Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bucks Get Revenge on Clippers

Last time these two teams played the Clippers ended the Bucks winning streak, and people questioned whether or not the Bucks were going to sink. Well Tuesday they proved that their prior loss was just a bump in the road as they took it to the Clippers. In fact, this one was almost over at halftime.

John Salmons was a little off Tuesday, so Brandon Jennings, Andrew Bogut, and Charlie Bell, yes that Charlie Bell, picked up the slack. The game was tied at 13 when the Bucks went on a 10-0 run in the first quarter. Charlie Bell had five of the Bucks 10 points in that run. The Clippers scored four late points to cut the lead to seven after one quarter.

In the second quarter the Bucks were on fire, as they put up 33 points in the quarter. This was just a balanced quarter for the Bucks all the way around. Eight different Bucks scored in the quarter. This could have been one of the best quarters for the Bucks all season. Milwaukee held a nice 59-44 lead at halftime. It's always a fun game to watch when your team puts up almost 60 points in the first half.

Andrew Bogut scored eight of his 14 points in the third quarter. He was a non-factor till the third in this game, but good thing he came out to play when he did. This was a tough quarter for the Bucks to find their shooting touch. It was the most even quarter of the whole game, but the Clippers did outscore the Bucks by one.

The Bucks bench started the fourth quarter, and they built the lead up to 20 points. For that reason it was finally a game where the Bucks could rest the starters, because they had a huge lead. This has been something that the Bucks have not been able to do much this season as they are towards to bottom of the league in wins of 12 or more points. Winning close games is good for the fact that it gives these guys experience how dealing with pressure in those situations. But blowing a team out gives the starters time to rest when they have to travel the Cleveland the next day to play. That is what the Bucks will be doing as they will play at the Cavs Wednesday night.

Lets check out some highlights from this 107-89 beatdown the Bucks did on the Clippers.

* Brandon Jennings played an all around great game Tuesday night. He finished the game with 17 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds. He has been playing a lot better of late, and he also seems to be getting the other players energy. Let's give him POTG. If you didn't see the game Steve Blake started for the Clippers, because Baron Davis is hurt. Late in the third quarter Blake stole the ball from Ilyasova, but he fouled him and nothing was called. So on the other end Bogut set a legal, but hard pick on Blake who didn't like that so he got in Bogut's face. Travis Outlaw then got in Bogut's face, so what Bucks stepped up to the table? No other than Jennings. He would get a technical which was dumb, but this really sparked the team. Also a funny side note to tell you how stupid Steve Blake is he told Bogut, " I'll fuck you up boy!" Thanks god this guy doesn't play for us anymore, he is the biggest loser in the league.

* Ersan Ilyasova played well off the bench for the Bucks Tuesday. He would lead the team in scoring with 20 points, and he had 8 rebounds. Always nice to get good scoring off the bench. Another bench stud Tuesday was Jerry Stackhouse who finished with 16 points, and 3 rebounds.

* Charlie Bell scored double figure points Tuesday night. I have to make note of this because I'm not sure the last time this happened. He finished with 10 points, and 4 rebounds. Not sure when Delfino will be back, but my guess is Bell will still be in the starting line up Wednesday.

* Bench scoring was all Bucks as they outscored the Clippers 49-27.

* Drew Gooden owns the Bucks no matter what team he plays for. I said this before the game started, and was reminded by Jon McGlocklin when he scored some early buckets. I have no idea why he does so good against us, but it seems that no matter what team he is on he loves to put number up against Milwaukee. He finished the game with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and a block. He will earn the Hunter of the Night award for Tuesday night.

It was another good win for the Bucks as Tuesday night the Bulls got beat. It will not be easy tonight as they take on LeBron and the Cavs. The Bucks now have a six and a half game lead on the Bulls. I would be shocked if the Bucks didn't make the playoffs, but they still have to get the job done to get in. They also have a game and a half lead over the Heat for the 6th seed. The Heat have a very easy schedule so they do have a chance to pass the Bucks, but I would see them playing either the Celtics or the Hawks. They will have to beat teams like the Cavs, Suns, Bulls, and Celtics to get the 5th seed. The drive for the five seed starts Wednesday for the Bucks, and Heat. For the rest of the box scores click the link below.

Also, there is a nice article in the USA Today about the Bucks and Scott Skiles. Check it out here, as it's about time Bucks get some national love.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Suppan's Fake DL Stint Starts Early This Year

"Look Jeff, you're terrible, and I want you off of this roster. But Doug Melvin can't handle the fact that he might just piss away $12.5 million this season, especially with him running a small market team and all. So remember the last two seasons when you were struggling and we made up an injury for you to stash you on the DL? Well, we're going to do that a little earlier this season. The reporters are coming down soon, here's a bag of ice. Put that on your, um, well how about your neck... yeah, your neck, and we'll fake a neck injury. Sound good?" Ken Macha probably said on Tuesday. So yeah, Suppan's on the DL again.

So Suppan won't be on the Opening Day roster, and the decision on what do to with him as been pushed back until April 10th. Please God, let that decision be the releasing of his contract.

As far as the rest of the healthy Brewers go, they tied the Angels Tuesday 1-1. Here's a box score to check out, I got some Lost to watch (although I would like to mention that Narveson and Parra, both competing for the 5th starter spot, pitched well in this one).

Bill Simmons Keeps Living My Dream

I've made it pretty clear by now, at least I think I have, that I have a pretty serious man crush on's Bill Simmons. Well, it's not so much a man crush as it is I just want to live his life. There couldn't be a more true example of that than when I saw that his latest column was a running diary of.... Wrestlemania 26. I write about Wrestlemania on an amateur blog and I get crucified, but Bill Simmons is in a position where he can not only write about wrestling, but he gets it posted on the most read sports website in the world.

I realize these are entirely different circumstances, but I'm still a bit jealous. So there's that. But I also wanted to take this opportunity to talk about how much I enjoyed this year's Wrestlemania, as well as how much I'm enjoying wrestling as a whole. I know that it's not for everyone, and I never got into it for the first 24 years of my life, but I am just fascinated by this stuff. Sure, a lot of it is campy and stupid, but some of the storylines they have right now I'm really enjoying. And when I get to enjoy a match like the one Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker had on Sunday, it makes it all worth it.

So whether you want to make fun of me or not, that's fine. I actually thought liking wrestling would be a phase, but I might be in this for the long haul. And no, I don't live with my mother. I don't get my boogers. And I do have a girlfriend (at least until she reads this). I'm just a regular dude that happens to like seeing grown men wrestle each other in tights. Go ahead and laugh now, I just hope you come around before the day that I turn this from a Wisconsin sports website into a WWE website.

Hello, Playoffs!

(Winks Note: As many of you know, we here at The Bucky Channel decided to become Sabres fans before the season, as we all wanted to get into hockey. Well, it's been paying off. We haven't written about them too often, but with Gweeds out of commission on a bum ankle - that's another story - he's been courteous enough to take a look at how their quest for the Stanley Cup has been going.)

Congratulations to the Buffalo Sabres for clinching a playoff spot. Saturday night the Lightning came to Buffalo, and I think they wish they would have not. Back up goalie Patrick Lalime was in goal so it is always good for the Sabres to get some goal support. Well not only did Buffalo score three goals in the first, they also scored three in the second. Late in the second Tampa Bay got on the board, but it was too late as the Sabres would add another goal in the 3rd period.

After that game Buffalo punched theit ticket for the playoffs. Since they have a spot in the playoffs Vanek and Connolly have been given some time to rest. So they needed to look for other players to step up against a Boston, a team that really needs to win to make the playoffs. Well Buffalo found the scoring they need, and Ryan Miller made some awesome saves. Boston got on the score board early as they took a 1-0 lead. Two minutes later Tyler Myers found the back of the net from the blue line on a nice slap shot. Another two minutes later was time for another Buffalo goal as Paul Gaustad scored, and the goal was assisted by Myers. Gaustad really has been doing a nice job as of late.

Tim Kennedy scored the only goal in the 2nd period to put the Sabres up 3-1 after two periods. Boston would add a goal in the 3rd, and almost scored with no time left. About two seconds after the buzzer sounded Boston did find the back of the net, but it was too late. A good win for the Sabres as they build confidence going into the playoffs. They only have seven games left, with six of them are on the road. I would guess that every game they may sit a player or two just to keep everyone fresh for the playoffs.

