Monday, May 31, 2010

Changes May Be Coming to Lambeau

I've yet to chime in on this whole discussion about whether or not Green Bay could host a Super Bowl, which a lot of people are speculating on after it was declared the 2014 Super Bowl would be in a cold weather stadium (the new home of the Giants/Jets). Quite simply, I think Lambeau Field would be the perfect place to hold a Super Bowl, and I think the NFL isn't opposed to doing it. But it will never happen, mainly because of the hotel/transportation situation. Still, it's fun to dream.

I still did find it curious though that right after all this Super Bowl talk we started hearing about the Packers organization hiring consultants to look at possible improvements to Lambeau Field. Pure coincidence, I'm sure. But what the Packers are looking at doing is renovating the south end zone, which is currently more open than that of the north side. It sounds like in any option the scoreboard would have to be raised, and that they could go ahead and just install new club seats which would increase capacity by up to 8,000 seats. But there are some more interesting scenarios to, as presented by Don Walker of JSOnline, and I wanted to take a look at some of them.

1. A tailgate-theme area, with barbecues, seating in front and picnic tables in the back.

Not bad, but I think when you look at making improvements to the actual stadium, you really don't need to corporate the best aspect of being outside the stadium. To me, the whole point of tailgating is getting ready for the game, or even winding down after it. This wouldn't be a bad idea, but I'd prefer to keep the tailgaiting aspect of the Packer game experience away from the actual game.

2. A large seating area, half of it indoor and half of it outdoor (approx. 6,000 seats).

This seems to be the most popular option according to the JSOnline poll, and I really can't find any fault in it. It adds a ton of seats, which in turn hopefully moves me up on the season ticket waiting list. You basically just fill in the stadium at this point and go for as many more seats as possible, and again it's not like they'd have a hard time filling those seats. The more the merrier. If any option, I would have to guess that they'd go this route - the safe route.

3. A Bavarian-style brew-pub setting, in which fans would sit at long tables to watch the game.

Now this option, I like. They kind of had a set up like this at the Alliant Center in Madison when I went to watch some indoor team called the Mad Dogs like 15 years ago, and if I liked it then I'm sure I'll like it now that I enjoy drinking a large quantity of alcohol in a short period of time. The Bavarian option would incorporate a little bit of the German tradition that is prevalent in this state, and I think the beer hall setting would work quite well in Lambeau. I like it.

4. A play-zone area, featuring pool tables, arcade games and other interactive types of games. This area would have minimal seating, according to the rendering shown to attendees.

Laaaaaame. It's going to be a little hard to play a game of billiards when there is two feet of snow in the stadium, and if you really want to play a game of pool don't do it when there is a freaking Packers game being played right in front of you. I never really liked all the interactive, kind of kid-friendly areas in stadiums. I buy a ticket to watch a game, not to see how hard I can throw a fastball. I guess something like this might be alright before the game, but it seems like a waste of space to me.

5. A fully enclosed press box-type setting, in which radio or TV stations could host live events, and fans would sit in traditional seats. One attendee said this concept called for moving the current press box to the south end-zone area, and building the new press box-themed area for fans in the current press box area. The current press box is in the southwest corner of the stadium.

Too confusing, and not worth it. Trust me, I've been in the press box, it's lame. Now I'm sure if they opened that area to fans, the whole unwritten rules of watching a game in the press box would be lifted (no cheering, no cheering, absolutely no cheering), but still the press box is not in a good location. It's pretty high up there, and it's not the best view in the stadium. Plus, if you're a member of the press, you want to see the action go left and right, not north and south. It's a bad move for everyone.

6. Another concept would be the creation of a restaurant along the lines of Friday's Front Row Sports Grill at Miller Park. Fans would be able to sit at tables and watch the game at the restaurant. The Packers presumably would contract with a national chain to run the restaurant.

This isn't bad. I like the Friday's Front Row setting at Miller Park, but it would seem kind of weird to see something like that in Lambeau. I guess if they combined with a Dave and Busters or something they could kill two birds with one stone and get those pool tables in the there.

7. There was some talk of a rooftop type setting, similar in nature to what fans can do in buildings across the street from Wrigley Field in Chicago. Cubs fans sit in bleachers atop buildings on Waveland and Sheffield avenues.

This doesn't make any sense to me. At first I thought they might build actual buildings outside of the stadium, with the sole purpose of wanting to have rooftop seating, but I suppose it would make more sense if they just sort of built it within the stadium there. I don't know, the rooftop thing is something that happened organically, which is why its so awesome down at Wrigley. Plus, that'd be like trying to build another Green Monster sort of set-up, trying to replicate something that's already been done. I say no to this one.

