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ALL NEW BUCKY CHANNEL - Coming Soon

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

ALL NEW BUCKY CHANNEL - Coming Soon

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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bucks Survivor: Round Five

Results: Man oh man, there really are some anti-Mikey Redd folks out there. While I still think the Bucks would be a much better team after he finally leaves, I don't know if this is the time of the game for him to go. But it really didn't matter, because as much as people hate Michael Redd, people seem to hate Luke Ridnour a hell of a lot more. The tally:

Luke Ridnour - 16 votes (38 percent)
Francisco Elson - 11
Michael Redd - 8
Keith Bogans - 6
Richard Jefferson - 1

Team Storey, the veterans, is dwindling in numbers by the week. Even though Redd and Jefferson are two of Milwaukee's centerpieces, the old balls do make up for a lot of the dead weight on the Bucks bench. Perhaps they can rebound this week, otherwise they are headed to the tribal council for the fourth time in five tries.

This Week: The challenge is simple, minutes per game. We've already done games played, but now let's see how valuable these guys when they are actually healthy enough to play.

Team Awvee: Villanueva (26.9), Sessions (27.5), Bogut (31.2), Mbah a Moute (25.8), Alexander (12.4), Bell (25.5)

Team Storey: Redd (36.5), Jefferson (35.8), Elson (16.6), Bogans (16.7)

Results: It is just not the veteran's year. I tried to find a challenge that might work in their favor, but they are just so bad that they found a way to lose again (kind of like the real-life Bucks team). It was another close match, but Team Awvee averages 24.9 minutes per game while Team Storey only hits 23.48 minutes per game. And unfortunately for many of you, Michael Redd wins immunity for the week, as he had the most minutes per game. 

Voting: You can vote at the top right of the blog, just like always.

Teaser: Think this is fun so far? Well, there's a lot more in store. In the coming weeks, immunity will be abolished, the teams will be combined, and one of the Bucks voted off will have a chance to be voted back in. Also, the dreaded double elimination round is just around the corner. NBA - Where Bucks Survivor Happens.

Programming Note: This is going to be the last post here on The Bucky Channel until Sunday night, as we take an extended weekend. I'll be at the Brewers game on Thursday night, followed by a reunion weekend in La Crosse, if you care. If you're wondering, "Well what about Bear?", you have to remember that he never really posts anymore. That, and he'll be at a bachelor party. But when we come back on Sunday night, we'll have a complete wrap-up of the Brewers/Diamondbacks series, as well as much more. But keep coming back to The Bucky Channel throughout the weekend to keep taps on the latest round of Bucks Survivor (desperate plea to get hits when I'm not doing any work). 

As always, thanks for your readership.

Winks Thinks: The Ted Thompson Edition

I have a feeling some of you might actually enjoy this latest Winks Thinks, as there are no mentions of the following: Girls I like, Coldplay, Lost, 24, Wrestling. I know, I couldn't believe it after I wrote it either. As you can see by the title, it's a pretty Ted Thompson heavy edition, and you'll have to read it if you aren't already aware on how I feel about this guy (Spoiler Alert: I hate Favre, so...). Plus, we talk a little NL Central as well as the usual assortment of ramblings. Without further ado, here is the latest edition of Winks Thinks.

As a bonus, while you are at the Sports Bubbler, check out the latest post from Buckingham U. Blogger, entitled "5 Ways You'll Die Before the Swine Flu Gets You". Articles like this are just another reason why I proudly wear my Sports Bubbler sweatshirt every time I leave the house.

Happy Birthday Trenni!

Yowsza. 

I don't know what the hell Trenni is doing in this picture, but I like. Whether you want to honor her by missing her coverage during the Brewers game tonight, or creep on her Facebook wall like I did just now, try to wish Trenni Kusnierek a happy birthday. Trenni may have left FSN Wisconsin this year, but she forever remains in our hearts.

Also, happy birthday to my buddy Mase.

Corporan Takes Rivera's Place on Roster

Carlos Corporan started the season as the backup catcher at Nashville. A few weeks later, he's the backup catcher in Milwaukee. Corporan has been placed on the Brewers active roster, and his call-up occurred for two reasons. The first being that Mike Rivera needed to be placed on the 15-day DL, the second being that the Brewers wanted to keep Angel Salome in Nashville so that he could keep playing every day. 

Corporan isn't any slouch though, and he'll fulfill his role just fine. He's considered the best defensive catcher in the Brewers' organization, and has been hitting well enough down in Nashburg to get the call-up. Don't expect him to play too much though, as I think Kendall will go back to catching nearly every day, including for Dave Bush, which was previously Mike Rivera's role. Corporan may get a start or two in the next fifteen days, but that's about it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oh My Gallardo!

I really don't know what to say right now. I'm not quite speechless, there's a lot I have to say about what happened in the Brewer game on Wednesday, but I'm looking for one word to sum it all up. Dominating? It's a good word, but that doesn't even do justice for the performance Yovani Gallardo gave for Milwaukee today. I mean, this has to be one of the best outings by a pitcher in the history of baseball, that's how good he was today. 

What sort of performance deserves this praise? Would you be satisfied if the answer was eight innings pitched, two hits allowed, no earned runs, eleven strikeouts, and a solo home run in a game that ended 1-0?

Yeah, there's not really a word for that.

Gallardo was simply beyond ace today. We expected performances like this from him, but not like this. He single-handily won the Brewers a game. You don't do that in baseball. But Yovani Gallardo did.

Yovani took a no-hitter into the 5th inning, and allowed just two hits all game. But despite his efforts, the Brewers just could not get things going on offense. "That's ok," Yovani seemed to have said, "I'll just jack one out of here and win the game myself." Whether he said that or not, that's exactly what he did, as his solo shot in the 7th was the game's only run.

Seriously, this is about as perfect of a game as you can have in the big leagues. The only thing missing was that he couldn't go a complete game, as Macha took him out after 116 pitches and eight innings. He went to Carlos Villanueva for the save (old balls Hoffman just pitched back-to-back days), and Carlos rose to the occasion with a 1-2-3 inning. 

The win gives the Brewers their first series sweep of the season, and it is starting to appear like the Pirates may never beat Milwaukee again. Just an unbelievable series, capped off with one of the most unbelievable Brewer victories of all-time.


Player of the Game: Hint: This entire posting is devoted to him.

Update: It has been announced that Mike Rivera is indeed heading to the 15-Day DL after his collison at home plate on Tuesday night. The Brewers have not yet determined who will join the active roster in his place.

This is the Song That Never Ends...

Confused because he hasn't been in the spotlight for the last two months, Brett Favre decided that he was done playing second fiddle to Jay Cutler as Bus Cook's most douchey client and found another way to get his name in the papers. That's right, even though he is retired, Brett Favre has asked the Jets for an official release, and they have granted it.

Apparently, this isn't the first time Favre has made the request, but the Jets were smart to just get rid of the baggage. For example, if their first-round pick Mark Sanchez struggles in training camp, the calls for Brett Favre to come back may be loud and clear. True, they'd probably be from Brett Favre himself, but they'd still be heard. The Jets decided that they didn't want to see what happened in Green Bay last summer happen in New York, and they let him go. Can't blame them for that.