As the season winds down people start talking about the end of the season awards. Buffalo has two people that are talked about when this is brought up. Ryan Miller ,who everyone should know from the Olympics, and Tyler Myers who is a 20 year old rookie. Ryan Miller is the starting goalie for the Sabres, and also helped Team USA get to the gold medal game. On the season so far Miller has a record of 38-16-8. He has a save percentage of 92.9, and a goal against average of 2.21. He leads all goalies who have played in 40 plus games this year. He also has thrown in five shutouts this season. I cant imagine another goalie winning the Vezina Trophy, but we wont know till the votes come in.

Tyler Myers on the other hand is having an awesome year at a position that is hard for younger people to play. Not too many defensive players have won this award, but I really think that Myers might be the front runner. He has 11 goals, 34 assists, and a +/- of +13. His 45 points has him tied for 10th for most points for defensemen. He also is a big hitter as you can see in the picture above with his 6 foot 8 inch frame. Also wouldn't be surprised to see him take on the Calder Memorial Trophy. The last four winners were Steve Mason, Patrick Kane, Evgeni Malkin, and Alexander Ovechkin. So yeah it would be nice to be on a list with names like these. Good luck to the both of them as they finish the season, and also have a chance to win a few awards. Lifting up the Stanley Cup is goal number one, but they still have some work left to do that.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bush Gets Whacked

There's been a disturbing trend happening to the starting pitching staff of the Milwaukee Brewers lately - whenever someone gets named to the rotation, they suck in their next appearance. On Monday that trend extended to Dave Bush, as he gave up seven runs (six earned) off eight innings in six innings of work, just days after being named the staff's fourth starter. Bush has been having a decent enough Spring to warrant getting that number four spot, but Monday's outing was not encouraging to say the least.

The Brewers didn't give up run support to Bush in their 8-6 loss to the Giants, at least not in the beginning of the game. Milwaukee didn't score until the 6th inning when Rickie Weeks hit a solo blast. Since their off day, the Brewers have only been hitting .178 at a team. I recently watched the MLB Network's take on the Brewers as part of their "30 Clubs in 30 Days" series, and the analysts raved about just how good Milwaukee is offensively. Well, they are going to have to step it up a bit if they are going to live up to that declaration, especially if their pitching staff struggles like it has been as well.

In some good news from the game though, the bullpen appeared to do just fine. Trevor Hoffman pitched the 7th, LaTroy Hawkins the 8th, and Todd Coffey the 9th. Together, they pitched three scoreless innings. Also contributing on the offensive side was Joe Koshansky, as he hit his first home run of the Spring.

Milwaukee has three games left in Arizona, taking on the Angels, Cubs, and Diamondbacks before they head back to Milwaukee. The Brewers will then take on the Tigers on Friday and Saturday at Miller Park, before their season starts against the Rockies on Monday. Anybody out there going to that game on Opening Day? I am currently not scheduled to go, unless I win a trip from my work. But then again, I'm not very good at my job, so I'll probably just take the afternoon off and check the game out at home per usual. Unless someone wants to take me?

Bucks Get Back on Track

It's good to see a smile back on the faces of the Bucks. After a few just awful games, Milwaukee dug deep to make a late run in the fourth to comeback Sunday against the Grizzles. Memphis would tie the game with 2.1 seconds to go, but then Salmons couldn't make a jumper to end it. In overtime it was all Bucks which showed that they still got fight left in them, and they are not wearing down after all those wins. Also Carlos Delfino was not in the starting line up, so a Milwaukee win with Bell starting is awesome.

Andrew Bogut who missed Friday's game with some back problems come out hot on Sunday. He scored 10 points in the first quarter to help the Bucks take a one point lead into the second quarter. Getting Bogut to work down low early in games always sets the tone for the Bucks. In the start of the second quarter the five on the court were Ridnour, Bell, Stackhouse, Thomas, and Gadzuric. During their four minutes of play they scored seven points, and Stackhouse and Thomas were the only ones to score. That's when the starters came back into the game they got the scoring back up, and the Bucks built a two point lead at half.

In the third quarter the Grizzlies caught fire to put up 29 points on the Bucks. In the final 2:24 of the third quarter the Grizzlies went on an 11-0 run to earn a three point lead after three. In the final 1:04 of the quarter Zach Randolph went on a 7-0 run of his own. Memphis built a lead of seven with 6:41 to go left in the game. This was were we were going to figure out if this Bucks team still had it, or if they were going to lose three straight games. Then Jennings scored six of the next Bucks ten points to cut the Grizzlies lead to one. After Jennings gave the Bucks a two point lead Conley made two free throws to tie it. Salmons missed so overtime was needed.

In overtime the Bucks would win the free throw battle to carry them over the Grizzlies. In the final 45 seconds of the game the Bucks were 7-8 from the free throw line. The only miss was Bogut, but they were up by five with four seconds to go so it was no big deal. Good to see the Bucks get a win they really needed to get at home.

Lets check out some highlights from this 108-103 overtime Bucks win.

* Brandon Jennings had an all around great game Sunday. He finished with 29 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals. He was doing it at all ends of the court Sunday to get the Bucks back in the winning circle. This will get Jennings the Bucks POTG.

* John Salmons got back in the scoring mood Sunday. He finished with 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. Just another solid game from John Sunday which is not anything new, but always gives us a better chance to win when he scores 20 plus points.

* Andrew Bogut got back on the double double train Sunday. He finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Always nice to have the big guy in the line up, because he is so good on both the offensive and defensive side of the game.

* Off the bench Ridnour played well too, as Skiles went back to the Jennings/Ridnour combo playing together. He had got away from this, but with Delfino out they needed another scorer on the court. Bell just is not shooting good at all right now. Ridnour finished with 14 points, and 7 assists.

* Bucks forced 22 Memphis turnovers, which is awesome, but they did have 18 of their own. So good to see the defense, but we need to keep the turnovers lower against better teams.

* Zach Randolph is a stud, and he continued to play well again Sunday. He finished with 31 points, 15 rebounds, and one steal. The guy can flat out score, and also rebounds. If you hold him to less then a 25 and 10 game you did well. We didn't, but we did get the win so that is all that counts. Randolph will earn the Hunter of the Day award for Sunday.

Overall, it was a huge win for the Bucks as they got one more home game before they hit the road again. Tuesday the Bucks will host the L.A. Clippers, a team coming off a butt kicking Sunday from Golden State. This is another game the Bucks should win, but we will have to see what Bucks team shows up. I hope Delfino will be back or else they may wait one more game for when they hit the road. Wednesday they will play the Cavs in Cleveland.

The Bucks have a one game lead over the Heat for the 5th playoff spot in the East. This was also the 40th win for the Bucks this yeah a number that they haven't reached since 2005-06 season when they won 40 games on the head. For the rest of the box scores from Sunday's game click the link below.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Brewers Split Weekend Games

Zing: Perhaps inspired by my drafting of him in fantasy baseball this weekend, Prince Fielder finally hit his first home run of the Spring when he smacked a two run homer in the 6th inning of the Brewers 3-1 win over Texas. This game was broadcast on FSN Wisconsin on Saturday, and if you saw it you knew right away this shot was a no-doubter. Good to see Prince get on the board and here's hoping he can smack 50 some homers this season, and not just for my fantasy team.

Boom: Prince had a nice shot, but the star of the game for Milwaukee had to be Randy Wolf, as he allowed just one hit in six innings of work. Wolf struck out seven batters during the campaign, and we'll need performances like this out of our number two guy all season long.

Tararrel: So we know YoGa is our ace, Wolf is the two, and Doug Davis is our number three. That leaves Bush, Parra, Suppan, and maybe Narveson to fill out the staff. Thankfully, Bush was named the number four starter over the weekend, and I say thankfully because that means that Jeff Suppan was not. The Brewers won't need a number five starter until the middle of April, here's hoping that role doesn't go to Jeff Suppan either.

Puke: Well, it appears Doug Davis has been having a hard time since he was named the number three starter. He got roughed about a bit last week, and was roughed up again on Sunday as well. This time it came at the hands of his former team, as the Brewers lost 9-1 to the Diamondbacks. Davis went five innings, but gave up six runs off nine hits during that span. Not good. The Crew will be in action again on Monday against the Giants, at 3:05pm Central.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Well, Greg Jennings Was at The Game

That was about the highlight of the night for Bucks fans as our very own Greg Jennings threw out free T-Shirts for people (this isn't from Friday's game, I had a picture that I took of him but the guy in front of me screwed it up). Jennings seems to be at a lot of Bucks games, and the guy always has a smile on his face. Real glad the Packers drafted a guy that is good, and has some class. As far as the game itself it was over the minute Kurt Thomas was announced in the starting line up.

