Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Don't Want the Preseason to End

Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but how fun has this preseason been so far? I mean, I know this is exhibition football, but there's no way you can't take the Packers seriously after the preseason they've been having. Three straight weeks they've played three different NFL opponents and made them all look foolish, especially the first teamers. I know the Browns and the Bills aren't the cream of the crop in this league, but it's not like these teams aren't giving their all. This is legit football being played, and the Packers are shining.

I had to check myself after the Packers took a 38-10 lead into half-time on Friday night, because I didn't think it was possible to be that excited in August. On both the Aaron Kampman and Jordy Nelson touchdowns, I was cheering at or above normal regular season cheering levels. I wasn't cheering because I wanted to have a good preseason record, I was cheering because we are seeing now just how good this team can be.

I shouldn't have to preface these articles by saying, "I know it's preseason, but..." Clearly, I know that's the case. But the reason I'm excited is because this is not the same team we watched last season. Offensively, they have a ton more confidence. Defensively, they look better than they have in ten years. And on special teams, well, Mason Crosby has a little bit of work to do.

But if you're one of those people that like to error on the side of caution, that's your prerogative., and I'm fine with that. I just think that you have to recognize just how impressive a 38-10 lead at halftime is, no matter what kind of game is being played.

The second half wasn't as pretty, as the Packers offense stalled a little bit, and the Cardinals came within one point of taking the lead. Arizona missed a two point conversion, and then just for fun an onside kick was returned for a touchdown by Ruvell Martin. The Packers improved to a 3-0 preseason record, winning 44-37. Other highlights...

* Aaron Rodgers wasn't flawless, but damn near. He completed 14 of 19 passes for 258 yards, notching three touchdowns.

* Two of those touchdowns went to tight end Jermichael Finley, and they really couldn't have looked easier.

* Nothing really special from the rushing game, as it almost wasn't needed. Brandon Jackson left with a shin injury, so that could either cloud up or clear up the running back picture. I still agree with most people, saying they will keep Grant, Jackson, Wynn, and Sutton. Sutton tried some work on kick returns, but didn't really standout.

* Charles Woodson is insane, there's no other way to say it.

* Jeremy Kapinos did well punting. I have really have little interest about who wins the punting job, as long as they are capable.

* Greg Jennings was roughed up a bit, but should be fine.

Next up for the Packers is their preseason finale, this Thursday at Tennessee.

Let's Not Forget About the Brewers!

They beat the Pirates 8-6 Friday night. Yippee.

POTG: Prince Fielder, home run number 36.

I'm the new Slick Rick.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This Is Why I Just Subscribed to Sports Illustrated

Any issue that is Favre-free is certainely alright by my standards. This alone was enough to get me to subscribe to their magazine (well that, and it was free with the purchase of Madden, but I digress).

My Thougts Exactly, Mike Rivera

It's been a tough year for the Brewers, one that didn't get any better as they lost 8-5 to the Reds at Miller Park on Thursday afternoon. This was the time of year we were supposed to be playing our best baseball, but instead, the Reds swept us at Miller Park. At least Rivera has Chris Bosio to console him. What are the rest of us supposed to do?

Player of the Game: Prince homered again, let's give it to him.

Box Score Contest Standings:

17.5 - CC

17 - Travis

7.5 - Chad Lyons

4 - GDK

3 - b2

1 - b3, Brad Silvers, Jonk, Tony, Jeff in Madison

Winks Thinks: The Clip Show Edition

Since I'm approaching my year anniversary of writing Winks Thinks (and I had little else to talk about), I decided to take a look back at what I've written so far. Call it self-absorbed, call it phoning it in, call it cheap entertainment, call it whatever you'd like. Either way, there's a "new" edition of Winks Thinks to be read, so check it out.

Brewers Lose in Extras Again

Jody Gerut responded to his leadoff start with a 5th inning home run, Prince Fielder hit his 34th bomb of the year, and Braden Looper pitched six solid innings. All signs point to a Brewers victory, right? Nope, they lost in extra innings again, this time with the Reds on top 4-3. Sad.

POTG: Prince could get it, but I've been hard on Jody, so we'll give it to him.

Hey Mr. DJ, put a record on. I wanna dance with my baby.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brewers Veterans! Get Your Brewers Veterans!

What a difference a year makes. Whereas last year Doug Melvin was looking for waiver wire gems such as Todd Coffey, this year he's saying that one-fourth of his roster is up for grabs. According to Ken Rosenthal of, no fewer than six Brewers were placed on waivers Wednesday. Those six would be Trevor Hoffman, Felipe Lopez, Braden Looper, Mike Cameron, Craig Counsell, and Jason Kendall.

Now, by no means does this mean any of these guys won't be Brewers next week, it just means Melvin wants to dangle them to see if he can get any bites. Not really likely, since all of these guys are eligible to be free agents next year, and they would basically be a one month rental to anyone that might claim them. That being said, it also wouldn't surprise me if a team took a chance on a guy like Hoffman, Lopez, Counsell, or Cameron, as that one last push to make a playoff run.

Notice I didn't mention Kendall or Looper, because they suck.

Of all the guys on this list, I'm praying that Lopez doesn't get claimed and then moved. Lopez is the guy I want at second base next year, with Weeks moving out to center. Lopez has been nothing short of amazing at second this year, and if the rest of the team didn't suck he would be a key contributor to a playoff run.

Hoffman is going to be a free agent, so he can leave. Cameron will be too expensive anyway, so he can go too (but we'll hang on to the untucking tradition, if you dont' mind). With Counsell, I'm take it or leave it, and same with Looper. If someone wants to take Kendall of our hands, I will gladly pay the shipping fee.

Guess Which of These Links Shocked the Hell Out of Me

"Vikings Source: 'Little Support' for Favre"


"Jody Gerut: Leadoff Man"

I'm sure you can figure it out. I guess it doesn't matter either way though, since neither of these teams have a chance to win anything this year!

That Was Kind of Disheartening

We've seen the Brewers do this before. They're down big in the 9th inning, put together a little rally that makes us think they could win the game, but then let us down by not coming through with a victory. I could have sworn that was going to happen again while watching the 9th inning of the Brewers game on Tuesday night, but they proved me wrong. They put together a five-run rally, tied the game at six and took this thing into extra innings.

And then they gave up two runs in the top of the 13th and lost 8-6. Oh, 2009 Brewers season, you died too young.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Almost Regret Making This

Before I moved back in with my parents and took a series of jobs I swore I'd never take, I once had a promising career as a television news man. One of the best stories I ever did was when I searched around La Crosse to find a particular special edition of Sports Illustrated. I'm still proud of the work, it's just a little unfortunate that the magazine revolved around a certain douchebag. Here's a little trip down memory lane, as I look for the Brett Favre Commemorative Sports Illustrated. (video is choppy for the first :10, but recovers nicely).

Oh, the olden days. Thanks to my buddy Hyke for posting the video.

Monday, August 24, 2009

ESPN Rips On ESPN Regarding Favre

It's really not even that funny of a commercial, but I haven't stolen anything from Awful Announcing for awhile, so here's the latest SportsCenter commercial. This one is in regards to their never-ending addiction to Brett Favre.

(And I am sorry that I just posted two Favre videos in a row.)

POTG: Brewers 7, Nationals 1

My favorite thing about watching the Brewers on FSN Wisconsin is how the broadcast team continues to act like we have a chance at the playoffs, even though we are ten games back in the NL Central, and nine back in the Wild Card race. They even went on to do a segment hyping the return of both Jeff Suppan and Dave Bush, two guys who have ERA's above 5.00 mind you.