But the question remains: Why did Favre want to be released in the first place? If he is truly retired, who cares who has you under contract? Clearly, Favre must be thinking about doing something, but I'm not sure what that something is. I am praying that it something more along the lines of accepting a coaching job with Eric Mangini and the Browns, rather than it being something like him trying to make yet another comeback.

The few diehard Favre fans that are left are already buying Vikings seasons tickets, but I really don't see that happening. Favre is done, even though he might change his mind mentally, he doesn't have it physically anymore. We saw that happen last December with the Jets. If Favre would play again, it would have to be as a mentor to a young quarterback in a situation where he'd maybe see a few snaps, but you and I both know that would never happen. His ego wouldn't fit on the sidelines.

The most far out possibility of he asked for his release? Railbird Central brings it up by asking Ted Thompson to sign Favre to a one-day contract so that he can retire with the Packers. They say that now that everyone loves Ted, how great would it be for him to bring back Brett and repair the main reason people still hate him? 

Believe it or not, of all the scenarios I just mentioned, that's the one I want to see happen the least.

Favre's days as a Packer are over. At least for now. Sure, his number will be retired and he's earned a spot on the Ring of Honor, but the wounds are too fresh for Favre to come back to Green Bay. It's not that I'm not over what happened last year, it's just at this point I don't care about him anymore. And I don't want to see him come back under any circumstances until long after the Rodgers and Thompson era are over. 

I'm sure many of you that hated Favre last summer have already forgiven him, or have already moved on, but I haven't. Favre's theatrics last summer exposed his true self, and destroyed the image of a man I spent my childhood worshipping. If it was a guy of lesser importance, I'm probably over it by now, but this was Brett Favre were talking about here. This was the guy who, outside of my parents, was my hero. 

Now? He's just a washed up quarterback doing anything to remain in the spotlight, no matter what the cost.

Nothing heroic about that.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Milwaukee Gets To .500.

Its like riding a bike. That refers to me, writing recaps after a very long absence, and to the Brewers and finding their homerun stroke, who after tonight took over the homerun lead in the NL with 28 dingers. The surprising Pirates trotted out Paul Maholm, who has looked fantastic this year. He would look solid until giving up 2 runs to the heart of Milwaukee's order in the 5th inning, and then setting the table in the 6th which when reliever Jesse Chavez came in, was promptly cleared by Rickie Weeks' 5th homerun and second game leading homerun in consecutive days. Hell's Bells would ring out as Trevor Hoffman would pick up his first save as a Milwaukee Brewer in a 6-5 win.

Dave Bush didn't have his best stuff tonight, but he was serviceable as he struck out 5, going 5 innings and allowing 5 runs, 4 of which were earned. The bullpen looked very tough tonight as it trotted out Julio, Stetter, Coffey, and Hoffman to record only one hit and 3 k's in 4 scoreless innings.

On the offensive side, Weeks, Hart, Braun, and Hall all recorded 2 hits. Weeks and Hall both hit homeruns, in the 6th inning, which ended up being the key three runs that put the Crew ahead. Corey Hart reached base 5 times tonight, 2 via hits and 3 walks to boot. Gotta give the TBC player of the game to Rickie Weeks for his game changing homer.

It's great to see the offense come alive like they have. I currently feel like they are in every game, which makes every game watchable. At one point the Brewers were down 5-1 and I still felt like the Crew was going to win. Hall, Cameron, and even Rickie Weeks right now are finding their stroke, which is great since Prince and J.J. Hardy have yet to hit their strides. Ryan Braun has now raised his average to .351 with his 2-4 performance, its great to see him patient this year with him already having walked 1/3 the amount of times he did last year giving him 14.

I just saw Halley's Comet.......

An injury note, backup catcher Mike Rivera seemed to roll his ankle in the top of the 5th inning, he would finish the top half but would be removed in the bottom of the 5th.

The Brewers play at noon tomorrow with Yovani Gallardo and Ian Snell facing off. The 10-10 Brewers have now beaten the Pirates 14 straight times, the longest active streak, and 17 straight times at Miller Park....and I thought we had it bad at PNC a couple years ago.

(AP Photo by Jim Prisching)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Milwaukee's Dominance Over Pittsburgh Continues

It wasn't exactly the prettiest of wins, but Milwaukee was able to win their 13th straight against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night, the longest active winning streak in baseball. They did so at first by the long ball, and then sealed the deal with a little small ball. All that was capped off with the first regular season appearance by Trevor Hoffman in a Brewers uniform, as the Brewers are now again one game under .500.

Pittsburgh took a 2-0 to start the game, but homers by Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, and Mike Cameron gave the Crew a 5-2 lead. Milwaukee's lead was for the most part safe, until Carlos Villanueva collapsed again and gave up two runs in the 8th inning.

Villanueva hasn't had the best start to this season, and I'm not exactly sure what his role will be as we move forward. It appears that with Hoffman back, Coffey will take the 8th inning, and Villanueva could either slot into a 6th and 7th inning role, or perhaps a long reliever slot. I still love Carlos' stuff, but that 6.75 ERA needs to be improved upon, or else he may not only lose his standing in the bullpen, but some close games for us as well.

Luckily, the Brewers offense wasn't done scoring for the evening, as the dominance over Pittsburgh continued. Weeks grounded out for an RBI, Hart hit an RBI double, Fielder hit a 2-run single, and Cameron hit a sacrifice fly to cap the scoring for the Brewers at 10-5, and that was all she wrote for Milwaukee. 

Except, for one thing....



Well, besides the fact that he's no longer with the Padres, and that the quality of that video was beyond awful, it was indeed Trevor Time for Milwaukee tonight. He didn't come in for a save situation, but Hoffman got three quick outs and looked good in his first outing. His presence makes the bullpen that much better, and it's good to finally have him on the mound.

I'm going to go ahead and give Rickie Weeks the Player of the Game for the night. He only had one hit, but it was a big three run home run, and he later provided the winning run on a fielder's choice. Also deserving of mention here is Braden Looper, who gave up just two earned runs - three total - in five innings while striking out seven.

The Crew and Pirates go at it again on Tuesday night at 7pm. Be aware though, that the game is on WMLW, and not FSN Wisconsin.

Bucks Survivor: Round Four

Results: Despite an effort to rig the competition to give Salim Stoudamire the victory in this year's Bucks Survivor, the man who played zero minutes for the Bucks in 2008-2009 has finally been voted off the island. Even though I like him, and think he'll contribute to the team next year, he was screwing up all the averages in the contests because he had zero stats from the previous season. Maybe I shouldn't have even included him in the contest, but Bucks Survivor is a democracy, not a tyranny. But thankfully you guys voted him off. Not to say he didn't have some competition...

Salim Stoudamire - 23 votes (50 percent)
Joe Alexander - 14 
Charlie Bell - 7
Ramon Sessions - 2
Andrew Bogut - 0 
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - 0 

Joe Alexander did make it interesting for awhile, but he lives to see another day. Charlie Bell could be a sleeper in this contest, and I personally think it will come down to Bogut vs. Mbah a Moute for the finals. What can I say, Bucks fans appreciate defense. Mbah a Moute also has earned the coveted Brew Hoop endorsement, so we'll see how much that factors into play in the coming weeks. 