I did attend the game Friday night. I had great seats in section 214 row E. They were mid court about 8 rows up. The view as awesome, and you really feel like part of the action. The only problem was there was no action from the Bucks team. They came out flat right from the start, and just had no inside game whatsoever.

To make things worse not only did the Bucks suck, but we got stuck next to this old guy that thought he was Scott Skiles. He would yell every time their was seven seconds left on the shot clock. Also at one point in time the team fouls were like Bucks 5 - Heat 0, and this guy would yell "You have to drive to the hole!!!" I know what he is getting at, but we were not getting calls at all so we were taking jump shots. I understand that you pay to get in you should be able to say what you want to say. But this guy was out of control, because everyone around him was just making fun of him.

Then he did what no fan should do ever, and that is to be loud while trying to make friends with the people behind you. He would turn around to us all the time and say, "See what happens when they drive to the hole!" or "These refs are awful, the guy needs glasses!" and he also wanted a 300 pound fan to jump on Wade's head to make up for Delfino. The guy was crazy, enough said, and if I do something like this when I get older someone please punch me in the face.

Well this was all in the first half when it was just a joke, because Primoz Brezec played in the first quarter of a game. The Bucks put up a monster 35 points in the first half Friday. They trailed by 13 at half down 48-35. So we decided we would go in the lobby to check out some of the NCAA games. While in there my buddy Karl ran into a few guys he knew that were older, but love to suck down some drinks. So we just chilled in the lobby talked to a guy who he knows that works for the Bucks. He talked a little about how sales have been doing better of late, and how people are really looking at tickets for the playoffs/next year already. That's a good thing.

After that we talked to the guys who were just sucking down drinks at the bar, and they had no clue that the third quarter had started at this point. After talking to them about all the good looking girls in the bar area, let me remind you these guys were much older then us, one of the guys said lets go back to the seats. Out of the four guys two of them decided to take me and Karl to their court side seats.

I have to say it was awesome, and you almost feel like you are the sixth man as you are two feet from the guys on the court. It was something that I have always wanted to do, but due to the fact that its 400 bucks a ticket I have yet to do. We were right next to the Bucks basket, and you could hear everything word for word. At a time out Kurt Thomas was called for a moving screen right before the time out. He went up to the ref and said "That's a bullshit call they are doing the same thing at the other end." I always ask myself what are they talking about now I know most of the time I bet they are bitching about calls. It is something that if you get the chance for any basketball game to sit in the Spike Lee seats you should take advantage of it.

And oh yeah, the Bucks didn't play any better in the second half. They were down by 14 at the end of the third, and would go on to get beat by 13. It was just an awful game, but they had no Bogut, Ilyasova, or Delfino after he got landed on. As for Delfino at first I thought he was just sick of driving to the hole and not getting a call, but once the play went on he was just laying there, I had a feeling something was wrong. I didn't think that that he would not move much at all, and this really took everything out of the arena. At this point I have no clue what is wrong, or how long he will be out. All we can do at this point is hope for the best.

Lets check out some highlights from this 87-74 so called NBA Basketball game won by the Heat.

* I talked about Greg Jennings early in the post, but this guy is the man. He sees another Wisconsin team doing well, so he goes and supports them. You got your TO's, Chad Ochowhatever he becomes, Randy Moss, but you have to deal with their bullshit. Greg Jennings just plays the game, and has fun doing it which it what I like to see. So for the lets give him the Bucks POTG award. Yeah the game was that bad, and I hope all of you watched the NCAA games instead.

* Joe Crawford is the worst ref by far in the NBA. The guy can hardly run up and down the court, and he has a hard time seeing I think. Also Eric Dalen was a ref he looks like big Z from the Cavs, but he couldn't make a good call either for the life of him. Lets pray this guys don't do playoff games together. Again the game was this bad.

* Squad 6 still worked hard at the game, but early in the first quarter when Wade went to the line to shoot two free throws they had funny chant. What chant might that be? Well nothing more then a "Diener's Better" chant while Wade went on to make both free throws. The people around us were all laughing while the chant was going on. Why did this have to be the game I went to?

* Oh yeah, I got to sit court side for about 9 minutes of the game so that was cool. Charlie Bell was lucky that I had not been drinking or else I would have tripped his ass for sure.

* Dwayne Wade was back in Milwaukee, and he did some work on the Bucks. He got off to a hard start, and finished with 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. He got to the line early to put this game out of reach. Wade will get the Hunter of the Night award.

Just an ugly sight to see at the Bradley Center Friday night as three key Bucks were out. Ilyasova was sick so he should be back soon. Bogut has some back pain and he was never at the stadium at all. Delfino left on a stretcher so that can't be good at all. This is not what a team that is fighting for the playoffs and has earned the motto "Fear the Deer" wants to deal with right now. That can all be turned around Sunday as they get back on the court against Memphis at 2:oo. The game will not be on TV, so if you want to listen to it catch Ted Davis on 620. Overall a rough game Friday night and one that I would like to forget, but I had an awesome experience that I will never forget. If you dare click the link below for the Box Score.

Update: It actually looks like Delfino should be alright, check out a report on him here from JSonline.

Where Have the Sabres Posts Gone?

Nine games left, up five points in the standings, lets hope these guys can finish what they started. As the picture above shows the Sabres are close to locking up the Northeast, but it is not done yet. As it stands right now Buffalo is a three seed in the East, and they would face the Habs from Canada in the first round. For those who don't know who that is it would be the Montreal Canadians. It just so happens that they played Wednesday night in a thriller. The Sabres were down 2-0 with 3:33 left when Montreal got called for a high sticking. The Sabres capitalized on it to score with 1:59 left in the game. Tim Connolly found the back of the net to bring a little hope.

With just under a minute to go Ryan Miller was pulled for an extra attacker, which worked to the Sabres favor. Paul Gaustad scored the tying goal, and it was assisted by Steve Montador the extra attacker. The Sabres were just firing shots on goal all game, but had a hard time till late in the game finding the back of the net. They got off a total of 42 shots Wednesday night, and good thing two of them found the back of the net. In overtime it was more of defense of battle as both teams only got off one shot piece on goal.

In the shootout Ryan Miller came to play as he shutout the Canadiens on both attempts they had. Jason Pominville led things off for the Sabres with a goal. Thomas Vanek ended the awesome come back as the last shooter for the Sabres with a goal. Games like this really show who might be able to cut it in the playoffs, and who might collapse down the stretch run. This was a win that the Sabres needed going into their battle with Ottawa Friday. Ottawa has owned the Sabres of late.

That continued Friday night as Ottawa would win their ninth game over the Sabres in a row. In the NHL I don't really think you see a team go on a nice long winnings streak against a team. You have to catch the goalie at the right time, and some offenses are just on fire at some points of the season. Buffalo was hot early in the season, but as of late they are just not winning games as often as they had been. This will be a exciting final nine games for them. They are coming off a bad year last year, and look for them to be a team on a mission in the playoffs.

Miller played awesome in the Olympics so maybe he can play like that when he knows that every game counts. He really looked focused in playing for team U.S.A. so lets hope that Miller comes to play in April. Also the offense has looked a little off of late. Roy, Connolly, and Vanek need to keep finding the back of the net, but someone else needs to be a sleeper to get this team to the next level. Maybe a guy like Tyler Meyers who just ended his point streak at five straight games will pick up some slack. Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure that is this team will not be an easy match up in the playoffs.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Not Good...

Gweeds will have more in his Bucks recap tomorrow (you may have seen him sitting courtside), but Carlos Delfino on a stretcher is not a good sign.

Brewers Pitchers Catching Suppanitis

Anyone remember this little guy? He was the monkey who ended up biting a then-unknown Patrick Dempsey in the movie "Outbreak", thus spreading the Ebola Virus and nearly leading to the end of the human race. Well Brewers fans, when it comes to our starting pitching, Jeff Suppan is that monkey. And he's looking to take out the entire staff.

Suppan has an ERA of 7.71 in Spring Training, a time when many of the batters he faces are backups, maybe Triple-A guys. He has been so bad, but yet remains in the discussion for being in the starting rotation. Interestingly enough, as soon as the talk of him getting cut starting getting stronger, Suppan went all Ebola on us and has infected the rest of the staff.

He hit Doug Davis earlier in the week, as Double-D pitched a terrible game. He got Manny Parra too, but sources say Parra may have had the disease for quite some time. Then Suppan struck Yovani Gallardo on Friday, as Gallardo gave up six runs off eight hits in three innings of work for Milwaukee in their 9-4 loss to the Padres. He attacking the pitchers one by one, because the worse that everyone else looks, the better Jeff Suppan appears.