Not me though, I know a dead season when I see one. So just as I'm going to continue phoning in my Brewers coverage, why not give tonight's Player of the Game award to someone who has been phoning in the season. That's right folks, Mrs. Jody Gerut gets her first award of the year for a 2-for-2, 3 RBI performance. What's more startling is that he actually hit his first home run as a Brewer on Monday. Not sure how that happened.

Of course, you don't have to take my word for it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Packers Should Retire Number Four

In 1986, the Packers made one of the biggest signings in franchise history when they signed former Maxwell Award winner and Penn State quarterback Chuck Fusina. Fusina was signed after a successful stint in the USFL, in which he earned the MVP award during their 1984 championship game.

With the Packers, Fusina appeared in seven games while backing up Randy Wright. Fusina went 19-for-32 with 178 yards during his time in action. He also gained 11 yards rushing on seven attempts.

The Packers only went 4-12 that season, but Fusina was an integral part in each of those wins, providing a championship presence on the bench. During his time in Green Bay, Fusina could be recognized by the number four he wore on his chest. It is for this reason that I would like to start the "Retire Four for Fusina" campaign. Please tell your friends, and more details will follow.

Craig Nall Might Make Me $100 Richer

Before the Packers ever drafted Aaron Rodgers, I really thought that Craig Nall was going to be the future under center for the Green and Gold. I just really loved the guy, so much to the point that I bet my friend Shep $100 that Nall would win an MVP award someday. Clearly, that was stupid.

However, perhaps maybe I wasn't so wrong in that bet. You see, I don't remember if I actually specified if it would be an NFL MVP award, or just an MVP award in general. I'm hoping the latter is the case, because that would be I still have a shot to win this bet.

That's because Craig Nall has been signed by the Florida Tuskers, one of four teams about to take part in the UFL's inaugural season this fall. Nall won't have a problem making new friends in Florida, either, because the Tuskers had 1,000 people show up for an open tryout over the weekend. Insane.

So let's go Nall, help me win that $100 back that I foolishly lost in the first place.

Escobar Hit a Home Run

That is the only thing of importance to take away from the Brewers 8-3 loss to the Nationals on Sunday. It was his first career home run. Everything else is that game was garbage. Escobar, Player of the Game. Next.

He's the fastest jack in Jefferson County!

Pack Look Sharp Again

Man, I wish these games counted in the standings. This is unreal how good the Packers look so far this preseason. Offensively, Rodgers couldn't be sharper, Grant looks like he should look, and the whole unit is just clicking. Defensively, Capers has turned this squad into a turnover machine and they look very intimidating.

The biggest thing to take away from these first two games, including Saturday's 31-21 victory over the Bills, is the level of confidence this team is playing with. You might not be ready to agree with me that the Packers are going to win the Super Bowl this season, but there's no doubt that this is looking more and more like a playoff team.

Of course, this will all go crashing down like the Hindenburg if Rodgers were to get hurt. Flynn is a decent backup but nothing more than a late quarter scrub, while Brohm looks utterly confused on every drive. I still wish this team would have signed Vick, but I'll take Tavaris Jackson should the Vikings let him go. Other highlights:

* Tyrell Sutton is making a case for a roster spot, looking very good last night with 49 yards on 11 touches. He also had the team's final touchdown, and is quickly becoming a fan favorite.

* Jermichael Finley is going to be a beast this season. Fantasy sleeper?

* Devin Frischknecht strategy: He knew he wasn't going to make the team, so why not go for an injury settlement!

* Poppinga fumble recover and interception, Bishop fumble recover and interception, Hawk fumble recover. Best defense ever, question mark?

* Raji looked solid, already drawing double and triple teams. That alone is going to be pay dividends for the line.

The Packers now have a few more days before their first road trip of the season. They'll square off against the Cardinals in the desert Friday night at 9pm.

SummerSlam Predictions (Sorry!)

I usually do these predictions in my Winks Thinks leading up to a pay-per-view, but it slipped the mind this week (although I'm sure nobody missed them). Nevertheless, I'm jacked about tonight's event, so you're getting the predictions anyway.

Kane vs. The Great Khali - This is the match nobody cares about, and storyline wise I think Khali would be the winner. But Kane has looked sharp in his return, so to have him lose here would be foolish. The Undertaker is on the poster for the event, so if he were to make a surprise return, it'd have to be in this match.

Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Jack Swagger - This is a match I'm looking forward to, and am glad it got added on the card. I think MVP wins the match.

Dolph Zigger vs. Rey Mysterio for the Intercontinental Championship - Mysterio was promised a long title reign, so I think he's victorious tonight. However, it would make more sense to give the belt to Zigger and continue to push his character.

Christian vs. William Regal for the ECW Championship - I see a Regal and Christian feud that could last throughout the end of this year, but I don't think Regal gets his victory quite yet. Going with Christian.

Chris Jericho and The Big Show vs. Cryme Tyme for the Unified Tag Team Championship - Cryme Tyme has done well taking advantage of their push, but JeriShow is going to be around for awhile, so they'll win no problem. Perhaps they'll start a feud with DX after tonight?

DeGeneration X vs. Legacy - This event is rumored to be the main event, although I think that should go to the Punk/Hardy contest. Still, this is the man that is selling the card, if only for the return of one of the all-time favorite tag teams in Shawn Michaels and Triple H. This will be a good match, and hopefully Legacy looks strong tonight. No doubt though that DX will win.

Randy Orton vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship - I could see this going either way, especially because it's been a long time since Cena has had a belt. I'm going to say Cena wins, but by disqualification, keeping the belt on Orton.

Jeff Hardy vs. C.M. Punk for the World Heavyweight Championship - Tables, Ladders, and Chairs is the game of the game for this one. This has match of the year potential written all over it, and should cap off what has been a brilliant feud between Punk and Hardy. Not sure if Matt Hardy will have a role in this one, but I see the belt going back to Punk.

Is Anyone Watching This Series?

I don't know, maybe it's because I spent the weekend watching about thirty hours of preseason NFL action, or maybe it's because the Brewers are 9.5 games out of the NL Central lead. Either way, my interest in Brewers baseball is considerably lower than it was, say, three weeks ago. There's nothing wrong with that, it's part of the ebb and flow of devotedly following a team. Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down, and sometimes you'd just rather not watch for a little while.

It's a shame too, because by not watching I actually did miss two victories over the Nationals, as the Brewers still hover around the .500 mark with a current record of 60-62. They'll be going for the sweep today, and I might even check it out. Although the NFL Network is replaying the Packers/Bills preseason game at three o'clock, so we'll see. Regardless, let's give out some Player of the Game awards.

Friday - Brewers 7, Nationals 3

Player of the Game: Felipe Lopez

Saturday - Brewers 11, Nationals 9

Player of the Game: Mike Cameron

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Favre Looked Terrible

I know this is a Packers-friendly website, but there's no way we couldn't watch Brett Favre trot out on the field as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. It's almost as this was something I actually had to see to believe. And boy, am I glad I did.

Favre looked absolutely terrible against the Chiefs on Friday, going 1/4 with 4 yards, and the pass that was completed wasn't that good. While he definitely struggled, you'd never know it by the way Mike Mayock was talking on the Vikings preseason broadcast. Seriously, look for the game on the NFL Network this week, this is something you have to witness.

When Favre threw a crappy pass while under pressure, Mayock (who I once respected) actually said, "I'm okay with that. They bring pressure on both ends, remember this is an odd front, a 3-4. They bring both linebackers, a five man blitz, and Brett's going to get rid of it on time. Here comes pressure, he's very calm... as far as I'm concerned the Vikings took 43 sacks last year. That's unconscionable. Having Brett Favre there will reduce that number by one third. And once he gets an open receiver, that will be a complete pass".