This Week: While the last year saw a lot of teams trying to shed cap room in the NBA to become more fiscally sound, one of the teams that have no chance in doing that is the Milwaukee Bucks. Hijacked by some of the worst contracts in sports, the Bucks aren't going to have a good amount of cap space to sign free agents or extend rookie contracts for a long time. To celebrate this handcuff, this week's contest will be based on salary cap numbers from the past season. The team that is cheaper and allows the Bucks for more cap flexibility will win the week, the other will be put on the block (with the cheapest contract receiving immunity).

Team Awvee: Alexander ($2,403,120), Mbah a Moute ($757,000), Sessions ($711,517), Bogut ($6,294,306), Bell ($3,348,000), Villanueva ($3,448,050)

Team Storey: Allen ($1,300,000), Bogans ($2,911,600), Ridnour ($6,500,000), Elson ($1,700,000), Redd ($15,780,000), Jefferson ($13,200,000)

Results: Maybe it's a little unfair for the veterans to go up against the rookies because of the way the contracts work in the NBA, but I don't think that is the case with this Bucks team. I don't think any Bucks veteran on Team Storey is deserving to make as much money as they are, while many guys on Team Awvee are vastly underpaid. Team Storey is making an average of $6,898,600 per player, which is more than the highest paid player on Team Awvee (average of $2,826,999. Sorry, Team Awvee, but you're back on the block. However, Malik Allen, with the cheapest contract, gets the much needed immunity medallion.

Voting: Kick off one of these underachievers by voting in the poll located at the top right of this blog. After you do that, call up five of your friends and tell them how awesome Bucks Survivor is, and get them voting! 

Packers Bringing in Free Agents

The Packers may be receiving many high marks for their draft this weekend, but that doesn't mean they are done rounding out their class of '09. As soon as the draft ended, it became a free-for-all to sign the undrafted free agents, and the Packers have collected their share of them already. Tom Silverstein over at JS Online has a running free agent/tryout thread, and I suggest you go there to learn more about the guys the Packers are bringing into camp this season. Here are the names so far:

Official Signings
Andy Hartline, OT, Central Michigan
Patrick Williams, WR, Colorado
Evan Dietrich-Smith, OT, Idaho State
Tyrell Sutton, RB, Northwestern
Kole Heckendorf, WR, North Dakota State
Carson Butler, TE, Michigan
Jamarko Simmons, WR, Western Michigan
JaRon Harris, WR, South Dakota State
Andy Brodell, WR, Iowa

Tryout Invites
Rhyan Anderson, DE, New Mexico State
Scott Witte, C, UW-River Falls

Looks like the Packers are going to bring in plenty of wide receivers and hope to see if one sticks, while the other guys will get to earn a paycheck for being practice bodies all while getting the chance to make an NFL roster. I know nothing about these guys, but great job Ted Thompson!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Packers Draft Six More on Second Day

After having what I think was a brilliant first day at the 2009 NFL Draft, Ted Thompson and the Packers continued picking guys that you have to think will be role players and even stars on this team for years to come. If you haven't already realized, I am very biased about the Packers' 2009 draft, as I think it was one of Ted Thompson's finest hours. The haters may say what they want, and I'll answer them in kind on this week's Winks Thinks. Until then, let's review the day two picks.

Round 4, Pick 9 (109 overall) - T.J. Lang - OT - Eastern Michigan 

It was no secret that the Packers were going to go offensive lineman here, and Lang is a good pick. He's a good zone block, and a physical guy. Will at least compete for a starting job, if not the first lineman to be substituted.

Round 5, Pick 9 (145) - Quinn Johnson - FB - LSU

A former linebacker in the mold of Korey Hall, Quinn Johnson could very well kick Korey Hall off the team. At 6'1'', 246 lbs, he'll be a dominant force in the backfield. I do expect him to make the final roster.

Round 5, Pick 26 (162) - Jamon Meredith - OT - South Carolina

Meredith (pictured) is the guy that most Packer fans are talking about in regards to day two of our draft, as he's considered one of the draft's biggest sleepers. Can play either the guard or tackle position.

Round 6, Pick 9 (182) - Jarius Wynn - DE - Georgia 

Speculated to be an interior lineman in the 3-4 scheme, he at least adds some depth in training camp, and could contend for a roster spot.

Round 6, Pick 14 (187) - Brandon Underwood - CB - Cincinnati

The Packers are going to give it a try with another Underwood in the secondary (Marviel), as they get a guy who can play both corner and safety.

Round 7, Pick 9 (218) - Brad Jones - OLB - Colorado

Welcome to the special teams competition, Brad Jones!

(For more detailed information on the Packers draft picks, check out the draft page at Packers.com)

Four Badgers Selected in Round Three

Since I kind of abandoned the Badgers this season, I don't really have a lot to say on the topic, but I wanted to pass along the Badgers that were selected in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Round 3, Pick 7 (71 overall) - Matt Shaughnessy - DE - Oakland Raiders

Round 3, Pick 12 (76) - DeAndre Levy - OLB - Detroit Lions

Round 3, Pick 15 (79) - Kraig Urbik - OT - Pittsburgh Steelers

Round 3, Pick 36 (100) - Travis Beckum - TE - New York Giants

With all of these guys being picked in round three, I fully expect all of them to make their respective rosters, as well as an impact with their new teams. I can really see Beckum excelling in a New York Giants jersey, and I look forward to seeing how that develops. Not a bad day for Wisconsin.

NFL.com has the list of all the Badgers that were eligible for the draft, and six of them are left to be signed as undrafted free agents, including RB P.J. Hill. So far, FB Chris Pressley has been signed by Cincinnati, while OT Andy Kemp has signed with the Vikings. Kemp would sign with the Vikings, because we already know he is a d-bag. Why do I make such a rash judgement about a college kid? Well, when you celebrate a win over Cal Poly like you just won the Rose Bowl, then you're automatically considered a d-bag for life.

Good luck to all the Badgers that were drafted, and that are still looking for a life in the NFL. Except for Kemp, of course.

Astros Deny Brewers the Series Sweep

At the beginning of the road trip, all I wanted was for the Brewers to go 5-4 and get to within two games under .500. And while that did happen, it would have been nice to see the Brewers finish the sweep of the Astros on Sunday. Even though Houston edged Milwaukee 3-2 to salvage the series, I'm not all that disappointed. It was a winning road trip, and the Brewers are back on track as they try to mount another run to the postseason.

The story of this game for Milwaukee has to be the two errors they committed in the game, one by Rickie Weeks (his fourth of the season) and one by Jason Kendall (his third). In a one run game, you always look at the one play that could have gone the other way, and in this game, there were two of them. 

Manny Parra pitched decent enough in the outing, giving up three runs although just one of those was earned. He lasted five innings, giving up just five hits and striking out four. McClung, DiFelice, and Stetter kept the Astros at bay for the rest of the game, but the three runs were already too many for the Brewers to come back from. Not pitching in the game was Trevor Hoffman, who was activated Sunday from the DL. R.J. Swindle was sent back to Nashville in order to make room for Hoffman.

The bright spots today were that Jason Kendall actually had two hits in a game for once, improving his batting average to .184. Ha. Mike Cameron had two hits as well, both of them doubles. He gets The Bucky Channel Player of the Game for his efforts. Struggling for the Crew was Brad Nelson, who got the start in right field, but went 0-for-4. He remains hitless on the season.