Looking at as a whole, I think the regular club seating may be the best bet, but I wouldn't mind them trying to throw something different in there. Again, I really do think the Bavarian style seating would work here, and it'll be interesting to see what the consultants, and other fans that will be asked for their opinion, come up with.

Watch Jeff Suppan Cheat Death Again

Word out of Milwaukee is that Kameron Loe has been called up as a reinforcement for the bullpen, since the Brewers' pen is about as depleted as it can be right now. Loe, 28, is 4-3 with a 3.16 ERA in ten starts at Triple-A Nashville this season, and a decision had to be made on him by this Friday otherwise he did have an out clause in his contract. This was a move that was expected to be made for awhile now, no surprise here.

But with Loe coming up, who is going down? No word yet, but you'd have to think that Jeff Suppan is finally going to get the ax. Earlier this morning I said that within two weeks I think Suppan will finally get DFA'd and finally be sent packing out of Milwaukee, either because of a Loe promotion or the impending return of Doug Davis. But sadly, something tells me Suppan will escape another round of "Is This the Day Suppan Finally Gets Cut?", and rather Marco Estrada will get sent down to Nashville or something like that. Lame. We'll see though, should be interesting.

And oh yeah, Adam Stern. Back to Nashville again, as Jim Edmonds has been taken off of the DL. See you again in another week, Adam, as your crazy back-and-forth season is likely to continue.

It's Macha's Turn to Be Criticized

My goodness, how many different ways can this team lose this season? Just one day after Brewers fans rallied together in their disgust over Jeff Suppan, Ken Macha steps up to the plate to become public enemy number one instead. The backlash you'll hear about Macha for the next 24 hours results in his decision to keep Chris Narveson in the game at a point where Narveson probably should have been lifted. It's always hard for me to debate whether a guy should stay in or be taken off the hook, but in hindsight all we can really say is that keeping Narveson in was a bad decision, a decision which was made by Ken Macha.

The situation was this: Chris Narveson had been pitching very well through five innings, but started to unravel a bit in the 6th inning. He was losing a bit of his command, and he all but lost his ability to get his pitches down. The Marlins had plated one run to narrow their deficit to 4-1, but there were two men on the bases with Cody Ross at the plate. Narveson was already at 100 pitches, and there were two outs already down in the inning.

You'd like to see Narveson get out of the mess he made, feel good about his outing, and save the bullpen for just one more inning. That's the ideal situation. But that wasn't what happened on Monday, as instead Narveson gave up a three run bomb to Ross, and then the Marlins managed to score another three runs in the inning. They entered the 6th inning down 4-0, but left the 6th inning with a 7-4 lead. But it's an inning that could have been avoided.

Ken Macha did come out to talk to Narveson before he was to face Cody Ross, but it was basically to ask him how he was feeling. With Narveson not being the kind of guy that is going to want to be taken out of the ballgame, Chris said he was fine and believed he could continue. Well, he was wrong, and by Narveson continuing to pitch the Marlins were able to take the lead and then extend it in the inning afterward, eventually winning this contest 13-5.

The game actually became quite comical in the later innings, as defensive miscues by the Brewers allowed the Marlins to make this thing look worse than it needed to be. After making us fall in love with him for hitting yet another home run, Corey Hart showed why he still is a defensive liability by allowing a ball to get by him in the sixth. Carlos Gomez couldn't get to a Cameron Maybin line drive in the seventh, which allowed Maybin to hit an inside-the-park home run. Errors by the Marlins allowed the Brewers to score later on as well, but by then it was far too late, this one was over.

So Macha will continue to be on the hot seat, at least with Brewers fans, and we'll continue to watch our pitching ruin what has been a very solid season offensively so far for Milwaukee. I don't see things getting much better on Tuesday as we trot Dave Bush out there, but we do have Yovani again on Wednesday and we'll see how well Capuano has recovered on Thursday.

POTG: Rickie Weeks.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Do the Admirable Thing, Jeff Suppan. Quit.

Before Jeff Suppan even threw a pitch in Sunday's 10-4 loss to the Mets, the boo-birds were out in full force. Just the mere sight of this guy made 36-thousand plus just emphatically show their frustration about how this guy is still on our team. Again, this was before he gave up four runs off of six hits in 1 2/3 innings of work.