So basically, it's okay if Favre throws a shitty pass because, hey, at least he didn't get sacked. Wow. If only he would have had an open receiver. Actually, he did have an open receiver on the very next possession, but missed him by a few yards. Here's what Mayock had to say about that.

"And again, I'm going to keep going back to this. That doesn't bother me at all. We talked about (how) 90 percent of the verbiage (in the playbook) is the same for him. But here's the nuances. Trying to get a feel for your receivers, especially if you're stepping up into the pocket... Here's what I love, he steps up, he looks back, trying to lead Jaymar Johnson away from the defender, that's a veteran throw. Jaymar Johnson will lead that he's gotta step away form the coverage.. that should be a completion and will be a completion, once he they get used to each other."

Unbelievable. The biggest thing about this whole Favre thing is that it opens my eyes as to how foolish we used to be. These are statements that we actually used to defend! Just insane how apologetic people can be for Favre.

If I don't like it, why do I watch? Well, you know I love watching a good trainwreck.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rouse Carted Off Practice Field

There are really only two things I look for every preseason. One, the compelling position battles which occur every year. Two, making sure that nobody gets injured. Well, the latter happened Wednesday night as Aaron Rouse was carted off with a hamstring injury. No word yet on how serious the injury is, but it was serious enough for McCarthy to stop practice ten minutes early and say that it "didn't look good".

According to the terrific Greg A. Bedard (which I seriously mean, he's everything in a beat reporter that Tom Haudricourt isn't), Rouse wasn't really in contention for a starting gig and may have even been traded because of the Packers depth at the position. I've always been a big Rouse fan, as he's one of the hardest hitters on this team. No matter what his future with the Packers held, however, this injury certainly didn't help.

In other (former) Packers news, this article is a great example why Favre won't help the Vikings too much this season, even if he does start off well.

Winks Thinks: The NFL Predictions Edition

This originally was designed to be an NFL Predictions column, but then the whole Favre thing kind of happened and, well, you know the rest. So while this week's column still has my annual NFL Predictions (hint: I'm a homer), there's also a lot of Favre talk in there as well. As expected, of course. So sit down for a few minutes and enjoy Winks Thinks: The NFL Predictions Edition.

POTG: Pirates 3, Brewers 1

I turned on the Brewers game in the bottom of the second inning. Two batters later, Ronny Cedeno hit a home run. I stopped watching the game after that.

Player of the Game: Mike Cameron.

It's hard to be a man when there's a gun in your hand.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Thought Jack Zduriencik Was Smart?

Haha, Seattle. Good luck with this. Somehow, the Brewers actually did find a trading partner for Bill Hall, and that would be the good ol' Seattle Mariners. Again, haha. Actually, not a terrible move for the Mariners, as they need a third basemen and the Brewers are still going to be paying most of Hall's salary. I don't ever see Bill Hall playing well again, but it's a low-risk move for Seattle. Still, I thought Jack Z realized trash when he saw it, but apparently not.

For the Brewers, it's a decent move too because instead of having to pay his entire salary, the Brewers will end up saving about $1.75 million. Not a lot, but better than nothing. In exchange for Hall, the Brewers will also receive lanky Class A right-hander Buddy Flores.

Gotta like this move for the Brewers. Bill Hall is a guy that should be have been just cut outright, so to get anything for him would have been considered a good move.

Farewell, Bill Hall.

So That Wedding I Was At...

Remember on Friday night when I posted that "breaking" Raji news while I was at a wedding? Well as it turned out, I wasn't just at any wedding. You may have heard of this story on another media outlet, but here it is on Keith Olbermann the other night (at the 1:15 mark).

Two thoughts. One, it's obviously La Crosse, Wisconsin, not Minnesota. We already lost douche Favre to that state, we don't need to lose La Crosse too. And secondly, congrats to Adam, both on the rescue and the wife!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brewers... Sigh

I would love to see what the increase in text messages throughout the state of Wisconsin today after Brett Favre finally did the unthinkable and signed Brett Favre on Tuesday. Most of those texts were probably extremely anti-Favre, although I'm sure there are still a few Favre homers out there, but why that is I will never know. The point is that if you weren't 100% percent committed to the football season after the Packers first preseason game on Saturday, the anticipation of the first Packers/Vikings surely did the trick.

But, even though we are 100% ready for some football, the Brewers still feel the need to keep playing for some reason. With a 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh Tuesday night, the Brewers are now 9.5 games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central, with their playoff hopes nearly non-existent. Their record is now 58-61, which is unfortunate considering the amount of anticipation we had for this season. Oh well, at least they might actually get something for Bill Hall.

So as the excitement for the NFL Season begins, we'll continue to keep our eye on Milwaukee, but forgive us if we're a little preoccupied with the Packers for the time being.

PS. Favre is a douche.

Player of the Game: Prince Fielder.

Kentucky woman, she shines with her own kind of light.

You Expected Any Different?

Alright, I'll bite. This is absolutely hysterical. Brett Favre is actually going to sign a contract with the Vikings worth at least $10 million dollars. Unbelievable. This guy really can't let go can he? I've spoken at length about Favre in the past, and I have nothing new to say here. Refer back to my "Winks Thinks: The Final Brett Favre Edition" if you want to hear my thoughts. Back then I wrote that I wished Favre would be a Viking so that even the most diehard of Favre lovers would finally hate him, and it looks like I got my wish. In fact, here are a few of the text messages I've already received today:

Dan: Fuckin Favre

Brett: Hahaha Favre, I hate this guy

Pat: Say it aint so Brett

Tony: U were right. Fuck favre

Ben: I want to inform you that all ties are broken and i officially hate the douchebag they call favre

Mike: 4-gettable! LOLZ!!!

So that pretty much does it. Favre is dead to everyone. Even last week I saw some footage of a Packer game from like 2001, and I was disgusted when Favre came on. This shit is ridiculous. What an asshole.

See you October 5th, you little bitch.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Harrell Fearing the Worst

Thought I'd spend some time to talk about some real Packers news, and not the latest rumors surrounding a certain quarterback named Brent. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's good news. The Journal Sentinel is reporting that because of the recurring back spasms he has been having, among his other injuries, defensive lineman Justin Harrell "fears (his) career could be over."

Career? That's what you'd call a career? The Tennessee alum has played just a handful more NFL snaps than I have, and he thinks the end could be near. Now, as you'll read in the article, nothing is for certain, and there is a very good chance Harrell could be on the field sooner rather than later. But to hear a guy think that his career might be over is never a good thing.

Justin Harrell has become more than just an oft-injured lineman during his time with the Packers. In essence, he has become the epicenter of the fuel for the hatred for Ted Thompson (I'd include the Favre situation here, but Thompson has already proven to be right about that). I didn't mind that we drafted Harrell, he's a quality player with loads of potential, but it was where we drafted him that caused all the concern.

If Harrell would be forced to hang it up early, that would be a huge waste of the 16th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. This one was of those picks where the entire Packer Nation collectively said, "Who?" and were left to watch the analysts fumble over their words as they tried to figure out why the Packers reached on a guy with injury problems.

I've always thought that if Harrell was healthy, he'd be able to prove himself in this league. Unfortunately, it's looking more and more like he'll never get that chance.

Come on Guys...

I think somewhere in the backlogs of this site I said that I was not going to bother doing a game recap if the Brewers lost to the Pirates. Even if I didn't say it though, I think that's a pretty good rule to live by. Pirates beat the Brewers Monday night 9-5. It was lame.

Player of the Game: Prince Fielder.

This house is so full of people it makes me sick. When I grow up and get married, I'm living alone.