Next up is a three game series versus the Pirates back at Miller Park. I think this is a series the Crew could easily sweep, but we gotta at least win two out of three here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Brewers Outlast Astros in Marathon

It may have taken 11 innings and 4 1/2 hours, but the Brewers were able to win their fourth straight game by knocking off the Houston Astros by a score of 9-8 on Saturday night. This was a game where the Brewers were continually forced to come back from a deficit, but they answered every time. As Ryan Braun told FSN's Telly Hughes after the game, this team has their swagger back, and the Brewers are now just one game under .500.

Milwaukee took the lead in the fourth inning when Prince Fielder hit a solo shot to put the Brewers up 1-0, but then Jeff Suppan gave up three runs to Houston in the bottom of the inning. Suppan didn't pitch that bad, as he went 6 innings giving up 3 earned runs (4 total). It was an average Suppan start, although I'm happy with the six strikeouts he tallied throughout the night.

The Brewers found themselves down 4-1 in the 6th inning, a deficit that was erased when Bill Hall hit a 3-run shot to tie the game. Hall had a pretty good game in this one, going 3-for-6 with four RBI. He did have an error late in the game that nearly cost the Brewers the victory. That error, however, did cost him TBC's Player of the Game award. 

That award would be going to Prince Fielder. When the Brewers found themselves down 7-6 in the 9th inning, Fielder brought them back into the game with a two-run home run. Corey Hart scored on the play, although Hart should have had a home run himself earlier in the inning, but because Minute Maid Park is the most poorly designed ballpark in the history of America, it was only a double. 

The Brewers needed Fielder's home run because of an uncharacteristically bad outing from Todd Coffey, who for some reason pitched the 8th inning instead of the 9th inning. Coffey gave up three runs in the inning off of four hits. That meant it was Carlos Villanueva for the save in the 9th, but he faltered as well, giving up a run to the Astros and the game went into extra innings.

Villanueva - who after hitting a single in the top of the 10th - pitched into the bottom of the 10th as well, but ultimately grew tired after nearly fifty pitches. With the bases loaded in the bottom of that frame, it appeared as if the Astros were on their way to a victory, but Mark DiFelice came in and shut it down. 

Now in the 11th, the Brewers had yet another chance to win this ballgame. Hart doubled right off the bat, and scored when Ryan Braun hit a shot back up the middle. The Brewers then loaded the bases, but got nothing out of it. Still, they had a one run lead in the bottom of the 11th, and it was Mark DiFelice's time to shine.

DiFelice rose to the occasion brilliantly, and the Brewers earned the victory. They are now 5-3 on the current road trip, and this is the second series win in a row for Milwaukee. They'll go for the sweep, as well as a .500 record, when they take on the Astros on Sunday at 1pm.


Player of the Game: Prince - 3-for-5, 2 HR, 3 runs, 3 RBI

Thompson Trades His First-Born for Matthews

Well, maybe not that much but Ted Thompson really sure did give up a lot to trade with the Patriots for the 26th pick. I'm sure I'm not the only one that was floored by the fact Ted Thompson traded up for once, and I know that I'm not the only one that was initially concerned with how many picks we gave up to get there. But the fact of the matter is the Packers defense just continues to get better, as Thompson selects Clay Matthews, a linebacker out of USC. 

When they traded up, I figured they'd stay on the defensive side, but I was thinking maybe Everett Brown or Matthews' teammate Rey Maualuga, so I admit I was at first a little surprised with the Matthews pick. After further review, I don't think there's really any debating that this was a good pick, the only unfortunate thing about it is what we gave up to get him.

Unless they trade again, the Packers won't be picking until sometime Sunday afternoon. Green Bay gives up their 2nd round pick (#41), and both of their third-rounders (#73 and #83), but in turns brings in a 5th rounder (#162). You may hesitate at first because of how many picks we gave up, but I think these videos of Clay Matthews will change your mind.





Judging by these videos, Matthews appears to be an absolute wrecking ball. He'll bring an attitude and fierceness to the Packers defense that will be quite welcomed. With today's additions, the Packers defense could clearly compete to be one of the top in the league. I'm not sure how the personnel moves will all play out, but there's no question the Packers have a good amount of depth on defense. I don't really see Kampman being moved back to the defensive line, so perhaps Brady Poppinga is the odd man out. Or there's the small possibility Kampman gets traded out because of the system. I have no idea how this will shake out, but I know the Packers are better because of it.

And if the name Clay Matthews is a bit familiar to you, it should be. Matthew's father, also named Clay Matthews, was a longtime linebacker of the Browns and the Falcons. His uncle Bruce was a longtime offensive lineman for the Houston Oilers.

We may have given up one third rounder too many, but we definitely got a quality player here.

Thompson Talks About Raji

I may not have stolen my idea for my last post from the JS Online Packers Blog, but I definitely am stealing their idea for this post. Per Packers.com, here's the full transcript of what Ted Thompson had to say after the Packers selected B.J. Raji (again, excellent pick).

(Was it a difficult call between Raji and Crabtree?)

There are a lot of difficult calls during the course of the draft, and we think a lot of Michael Crabtree and a couple of other guys. But yeah, it was a difficult call. But we feel confident that we did the right thing.

(Were you surprised Raji fell this far?)

A little bit. Most of the pundits out there had him going a little bit earlier. He's a very powerful, explosive interior defensive lineman that has the ability to definitely play the run. He also shows the ability and the power to be a pass rusher from the inside. We think his addition gives us a little flexibility with Ryan (Pickett). Obviously Ryan is our nose tackle and he does a great job at it, but he is also athletic enough that if we wanted to move him around a little bit, that gives us some flexibility.

(You have said in the past you don't draft on need. Did you make this pick based on need?)

No. I mean, yeah, it's always going to be a factor. It's not that it doesn't factor in but you don't take a lesser player in your opinion. These players were rated about the same, him and a couple of other guys. So that's the way we balance it.

(Did you have any concerns about him on a character level that you had to get past during the process leading up to the draft?)

No. As you guys will get to meet him at some point, maybe next week or whatever, he is a very engaging fellow, very bright, very articulate. So the answer is no.

(What do you feel like he will bring to the 3-4?)

He's a classic nose-tackle build, but like I say, hopefully we are taking football players and B.J. Raji is a really good football player. I think he fits pretty well in the 3-4, but I also think he can play well in a 4-3, which he played his entire career in college. He is more than a space-eater. He's a little more than that. We're excited about him.

(Were you close at all to moving out of that spot?)

After we kind of got there, we were pretty convinced we were going to pick the player. We took a few calls, but it was just being polite.

(Did you talk to Jeff Jagodzinski at all about him?)

Yeah, back in the fall we did, when he was still there. Lee Gissendaner, our area scout, goes in there, as well as John Dorsey, and yeah, I think they both have spoken with Jags about that. He is good with him. A rare guy physically.

(What makes him rare physically?)

He's genuinely a powerful, powerful man, especially in his lower body. He has the ability to take people backwards where they don't want to go. He also has the quickness to go around them. He is a very powerful player against the run. It's unbelievably hard to find the combination of skill set that he brings. The good Lord just didn't make many people like this.

(It's been a couple of years since you didn't get booed at the draft party...)

Did I not get booed this year? They are getting soft. It's fine. It really doesn't matter because I've got thick enough skin to realize that is fine. The Jets picked a pretty good quarterback and I saw people in New York booing that pick. What matters is all of the work our staff puts in, all of the miles that our scouts travel, and then you come down to can you get a good player? We think we were able to get a good player and he should help our team.