The frustration likely mounted because of when Suppan game into the game. Because the Brewers don't have an off day until next Monday, and because of the relievers that were used in Saturday night's game, the Brewers were kind of limited in their options of who to put into the game in the 6th inning. That meant that Milwaukee's best option for a pitcher at that time was Jeff Suppan, which was a terrible situation because the game was tied at the time. Suppan was moved into the bullpen to hide him from the starting rotation, not to come in when the game was on the line.

Suppan is not a very good pitcher, and the only time he is able to do decent is when he has control of his pitches, when he is in command. He doesn't have shit for a fastball, and if he can't paint the corners than you might as well get Bill Hall back here and pitch instead, because I can't say it enough, Bill Hall looked worlds better on the mound a couple of nights ago than Jeff Suppan has this season. If you're Jeff Suppan, what do you tell yourself when everyone in the stadium is booing you without giving it a second thought? How do you sleep at night? Do you realize that you're just going to finish out the season, make an insane amount of money, and then probably never find a job in the big leagues again?

This is the problem with Doug Melvin. He needs to just cut bait while he can and salvage this situation. Pay Suppan the rest of his contract, that's fine. But fake another DL stint for him or just outright cut his ass. Good general managers don't keep guys like this on their team just because they want to save face because of how much they are paying him. Good general managers pick up on the signals that 36,000 people are sending by booing Suppan before he takes the field. Hey, Lost fans were able to get the producers to kill off Nikki and Paulo, we can get Doug Melvin to kill off Jeff Suppan, can't we?

Still though, if you are Jeff Suppan, how can you really keep doing this? I would fall in love with this guy if he went into Melvin's office tonight and said, "Doug, it's fine. Just cut me. I'll take the money, I know I'm a determent to this team, just cut me and move on." Of course, that will never happen, nor should that have to happen because Melvin should just stop being a pussy and cut this guy already. Whew, I need to take a breath here.

Anyways, that really is all that I'm taking away from Sunday's Mets, because this is why the Brewers lost this game. Of course, outside of Rickie Weeks' two home runs (POTG), the Brewers struggled all the way around. Corey Hart went hitless, Casey McGehee went hitless in back-to-back games for the first time this season, and Zach Braddock struggled pretty bad as well. Not a good way to end the homestand, but at least it was a winning homestand.

The Crew are back in action right away on Monday, with a noon game set in Florida against the Marlins. Chris Narveson is on the bump, looking to rebound from a poor performance earlier in the week. Jeff Suppan, well you know he'll still be there. Yay.

U.S. Knocks Off Turkey in Tune-Up

It will be listed as a 2-1 win in the record books, and a good one at that, but a lot of the weaknesses that currently come with the United States World Cup were exposed on Saturday against Turkey. This game was their last stateside tuneup before they head to South Africa. The Americans do have another friendly scheduled against Australia on Saturday, and then it's World Cup time, as the 2010 installment of the tournament is now less than two weeks away.

It's no small accomplishment beating a team like Turkey - they took 3rd place back in the 2002 World Cup, although did not qualify for this year's tournament. But in the victory the United States did not look all that impressive - getting really only one quality scoring chance in the first half before getting goals from Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey in the second. But it was the defense that caused the most concerned, looking a little more suspect than you'd like two weeks before the Cup.

Jonathan Spector and Jay DeMerit didn't turn in the best peformances, and Oguchi Onyewu is still struggling to regain the form he had before his injury. I have no concerns about the American's ability to score goals come World Cup time, but we do need the defense to play a bit more solid if we're going to have a shot at this thing. Keeper Tim Howard is Superman between the posts, certainly, but come June 12th Howard is going to need some help if we're going to beat the mother country, England, in our opening game.

I had to sling cable on Saturday so didn't see as much of the game as I would have liked, so let's kick it on over to the New York Times for a complete recap. Also, if you're planning on throwing a little green down on the World Cup this summer, Stock Lemon is putting together some odds and suggestions for who you should beat on. Head on over there if you get the chance, and check out their analysis of Group C (hint hint, the U.S.'s group).

Corey Hart is On Fire

I know that I don't like it when people talk about their fantasy teams because it's about as interesting as talking about your dreams, but I can not get over the fact that I traded Corey Hart two weeks ago. The trade was a minor one, I was giving up Kris Medlen of the Braves for Juan Uribe of the Giants. But my trading partner also had Nate McLouth, who sucks this year, and I had Corey Hart, who had been sucking. We were both frustrated with our two outfielders, so we just threw them in the deal. Lo and behold, I got fucked (and this sentence continues our ongoing struggle whether or not we want to swear on the blog).