I Got Two Words For Ya...

...They're back! (and of course, suck it!) Just when I thought I couldn't love the WWE anymore, D-Generation X reformed tonight on Monday Night Raw. Good, moving home and living with my parents leading to my countless hours of watching wrestling was the best decision I ever made! A look at some of the highlights over the years...

Summerslam party at my (parents') house this Sunday!

Farewell, Amir Johnson

Amir Johnson, we hardly knew thee. Just a few short months after the Bucks traded for the former Pistons forward, they are sending him packing to Toronto for SF Carlos Delfino and PG Roko Ukic. Recently acquired PG Sonny Weems will be included in the deal as well.

With the addition of Hakim Warrick, the trade makes sense, although the guys we got back aren't anything special. Still, I really like Amir Johnson and how he plays, and I was looking forward to him in a Bucks uniform this season. He played very well in Vegas this summer, averaging 10.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

What this trade once again proves is that John Hammond is clearly never happy with his roster. Sure, these aren't blockbuster type deals, but the guy is always looking to improve his roster whether it be on the court on in the checkbook. That's a trait you want in your General Manager, unless he's completely inept the way Shakes Harris was.

This means Amir Johnson joins Salim Stoudamire (as well as Weems and Bruce Bowen) as guys Hammond has acquired and then let go within this offseason. I know Stoudamire signed before the end of last season, but he never saw any floor time and the design was to hold him off until this year anyways, so I included him.

In a way, it's almost as if Amir Johnson was brought in solely to play with the Bucks in Vegas this summer. Maybe Hammond is trying to win in Sin City as much as he is during the regular season. I know that's one of the more ridiculous things I've ever written but what our general manager is proving is that, with John Hammond, you just never know.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Astros Take the Finale

I think it's safe to assume that if it's a Sunday, the Brewers are probably going to lose. They followed that trend again today with an 8-5 loss to the Houston Astros at Miller Park. Milwaukee had the lead a couple of times in this one, but ultimately couldn't overcome the final deficit.

Braden Looper was your starting pitcher for this one, turning in another average performance of four runs in six innings. David Weathers gave up another three runs later in the ballgame, and Mitch Stetter allowed one as well. Good stuff.

Offensively, Ryan Braun continued his recent tear and hit his 26th home run of the season. Prince Fielder joined the party and hit his 30th as well. He almost hit number 31 with two outs and two runners on in the 9th inning, which would have tied the game at eight a piece. However, Hunter Pence was able to catch the pop fly just short of the fence in right field, preserving the victory for the Astros.

So we're back to one game under .500, but they played much much better this series. String a couple more series like this together, and maybe we could make a September push. Not likely, but not impossible.

Player of the Game: Ryan Braun

I Know It's Just the Preseason, But...

I have not been shy about this in my real life, and I wanted to finally extend it to the blogosphere as well. That something is that I firmly do believe that the Packers are going to win the Super Bowl this year. Is that crazy? Maybe a little bit, and the fact that I am a Packers fan does in fact make this a homer pick. But the fact of the matter is I just feel that with Rodgers, our offense, the new defense, McCarthy, the offensive line gelling together, etc..., that this team is going to win the Super Bowl. If not, so be it. But I really do believe it's going to happen.

Do I have the chance of being wrong? Well, of course of I do. This is a team that went 6-10 last year, for one. Also, there are 31 other teams in the National Football League, many of them being given much better odds than the Packers to win the Lombardi Trophy. But I don't care. These are the Packers, these are my Packers, and judging by what I've seen so far this team has every right to be involved in the Super Bowl contender conversation.

Last night was a strong example of that. Yes, it was the first game of the preseason. Yes, we were playing the Cleveland Browns. But a 17-0 victory is a 17-0 victory no matter who is on the field. The best part of this early preseason victory is that the first-teamers looked solid, and that's what you're looking for when gaging a team in the preseason. Aaron Rodgers couldn't have looked better, and if you don't believe that he's a top five quarterback in this league than you don't watch football.

Rodgers looked especially sharp during his 53-yard strike to Donald Driver to put the Packers up 7-0. He looked on on the next scoring drive as well, which was capped by a Ryan Grant touchdown (Grant also looked very good in this one). Hell, the entire Packers team looked solid in all facets of the game, barring the unfortunate performance of Brian Brohm, who just can't seem to catch a break.

And how about that defense? It was a very break but don't bend kind of performance for the defensive unit, which isn't a bad thing. Sure, they gave up some yardage from time to time, but on the whole, they were able to squash every Browns scoring opportunity and hold Cleveland to the shutout. Four interceptions will help do that for you.

My favorite part of this game though? The Packers had this thing so in their hands, that they were just throwing Mason Crosby out to kick 60-yard field goals for the hell of it.

Now you may be thinking, "Holy Highway Winks, settle down, this was a preseason game!" But if you're thinking that you may have missed my point. What I'm trying to say is that I don't think the Packers are a Super Bowl contender because of one preseason game. I know that preseason games are meaningless. What I am saying is that I thought the Packers were a Super Bowl contender before their games against the Browns, and their performance against them only made me feel better about that feeling.

This is a good team we're rooting for this season, folks. Let's enjoy this.

Box Score.

The Brewers Are Totally Redeeming Themselves!

Before you legitimately compete for the playoffs, you have to be at least .500, and the Brewers have accomplished that task in the early part of the weekend. Milwaukee has looked very sharp in their first two games against Houston, winning 11-2 on Friday and then 6-2 on Saturday. The veterans are getting their act together, the starting pitching has been superb, and the new guys are performing as well. Hell, even the stupid strategy of batting the pitcher in the 8th spot is paying off.

If you like offense, Friday was your night. The Brewers put up eight runs in the first inning, highlighted by homers by Ryan Braun and Felipe Lopez, as well as a two-RBI double from Yovani Gallardo. Braun added to the output with another home run in the bottom of the second inning. After that, Gallardo and the bullpen was able to keep the Astros at bay, and the Brewers finished with the 11-2 victory.

Saturday was another impressive night, highlighted by three RBI from Craig Counsell as well as seven solid innings from Mike Burns. With seven strikeouts as well, this might have been the best game Burns has pitched this season. It's gotta be difficult for him as he keeps getting bumped from Milwaukee to Nashville, but with every trip back to the big leagues he proves that he does deserve a spot on the active roster.

I'm not going to recap any further, I'll let the box scores do that when I post them, but the main thing to take away from this series so far is that maybe the Brewers aren't done quite yet. Personally, with them still being seven games back of the Cardinals and six back in the wild card race, I don't think this team will make the playoffs, but I'm encouraged by what I'm seeing this weekend. In the last two games, the Brewers have hit on all cylinders, and the new additions of Weathers, Escobar, and Burgeois seem to be paying off.

I guess my feeling comes down to this. I think that this current 25-man lineup (even without Bush and Suppan) can be a legitimate playoff contender. I think this current lineup is a pretty solid squad, based on what I saw this weekend and the potential that can come of that. The problem is that the Brewers have had such a rough stretch before this weekend, that I'm not sure we can make up all the ground we lost.

Are we good enough to be a playoff team? We just might be. But I fear it's a little too late.

And I could be good, and I would - if I knew I was understood...

... And itll be great, just wait - or is it too little too late?

(The Box Score contest is one song, I'm just looking for the artist.)