(How important is the nose tackle to operating the 3-4 effectively?)

It's the anchor spot, and we feel blessed that we have two exceptional nose tackles now, and we have other young guys that might come on. But it's the anchor and you have to have it. When I was playing, Bum Phillips ran a 3-4 defense in Houston. Just like everything else in football, it's different than it was then, but it still depends on the nose tackle.

(What did you think of how the first five picks went and when did you start to think that Raji would be there for you?)

When we were on the clock. I had no idea what Jacksonville was doing. Everybody had predicted that they would be trading from that spot. I didn't know if they would stay and pick or trade out and let somebody else pick. I didn't know. I had seen some of the mock drafts were right on and some were completely different. I noticed we had the television thing on and a lot of the people said that the trade that Cleveland made changed a lot of things, but some picks earlier caused that to happen. I don't know. It's hard to guess. Everybody is playing this fantasy football and figuring out what is going to happen. We found it beneficial to just kind of relax and let it come to us.

(You said that you didn't have any concerns about his character. Was that because he had an exceptional interview and did you do a lot of work on that checking on his background?)

We did a lot of homework on all of the players, certainly the higher-profile guys like B.J. It is the culmination of all of that. It's the people that we talk to that know him, our own personal contacts and things like that. He's a good guy.

(Was the time you spent on the clock spent listening to trade offers or was there some debating going on between Raji and Crabtree?)

Like I said, I didn't expect the board to look like that when we got to nine, so I had to kind of take it all in and then talk it over with some of the guys and that sort of thing. It wasn't like we were searching our minds of what to do. I just wanted to kind of think it through because I hadn't really got to that scenario quite frankly.

(It was said he had a great week at the Senior Bowl. Was that confirmation of what you already thought of him or did that elevate his status?)

All-star games are different. I don't think you can put all of your eggs in a basket on an all-star game, whether a person does really good or really bad. I think most people in my business go by what they see on tape from the college games when they are playing for real. The all-star games can help you see athleticism and certainly the power that he demonstrated during the course of the week in one-on-ones and things like that, but you go mostly on the body of work from the school. That's what I try to do.

(Is his ability to collapse a pocket separate him from other defensive tackles the past few years?)

Quite frankly my mind is still focused in. I can't even remember the guys that have come out the last few years. For a guy that is a powerful run player, he does have the ability to compress the pocket and also the quickness to get around short sets. He can do some things. He won't necessarily be coming off the field all of the time on third down. I think you can probably leave him in, which is another thing about the combination of him and Ryan. They both are capable of doing that.

(When you had time to sit back and look at your draft board, what ultimately put Raji over Crabtree?)

I really am not going to speak to Crabtree too much. He is a member of the 49ers now and we wish him well. It's just all things being equal, you guys know how much we value big people, both on the offensive and the defensive line. The good ones are really hard to find, and it gets to be a supply and demand thing. It doesn't necessarily take away the value of another player at a different position. It's just that we have always put a lot of emphasis on that.

Packers Pick Raji

Even though the Journal Sentinel got everyone in a tizzy this morning by talking about how Ted Thompson really wanted Michael Crabtree, our G.M. ended up doing the right thing and drafted B.J. Raji, the defensive tackle out of Boston College. Raji is the absolute guy I wanted here after I fell in love with him during the NFL Combine. Had we drafted Crabtree, I would have made the argument that it's a smart pick if you're thinking about the long-term production of the offensive, but the Raji pick was the absolute correct choice here.

Raji is a beast, and is the perfect guy to play the tackle position in Dom Capers' new 3-4 defensive scheme. With a healthy Harrell as well as Cullen Jenkins on the outsides, I'm very pleased with how our defensive line is shaping up. Very pleased. Very, very pleased. 

Through the power of video, let's get to know B.J. Raji a little bit better, starting with the play that put him on the map.





Well done, Ted. Well done.

(By the way, I'm just now aware that the JS Online Blog has the same video posted in the same fashion, but there was no copying either way. We both must just be very good at typing "B.J. Raji" into YouTube, and then copying and embeding video on our sites.)

Three Game Win Streak For the Crew

When you play twenty games in twenty straight days, there are two things that you really want to do. The first of course, is to win as many of those games as possible. The second though, is to preserve your bullpen as much as much as you can. Both of those things were accomplished on Friday night, as Yovani Gallardo threw his first complete game ever en route to a 5-2 victory of the Astros.

Gallardo has some real good stuff all night, except for one blemish which was a two-run shot to our old friend Carlos Lee. Other than that, he gave up just four more hits and struck out seven batters. Our pitching has really stepped it up on this road trip, and I'm definitely liking what I'm seeing. Whether or not that keeps up with Jeff Suppan tonight remains to be seen.

Offensively, it was a four run fifth inning that put the Brewers on top for good. They did it the hard way too, as each run was delivered by an RBI single. Hardy, Fielder, Braun, and Cameron all notched an RBI in the rally. Rickie Weeks added a home run for good measure later in the game, and the Brewers are one game away from a winning road trip.

That's all I got for now, the Packers are on the clock!


Player of the Game: Yovani Gallardo.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Madden Curse Is Taking Two Down This Year

There she is my friends, the cover of Madden 10. It's a little different from the covers we've been used to, as this is the first time the cover features more than one football player. Gracing the cover for the latest edition of the Madden franchise will be Steelers' safety Troy Polamalu and Cardinals' receiver Larry Fitzgerald. I guess you could say that the Madden cover curse is spreading, which is fine with me because both the Steelers and the Cardinals will play my beloved Packers this season.

Personally, I like the change in concept from the Madden franchise. Rather than just focus one player, it's neat to give two guys the stage, while also reminding us fans of what a great Super Bowl we witnessed between the two teams last season. Plus, the franchise had to go to do something to move past the horrible cover that was Brett Favre in a Packers uniform (and then a Jets uniform) last season.

As for the game, I promised myself I won't get it until I move out of my folks' house and get a place of my own. Judging by how that's been going, it looks like I'll have plenty of time to save up for Madden 11.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bucks Survivor: Round Three

The Results: While it was close right away between Damon Jones and, yes, Michael Redd, the Damon Jones haters came out in full force on Tuesday and Wednesday and made sure he would be the second Buck voted off this year's Bucks Survivor. Jones was put on the block because his team, Team Storey, lost their second contest in a row, as their average games started was just a few tenths of a percent behind Team Awvee. You were a great cheerleader and a reason this team even had any life and character at all, but it's time for you to go. Damon Jones, the tribe has spoken.

Damon Jones - 21 votes (50 percent)
Michael Redd - 8
Malik Allen - 8
Francisco Elson - 2
Keith Bogans - 2
Luke Ridnour - 1

This Week: One of the problems that plagued the Bucks this season was their inability to score, especially after Michael Redd went down with an injury. So, as we move forward, we're going to need scorers. The team with the highest scoring average will be safe, while the other team will be heading to tribal counsel. Will Team Storey be back for the third week in a row, or will a member from Team Awvee finally be put up for elimination?