Hart has been on an absolute tear, and not here's something you never thought would happen. Heading into Sunday he was leading the National League in home runs. Yes, we are still talking about Corey Hart here. He hit two of those home runs, one actually a grand slam, which gave Milwaukee an 8-6 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday. Hart had a total of six RBI in the game, and is clearly our Player of the Game for his efforts. It's the kind of play that we have been waiting for from Hart since he became an All-Star two years ago only to end up struggling, both offensively and defensively, since then.

I traded Hart before this home run tear of his happened, but there have been pleas to Doug Melvin to trade this guy for the last few seasons. With this hot streak, Brewers Bar argues that there is no better time than now to trade Hart. Their main argument:

The Brewers are still unlikely to contend this year, thanks to the hole they dug for themselves with the 9-game losing streak. If you're going to entertain trade offers for Fielder, you might as well trade Hart -- a guy many people were expecting to get non-tendered after this season -- while you're at it.

Interesting point, and even though the Brewers are on a little bit of a winning pattern, they still don't seem like true playoff contenders to me. Still, there are plenty of months left to go through on the calendar before October, so you never know. If you're looking long term, hell yeah, trade him. But if we think we have a shot at this thing, if he continues to play like this we'd be foolish to get rid of him. In fact, Pocket Doppler suggests that Hart could play a role for the Crew in the future, perhaps at a different position:

Rather than breaking the bank on Prince Fielder, whose price will be astronomical, perhaps an idea is to deal Fielder and move Hart to first base, his original minor league position. Fielder would bring much more in trade and give the team far greater salary relief; dealing Prince would also create a hole at first, a gap that does not seem to have a ready solution in the team’s minor league system. Meanwhile, back-filling for Hart in right is a much easier problem to solve with the likes of Lo Cain and Mat Gamel.

It's definitely a decision Melvin will have to make this season, something that I think will depend entirely on where this team is come the trading deadline. I never really thought about the possibility of sticking Hart at first, but boy would it be nice to not see him crashing blindly into the right field wall ever again.

Regardless, for the time being Corey Hart is a Milwaukee Brewer, and right now a very valuable one. Without Hart, who knows if the Brewers would have recovered from a not so spectacular 4 2/3 innings from Manny Parra and Marco Estrada in Saturday's game. Great game from Hart, and we would though like to give props to Todd Coffey (2 1/3 scoreless relief innings, picked up the win), George Kottaras (home run), and John Axford (looked great picking up the save).

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Farewell (Again), Claudio Vargas

And the loser in the whole Capuano promotion turns out to be our old friend Claudio Vargas. I assume that Vargas just edged out Jeff Suppan for the honors of who would be the odd man out in that bullpen, but again something about that hefty contract of Suppan's makes it hard to let him go... for some reason. But I can't really argue about Vargas getting designated for assignment, as he had a 7.32 ERA in 19.2 innings of work this season. Vargas really never saw that much time, he again was more reserved for the mop up role.

As for Capuano, he's coming up to Milwaukee today, but still no word on what his defined role will be. The Brewers do not currently have a starter scheduled for their Wednesday game against the Marlins, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Cappy get the nod then.

Desmond Howard Has a Good Life

Last Thursday Desmond Howard was named to the College Football Hall of Fame, and when you think about it this guy just always seems to pop up in the news every once in awhile. Also named to the HOF was Barry Alvarez, the former football coach and now Athletic Director for the Wisconsin Badgers. More on Alvarez later, but how would you not want to live the life of Desmond Howard. He played college ball at Michigan, and won a Heisman Trophy in 1991. In 1996 he won the Super Bowl MVP for the Packers. He got a huge contract after that, which allowed him to play as mediocre as possible until 2002 when he retired. ESPN brought him aboard for College Gameday, and he gets to attend all the Heisman Trophy presentations. For as little as he did you sure see his face a lot. Now this is just another milestone in his awesome life, which I wish I had.

Don't get me wrong Desmond Howard was a guy that made plays when he needed to. But for me, having a buddy in High school that loved Michigan made it hard to like the guy. Seeing him score touchdowns in college was awesome, but never let a Michigan fan know that. His ability to return kicks/punts for the Packers is something this this team has never been able to replace. So the guy will always be an icon to me, but just the way he got there, it seems he really didn't do that much. Either way his life is way better than saying "Are you here for an oil change?" (Winks Edit: Ha, agree. But saying are you here for an oil change is way better than saying "Actually sir, limited basic is just your local channels, what you're looking for is actually called expanded basic.")