"Look, I know that I signed a fluke contract with Milwaukee, but who else was going to give me that kind of money?" Suppan asked, while escaping from the formerly married couple of Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo. "I also know that I deserved to be cut this season, but my hefty paycheck is going to keep me alive. Instead of taking the high road, why the infect the rest of the team with my terrible skills, or lack thereof. Why not at least try to make myself look better in the process?"

Thankfully, there is a cure for Suppanitis, and that this the releasing of him from his contract. It's not going to be an inexpensive task - removal costs are going to be at least $12 million. But the monkey has to be caught before he can be dealt with.

So please, Doug Melvin. Please find your daughter playing with the monkey that is Jeff Suppan in your backyard. Tranquilize the shit out of him, and get him out of Milwaukee.

24 Clocks Out

I remember when I first heard about "24", I was a senior in high school and heard that there was this show that was going to take place in real-time. Since I'm a sucker for gimmicks, I checked it out, and began to watch one of the single greatest television seasons of all-time. Of course, it was hard to duplicate the magic of that first season, but for the first five years, "24" still managed to be a very entertaining and heart-racing show. Then came season six.

Season six was one of the all-time stinkers when it comes to television, and it was painful to watch. The show found itself again in season seven, and I had high hopes for this season, season eight, as the show was now set in New York City. But alas, this season has been about thirty times as bad as the dreadful season six, and even though I still watch the show most of the hour is spent with my head in my laptop, ignoring what is supposed to be the adrenaline racing television that is on my screen.

Because of this, I am not surprised to hear the news that "24" is calling it quits after eight seasons. While I would have liked to see it go one more year (there is kind of a trilogy feeling between season 1-3, and 4-6, and wanted to see that with 7-9), this year was just so dreadful that I'm not really heartbroken about it. The reason it sucked this year is because the show seemed to take all the things people didn't like about it - boring political storyline, mole at CTU, lack of Jack - and intensified them.

It's sad to watch something I love fade away with such a lack of grace as "24" has, but that's the way things go sometimes. The show will live on though, as their at least is going to be one movie made about it, and hopefully that will serve as a proper farewell and make us remember why we fell in love with Jack Bauer in the first place. It is really sad to see it go though. In college, I used to get drunk and smack people around with phone books while asking where the bomb was, now I'm barely even upset it's being taken off the air.

The series finale will air May 24th, on Fox.

Wrestlemania 26 Predictions

Last year around this time, I really didn't care too much about anything wrestling. I had a few friends that would turn on Monday Night Raw after we were all done watching 24 together, you know back when that show was still good. But when I decided to take part in watching the annual pay-per-view event that was Wrestlemania, I became hooked for good. Particularly because of a match between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker, a match which is taking part once again this year. Here are my predictions on that match as well as the other matches on the card:

World Heavyweight Championship - Edge vs. Chris Jericho - Ever since last summer when Edge suffered an ankle injury while he was paired up with Jericho as the Tag Team title holders, we knew they would inevitably face off at Wrestlemania. The feud hasn't been what many have hoped for though, because of the over abundant use of the word "Spear", Edge's finishing move which he has repeated ad nauseum. Still, once these two get in the ring I think all should be forgiven. Even though Jericho has only had the belt since the last pay-per-view, I see Edge getting the strap here and continuing this feud. Although I'd like Jericho to come out on top here.

WWE Championship - John Cena vs. Batista - Somehow, this has become one of the more interesting matches on the card. Batista has been great as a heel character, and his main gripe against John Cena is how Cena has become the WWE's poster boy. For that reason, I'd like to see Batista get the win and retain the belt, but I fear that Cena will get his justice. It's the grandest stage of them all, and Cena could be the match at the end of the card so that the fans can go home happy. He's been getting beat up week after week by Batista, and booking philosophy 101 says that Cena gets his revenge. If I had to bet on it, I'm still going to go out on a limb and pick Batista, but I wouldn't be surprised if Cena was victorious.

Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon - The outcome of this match has to be the most sure on the card, that Bret Hart will get revenge on Vince for the Montreal Screwjob oh so many years ago. I suspect it won't be easy, and that McMahon will throw some curveballs at Hart, but in the end you have to think Hart will get his revenge.

R-Truth and John Morrison vs. The Miz and Big Show for the Unified Tag Team Championships - Filler match to get these guys in the show. The Miz and Big Show are actually a legitimate tag team, while R-Truth and John Morrison haven't been together more than three weeks. Taking the belts off of The Miz and Big Show would be stupid. There are a lot of rumors that during the draft Morrison and Miz will be placed on the same brand, so perhaps look for the start of a feud between them.

Triple H vs. Sheamus - Triple H is Vince McMahon's son-in-law. Sheamus is Triple H's workout partner. Ergo, Sheamus became the WWE Champion a few months ago. Many thought that this match would be for that championship, but instead it's just two guys going against each other for no apparent reason. Despite the fact that Triple H never jobs to anybody, I see him giving his buddy Sheamus a good rub and the victory here.

CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio - CM Punk is heads and shoulders doing things better than anyone else in the WWE right now, and he's made the challenge that if he beats Mysterio then Mysterio has to join his Straight Edge Society. The Society is made up of Punk and two other wrestlers that promote a straight-edge lifestyle in a cult-like manner. I actually see Punk winning here to further an interesting storyline between the two.

Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes - The former members of Legacy are all against each other in a Triple Threat match, but why it's a Triple Threat match I have no idea. Orton has been given a slow babyface turn as his former proteges have turned against him. Even though it's been set up as DiBiase/Rhodes against Orton, for some reason this is a match that pits every man for himself. I expect interference of some kind to help out Orton, and see Orton coming out on top against his two rivals.

Money in the Bank Match - Kofi Kingston vs. Matt Hardy vs. Christian vs. Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Evan Bourne vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Jack Swagger - Swagger is the only one I couldn't think of off the top of my head, so he's not going to win this thing. That's too bad, he could use the victory. Half of the guys in here are only in here because they are good workers and can prove interesting spots, like Evan Bourne and Shelton Benjamin. Actually, I'm a bit surprised there are ten guys in this match, usually it's just six. The winner of course gets a future shot at a heavyweight title, and many see Christian winning and then cashing it in on his former partner Edge later that evening. I would say he's the most likely to win, but I think Kofi has a shot as well. Kofi was getting a nice push before he botched a move with Orton, and has been getting buried ever since though. Dolph Ziggler could use it to get him relevant again, and Drew McIntyre already has a belt. Matt Hardy won't win because Jeff Hardy just signed with TNA, Kane won't win because he's Kane. I guess I'd bet on Christian here, with my backing going behind Kofi Kingston.

The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels - The Undertaker is 17-0 at Wrestlemania, a streak that Shawn Michaels thinks he can end. If he doesn't though, his career is over. So yeah, there's a lot at stake here. Outside of Wrestlemania, I hate the Undertaker because he seems to get a free pass to the belt anytime he returns from one of his many extended vacations. That being said, he is one of the reasons that make Wrestlemania so great. If his streak ever were to end, this would be the year it would happen, but I think Michaels is on his way out anyways. I'm going with Taker here in what should be the match of the night.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Welcome Mr. Jackson

Darnell Jackson has been signed by the Bucks for the rest of the regular season. He will have 12 games to make an impact on this team, as he can't be part of the playoff roster if the Bucks make it. Sort of like Todd Coffey with the Brewers a few years back. Jackson was a huge part of the Kansas Jayhawks championship in 2008. Since the Cavs got Big Z back on Wednesday they had to cut one player. Jackson was the one, and the Bucks felt like they should pick him up.

Not a bad move by the Bucks, as his contract is up after this season, but he is only 24. So maybe if they see something they like they may be able to get him for cheap. He has not shown anything yet in the NBA, but it is a little harder when you play on the Cavs. He could maybe be another big body for the Bucks off the bench.

Will he play much this season? I would be surprised if he did, but if we are killing a team he could see some court time. If he sucks, well, then he will be another player in the NBA to play a few games with the Bucks and then fall off the map. Marcus Haislip comes to mind when I think of a young big man that could be good. Although he never turned out to be anything, but maybe things will be different for Jackson. Best of luck to him in his 12 games with the running deer.

Weeks Shines in Brewers Loss

Zing: Rickie Weeks was having the kind of season that takes you from decent player to superstar last year, but then he was injured. That doesn't mean he can't have that type of season this year. So far this Spring, he's been on pace. Weeks had a nice performance despite the Brewers losing 7-3 to the Dodgers on Thursday. Rickie went 2-for-4 with a 2 RBI double in the fifth inning, and his currently hitting .317 during the exhibition season.