Players of the Game: We're going pitching on both nights here. Gallardo for Friday, Burns for Saturday.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Raji Signs with the Packers

I'm at a wedding right now, but I still find ways to update you! Don't ask me how I do it, folks. Just wanted to pass on word (that you may already know by know) that B.J. Raji and the Packers have come to a contract agreement. The deal is a five-year deal worth $28.5 million, with $18m of that guaranteed. Nice stuff.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Baseball is Back at UW-La Crosse

Two months ago, the baseball and tennis programs at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse were axed. This week, they were saved. Through some insanely proficient fundraising campaigns, both programs are back. After the program was saved, I had to talk with Zach Thiel, organizer of the site

The Bucky Channel: First off Zach, congratulations on saving a program that looked like it had seen it's final days. I guess the big question is, how in the world did you guys do it?

Zach Thiel: Saving the baseball program at La Crosse was a monetary team effort through phone calls, letters, and web attention from the site I created The team consisted of many individuals including coaches, parents, alumni, players, and total strangers. All in all donating enough money to save the program and keep baseball at La Crosse for another season. I also cannot thank the news media enough for assisting me in spreading the word of our situation and helping me spread our message to the local and national community.

TBC: Now, when you guys started this project, did you think saving the program was inevitable? Or did you view it more as something you'd like to see happen, but didn't view really as very likely?

Zach: As soon as I received the news about the baseball program at La Crosse needing $50,000 within three months to remain alive, I must admit it seemed like a daunting task, especially in our global economic situation. However I only had a few minutes during a call with Gary Sharp in early July (lead in saving the baseball program at Northern Iowa, which unfortunately to date has been unsuccessful) where doubt set in. But he quickly turned my doubt into inspiration with his kind words and advise and really helped me continue to keep my head up and focused on the task of saving Eagle baseball. So other than those few minutes of doubt I remained confident we would be able to raise the necessary funds needed to save the program. Every update from Anne Babich of the UW-L foundation and head coach Chris Schwartz kept me digging my feet in and wanting to spread the word more and more to help in saving the program.

TBC: Where did a majority of the support come from? Was it a few big donors, a lot of small donors, or key fundraising drives? If I'm not mistaken, I believe that you even got a nice donation of the UW-L Chancellor, Joe Gow.

Zach: To my knowledge the donations were large and small, I personally know of a single $10,000 donation which I am extremely grateful for as it gave us the final push we needed to save the program. Other than that I believe most where well under that, but donations of all sizes were needed to accomplish our goal. $50, $100, $500 it all added up and every little bit helped in keeping the kids on the field for one more season. And yes, Chancellor Gow personally donated $1000 that was divided between the baseball and tennis fundraising programs.

TBC: So we've saved the program for this upcoming season, but what does the future hold?

Zach: The baseball program is safe for the upcoming 2009-2010 season, we still have work to do to keep baseball at La Crosse for the long haul. Head coach Schwartz and former coach Bill Terry are working on a long term plan so the program at La Crosse will be around for years and years to come.

I'd also like to say that I have two cousins (Garrett and Gavin Scray) who are pitchers on the team both residing in DePere, WI. As soon as I received a letter from my aunt in early June concerning the program at La Crosse the idea immediately popped in my head of creating the website to help inform the public and draw attention to our situation. Since then it’s been a busy two months for me consisting of, interviews, hundreds of emails, hundreds of personal letters, well over a hundred hours of time, and a net result of getting to see my senior cousin Gavin finish his baseball career at La Crosse and Garrett take the mound for his sophomore season. It’s been a unique experience, one I never thought I would be involved in, but just knew I had to. Meeting all sorts of people along the way, it truly has been well worth every minute.

I want to personally thank each and every person who donated their hard earned money to help save the 2009-2010 baseball season at Wisconsin La Crosse. I also want to thank the media, who's efforts assisting me with spreading our grim situation helped promote and draw interest not only locally but nationally. Without each and every one of you Eagle baseball this season would have been a dream, not a reality. Unfortunately our work is not done yet, as we still need to continue to raise funds for the long term existence of the baseball program, but after seeing the response in just two months I am confident baseball will be at La Crosse for future generations.

TBC: Thanks for your time, Zach, and congratulations on what you guys have accomplished. It also goes without saying that I wish you guys luck for the future as well.

Rivera Makes His Case, Again

Last week I said that Mike Rivera should be the Brewers every day starting catcher. Today just reiterated that statement, as Rivera knocked out two home runs and brought in five RBI to help the Brewers beat the Padres 12-9. That's double the amount of home runs Jason Kendall has hit all season (Kendall, who can only hit homers at Minute Maid Park by the way). Seriously, let's start this guy already.

As far as baseball games go, this was a wild one. In addition to Rivera's two homers, Prince hit two of his own and Braunie hit one as well. The Brewers needed all of them too, because believe it or not they almost let an 11-3 lead slip away. The Padres stormed back, but Trevor Hoffman eventually earned the save against his former team.

In other important news, Alcides Escobar went 1-for-4 in his first start this season. Somehow, Jody Gerut went 2-for-4 and even crossed the plate three times. Like I said before, it's an interesting time to be a Brewers fan right now.

With the win, the Brewers are now 56-58 but still seven games back in the Central. How is this race not over?

Player of the Game: Mike Rivera.

Winks Thinks: The It's H'all Over Edition

Sorry Bill Hall fans. It's over. The era of pink bats and mediocrity has come to a close. What does that mean for me? Well, in addition to the "Good Riddance Bill Hall" party I'm throwing Saturday night, it means I had something to write about for this week's edition of Winks Thinks, available as always at the Sports Bubbler. Also included are thoughts on Tiger Woods, Jeremy Piven, and Steven Segal. Dig in.

Oh, and while we're on the topic of Brewers news, they play in about an hour from this posting. Should be a good one, with Gerut starting in right, and Manny Parra batting 8th (Escobar is 9th). And hey look at this, the Crew put a waiver claim on Dougie Davis, although it doesn't look like a move will be made. Interesting times, Brewers fans.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Toys Kept in Box During Loss

The Brewers didn't really get a chance to show off their new toys on Wednesday night, but I wish they would have. Seriously, weren't you just a little more interested in the Brewers after all the moves they made during the day, and wasn't checking out Escobar and Burgeois sort of the reason why you wanted to watch this game? I know it was for me.

Well, we did get to see Escobar pinch run, and Chris Bosio did make a visit to the mound, so that was nice. Other than that, it was a typical 2009 Brewers game. Take an early lead, get killed in a big inning, make somewhat of a comeback, and fail to deliver the victory. Padres 6, Brewers 5. Been there, done that.

Escobar will be starting on Thursday, and I think you can say this is the official start of his tenure as the Brewers starting shortstop. I honestly don't see Hardy in a Brewers uniform ever again, sans maybe a September call-up. Escobar is here to stay, and tomorrow should be interesting.

Go Brewers!

Another Loss at Azteca

They took an early lead, but then played a little too defensive, and the United States ended up with another loss in Mexico City to the Mexican soccer squad. The 2-1 loss dropped the States' record against Mexico in Mexico to 0-23-1, as playing south of the border has become an impossible situation at best. Maybe some things just aren't meant to be.

The U.S. had a chance to take a 2-1 lead near the 73rd minute, but a controversial offsides call eliminated a chance at a goal for the Americans. On further review, it did look like the call was a correct one, but that blown chance almost directly lead to the game winning goal for Mexico, who keep their World Cup hopes alive with the victory.

This was a game that Mexico needed a lot more than the U.S. did, but it would have been nice to get the victory down there nonetheless. Either way, America should have no problem finishing in the top three of this group of six and advancing to South Africa next summer.

The real injustice with this game had nothing to do with what happened on the field, but rather how it was broadcast. ESPN covered this game like it was an NFL Playoff game, yet the game was nowhere to be found on any one of their networks. To watch the game, you had to somehow find Telemundo 2, or settle for the game in Spanish on Telemundo.