Barry Alvarez on the other hand has had a successful/long career, and still is having one at Wisconsin. He was one of those coaches that didn't really bring the big name guys into his program, but when they left they had made a name for themselves. He led Wisconsin to three Rose Bowl titles, and finished with a coaching record of 118-73-4 in his 16 years coaching.

The actual ceremony for the induction is Dec. 7, so it is a little ways out. Joining these two are 11 other players and one other coach. Another player name you might know is Pat Tillman from Arizona State. For some more information on the class of 2010 click this link to JSonline.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gallardo Goes Complete, Cappy Called Up

If you're a Brewers fan, you had to think that a day like Friday would never come again, for two reasons. Not only did the news come down late that Chris Capuano will be back in a Brewers uniform (more on that later), but we saw something we haven't seen in well over a year - a complete game by a Milwaukee Brewers pitcher. Yovani Gallardo had his best stuff of the year without question on Friday, going the full nine innings, allowing eight hits, yet striking out seven batters. The last time a Brewer pitcher went complete was back in April of last season, so, it's well overdue to say the least.

The thing was though, there was a very real possibility that even with Gallardo going nine innings he still wasn't going to pick up the complete game. That's because when he went back into the dugout before the bottom of the 9th inning, the score was still tied 0-0. For as good as Gallardo was, the Mets' Johan Santana was even better, but Santana was lifted in the 9th inning and wouldn't have the chance to go nine himself.

The Miller Park faithful began to think that a 9th inning win was possible after Ryan Braun got on base, however Casey McGehee was unable to move him over. With two outs, the game was on the line and Corey "The Fact That I Traded Him Two Weeks Ago For Nate McLouth Shows You Just How Bad I Am At Fantasy" Hart hit a 2-run shot into the Brewers bullpen to give Milwaukee the 2-0 victory (or 1-0, if you ask party boy Witrado). Another walk-off win for Milwaukee, and the Brewers have now won four of their last five games. Not the best accomplishment ever, but after that horrid losing stretch we just sat though, this is more than welcome.

What an awesome game this must have been to go to, as you probably would have witnessed one of the finest pitching duels this season. When this game was being hyped as Santana vs. Gallardo, pessimistically I assumed that Santana would get the better end of that feud. But Gallardo kept the pace and was able to go the full nine, and then thankfully his offense finally helped him out in the end. Just an awesome game, and hopefully this momentum can continue through the holiday weekend. No question, your player of the game tonight is Yovani Gallardo.

Now, to speak a little bit about the aforementioned roster move. There were many people that doubted him, but somehow he did it - Chris Capuano is back in the major leagues. Cappy will be summoned up from Nashville on Saturday, as Doug Melvin realized that he didn't want Capuano to exercise the out clause in his contract if he wasn't called up by the weekend. Plus, it's not like Cappy has been struggling in Nashville, he's actually been quite solid. He will join the team in Milwaukee on Monday and presumably head to the starting lineup, at least I would hope. No word yet on who is being sent down, but the speculation says that Marco Estrada will go back and retain his starters role with the Sounds.

In one other bit of random pitching news, you'll never guessed who pitched for the Boston Red Sox on Friday night. The man was none other than Bill Hall, who coincidentally pitched against his former manager Ned Yost, as the Sox were taking on the Royals. I was able to catch Hall's ninth inning and holy buckets if that guy didn't actually look decent. The NESN gun said Hall reached 88 at one point, and he kept a lot of his pitches down to either get the called strike or force a ground ball. You have wonder, with how bad our bullpen has historically been, if Hall wouldn't have been a better option at times than the likes of Eric Gagne and Derrick Turnbow. Crazy to see Hall not only pitch, but actually look like a halfway decent pitcher.

Back to the Crew, they'll get another start out of Manny Parra on Saturday and then finish the weekend series against the Mets on Sunday, with a (dont forget!) afternoon game in Florida on Monday. With it being the holiday weekend, things will be a little slower around here than normal, but I imagine we'll have Saturday's recap up before Sunday's game starts. Check back for more and hey, if I'm not on here I'm kind of obsessed with this Twitter bullshit right now, so check us out on the Tweet Machine.