Boom: Also collecting an RBI was Ryan Braun, who went 1-for-3 for the afternoon, actually scoring Rickie Weeks. In other outfield news, Jim Edmonds was placed on the 40-man roster today, which was a no-brainer of a move. This all but ensures that he should make the 25-man squad.

Tararrel: Jeff Suppan is still getting starts, and he went 4 1/3 innings on Thursday. His line included two runs on three hits, and that's a remarkable performance for Jeff Suppan. Seriously, cut this guy and his 7.71 ERA already.

Puke: As bad as Suppan is, Manny Parra was worse, finishing the remaining 3 2/3 innings and giving up five runs on eight hits. I know that pitching might be the part of this roster that holds this team back, but I'm fairly confident in the bullpen, and our first three starters. But after that, the next couple of guys in line are so bad that it really almost does make me sick. I think at this point, Dave Bush has to be the fourth guy, maybe Chris Narveson. I don't trust Manny Parra at all, and if he gets the job than it has to be on a short list. If you want to hide Jeff Suppan in the bullpen to justify his salary, then whatever, but this guy can not be a starting pitcher. Not for us.

MLS Starts Tonight

Faithful reader Collin was a little upset when he read that there would be no Winks Thinks today, and he was still upset even when I told them that I would have a Wrestlemania preview posted tomorrow. Thankfully, there is still one other thing that may cheer him up - the start of another season of Major League Soccer.

Tonight's game between the Seattle Sounders and the Philadelphia Union will mark the opener of the league's 15th season, and I know there are a lot of people including me who wondered if the league had any shot of making it even ten years. The league hasn't become as relevant as say the NHL or NBA, but it is still making strides and growing in popularity ever year. The biggest hurdle for this league was to make sure they didn't blow their load financially, which is how the pro soccer league before it (NASL) ended up folding. So far, so good.

The game tonight will take place at 8:30pm on ESPN2, although it is up against another batch of games for the NCAA hoops tournament. Major League Soccer has never had an easy time scheduling it's marquee games, as it's MLS Cup usually takes place against a full docket of NFL games on a Sunday afternoon in Autumn. But if you want to catch some games this season, you can usually find one every Thursday on ESPN2, as well as during the season on Fox Soccer Channel. Here's a full listing if you're interested, if anyone is still even reading this article.

The game tonight features the Philadelphia Union in their first ever Major League Soccer game, as they are the team's 16th team, coming in as an expansion team. Next year the league is expanding to 18, so the growth keeps taking place. Their introduction to the league will be against Seattle Sounders FC, a team who without question has the best fans in the league. Routinely, this team packs 30,000+ into Qwest Field, and provide an atmosphere unlike anything that is seen in the United States. It's actually more comparable to an environment you'd see in Europe. That alone is worth checking out, although I know most of you won't.

Oh well.

76ers Make it Look Easy

Maybe a little too easy.

The first half for the Bucks was the worst I have seen this team play in a long time. No one was hitting shots, and the 76ers seemed to get open looks every time. If the Bucks did have a hand in the face of a 76er player it didn't matter because most likely he made it. The Bucks got down early 22-11, before making a run of their own to tie the game at 33.

After the game was tied at 33 things just got out of control for the Bucks. With 8:30 left in the second quarter things looked like maybe the Bucks were going to find their stroke. Well I was wrong as the 76ers would finish the half on a 25-12 run. Just nothing going the Bucks way in the first half of this ball game. No one on the Bucks scored in double figures in the first half, and the 76ers shot 61.5% from the field. Jason Kapono and Jrue Holiday were the only players in this game to have double digit points at half. Those guys have not been big on scoring this season so the Bucks would have to do better in the second half if they want to win this game.

Well, the Bucks didn't do better in the second half, as the 76ers added on to their lead in the third quarter. It seemed that every time the Bucks tried to make a comeback they would get some hoops, and stops, but would then just do stupid things. At one point in time Bell, Brezec, Ilyasova, Ridnour, and Stackhouse were in the game. The worst part about all of that was the only guy that could make a jump shot was Brezec. Just a bad night all around for the Bucks, but you knew this was going to happen sooner or later. I hope it is a good thing that it happened when it did.

As the fourth quarter started the TV remote got thrown across the room, so if you want to know what happen you will have to go to a different blog.

Lets check a few of the not so high highlights from this 101-86 awful game.

* Jerry Stackhouse led the team in scoring so lets give him the Bucks POTG for Wednesday. He finished the game with 15 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. He didn't shoot real well, but he did make 8-8 from the free throw.

* The 76ers shot 52.6% from the field to the Bucks 40.5%. If you are going to let a team shoot 52% you might as well plan on getting smoked.

* The Bucks were 5-28 from downtown, enough said.

* The 76ers played as a team, and not one single player really carried them to this win. For that reason lets give the Hunter of the Night award to the 76ers whole team for the job they did Wednesday.

The Bucks need to shake this one off real quick as they will host the Heat Friday night at home. D-Wade doesn't feel bad because you got worked by a crappy team. So Milwaukee needs to get right back on track for a game that would be a big win. Not much to talk about in Wednesday nights game. Lets hope things go better Friday, because I will be attending the game so I don't want to see a let down game. If you dare click the link below for the rest of the box scores.

Winks Thinks on a Bye Week

I've been skipping it all too often lately, but just thought I'd let you know.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Brewers Enjoying Off Day

Today is a day the Milwaukee Brewers have been looking forward to for a long time, as it is their only off day during Spring Training. Off course, Scott Schoeneweis has nothing but off days right now, but that's besides the point - the Brewers are off and they are loving every minute of it.

They definitely deserve an off day after the pounding they gave the Indians on Tuesday, in which they scored nine runs in the first two innings and won by a final of 10-2. Jim Edmonds did most of the damage collecting five RBI, and his prospects of making the team look better every day. Fellow newcomer George Kottaras also had a nice day, going 3-for-4 with an RBI.

That's really all the Brewers news I have for you today, even though I was hoping to bring you the news that Jeff Suppan got cut. Every Brewers fan in Wisconsin knows that this guy needs to see the ax, and I'm pretty sure Ken Macha, Doug Melvin, and Mark Attanasio know it too. But because he's on the hook for $12 million, I really don't see him going anywhere, sadly. Adam McCalvy takes a closer look at who might end up being the 4/5 starters for the Crew, and it's worth a look. Until we find out though, we'll keep hoping that Jeff Suppan can make like Soctt Schoeneweis, in that his summer will consist of mowing lawns and pool parties rather than 162 games of baseball.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bucks Win After Huge Fourth

John Salmons was cold in the first half, but something must have sparked him in the second half. He had the second half of a lifetime Monday night against Atlanta in the Bradley Center. The Hawks couldn't miss in the first half, and built a nice 54-45 lead at halftime. That was mostly because of a huge second quarter from Jamal Crawford. He scored 12 of his 21 points in the second quarter to help the Hawks put up 34 points in the quarter. Any quarter you score over 30 points it is a great quarter.

The Bucks would need a huge second half if they were going to win this game, and Salmons would step up to the challenge. John scored 25 of his 32 points in the second half. At one point late in the fourth Salmons scored nine straight Bucks points. After that the Bucks worked up a five point lead, before Josh Smith went to work on Jerry Stackhouse. He scored two easy post up layups over Stack, and then got an offensive rebound from Jerry. Smith got fouled and made one of the two free throws to tie the game up at 91 with 3:31 left in the game.

Andrew Bogut had a hard time working Al Horford, but he made an awesome pass behind the back to Delfino who made a great cut for the easy lay up. Then Bogut got a huge tip back to give the Bucks another chance, and Salmons got fouled with 21 seconds left to give the Bucks a two point lead. I thought the Hawks might go for the win on the road, but they worked the ball to Joe Johnson who was on fire Monday. He got to the hole on Luc Richard, and got off a very well contested floater that bounced off back iron. Ridnour got the rebound, and was fouled to give the Bucks a chance to take a four point lead. Luke made one of two so Atlanta still had life, but Jamal Crawford got off an three pointer from 28 feet that was short.

It was a huge win for the Bucks as they were down by as much as 12 point midway through the third quarter. The Bradley Center was rocking like a playoff game, and Milwaukee didn't give up when down in the third. They fought back with team effort, and showed that this team is going to scare teams in the playoffs. No matter down 12 or up 12 the Bucks are going to work hard all the time thanks to one man and one man only Scott Skiles. This man should win coach of the year hands down. No other NBA coach could take a team like this, and do what he is doing. As great as the Bucks players are playing we really need to give some love to Skiles.