I'm baffled by this, because the build-up for the World Cup has been fairly strong, and the interest in international soccer has been growing. Yet, in what is arguably the biggest game of their World Cup Qualifying experience, we are left to physically hunt through our televisions to watch the game. Let's work on that next time, soccer world.

So in review: Would have liked to win, not a big deal we didn't. In the end, a great game. If you got to see it.

United States vs. Mexico Play-by-Play

From what I understand, the HUGE World Cup Qualifier today between the United States and Mexico is not on TV today (2:45 CT), unless you get Telemundo 2 or something. I know ESPN will be having a live Sportscenter throughout the game for updates, so you can check that out. Otherwise, they usually do a pretty good live blog, so here's that for you this afternoon.

I'll have reaction from the big game later tonight.

That's What Happens After a 13-6 Loss...

... especially to the San Diego Padres, at home. Haudricourt is calling this "Black Wednesday" for the Brewers, and this is one of the rare times I agree with the guy. The Brewers are definitely desperate to save this season, and they pulled out all the stops today shaking up the clubhouse. The moves:

1. Pitching coach Bill Castro fired. Nashville's pitching coach Chris Bosio promoted.

Reaction: Fine with me. I like Castro and all, and he deserved this opportunity, but didn't take advantage of it. Plus, he visited the mound WAY too often. Brewers games will be 10-15 minutes shorter because of this move. As for Bosio, he was one of my favorite Brewers back in the card collecting days.

2. Hardy to Nashville, Escobar to Milwaukee.

Reaction: Wow. That move takes balls. Surprising especially since the Brewers are probably looking to move Hardy this winter, but on the other hand this will help see what they really have in Escobar. Very excited about this move, sorry Hardy fans.

3. Bill Hall designated for assignment. OF Jason Burgeois promoted to Milwaukee.

Reaction: Don't get too excited, no one is claiming this piece of shit. He'll ride the year out in Nashville and then we'll see what happens. Hilarious that he hit a home run last night though.

We'll see how this all works out tonight when the Brewers look for revenge at 7:05pm. Interesting stuff, to say the least.

Player of the Game: Thought, just for a moment, about giving it to Bill Hall. But there is no love lost between me and him, so I'm giving it to Hernan Iribarren! He was 2-for-2 with an RBI! Why not?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Add This to Your Daily Blog Lineup

One of my favorite things about doing this blog over the last couple of years has been watching other friends of mine get into the blog game as well. The latest entry into the blogosphere is, a site clearly devoted to college football. It launched yesterday, and already looks a lot sharper than my piece of shit Blogger design.

The content ain't to shabby either. All this week, they'll be previewing the Top 25, followed by their conference previews next week. Then all throughout the season they'll be providing daily updates from around America.

If you like college football, I'd add it to your daily readings, especially to supplement our work here at The Bucky Channel. We all know that I don't really cover too much college football, and that I'm a bandwagon Badgers football fan anyways, so check out if you have the chance.

(This isn't a paid advertisement either like when I try to sneak those articles in. I genuinely like the guy that runs this, so I thought I'd advertise his blog to the twelve of you.)

Smith Sent Down to Nashville

David Weathers' gain is Chris Smith's loss, as Smith was sent back down to Nashville to make room for Big Dave on the 25-man roster. I actually thought Mike Burns might get sent down for the 20th time this season, but Smith turns out to be the odd man out.

Would you believe me if I told you that Smith has already appeared in 23 games for the Brewers this season? For some reason it feels like he really hasn't been up that long (June 4th), but it definitely feels like he hasn't pitched much.

The reason for that is probably because when he does pitch, you've already turned off your TV. Smith usually just appears in mop-up roles, which explains the 2-21 record the Brewers have in games he does appear. He personally hasn't pitched bad, collecting a 3.62 ERA over that time.

Yet, there was really no other option, and the Brewers bullpen does get stronger with this move. Smith will be back in Milwaukee sometime down the road though, but hopefully he gets the chance to make more of an impact next time.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Party at My House

October 8th, 2009. Are you doing anything that night? Because if you aren't, I'd be more than happy to have you come over for my UFL Opening Night party. San Francisco will be taking on Las Vegas at 8pm Central on Versus, and you can watch it live on my new HDTV. Sound good?

I think so, but if it's anything like the XFL Opening Night party I tried to have in 2001, then it looks like my brother will be the only one in attendance. Either way, I'm always up for celebrating the start of a new football league, so the option is there.

In fact, the entire schedule has been released, and you can catch the games on either Versus or HDNet. Sure there are only four teams, but whatever. Football is football! (all times below are central).

October 8 - S.F.-Las Vegas (Versus, 8pm)
October 10 - N.Y.-Florida (HDNet, 6pm)
October 14 - Florida-Las Vegas (Versus, 8pm)
October 17 - N.Y.-S.F. (HDNet, 8pm)
October 22 - S.F.-Florida (Versus, 6pm)
October 29 - S.F.-N.Y. (Versus, 6pm)
October 30 - Las Vegas-Florida (HDNet, 6pm)
November 4 - Las Vegas-N.Y. (Versus, 6pm)
November 12 - Las Vegas-S.F. (Versus, 8pm)
November 14 - Florida-N.Y. (HDNet, 6pm)
November 19 - Florida-S.F. (Versus, 8pm)
November 20 - N.Y.-Las Vegas (HDNet, 8pm)
November 27 - Championship (Versus, 2pm)

How Did I Miss This?

I'm not really a Hornswoggle fan, but the WWE "wrestler" is from Oshkosh so we'll show him a little bit of love. Somehow I missed that he was at Miller Park last week to throw out the first pitch. Here's some more pictures at Now get off the computer and get ready for RAW tonight!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

David Weathers is Back

From June of 1998 until July of 2001, David Weathers was a Milwaukee Brewer. Eight years after he left Milwaukee, he'll return the same way he first came to Brew City in the first place as he was claimed off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds.

Now, because of baseball's weird trading structure, technically the Weathers acquisition is looked at as a trade. Because the Brewers claimed him off waivers, they will have to send Cincinnati something in return. That something is going to be a player to be named later. The Brewers have given the Reds a list of players they can choose from, which the Reds have to do by October 15th. If not, the Brewers will end up sending cash or something. Haudricourt has the details.

If nothing else, this move shows that at least Doug Melvin is still trying. The bullpen hasn't been terrible this season, but they have been overworked which is way the constant roster changes have occurred. Just in the last three days the Crew has added Jesus Colome, Claudio Vargas, and David Weathers. Not blockbuster names, but moderately fresh arms that could help the Brewers string a couple of wins together here and there.

The Frustrating Season Continues

First off, that was not a strike in any language. With two men on and two outs, Ryan Braun came to the plate looking to be the hero but was denied when the umpire (don't feel like looking up his worthless name) called strike three on a ball that was definitely outside of the strike zone. Granted, that alone isn't why the Brewers lost the game, but it was still pretty frustrating. Especially because a similar but less controversial call happened to Mike Cameron just one batter before.

Either way, I think the main word to define this season so far can be "frustrating". The final called strike three on Ryan Braun was just another example of that. The word sums up the last couple of weeks as well, because every time the Brewers win a game and seemingly build some momentum, they turn right around and give another one away. Losing 2-0 on Sunday after scoring twelve runs last night can only be defined by the word "frustrating".

In fact, you're not going to find a more frustrating moment this whole season than Ryan Braun being unable to convert the once-in-a-lifetime occurrence of BOTH Chopper to 3rd Kendall and Mrs. Jody Gerut being on base at the same time. Just awful stuff right there.

Player of the Game: Yovani Gallardo. One bad pitch out of 110.