Bucks Survivor: Round Seven

Stack, out. Kudos to Jerry Stackhouse to making it into the final eight, but holy cannoli was he voted off with an overwhelming percent of the vote. Stackhouse finished with 65 percent of the vote, much higher than the second leading vote-getter in Luke Ridnour, who had 11 percent of the vote. Brandon Jennings is still receiving votes this early in the game as well, which doesn't really make sense to me, but oh well.

This week we're already down to just seven Bucks, and we'll find out soon who this year's Starting Five and Sixth Man will be. The way the votes went last week for second place, I'm expecting a three way race between Luke Ridnour, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and and Ersan Ilyasova. But I don't know, go head and surprise me.

Voting will last until 6pm on Tuesday night, and even though there is a holiday this weekend we're still going to keep the voting schedule the same. We know that Memorial Day weekend is a historically low internet weekend, so we won't be surprised if the voting totals are a little lower this time around (aka we know that people are leaving this site in droves, and are hiding behind our tears). Remember, you vote at the top right of this blog, and again vote for who you'd like to see be eliminated.

Bucks. It's Whats for Dinner.

So I guess not only will you be able to enjoy the Bucks for years to come, but you will also be able to eat them. The NBA has signed deals with various licensing companies to get their team's logos on food items. I know it sounds crazy, but I bet a lot of people buy these things. One is a toaster thats put the logo into your toast with a golden brown touch. Another is a full logo, apparently colored, in the middle of your pizza. Not sure if it changes the taste of the pizza much, but it is a cool concept.

The toasters should be available to by next month for a low price of $34.99. My guess is that the NBA will test this, and if it is a success they will try this with other things. They want to add a panini sandwich press next year sometime. Retail sales fell 17% last year, so they are trying to do whatever they can to bring that up. Here is the link to the article from the USA Today.

Enjoy eating the Bucks while watching them next season.

Sampson the Next Cavs Coach?

I have to say that when the Bucks brought Kelvin Sampson in I didn't know what to think. But after the last two seasons, seeing what he brought to the table I have to say he was the right man for the job. He worked very well with Jennings, and taught him how to handle all the pressure. I really think a lot of people saw what he did with Jennings, and are now saying that Sampson should be a head coach in the NBA. I know he had his problems when he was given the chance in college, but the NBA doesn't have scouting rules. I think sometimes college gets a little overboard with recruiting players. Now the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in bring Sampson in to replace Mike Brown who was fired.

With LeBron's situation up in the air it might be hard for a person to want to take the Cavilers job. I think Kelvin really liked being with the Bucks, and working with Skiles. Will he coach someday in the NBA, I think yes. Will it be this year I don't know/hope not. He put one year in at Indiana, and had a good year so I think he can handle an NBA team. Also with this rumor I guess the Clippers are interested in Sampson. The funny thing about that would be that Eric Gordon plays for the Clippers, a little reunion of sorts.

Either way a rumor is a rumor, and right now we still have Sampson on our side. Not sure when his time here will come to an end, but don't expect him to be around forever. But while he is around I really hope he keeps working with Jennings to make him better and better. For a little more information on this rumor click this link.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Weeks Walks Brewers to Victory

Before they had a chance to do it Thursday against the Astros, the Milwaukee Brewers had not won a series at home this season since their opening set against the Rockies. Needless to say, that's pretty embarrassing. The only thing that would have made that fact even more hard to handle is if they would not have been able to break that streak against the Astros, who again, are the worst team in the National League.

It wasn't pretty, but the Brewers were able to get the series victory thanks to a 4-3 that didn't come until the 10th inning. And it almost didn't come then. The Brewers had the bases loaded with one out against Matt Lindstrom, however they had nobody to send to the plate. John Axford was due up, but you're not going to have a reliever bat in that position. And the Brewers were out of pinch hitters due to the fact that they are only carrying 12 batters right now and one of them, Jody Gerut, is still injured.

The choices were pretty limited at this point, although they did have one position player left on the bench in Jonathan Lucroy. Now, the debate can be had that in a spot like this, with the game tied in extra innings, if you have a position player on the bench you have to use him. But I guess I agree with the conservative approach here that you need to save your backup catcher just in case this thing goes even longer. Still, it's pretty pathetic you have to trot Randy Wolf out in the bottom of the tenth inning as a pinch hitter (the Brewers best hitting pitcher, Yovani Gallardo, is scheduled to start on Friday).

Randy Wolf obviously didn't do anything special, but he didn't ground out into a double play which was really the biggest fear. That left room for Rickie Weeks to be the hero, bases loaded, two outs. Weeks, well he didn't have to do much, as Lindstrom threw him four balls outside of the strike zone. As you know, when that happens and the bases are loaded, the runners move forward and the winning run came home. A walk-off walk, the most anti-climatic way to win a game in baseball.