Lets check out some highlights from this awesome 98-95 Bucks win.

* John Salmons as I said above was awesome Monday. He finished with 32 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 tray balls. It never gets old saying that this trade has been be awesome for the Bucks. I guess this is the next closest thing to the CC trade for the Brewers. Really we should have seen this happening since he did the same thing last year for the Bulls when he joined their team. The Bulls made a playoff run, and he played an awesome series against Boston. Salmons is going to get the Bucks POTG for Monday.

* Carlos Delfino had another good game for the Bucks Monday. He finished with 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. When he is on he is on, but you always get a bad game here and there. You just have to put up with the bad games, because the guy has been putting up some good games of late. Lets hope he can keep this string of good games going as Bogut and Jennings are having some rough games.

* Luke Ridnour, where have you been of late? He finally came to play Monday night as he finished with 18 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds. He hasn't been playing well of late, but this was a huge game for him off the bench. Getting a few bench players to score in double figures is huge every game.

* Thank you Hawks for sucking from the free throw line. Atlanta finished the night 6-13 from the free throw line. I guess there is nothing free about throws for this team. I don't think I have ever seen a team shoot this bad from the line. The Bucks on the other hand were 14-17 from the line, that is a plus 8 points just from the line for the Bucks. Not too many games you see the Bucks out shoot the other team from the free throw line.

* Milwaukee only had eight turnovers Monday night, and that only allowed Atlanta to score four fast break points. That is a huge part of the Hawks game, so keeping them to a low amount of fast break points is huge. Never bad to play a team three times late in the year when you might play them in the first round of the playoffs.

* Joe Johnson has a good shot, and it was working hard Monday night. He finished the game with 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. I guess there has been a lot of talk about the Hawks not getting Johnson back after this year. His contract is up, and it looks like all signs point to him testing free agency. For now he is a Hawk, and he will earn the Hunter of the Night award.

Overall it was a nice comeback win for the Bucks Monday night at home. They get to stay at home for awhile as the next four games are all at home. Wouldn't be a bad thing if the Bucks went on a little winning streak here to keep their lead for the 5th spot in the East. Next up are the 76ers Wednesday night in the Bradley Center. This is kind of one of those trap games as you play a team you should beat, but they are always a team that can turn it on any night. Lets hope we don't catch the 76ers on one of those nights. The Bucks will be looking for their 25th home win of the season Wednesday night. For the rest of the box scores click the link below.

And honestly, I'm down like the economy....

Davis Roughed Up in Loss

Not a lot of good came from Monday's 8-4 Spring Training loss to the Dodgers, as no Brewer batter had more than one hit and the pitchers got roughed up pretty good as well. One of those pitchers was this game's starter, Doug Davis, who went 4 2/3 innings while giving up three runs. He gave up six hits and walked three batters, which is way too many runners to allow on base. Despite the struggles, we are not going to be as hard on him as we are Jeff Suppan, because we don't have an agenda against Doug Davis.

Also struggling a bit was Trevor Hoffman, who still hasn't seen too many appearances yet this spring. Hoffman gave up four hits and two runs in just one inning, as did reliever Scott Schoeneweis, the latter who is in dire jeopardy of making this club. The bright spot was Todd Coffey, the only pitcher out of five not to give up a run.

So yeah, they lost. In other news, the Brewers have shipped backup catcher Matt Treanor to the Rangers in exchange for 28 year-old infielder Ray Olmedo. The main nugget you need to take away from this is that this basically means George Kottaras will be our backup catcher to Gregg Zaun. Jonathan Lucroy still remains on the big league roster, but is expected to get sent back down soon. I don't konw about you, but the offense that Zaunbie Nation and Kottaras could bring make me a lot more excited in that combo than I was in Chopper to Third Kendall and Play Once Every Other Month Rivera.

Future of UW-La Crosse Baseball Still in Doubt

The man pictured here is Zach Thiel, a man who despite never playing for the UW-La Crosse Eagles baseball program may be one of the most influential people to the program. When news broke that budget cuts at the University would lead to the demise of La Crosse's baseball program, Thiel stepped up to the plate and helped save the program by organizing a donation campaign. Thiel's efforts helped get the Eagles back on the field for at least another season, but after this year the future is still cloudy.

We talked with Thiel back in August when the news was delivered that the Eagles would in fact take the field in 2010, and we recently checked in with him to see what's being done to make sure this program stays alive in the future.

The Bucky Channel: Zach, you were instrumental in helping save UWL baseball and allowing the guys to take the field once again this spring. What is it like to know how big of a difference you've had on helping these kids get to play ball for another year?

Zach Thiel: I truly believe that it is going to take a while for everything to sink in. The real difference makers are all the supporters and people committed to the future of UW-L baseball. I’m just trying to do anything and everything I can to help the baseball program and to keep baseball in the dreams of these kids and future kids wanting to attend UW-La Crosse. It’s been such a rollercoaster ride so far and once I know the baseball at UW-La Crosse has a solid long term stable program then I will be able to kick back, raise my feet up, and reflect.

TBC: The program has been saved for this season, but what does the future hold for the program? Are they going by a year to year basis or are you working on something long term?

Thiel: Yes, the season has been saved for 2010 and the team already has begun taking the field, but unfortunately this could very well be the last season for these kids. We have started a 5 year “PLEDGE NOW PAY LATER” campaign in an attempt to raise a total of $175,000 ($35,000 a season) by May 1st, 2010. Basically if you wish to donate a total of $500, you would be billed $100 on May 1st of each year for 5 years. This would ensure baseball at UW-La Crosse for the next 5 seasons, and once this goal is met everyone involved will need to sit down and decide what our next steps are. Funding a college baseball program off generous donations from the public is not going to work long term. So once this new goal is met we will need to do some serious brainstorming and develop a vision for the future and how we can ensure baseball at La Crosse for years and years to come.

TBC: Some people may not know that saving this program actually has a major impact on the WIAC, the conference the Eagles belong to. Can you explain how the conference would be affected if the Eagles program was shut down?

Thiel: Honestly, this technicality remains under the radar of the general public and I wish we could get everyone who is involved with WIAC baseball assisting us. The baseball situation at UW-La Crosse will directly affect the entire WIAC. As it stands right now in order for conference to receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III National Baseball Tournament there needs to be a minimum of (7) teams. If UW-La Crosse loses its baseball program the number of teams in the WIAC will be (6) and such immediately eliminating any chance for a school that is in the WIAC conference a chance at the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament.

TBC: If the program is going to survive on donations, at least in the short term, how can people help?

Donations…donations…donations……….that’s what we need right now to keep Eagle Baseball a reality. Interested individuals or businesses can go to and click on the DONATE NOW link for multiple ways on how they can make a difference. If you are considering donating I want to say thank you and if you already have donated I want to thank you for your generosity and support. Right now every little bit helps and we can all help make a difference for the current and future baseball players at La Crosse.


I'd like to again thank Zach for taking the time and answering a few questions. One of my fondest moments in college was when I was a sports photographer for a television station, and I was regularly assigned to cover the baseball team. Many of the people I still talk to from UW-La Crosse were members of that program, and I can't picture that university without a baseball team. If you want to help the cause, I've posted the link to his website near the top of our page. Maybe even if you don't help directly, there might be someone you know who wants to help keep this program alive, and make sure the other kids in the WIAC aren't affected in the process. Again, thanks again to Zach and I can't speak enough about how impressed I am at the difference one man has already been able to make.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

And There Goes Wisconsin

I'll spare you any Andy Bernard jokes here and get right to the point, and that is that you can add Cornell to the list of teams that have knocked Wisconsin out of the NCAA tournament. And how. Cornell stormed past the Badgers by a final score of 87-69, doing so by shooting 61% from the field while shooting 8-for-15 from beyond the arc. This was a game we were a bit worried about as Cornell does play a style of basketball similar to Wisconsin's - and they beat them at it.

It's been upset city this weekend in college basketball (even though I haven't made it my Facebook status yet, my bracket is done as well), so the Badgers should have been on a little heightened alert. They did get good performances out of Jon Leuer (23 points) and Jason Bohannon (18 points), but Trevon Hughes' game left a little to be desired (10 points). Fact of the the matter is though, they needed about 25 points a piece from each of these three guys if they were going to win this game, because there was no way in hell the Badgers were going to win a game in which the other team scores 87 points.