Hey, Cameron. You realize if we played by the rules right now we'd be in gym?

Rivera > Kendall

You may look at this article and say, "Jeez, Winks. Just because Mike Rivera has one decent game you think he's better than Kendall? You were probably just praising Kendall after his home run two days ago, and if Kendall has a good game today you'll write an article about how good he is. Bandwagon much?" Well, if you were to think that, you'd be incorrect.

I've always liked Mike Rivera better than Kendall, with the main reason being I just don't like Kendall that much. It all boils down to the fact that I don't get why he plays so much more than any other catcher in the league. Most starting catchers start five out of seven games a week, and then the backup gets a couple of games as well. But Kendall goes like fifteen to twenty straight games without resting all the time, even starting day games after night games which is uncommon for most backstops. If this method was justified, that's one thing, but it's not.

Kendall is a good game caller, yes. But that's pretty much all he has over Rivera. Rivera is not the catcher of the future, but he's no slouch, and he's way better with the bat than Kendall is. There's a reason why every time I see Kendall I say, "chopper to third." He sucks with the bat, he's awful, and that home run he night the other night was a joke.

So no, I'm definitely on record before this saying how much I don't really like Kendall. I guess I don't mind if he is the starting catcher, but it's never really been explained to me why he gets all this preferential treatment over Rivera. When your starting catcher isn't in the lineup your first instinct should be "oh, a natural off day", instead of "Who the hell is this Mike Rivera guy?"

Naturally, the Player of the Game in the Brewers 12-5 victory last night against the Astros will go to Mike Rivera, and deservedly so, as it was a big 3-run double in the 3rd inning that put this one in the Brewers control. So thanks Mike, Prince, Parra, and the rest of the gang for getting the Crew back to .500!

And for those scoring at home, I did watch this game basically in it's entirety. I was kind of all talk about watching the Packers last night, but that scrimmage never even happened, and the bar didn't have it on anyways.

Brewers going for the series victory, RIGHT NOW!

While she looked so sad in photographs, I absolutely love her when she smiles!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Pack is Back

I've recently said that I want to make the earlier-than-normal switch from being all Brewers to all-Packers, and tonight is a perfect night to do that. Because if you love scrimmages, you'll love FOX 11 Family Night, taking place tonight at Lambeau Field.

If you don't get FOX11 out of Green Bay, don't worry, their coverage will be shown on Fox affiliates throughout the state of Wisconsin. If you don't live in Wisconsin but want to watch the scrimmage, you're out of luck. But remember, it's only a scrimmage, although I'm sure NFL Network will show it sometime or another.

I'm pretty pumped about tonight actually, even though it is just a glorified practice. One, it's our first real look at the team that is going to be hosting the Lombardi trophy a few months down the road. Two, it's something else to watch besides another Brewers meltdown, which is always nice. Whatever your preference, the Packers season unofficially starts tonight, and I couldn't be more happy.

Catching Up With the Brewers

What's one thing that's true of the Milwaukee Brewers no matter how good or how bad they may be? Rookie pitchers always win against us. After Friday night, you can add Bud Norris to that list, as he struck out seven batters in six innings to lead the 'Stros over the Crew 6-3. Kind of lame.

The Brewers had a chance to take the lead at one point in the seventh, but Prince Fielder couldn't turn a bases loaded opportunity into any runs. I was hoping for a Grand Slam, but not every team can have a guy as good as Jason Michaels on their team (the Astros center fielder who inexplicably hit two home runs against the Brewers on Friday).

With the loss, the Brewers and Astros are both floating at the 54-55 mark, both teams five games back of the Cards for the NL Central crown. They are also six games back of Colorado and San Francisco for the NL Wild Card, a sentence I never thought I'd be typing this season.

Player of the Game: Jason Kendall homered?

Couple of roster moves to inform you about as well, R.J. Swindle was DFA'd in order to make room for Jesus Colome in the bullpen. Swindle was picked up immediately off waivers by the Tampa Bay Rays, who already have seven former players from the Brewers organization on their active roster (Gabe Gross, Joe Dillon, Gabe Kapler, Jeff Bennett, Randy Choate, Grant Balfour, Brian Shouse). That's insane.

And this is very subtle, but I did use a picture of two catchers on purpose to correlate with the title of this posting. It's the little things, people.

Don't You Look Like...

Chicago Bears great Gale Sayers and the creator of "Chocolate Rain", Tay Zonday.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Winks Thinks: Packers, Plumbers, and Paris

Hey there, cutie. Say what you want about her, but I love Paris Hilton. Anyone who becomes famous for doing nothing is alright in my book (and don't say she did a sex tape, because she literally did nothing in that as well). Either way, she's just one of the topics covered in this week's edition of Winks Thinks, as well as when to switch from Brewers Mode to Packers Fever, and my recent interactions with one Joe the Plumber.

POTG: Brewers 4, Dodgers 1

The Milwaukee Brewers never cease to amaze me. Just as I write them off for dead, they play some decent baseball and end up winning a three game series in LA, capped off by last night's 4-1 victory. They even played nice and didn't retaliate against the Dodgers. The team is still only at the .500 mark, but they are only four games back in the NL Central with plenty of baseball to play. But they aren't out of this thing after all (although they probably are).

Player of the Game: Braden Looper.

Ohhh! Shishkebab. Shawshank Redemption. ShicaaaaGO!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Prince Smash!

If you were like me last night, you probably either went to bed before the end of the game between the Brewers and Dodgers, or just turned it off completely. I normally love these late start times for games, but the new job has been catching up with me this week and I feel asleep with the score at Dodgers 4, Brewers 3. Imagine my surprise when I saw the final score was Dodgers 17, Brewers 4. Then imagine my bigger surprise when I saw that Prince Fielder tried to get into the Dodgers clubhouse after the game.

Although that wasn't as surprising as seeing Jody Gerut with an RBI next to his name.

Sure, the Brewers got their asses kicked. What's new? At least this time it was to a good team. But that blowout lead to an even bigger confrontation late in the game. You see, Manny Ramirez got hit with a pitch in the 7th inning, and the Dodgers thought it was intentional. So, in the 9th inning, and with a 13-run lead in his pocket, Dodgers reliever Guillermo Mota drilled Prince as retaliation. Breaking the unwritten rules of baseball? That's up for you to decide.

Fact of the matter is, Prince was pissed, and I feel rightly so. Even more rightly so that the ball came from a former teammate of his in Mota. Prince's frustrations didn't subside easily either, as he actually tried to get into the Dodgers clubhouse after the game. Video is available here, courtesy of KCAL.

Prince wanted Mota bad, maybe to just hash it out verbally, but more likely probably to club him upside the head. I'm sure though that Prince just wanted to know why on earth his former buddy would take an unexpected heel turn with the game more than out of reach.

In response, the Dodgers said their appropriate bullshit responses, but now all eyes are going to be on the Brewers/Dodgers game tonight. The big question is, "How will the Brewers retaliate?" But if you're asking that question, you're bound to be disappointed. Because If I'm the Dodgers, I bean one of the Brewers batters in the first inning, as Milwaukee will bat first as the away team. This way, both benches are warned, and the Brewers really can't do anything about it at that point. Lame, but I'd bet that's what happens, if anything.

I wouldn't be surprised if Fielder tried to contact Mota during the warmups today, or I wouldn't be surprised if he was already over it. I don't know if I would have personally taken it as far as Fielder did, but I would have been pretty pissed as well, so I can't really blame him.

I think the biggest thing we take away from this is that this isn't something that happens to playoff caliber teams. Playoff caliber teams win games 17-4 and bully the lower teams around a little bit. Playoff caliber teams don't get hit by a pitch and then storm into the opposing team's locker room.