Those last three paragraphs almost didn't need to happen, because just one inning prior Prince Fielder had a chance to win the game after Carlos Gomez tied it with an RBI single. Fielder hasn't really been playing up to expectations this season, but he had the chance to make all that a moot point when he connected off a Lindstrom pitch, and never have I thought more sure that a ball was leaving the ballpark. I mean, Prince hit an absolute shot, but somehow it died just short of the track, and the game was meant to continue. As was Prince Fielder's chase for his first POTG nomination this year, I'm sure.

But the Brewers did get the win, and that's the main thing, as they've improved to 19-28. Still not the greatest record I've ever seen, but they have won three of their last four which is a positive. It actually looked ugly early as Dave Bush struggled in the first inning, but he settled down although he did only go five frames. Estrada, Braddock, Coffey, and Villanueva did a decent job of taking the reigns from there, with John Axford picking up the win.

So the Brewers get a much needed series win at home, and they'll have the chance to do it again this weekend against the Mets. It's a pitching duel Friday night as Yovani Gallardo will take the hill against Johan Santana. One man that won't be on the bench for that series is Jody Gerut, as the Brewers have decided to stop playing with fire and placed him on the DL. That means Adam Stern is up for like the third time in three weeks, taking his place.

POTG: Carlos Gomez

My Q&A With Pocket Doppler

The closest thing I'll ever have to a media blitz continues today, as earlier this week I spoke with Wally over at PocketDoppler to answer a few questions. The topics range from how this site started to thoughts on the Packers, Brewers, and even the World Cup. So if you're a bit bored this afternoon, humor me a bit and go on and check it out here.

PocketDoppler is a pretty nice site for those of us longing for the SportsBubbler, as every morning the Doppler keeps the tradition alive by posting a bunch of links from some of the state's best bloggers. They also do a weekly Q&A with various bloggers, and in the past they've also spoken with CheeseheadTV, Miller Park Drunk, and BrewHoop. So again, if you have a job unlike me where you get to peruse the internet at your will, kill some time checking out those today.

In other news, have you heard that we're on Twitter?

Bucky Does a Podcast

Two years ago when I started this site, my main goal was to one day appear as a guest on a radio show. Well, I got close enough this week as I was able to appear as a guest on another blog's podcast. Nevermind the fact that the belong belongs to a friend of mine, it makes the story less cool that way. But the website is Al Davis Plus the Points, a site with the tagline "the only thing better than sports, boozing, and gambling, is Al Davis". Makes sense to me.

Nevertheless, I was the guest on the podcast this week, more for the "Channel" and less for the "Bucky". In their podcast, they review the series finales of both 24 and Lost, and I give my input on both of them. I said earlier in the week that I've been going back and forth on the Lost finale, and I pretty much do the same again here. But still, check it out here if you have the chance, although if you don't want to be spoiled on either finale then I'd recommend skipping out on this chance to hear my lovely voice.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MacGruber > Watching Brewers Lose to Houston

Honestly, when I heard that they were making a movie based on the SNL sketch MacGruber I couldn't have been more excited. I'm a big Will Forte fan, I think the sketches are funny enough, and I was certain that they would be able to stretch this thing out into a full-length film. Why, I don't know, but I was definitely proved wrong.

Then why go see this film in the first place, especially when some of my most reliable movie loving friends have rated this movie an "F"? Well, quite frankly I got in for free, but secondly because I wasn't really in the mood to watch the Brewers lose to the Houston Astros. As bad as the Brewers are, the Astros are worse, and I just wasn't ready to watch that. However, as bad as a 5-0 loss to the Astros is, it's forgivable if only for the fact that Houston has a pitcher way better than anyone on our staff, that being Roy Oswalt.

Oswalt threw eight innings for Houston, allowing just four hits and zero runs as well as striking out nine Brewers. He's likely to end up somewhere - believe it or not but the Nationals appear to be a front runner - and whoever gets him will be lucky to have him. He definitely outdueled Chris Narveson, who had his worst start to date going just four innings and giving up four runs. Claudio Vargas gave up another, and then the Brewers actually got three good innings out of Hoffman and Jeff Suppan. No word yet on if or when Hoffman is line to get the closer job back, but I'd at least like to see Axford get another shot at it (for fantasy reasons of course).