So instead of a much anticipated matchup with Kentucky this Thursday night, it will be the Badgers sitting at home with the rest of us watching March Madness. When you kind of take a look back at their season, it was a little similar to that of what we wanted out of Marquette. Both teams had strong moments in the regular season and did a little better than we expected of them, but in the end their tournament run was cut just a little too short. Would either of our teams had a legitimate shot at cutting down the nets? Probably not, but you do get the feeling that both their seasons ended just a little too soon.

Quick Look at the Brewers Weekend

Zing: The Brewers and White Sox got together on Sunday, and nobody came out the clear winner. This one was halted after ten innings, with the final score ending up at 4-4. Most of the pitching staff had a decent day, from starter Randy Wolf (five innings, two runs) to the relievers Mitch Stetter, Chris Smith, and Tim Dillard. Carlos Villanueva struggled a bit again, but overall I've been impressed with the performance of the pitchers this season, well minus Jeff Suppan of course.

Boom: Decent performance from Ryan Braun out of this one, as he hit his third home run of the spring season. Braun finished 2-for-3 with three RBI.

Tararrel: It's a type of game that Yovani Gallardo seems to excel at - the solo shot victory. Gallardo allowed four hits over five scoreless innings, but also scored the game's only run on a solo home run as the Brewers beat the Royals 1-0. The only other pitcher that is really capable of this performance is CC Sabathia. Ironically, I just had a dream about Sabathia that he agreed to resign with the Brewers. He was going to finish playing with the Yankees for the next two years and then come back to Milwaukee. Odd little dream there.

Puke: Pretty good weekend overall, but it's never good for the offense when the only run is scored by your pitcher. They still have a couple of weeks to work out all of the kinks, and they'll be in action again tomorrow against the Dodgers. After that it's a Tuesday matinee against Cleveland and then an off day on Wednesday.

Big Road Win for Bucks

Scott Skiles has been saying he wanted a big road win, and he got it Saturday night as the Bucks handed the Nuggets their 6th home loss of the year. Andrew Bogut was in foul trouble all night so the Bucks needed to work as a team, and play good defense. They did both getting help from Kurt Thomas, and Ersan Ilyasova. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute played good defense on Melo, who did score 29 points, but he shot 10-29 from the field. Mbah a Moute has been awesome this year covering the top scorer for the other team.

The whole game was back and forth, and neither team really got out to a huge lead. The biggest margin of point difference for a quarter was five. That was the fourth quarter as the Bucks won the quarter 26-21. Milwaukee came out firing early in the fourth quarter to get out to an 88-82 lead. Denver cut the lead to one at one point in the game, but Luc Richard had a huge offensive rebound. He got fouled, and made both free throws to push the lead back to three. With 1:12 left in the game Ilyasova made a lay up that put the game out of reach for the Nuggets.

This was a huge road win against a team that has a chance to go deep in the playoffs in the West. And not having Bogut play much while still winning was huge. Our bench is not real deep, but at times it really can play well. John Salmons played 53 minutes Friday night, and a team high 39 minutes in Saturday nights game. The only thing the Bucks can't do is over work these guys night in and night out. That might come back to haunt us when they do get to the playoffs. We need to get a few blow out wins so we can get the bench more playing time, and rest the starters.

Lets check out some highlights from this huge 102-97 win.

* John Salmons has been huge since being traded to the Bucks. He carried Milwaukee Saturday night finishing with 26 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds. Just another solid game for the guy who never shows emotion. He will earn himself the Bucks POTG for his efforts Saturday night.

* Carlos Delthreeno was on fire Saturday night. He finished the game with 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 4-6 from downtown. He is always up and down, but we love the up games as he finds his stroke from deep. The three point shot is where the Bucks make up for not getting to the line as much as other teams.

* Ersan Ilyasova had a double double for his second straight game. He finished with 14 points, and 10 rebounds. Always nice to get a double double from a guy off the bench. Ilyasova always seems to work hard and get those rebounds.

* The Bucks got smoked in rebounds and points in the paint. Denver out scored Milwaukee 42-26 in the paint. The Nuggets also dominated the glass as they out rebounded the Bucks 53-40. Not sure if your going to win a lot of games getting beat in those categories, but Saturday night everything worked out for the Bucks.

* Chauncey Billups played well for Denver Saturday night. He finished with 29 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. He also shot 17-17 from the free throw line which is crazy for one guy to get to the line that many times. Billups will earn the Hunter of the Night award for his efforts to keep the Nuggets in the game.

Fear the Deer folks, this team now might be for real. This season just got real, and I can't wait to see how this things plays out. After the three west coast games the Bucks will return home Monday to take on the Hawks. This could be a possible first round match up depending on where the we and the Hawks end up. The Bucks will have four games this week all at home in the Bradley Center. The Bucks are playing very well at home so going 3-1 this week would be huge for the Bucks as the season comes to an end. For the rest of the box score click the link below.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Win is A Win

Brandon Jennings was raining threes Friday night in Sacramento, as he knocked down a total of eight of them. None of them were as big though as the one Ilyasova knocked down, when he drilled a three from San Jose with six seconds left in regulation to tie the game and send it into overtime. This was a classic Bucks roller coaster ride game, as they looked great at times and awful at times. No matter the score as long as at the end of the day you have more points then the other team you get the W in the end.

The Kings started off hot as they got out to an early 7-2 lead, before the Bucks found their stroke. Milwaukee was up 29-21 after the first quarter which was a high point for the Bucks. It didn't take long for the Bucks to run into a low point as the Kings started the second quarter on a 11-0 run. The Bucks five on the court at the time was Ridnour, Stackhouse, Delfino, Ilyasova, and Thomas. They just seemed lost out there as they could not find a go to scorer.

It was then Skiles made the move that confused everyone he brought Primoz Brezec into the game. What did he do the first time he was in on defense? He stood his ground in the lane, and caused a turnover. Jennings also came in that is when he started knocking down tray balls like in it was the all star three point contest. Who would have thought that those two would play a role in stopping a Kings run.

The third quarter was a tank job by the Bucks as they only put up 17 points in the quarter. That meant that they would need a big fourth quarter to come back to win this one as they were down by 7 after three. Not a huge amount, but it just seemed that the Kings were flying high.
Milwaukee finally came out hot in the start of a quarter as they went on a 13-4 run to take a two point lead.

Down seven with a minute left, you knew someone was going to have to make some big shots. John Salmons hit a three off an inbound play to cut the lead to four. The Bucks then got a stop and Salmons had a nice dish to Bogut for the dunk to cut the lead to two. After Garcia made two free throws Salmons hit another big three to cut the lead to one with 20 seconds left. The Kings would make both throws, and give the Bucks one last chance for a tie. After Jennings dribbled around for 10 seconds for no reason he passed it to Ilyasova who was at half court it seemed. Well I guess Jennings made the right play, because Ersan knocked down a huge three to tie it.

In the first overtime the Bucks got the last shot after Jennings missed a jumper, and Ilyasova missed a tough tip in at the horn. In the second overtime the Bucks got off to a 9-4 run and coasted the rest of the way for a huge win. It seemed that they had no chance of winning after being down seven with a minute to go, but some how some way they fought back and won. This was a much needed win as they traveled late last night to Denver for a game on Saturday.

Lets check out some highlights from this crazy 114-108 Bucks win Friday night.

* BJ33333333 had a huge game from deep as he made 8-13 three pointers. This might have been a statement game for him as people have been saying that Tyreke Evans is the rookie of the year. Jennings finished the game with 35 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. Great game for Young Money on Friday night as he came up big when the Bucks got cold in the second quarter. He will earn himself the Bucks POTG for his efforts against the Kings.

* The double double crew had two people on the ship Friday night. Andrew Bogut and Ersan Ilyasova had double double for the Bucks. Bogut finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Ilyasova finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists. Good to see the big guys working hard down low.

* No Bell - thank god. Good work by Skiles keeping Bell's cheerleading ass on the bench.

* John Salmons made some huge three balls in the late part of game. He finished the game with 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. The best part about his stat sheet was his team high 53 minutes he played. To play that many minutes and still make big shots shows you that this guy wants to be here, and he wants to win. The big test will be tonight to see if he can play well after that many minutes the night before.

* The Bucks were hot from down town Friday night. Bucks made 14 threes to the Kings 5. That is a nice plus 27 points for the Bucks from downtown.

* Beno Udrih was feeling it Friday night from anywhere and everywhere. He finished the game with 26 points, 9 assists, and 4 steals. He was doing a little bit of everything against the Bucks to keep the Kings in the game. He will earn the Hunter of the Night award for Friday night.

