously, just an awful episode of Family Guy going on as I type this.)

There's your Winks-style Bucks recap, Bear will be back on Wednesday. Oh yeah, here's that Wave recap I wrote, for the none of you that are interested. Your first-place Milwaukee Wave, that is!

Baseball Scores!

World Baseball Classic - USA 9, Netherlands 3 - Braun Leaves With Sore Left Side

Brewers (Saturday) - Dodgers 7, Brewers 3 - Player of the Game: Lorenzo Cain

Brewers (Sunday) - Brewers 6, Indians 3 - Player of the Game: Casey McGehee

Now that's how we write a recap!

First Order of Business

Hey everyone. It's Winks, and I made it back from Mexico alive. Even though I have a tremendous fear of flying, I somehow managed to come back in one piece (besides my right hand, which was cut off by a Mexican drug gang, of course). While it's always nice to relax, I can not tell you how much I missed the internet, and subsequently, this blog. I'll have much more about my Mexican Shirtless vacation in this week's Winks Thinks, so stay tuned for that.

The first thing I'd like to do though now that I'm back is give a tremendous shoutout to my dear friend Bear. He got off to a hot start with his record Sunday last week, keep up the vigorous pace, and even threw in a Fondy post. Stop whatever you're doing right now, stand up, and give this man a round of applause. Being a douchebag who blogs in his free time isn't always easy, but Bear more than lived up to the task. I can't thank him enough for keeping my baby safe while I was away.

Now that I'm back, hopefully Bear will have a desire to contribute with a fantasy baseball posting in the near future? No pressure, but we will have something up after our draft like last year. And we'll probably be "semi-live" blogging during the first round of the NCAA tourney this week. So that will be fun.

Until then, I am heading to a Milwaukee Wave game, so take this Sunday to relax a bit yourselves. Then check us out later tonight for Bucks coverage, tournament seeding coverage, so on and so forth (don't worry, I will spare you and not put up a recap of the Wave game).

Again, it's good to be back, and another huge thanks to Bear. Maybe this is something we'll do every year, have a "Bear Week" that will rival only that of "Shark Week".

Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bucks Continue To Slide, Still Grip 8th Spot

You know writing these posts would be a lot easier if these teams actually won. I just have nothing to say. The Bucks looked bad again last night, even though they got 27 points from Richard Jefferson, and 15 and 14 from Charlie Bell and Keith Bogans off the bench. Milwaukee lost 95-86 to the New Orleans Hornets.

The big reason is the complete domination of rebounding that is taking place against the Bucks. They lost the board battle last night 46-30. Seriously, I think Elson has done an admirable job filling in for Bogut, but the man is not a very good rebounder. Gadzuric is a good rebounder, especially on the offensive glass, but he is basically useless because he picks up a foul every minute and half.

Amazingly, Milwaukee still holds the 8th seed over Chicago by fractions of a percent. I wish the Bucks could kick it up a few notches and start to pull away but it doesn't appear that will happen.

The Bucks take on Boston at home on Sunday at noon.

(AP Photo By Morry Gash)

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