Team Awvee: Alexander (4.7), Mbah a Moute (7.2), Sessions (12.4), Bogut (11.7), Stoudamire (0.0), Bell (8.4), Villanueva (16.2)

Team Storey: Allen (3.2), Bogans (6.0), Ridnour (9.6), Elson (3.4), Redd (21.2), Jefferson (19.2)

Results: The fact that Salim Stoudamire is on the Bucks roster but didn't play in any games last year was going to catch up with Team Awvee eventually, and it did here. Between their seven players, their scoring average is 8.7 ppg, while Team Storey did a little better with a 10.4 ppg between their six. That means Team Awvee will be heading to tribal counsel for the first time this season. With his 16.2 points per game, Charlie Villanueva wins immunity for the week.

Voting: This should be old hat to you guys by now. You can vote for which Buck you'd like to see get voted off Bucks Survivor at the top right of the blog. The voting will be open until Monday, when a new contest will be given to the Bucks. Good luck, and happy voting.

Archives: Check out all of this year's game as well as last year's at the Bucks Survivor Archive Page.

Bush Takes No-No Into 8th

See what happens when you like Mike Rivera catch a game? I'm only (half-) joking, but the fact of the matter is that was a great performance by the Brewers battery today. Dave Bush becomes the first Brewers pitcher this season to last into and through the 7th inning of a ballgame, going 7 2/3 innings, giving up just one earned run off of two hits. Both of those hits came in the 8th inning, after Bush had gone 7 1/3 innings without allowing any. 

I feel like this is about the 30th time Dave Bush has flirted with a no-hitter, and I think one of these days it will finally come. But for today, we still must give Bush a standing ovation for throwing a gem that was much needed, especially as the Brewers are beginning a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.

As for the break-up of the no-hitter, you can blame Fat Stairs for that one. The former Brewer took a Dave Bush pitch into the right field seats, delivering with yet another pinch-hit homer. Fat Stairs isn't much for a ball-player, but the man sure can crank them out of the park. If I'm starting a baseball club, I'd take Fatty as my designated go-to pinch-hitter. But with the homer, the no-no was broken, and Juan Nieves remains the only Brewer to ever toss one. 

A great effort by Bush though, and I was glad to see many of the Philadelphia fans give him a well deserved round of applause when he left the game in the 8th. 

I started thinking no-hitter at the beginning of the 6th inning, and was progressively nervous as the game went on. It's amazing how superstitious and nervous I can become even though I'm hundreds of miles away from even being close to having an impact on the game. I finally started to believe that this was indeed happening when Bill Hall made a spectacular play after Greg Dobbs hit a chopper down the left field line. 

I don't even know how Bill made this play, and I wish I had some video to show you (on second thought, here it is). Hall somehow threw the ball as his momentum was heading towards the Brewers dugout, and he was already past the foul line. Just a fantastic baseball play, and I thought for sure he saved the no-hitter. Unfortunately, the Fat Stairs home run came on the very next play, so it was all for naught.

The performance by Bush and the defense did seem to help reignite the offensive sparks as well, as the Brewers put up six runs en route to a 6-1 victory. The scoring came on big plays as opposed to the small-ball stuff we've been seeing lately. First, Ryan Braun hit a 2-run bomb in the 4th inning. Prince Fielder brought in a few more runs with a 3-run double in the 5th, and Bill Hall added his first home run of the year in the 8th inning to cap the scoring. It was really a treat to watch the Brewers finally hit on all cylinders, and hopefully they can carry this momentum into Houston.

So look at that, Brewers fans. It took a couple of weeks, but the Brewers finally won a series, and it was against the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. They've also finally won two games in a row for the first time this season, and now look to go into Houston and finish out a winning roadtrip (3-3 so far), which is all I wanted from this nine game stretch. Their next game is Friday night, with Yovani Gallardo on the hill.

Don't look now, but is this optimism I'm feeling?

Player of the Game: I think Dave Bush is a pretty safe bet.

Winks Thinks: Links Thinks

As the weather finally gets nicer in Wisconsin, I'm sure most of you have already dusted off the bag of clubs and played a few rounds of golf. If you've seen a guy that shoots about three balls off of every tee and then whiffs his way down the fairway, then we've probably golfed together. My history as a golfer, sticking up for the WWE, many thoughts on the Brewers, and why I feel it's ok to refer to my favorite team as "we" are all included in this week's Winks Thinks. Bon appetit.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Does This Mean We'll Lose Game Three?

Despite the pessimistic tone of the headline, I mean it as a joke. But still, you gotta look at the facts, which are that the Brewers are winning just one game per series, and losing the other two. If history repeats itself, you would figure the Brewers are going to lose their matinee in Philly on Thursday. Or, if you believe in the law of averages, everything balances out and the Brewers will actually, finally, win a series. I'm going to go with the law of averages and hope we can pull out a win against the struggling Cole Hamels.

But before we look at that game - which will be here before we know it, gotta love day games on the East coast - let's take a few minutes to reflect on Wednesday night's game. The pitching staff wasn't perfect, but never beat themselves. The offense did just enough to win. And both came together at the same time to give the Brewers another much needed victory, as they knocked off the Phillies 3-1.

Braden Looper set out with the mindset of becoming the first Brewers pitcher this season to make it until the 7th inning (can you believe that hasn't happened yet?), but ultimately fell short. He did, however, go a solid six innings, allowing just five hits while keeping the Phillies scoreless. From there, DiFelice and Villanueva each pitched a scoreless inning, setting up Todd Coffey for the save in the 9th. It wasn't pretty - Coffey gave up his first run as a Brewer on a homer to Jayson Werth - but Coffey got it down, and reeled in his second save as Milwaukee's interim closer. I'll take performances like this from the pitching staff any day of the week. 

This was a game that was scoreless all the way up to the 5th inning, when J.J. Hardy went deep with his third home run of the season. Mike Cameron stayed hot in the 6th inning, driving in two runs when he doubled off Joe Blanton to give the Crew a three-run lead. It's fitting that Hardy and Cameron were the run producers tonight, as they had their spots switched in the lineup, with Mikey hitting 5th and Hardy hitting 6th. 

A good, much-needed win. Now hopefully the Brewers can win their first series of the year when they take on the Phillies for the rubber match - I used it in the right context this time - Thursday at noon. 

TBC POTG: Braden Looper.

A Little Afternoon Delight

I've been guest-writing at the Sports Bubbler a bit this week, and filled in on their "Afternoon Delight" column today. I wanted to let you guys know in case you're bored as you wrap up a Wednesday at work, because there's a lot of good reading material out there today, including thoughts on the Brewers game last night and what they should do with Manny Parra, as well as Bucks grades for the 08-09 season. Check it out if you have the chance.

Duke Coming to the Kohl Center

As a Wisconsin Badgers basketball fan, I've grown quite accustomed to watching them take on a team like either N.C. State or Virginia Tech when it comes to the Big Ten / ACC Challenge. Occasionally, however, one of the ACC powerhouses will get sprinkled in, and such is the case this year. Two years after the Badgers traveled to Duke and got hammered, the Dukies are returning the favor, coming to the Kohl Center on December 2nd. 

The Badgers have faired decently in the Big Ten / ACC Challenge, posting a 4-6 record. They have only played at home though three times, and are 2-1 when they do. If they are going to keep that winning record in tact, it's going to be tough, as the Blue Devils are 10-0 all time in the challenges between the conference. 