Big win for the Bucks as they got a few games coming up against teams that are fighting for home court in the playoffs. Milwaukee is now up 4 full games on Toronto in the playoff race. They have a good 2 and a half game lead on the fifth spot. Next up is Melo and the Nuggets, they are going to be tough. This is a great team that I really feel could make a run deep in the playoffs in the West. Then the Bucks come home for three games next week. Time to get ready for Brewers baseball, but don't forget about these Bucks as they make a run late in the season to be a sleeper team. For the rest of the box scores click the link below.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Suppan Needs to Go

The Milwaukee Brewers have their first three starters set in stone - Yovani Gallardo, Randy Wolf, and Doug Davis. Anything else after that is a mystery, and the mystery will become a lot more clear once the Brewers decide what to do with Jeff Suppan. The club actually doesn't need a fifth starter until the middle of April, so the fourth starter is either going to be Manny Parra, Dave Bush, or this shithead shown above. Please God, don't let it be Jeff Suppan.

Of all the options, there's no doubt that Suppan is actually the worst pitcher in the bunch. But there's the little issue of the $12.5 million we owe him this year, and the Brewers are obviously having a hard time of just cutting him loose and throwing that money down the toilet. I can understand that, but we gotta cut this guy, or at the very least keep him in the bullpen as our mop up pitcher. He sucks.

Suppan struggled mightily last year and his problems are coming with him into this season's Spring Training. He hasn't had a good start yet, and Friday's game against the Angels was no exception. Suppan went just three innings, giving up five runs on six hits, and also allowed four walks. That puts him at a 9.00 ERA during Spring. If the Brewers think that they can make the playoffs this season with a pitcher that is going to give you a guaranteed loss, then they are basically starting the season 0-30. Their method where they put Suppan on the extended DL list twice a season isn't going to cut it this year, we have to just sever ties all together.

The end result on Friday was a 10-5 loss to the Angels, and those are the kind of results that you're going to get with Suppan starting. Eating $12.5 million isn't the most ideal business strategy, but the Brewers should relish this opportunity. Hell, I'd pay $12.5 million to get Suppan off this roster and pick up at least five to six wins by doing so. Make the right move, Milwaukee, and get Suppan out of here.

It's Been a Stressful First Round

With Wisconsin's style of play being tough to go up against and the hot run of late from Marquette, the dream was that our two teams could potentiall matchup against one another in the Elite Eight. For that to happen, they'd have to knock off opponents like Kentucky and West Virginia, but the thought wasn't entirely impossible. Well, it is now, as the two teams sure did have a hell of a time in the first round.

I've often said that the Badgers are usually a team that can easily make an Elite Eight run any given year, but that's only if they don't choke in the first round first. The Badgers almost made Wofford the story of the day, but they managed to get the 53-49 victory and will now face Cornell on Sunday. As you can see by the score, it wasn't a pretty game and it's definitely not a performance that Bo Ryan will be showing incoming recruits. Regardless, the Badgers got the win and that's all that matters, as they are one of the 32 teams left playing for the national championship.

This win was credited mainly to Jon Leuer, who scored 20 points including sealing the deal with a jumper and free throws at the end of the game. Leuer is one of the opening round stars as he was very dominating in the paint and we'll need that from him if the Badgers are going to go any further. You'd like to think that this game against Wofford will get some of their shitty play out of their system, but we'll see. From what I've read, Cornell actually plays a brand of basketball similar to Wisconsin, so it could be a challenge. At this point, I think anything less than a Sweet Sixteen bid would be a disappointment for this squad, so hopefully they pick it up on Sunday.

Disappointment is a pretty good way to describe what happened to our other team, Marquette. They were the better team for most of the game, even being up 15 points at one moment in the second half. But the collapse happened, and our friends at Anonymous Eagle are putting the onus on Buzz Williams and his inability to coach defense. The final would then read Washington 80, Marquette 78. Overall, it was a great season for MU, as they made the tournament which at the beginning of the season would have been enough. But they way they played down the stretch they really made us believe they could put a run together, and possibly advance out of this weekend.

It's been an enjoyable tournament so far minus the Marquette loss, and hopefully next weekend at the Badgers are still giving us a reason to write about it.

Strikeouts Doom Brewers in Loss

Zing: The Brewers fell 6-4 to the Rangers in front of a nationally televised audience, but we'll get to that a bit later. First we should focus on the positives. One of those positives was Gregg Zaun, who got the start at the DH position Thursday night and delivered by going 2-for-3. Zaun is hitting .458 right now, and I can't stress enough how much better I like him when compared to Jason Kendall. I'm a proud member of Zaunbie Nation for sure.

Boom: Jonathan Lucroy manned the backstop for the Crew and hit a solo homer. Other RBI go to Kottaras, McGehee, and Hart.

Tararrel: That's about it for positives in this game, and we'll have to look to a "B" game that was played earlier on Thursday. "B" games aren't quite split squad games, but the Brewers won the earlier session winning 6-3 thanks to Dave Bush, who gave up just one run on three hits in five innings. Manny Parra didn't fare so well in the main game, giving up five runs over five innings. I just don't think Parra is ever going to be as good as we thought he could be, but hopefully this isn't him peaking. We need him to step it up finally this season.

Puke: The main stat to take away from this game is that of the Brewers 27 outs, 16 of them came by the way of the strikeout. I think this is more of a fluke than the norm for the Brewers, but that's still an alarming stat. Hopefully they become a little more patient at the plate before the season starts in just a few short weeks.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bucks Can't Handle Clippers on ESPN

Yeah, I'll say if a team with Steve Blake beats you then you know something is wrong. The problem for the Bucks Wednesday was first they were on ESPN as they never play well on national TV, and second Charlie Bell started. Carlos Delfino was out with an ankle injury, and that did not help the Bucks at all. Hurry back Carlos, I really don't want to see Bell play at all the rest of the season. This game was a battle down low for both teams, and the Clipper big men were up to the challenge.

The Bucks didn't play well in the first half at all. They seemed weak on defense, and the Clippers big man just pushed us around down low. Los Angeles had a 53-42 lead after the first half, and the Bucks had been holding teams to just about 90 points a game. I went to bed after that because West Coast games are on too late for me (Winks note: Come on, Gweeds, you don't have to be to work until ten! Just get up twenty minutes before work and skip a shower like I do!). I heard that the Bucks made a nice run in the third quarter. Also I went to bed with Jennings having 3 points. I woke up to see he finished with 21 so he had a nice quarter too.

Milwaukee had a two point lead going into the fourth quarter, but just could not hit a shot. They didn't score in the first three minutes of the quarter, so their lead was gone as fast as they got it. After that bucket they went another two and half minutes without a bucket again. These are stretches that you can't go with when your fighting for a playoff spot. The Bucks did get it to six points with just under three minutes to play, but the Clippers were able to hold off Milwaukee.

Lets check out a few highlights from this tough 101-93 defeat.

* Andrew Bogut was the main attraction in the first quarter was we worked the whole game through him. As the Bucks got behind they seemed to get away from him. He finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks. I just think early in the fourth when they had a hard time scoring they should have been looking to work him more. Lets give the big guy the Bucks POTG.

* As I said before Brandon Jennings had a nice second half to help the Bucks fight back. He finished with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, but also 5 turnovers. Need to keep the turnovers down that is when this team is at its best. I think this team being hot on ESPN, and him being back at home, he tried to do to much to early.

* Free throws killed the Bucks Wednesday as they shot 11-14 from the line which is not bad. The only problem is the Clippers made 27-34 from the line. That is a plus 16 point difference for the Clippers. Bucks need to attack to rim when they can't get the three to drop.

* Six players scored in double figures for the Clippers. That is always something that if the Bucks can do they most likely win the game. Well this time it was done to them, and therefore they lost the game. Balance scoring seems to be the key for most teams in the NBA to win games. So lets give the Clippers starting five the Hunter's of the Night award, as they were the key to the upset win.

Tough game for the Bucks, but they can bounce back playing the Kings Friday. This is a big game for the Bucks as after Friday things do not get easy. They play the Nuggets Saturday, and then the Hawks a possible first round playoff match up Monday. Need to win the games against teams that are out of the playoff race if you want to be a contender. It is also a match up of the two profile rookies this year as Tyreke Evans takes on Jennings. People are saying that Evans is the rookie of the year by stats, but Jennings should maybe take it because he improved the Bucks record this year. That is a different story for a different day, but one thing is for sure the Bucks need to get back on track Friday night. Click the link below for the rest of the box scores if you really want to see this ugly outing by the Bucks.

Tell me what do you see when your looking at me....

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