However, I'm sure some of us are like, "Hey, maybe this is the turnaround the Brewers need." Unfortunately, I don't see that happening. This team is frustrated, and as we've seen in the past they are more likely to unravel then they are to start swinging the bat better. Hopefully Macha can calm this team down better than Yost could, and the Brewers can try to get a win and still win the series tonight.

One thing is for sure, I wouldn't mess with Prince Fielder today. Manny Parra, you've been warned.

Player of the Game: Prince had a couple of hits and an RBI, so I'm giving it to him anyway.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

FSN Wisconsin Earns Exclusive Rights to Bucks Telecasts

I know this is a picture of Craiggers at Miller Park, but get ready for a whole lot of Craiggers this season on Bucks telecast. As my headline, which was meant to be sarcastic, indicates, every Bucks game televised this season will be on FSN Wisconsin. That's because TNT, ESPN, and ABC have decided not to show the Bucks one single time for the upcoming 2009-2010 NBA season. Hey, at least ESPN is doing us the favor of letting us know now instead of two days before they decide to pull us off the schedule (as was the case with a game against the Hornets last season).

Actually, I take that back. NBATV will be broadcasting a November 16th game against the Mavericks, but who really has NBATV anyway? Other than that, it's all FSN Wisconsin, including the games at the end of the season where they show the struggling Bucks instead of the first couple games of the Brewers season.

As for the Bucks actual schedule, that kicks off on Friday, October 30th with a game in Philly at 6:00CT. Their home opener is the following night against the Pistons at 7:30pm. I don't expect the Bucks to make the playoffs this season, but they should be much improved over last year as the team looks to actually have a foundation for where they want to go in the next decade, so I'll be watching. Here's the full schedule.

The Iron Might Make It After All

They may have missed the playoffs, but the Milwaukee Iron may have succeeded in their one real goal this season: Make it to year two. With a nice crowd of nearly 6,000 to close out the season, it's clear there is at least some interest for an arena football team in Milwaukee. Despite the current financial woes of the team, the interest may be enough to keep the team running for at least another season.

That outlook seemed to get a little better with the folding of the Arena League this week. Keep in mind, the Milwaukee Iron are actually in arenafootball2, which I guess is now the elite arena football league in America despite the "2" in their name. Look for that to change, I'd think. Here's the official word from the Milwaukee Iron front office:

Amidst reports that the Arena Football League may decide to further suspend play in 2010, as the league did in 2009, the Milwaukee Iron and the arenafootball2 league will continue to operate as normal. The af2 employs a different structure and business model than that of the AFL and will not be directly affected by the AFL’s decision.

If anything, an extended AFL hiatus could be very beneficial to the Iron. If the AFL does not play next year, its players will be free to sign with af2 teams, giving the Iron a larger talent pool to draw from when filling their roster for the 2010 season.

The Iron are excited at the opportunity to continue to move toward their goal of winning a championship while offering a unique and fun entertainment option for fans. After coming within three points of the af2 playoffs in their inaugural season, the Iron are already preparing for further success on and off the field in 2010.

So things look positive for now, but keep in mind there's a long time between that letter from the Iron and the opening kickoff of next season. Still, it's interesting how at first glance you may think the AFL shutting its doors would be the worst thing for the Iron, when instead it may actually be the one thing that keeps them alive.

Well, That Was Close

You would think that a 6-2 lead heading into the 9th inning would be an easy victory, but we know full well with the Brewers that's not quite the case. The Brewers tried to get Manny Parra to go the full nine innings on Monday night after pitching solid through the first eight, but he just didn't have the endurance to close it out. After he gave up two runs in the inning, things were turned over to Trevor Time for the save.

Hoffman had some difficulties at first, but eventually got Manny Ramirez to fly out with the bases loaded to wrap this one up, and give the Brewers a clutch 6-5 victory. Despite the decent pitching last night, Braun was the hero in this one, going 4-for-5 including a 3-run home run in the 6th inning, so he'll get the Player of the Game.

With the win, the Crew is back to .500, and showed that they can actually beat some decent competition, even if they struggle against the league's laughingstocks. Hopefully this will give them the momentum to win this series and have a good performance in Houston this weekend as well.

I'd write more, but I'm learning quickly how less time I have to blog while working an 8-5 schedule than I did when I was done with work at 12:30pm everyday. That's alright though, there's always my lunch break!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Warning: Hall Starting in Right Field

I just wanted to warn everyone that if you're going to stay up late and settle in for the Brewers game tonight, you're going to get a healthy dose of Bill Hall. The recently recalled Hall will start in right field tonight in place of the injured Corey Hart. I'd actually prefer to see Baby Catalanotto take the field, I don't care if the pitcher is a lefty or a righty. Hell, I'd even rather see them call up Corey Patterson right away.

Of course, if Hall can turn things around then more power to him. But I kind of don't want that to happen. Nothing personally against Hall, I just want to see him removed from the Brewers roster as quickly as possible. Hall has teased us for too long now, and it was time to cut bait a long time ago. Either way, hopefully the Brewers can show some signs of life tonight in Mannywood.

2B Felipe Lopez
3B Casey McGehee
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
SS JJ Hardy
RF Bill Hall
C Mike Rivera
LHP Manny Parra

The Best Picture Ever

It's me and your neighborhood handy man, Joe the Plumber! Couldn't resist getting a picture with him yesterday in Fond du Lac, especially with me wearing my "Gore/Lieberman 2000" shirt. I didn't really talk to Joe that much, but here was our exchange.

Winks: "Hey, good luck up there (with the speech)."
Joe: "Thanks, man. I hate speeches."

Classic. Thanks to Walsh for cropping the pic.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Villanueva Saves Otherwise Wasted Weekend

Slow weekend here at The Bucky Channel, due to the fast weekend it was in my life. I wrapped up my time at my restaurant job, and my hometown got a visit from Joe the Plumber, so as you can tell I had a pretty exciting weekend! Ha, gotta love Fond du Lac.

There were a few down moments in the weekend, however, most of which involved the Milwaukee Brewers. You likely know by now that the Brewers lost two of three to the Padres this weekend, a team they would have liked to sweep if they truly wanted to stay alive in this thing. But two more losses puts them one game back of .500, and even further back in the NL Central standings.

The first night was the worst night, as Braden Looper couldn't deal with a 7-1 lead and the Brewers ended up losing 11-7. Saturday wasn't much better as the Brewers lost 4-2, but they salvaged the series with a win on Sunday, as Carlos Villanueva gave up just two hits in five innings of work.

I don't know how many of you have jumped ship yet, but I sure have. When I say jumped ship, that doesn't mean I'm not rooting for these guys. It means I know simply know that this team isn't a playoff team, and this series only proved that further. These guys just don't look good, that's really all there is too it. I know that their schedule is a joke over the next month or so, but if we can only go 3-4 against Washington and San Diego, then how much better can things really get? That's all I'm saying, but I'm willing to watch in hopes that I'm wrong.

No Box Score contest this weekend, but it will be back tomorrow after the Brewers take on the Dodgers in what could be the make or break series of this 2009 season. Here though are the Player of the Game awards:

Friday - Prince Fielder
Saturday - Casey McGehee
Sunday - Carlos Villanueva

Oh, and these moves are probably worth mentioning. Tim Dillard was already sent back to Nashville so that the Crew could activate Claudio Vargas. Terrific. Corey Hart is probably out until September because his appendix needed to be removed, and will be replaced on the roster by Bill Hall, who could start in right tomorrow. Even better.

But wait, what's this? The Brewers signed outfielder Corey Patterson to a minor league contract? Now we're talking!

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