The rest of the schedule, which includes a rematch of the NCAA Championship, is as follows:

Monday, Nov. 30 

Penn State at Virginia

Tuesday, Dec. 1 

Maryland at Indiana
Michigan State at North Carolina
Northwestern at N.C. State
Virginia Tech at Iowa
Wake Forest at Purdue

Wednesday, Dec. 2 

Duke at Wisconsin
Boston College at Michigan
Florida State at Ohio State
Illinois at Clemson
Minnesota at Miami

Is this the year the Big Ten finally comes out on top for the Commissioner's Cup? Probably not, but I'm already looking forward to it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Phillies Wash Away Brewers

Is it just me, or does it feel like something is just missing from this Brewers team? It's not CC Sabathia, or even Ben Sheets. It's certainly not Ned Yost, that's for sure. It's not the absence of guys like Brian Shouse, Gabe Gross, or Gabe Kapler either. But something, and I don't know what it is, something is missing from this club.

Even though I think they are playing smarter under Ken Macha than they ever could have under Ned Yost, I still think last year's team was more suited for a playoff run, even pre-CC. Last year's team had the unbelievable pressure of needing to be "that" team. The team that would finally squash all the talkings of the 1982 Milwaukee club, the most celebrated World Series losers of all-time. Last year, they had to make the playoffs, and even though they buckled under the pressure once they made the postseason, they still got there. I just feel like, right now at least, this team is lacking that same sort of fire, or passion, to be a memorable part of Brewers history. But even if I'm wrong, the fact of the matter is the Brewers lost again, don't look good at all, and are sitting at 4-9 and last place in the NL Central.

Tuesday's 11-4 loss to the Phillies was an extended night of pain. First, how could you not be reminded of last year's playoff series loss when the Brewers were once again back in Philly being dominated by 46-year old Jaime Moyer? It may not have had a playoff atmosphere, but the game certainly had the playoff look of it, as least aesthetically. It actually kind of felt like a strange case of deja vu, now that I think about it.

You could tell this one was over in the first inning, when the Phillies put up a four-spot against the Crew in the first inning. It wasn't all Manny Parra's fault - much of the blame can fall on J.J. Hardy's insane attempt at fielding a ground ball, in which he ran past second to try to scoop up the rock, only to accidentally run into the already injured jaw of one Rickie Weeks (who was then lifted for McGehee for the duration of the game, no word yet on his status). A five-run 5th inning by the Phillies, thanks to the erratic throwing from Jorge Julio and R.J. Swindle was also a big reason the Phillies took this one (Quick aside - Are we all aware that no Brewers starting pitcher has made it into the 7th inning yet? Isn't that just insane?)

With the Brewers down 11-3, the best thing for Milwaukee was to try to string a couple of hits together, lose Tuesday's game, but gain enough momentum to win Wednesday's. Well, their 7th inning rally was a bit disrupted thanks to a downpour on the Philadelphia region. Not that the Crew would have come back, I'm just saying it sucked to postpone a game another 78 minutes when we all knew it was over anyway.

Really, the only bright spot of this game was Ryan Braun, who went 5 for 5 with 4 RBI and 2 HR. That's a pretty solid. However, you don't win games because of one bat, and the Brewers offense couldn't do much aside from Braun. 

In short, it's only been thirteen games, but this team just doesn't seem to have it right now. It's not that they don't care - I firmly believe they do - it's just that they don't have anything to play for really. They've made the playoffs, which is the equivalent of winning the World Series for a small-market team. They know they don't have the club to win the whole thing, so with those two things, what's left to play for but fantasy stats and incentives. 

I really hate being "that fan", the one who cries the sky is falling after 2 1/2 weeks, but it's already almost to the point where I purposely look for things to do other than watch the Crew when the game is on.

Oh, how I wish that wasn't the case.


TBCPOTG: Ryan Braun.

I Can't Think of Anything Good to Post Today

So let's go with this video I've been meaning to put up for some time. Jon Stewart ranting on the pointlessness of Twitter.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Bucks Survivor: Episode 2

Bucks Survivor is off to another successful start, unless your name is Dan Gadzuric. For the second year in a row, Danny Gadz is voted off within the first two rounds. Maybe our new GM can take this as a hint, but I don't think you're going to see Gadzuric out of Buckstown until that contract expires. So make sure you come back here a year from now and vote Gadz out early again.

The Results: Team Awvee won the Player of the Game contest, so they were able to avoid Tribal Counsel. Richard Jefferson won immunity from Team Storey, and he missed an intense voting process. Every one on the block got at least one vote, but in the end it was down to two bodies that, for the most part, go wasted on the bench because their play does not match their ridiculous salaries. In the end though, the results surprised no one. The vote totals:

Dan Gadzuric - 17 votes (43 percent)
Damon Jones - 10 
Keith Bogans - 4 
Luke Ridnour - 3
Malik Allen - 2
Francisco Elson - 2
Michael Redd - 1

This Week: With Dan Gadzuric sent out of Milwaukee, both teams now have an equal number of players with seven. What better way to decide which team is more valuable than to judge them by how many times their players have started games this season? This challenge puts all factors at play - contributions, injuries, lengivity. Whichever team has the most average starts per player will win.

Team Awvee: Joe Alexander (0), Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (52), Ramon Sessions (39), Andrew Bogut (33), Salim Stoudamire (0), Charlie Villanueva (47), Charlie Bell (23)

Team Storey: Keith Bogans (0), Malik Allen (3), Francisco Elson (23), Richard Jefferson (82), Michael Redd (32), Damon Jones (0), Luke Ridnour (50)

Results: This is pretty remarkable. Team Awvee, even though they have a guy that didn't even technically suit up for the Bucks this season, wins the contest by a score of 27.714 starts per player, barely edging out Team Storey's 27.143 starts per player. The difference maker was the 26 starts the veterans lost with Dan Gadzuric, as opposed to the zero they got from Damon Jones. Also, despite the fact that Bogans started 15 games for Orlando this season, only his time with the Bucks was considered, as this is not Magic Survivor. 

It might be a little unfair for Team Storey, but they're headed to Tribal for the second straight week. Personally, I smell doom for the Buck that considers himself to be a very good friend of Terrell Owens.

Richard Jefferson has once again deservedly won the immunity.

Your Turn: Voting can be done on the top of the page, and the results will be posted sometime Thursday afternoon. Tell your friends about this one, Damon Jones' life depends on it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Coffey Helps Brewers Salvage Series

I think anyone that is a Brewers fan is going to bed a little happier tonight knowing what we have in Todd Coffey right now. The Brewers free agent pick-up last September wasn't able to take the field in the playoffs last season, but he could be a key part to helping us get there this year. I suppose that may be a little premature to say, but Coffey is a machine, and he was the reason the Brewers won at least one game from the Mets this weekend.

Coffey came in the ballgame on Sunday in the 7th inning, facing Carlos Delgado with the bases loaded and one out. Not a desirable situation. But Coffey got him to ground back to him, then made a bobbling catch, and got the old 1-2-3 double play to keep the Brewers in the lead, 3-2. He then game out to pitch the 8th inning, laid down a nice bunt in the 9th, and earned the save from there. Coffey was credited with a save the old fashioned way, and definitely earns the Player of the Game in their 4-2 win over New York.

Keeping Coffey in the game for the save was a no-brainer, and Macha made the right call. There aren't too many guys in the bullpen we can trust right now, and Carlos Villanueva has already let two games slip away in the closer's role. I don't see Coffey pitching at all on Monday, unless he's more of a beast than I originally thought. Either way, I'm assuming he'll take over the closer role until Hoffman comes back (probably on Sunday).

Coffey's huge performance over-shadowed a nice body of work from Jeff Suppan on Sunday, who rebounded so well I almost feel bad for writing negatively about him. I'm not saying Suppan is completely fixed, but I'll take a 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 K performance out of him any day.

With the bat, Mike Cameron hit his fourth home run of the season, while Weeks was 3 for 5. 


We missed the other two game recaps against the Mets this weekend, partly because we were busy, partly because those losses really sucked and we were not in the mood to write words about them (by now, you know that weekends at The Bucky Channel can be hit-or-miss). 

Friday's game saw a decent performance from Dave Bush that was wasted by the bullpen, specifically Mitch Stetter and Seth McClung. Not surprisingly, the lone stud that night on the hill was Todd Coffey, who got us out of a jam in the 7th and pitched well in the 8th. He could be deserving, but I'm giving Player of the Game to Ryan Braun for a big 3-run shot in the 6th inning, one that put the Crew in the lead at the time. 

The main story of this game though was that the Mets had help from former Brewer Gary Sheffield, who hit his 500th home run as a pinch hitter off Mitch Stetter. 


The Brewers also lost by one run on Saturday, by the most heart-breaking score in baseball, 1-0. Carlos Villanueva gave up that one in the 7th, spoiling a nice performance from Yovani Gallardo (6 IP, 0 ER, 7 K). You can't put too much of the onus on Carlos though, considering how anemic the Brewers offense was. Gallardo gets the Player of the Game for his efforts.


So Coffey, Braun, and Gallardo get POTG's as the Brewers are now 4-8 on the season. Still a lot of work to do, but at least there are signs of life. Next up it's a three game trip in Philly, starting Tuesday.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Lemmy Channel

Every so often our friends at Stock Lemon hook us up with some content by giving their take on which Wisconsin teams are a good bet for the week. They also do a good job with predictions and other analysis as well, including their recent feature on the NFL Draft. While this time, we don't have the exclusive content, Lemmy has made his selection for who the Packers will take in the 2009 Draft. While I'm going to make you follow the link to find out who, let's just say it's the guy I want, although I'm not sure he'll fall that far.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Didn't Even Know This Honor Existed

He's a great defender, plays hard every night, and was one of the best rookies in the NBA this season. For those reasons and more, it's no surprise to me that Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is being recognized for his play this season. Actually, it's how he's being recognized that surprises me.

Apparently there is this thing called the "All-Rambis" team, and the only qualification is that you have to play as much like former Lakers forward Kurt Rambis as possible. The award is intended to give recognition to the players that do the dirty work on the floor for their teams, and while Rambis was great at what he did, I just never would have imagined there would be a all-pro team named after him.

Regardless, Mbah a Moute was named the sixth man for the Eastern Conference team, and was the only rookie selected. Making up the rest of the team was Andre Miller (Sixers), Anthony Parker (Raptors), Udonis Haslem (Heat), Anderson Varejao (Cavs), and Al Horford (Hawks).

The West was represented by Shane Battier (Rockets), Paul Millsap (Jazz), former Badger Michael Finley (Spurs), Nick Collison (Thunder), and former Buck Joel Prezybilla (Trail Blazers) as well as sixth man Chris Andersen (Nuggets).

Mbah a Moute was a steal of a draft pick in the 2nd round for the Bucks last season, and besides Richard Jefferson, he was the only Buck to appear in all 82 games, starting in 52 of them. He's going to be a centerpiece of this Bucks squad for years to come, and you guys better let the results of Bucks Survivor reflect that.

Hopefully this is one of many honors for Mbah a Moute during his career. While the All-Rambis team is something to be proud of, he's still got a long way to go before he earns his own one-minute slideshow on YouTube to the tune of "Final Countdown". 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bucks Survivor: Year Two

You bet your marbles this is happening again. Because last year's edition was so popular, we've ordered a second season of Bucks Survivor, the greatest little game on the web. They've been out-played, out-coached, and out-last all season by the 29 other teams in the NBA, but now the Milwaukee Bucks are competing against themselves.

Ladies and Gentlemen, It's Bucks Survivor 2!

Like last year, we will divide the Bucks roster into two teams (by the way, if you forgot how this game works, check out last year's results). Last year the teams were named after Bucks "greats" Todd Day and Eric Murdock, this year they will be named after the first fallen contestant from last year's game, Awvee Storey.

Team Awvee (the young Bucks): Joe Alexander, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ramon Sessions, Andrew Bogut, Salim Stoudamire, Charlie Villanueva, and Charlie Bell

Team Storey (the veterans): Keith Bogans, Malik Allen, Francisco Elson, Dan Gadzuric, Richard Jefferson, Damon Jones, Michael Redd, and Luke Ridnour.

The first week's challenge will be based off The Bucky Channel's 2009 Player of the Game standings. Which ever team had the most Player of the Game nominations will win the challenge. Whoever had the most POTG's on the losing team will have immunity. Pretty simple, right?

Team Awvee: Alexander (1), Mbah a Moute (4), Sessions (12), Bogut (8), Stoudamire (N/A), Villanueva (17), Bell (4)

Team Storey: Bogans (1), Allen (1), Elson (1), Gadzuric (1), Jefferson (20), Jones (0), Redd (8), Ridnour (4)

Results: Team Awvee 46, Team Storey 36

This means that Team Awvee is safe, and Team Storey is on the chopping block this week. Because he had the most nominations, and was the winner of the POTG contest, Richard Jefferson wins immunity. The next part, is up to you. Vote for which player you'd like to see leave Milwaukee via the poll on the top right of this blog. Results will be posted Mondays and Thursdays until the contest is completed.

May the best Buck win.

Madden Retires

A lot of people love to hate this guy, but I've always been a fan of John Madden. Although, are we really surprised that John Madden retired in the same season that Brett Favre did? Either way, you'll be missed.



Riske Headed to The List

Clearly I mean the disabled list, by oh my god do you remember that show "The List" that aired on VH1 like 35 years ago? What a random thing to be reminded of today. Anyway, not to get too off topic here, but David Riske is heading to the 15-day disabled list, with a tight right elbow. Lefty reliever R.J. Swindle will take his place on the ballclub.

Remember last year when Jeff Suppan was sent to the DL, even though we all knew he wasn't hurt that badly, if at all? That might be what's happening here. Riske is kind of the Jeff Suppan of the bullpen, as in he would have been cut before the season started if he wasn't making more than his counterparts. Riske isn't terrible, it's just that he's not overly effective in key situations. I don't trust the guy when he comes out there, do you?

As for Swindle, Tommy Haudricourt notes that Swindle was called up likely because he was already on the 40-man roster, and he can help against the left-handed bats of our next two opponents, New York and Philadelphia (I realize I just said "our" when referring to the Brewers. It's something I do often, and don't see a problem with it, however it was a big point of contention in this week's Winks Thinks. You can bet I'll have something to say about that next week).

Swindle's time on the club could be short-lived however, as Trevor Hoffman is expected back next weekend (finally).

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