Nothing else to speak of really in this one, but that's how it goes when you can only muster up five hits. Two of those hits came from Ryan Braun, and since I'm not ready to give a POTG To either Hoffman or Suppan, Braun will get another nod. Just for the record, it's May 26th, and Prince Fielder has still yet to get a POTG nomination.

So again, it wasn't the best Brewers game to watch, but they still have a chance to win the series tomorrow as Dave Bush will take the hill against Brett Myers, first pitch set for 12:10. Hopefully this game will be a little easier on the eyes so that you're not forced to go to a MacGruber matinee. Seriously, even for stupid movies this one was real bad, and I'm usually very forgiving with these sort of things. Oh well.

Season Likely Over For Zaunbie Nation

Gregg Zaun, we hardly knew thee. Placed on the DL just a few short days ago, Zaun has found out that he has a labrum tear in his throwing shoulder. For those of you like me that don't know what that means, basically when you're 38-years old it means your career is over. Zaun is slightly a little more optimistic, saying he feels he has a "50/50" shot at returning, but the Brewers are preparing as if he'll be out for the season.

It's a tough situation for Zaun, as he was really looking forward to this season in Milwaukee as he finally got the chance to be a true number one catcher. Zaun will presumably still stay with the big league club, mentoring George Kottaras and Jonathan Lucroy along the way. In the meantime, Zaun will be getting paid $1.9 million for his rehab efforts this season. As for next year, he's on the books with a $2.25 option, or a $250,000 buyout. From the way it sounds, that buyout is going to have to be exercised.

As for the Brewers backstop the rest of this season, Melvin has said that he's not really going to go out and grab a veteran catcher in the trade market or otherwise. Instead, Kottaras will be the guy, with Jonathan Lucroy and possibly Angel Salome later in the season getting looks to see who will be the catcher of the future. Tough news for Zaun though, it just kind of makes you said that this injury happened to someone like him while that shithead Jason Kendall was able to play 150 some games in Milwaukee for two straight seasons without injury.

The Squad is Set

With just a little more than two weeks to go before the 2010 World Cup gets underway, twenty-three men have been picked to represent the United States on the world's biggest stage. Coach Bob Bradley narrowed down the roster from 30 on Wednesday afternoon, and his selections included two men whose chances to make the squad looked impossible at the beginning of the year.

One of those men is forward Edson Buddle, the Los Angeles Galaxy forward who has been tearing up MLS this season. The other, forward Herculez Gomez, is an even more unlikely selection because he was cut by an MLS team last season. Not even good enough to be in the MLS, but good enough to be in the World Cup? Quite the story, but Gomez definitely earned it after his play in Tuesday night's 4-2 loss to the Czech Republic.

The game on Tuesday night was one of the final tune-ups for the Americans before they head over to South Africa, and for the most part Bradley knew who he was taking with him. Gomez may have been the one guy that truly earned a spot in that game, however. The other big question mark was defender Oguchi Onyewu, as he is just coming off of an injury suffered months ago against Costa Rica. But he, along with Gomez and Buddle, made the cut, and here's your final 23-man roster:

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton, England), Tim Howard (Everton, England).

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes, France), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Jay DeMerit (Watford, England), Clarence Goodson (IK Start, Norway), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan, Italy), Jonathan Spector (West Ham, England).

Midfielders: DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Michael Bradley (Borussia Moenchengladbach, Germany), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Benny Feilhaber (AGF Aarhus, Denmark), Stuart Holden (Bolton, England), Jose Torres (Pachuca, Mexico).

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Hull, England), Edson Buddle (Los Angeles), Robbie Findley (Salt Lake), Herculez Gomez (Puebla, Mexico)

Not a lot of guys from the MLS in that roster, which I guess can be both a good and a bad thing. Those not making the cut were as follows: defenders Chad Marshall and Heath Pearce; midfielders Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan and Robbie Rogers; and forwards Brian Ching and Eddie Johnson.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We've Got a Winning Streak!

Before I remind you that the Brewers are currently the second worst team in the NL, and they are currently in a series against the worst team in the NL, let's celebrate this two-game winning streak. Okay, now again, the Houston Astros are the worst team in the National League, so beating them is kind of like, well, how other teams have to fell when they beat us. But still, a win is a win and the Brewers got one on Tuesday night, and that this point that's all we can really ask for.

Why did the Brewers win this game? Well, there was really no way they couldn't have, because finally everything clicked. The pitching was solid, the bullpen was handy enough, and the offense was right where it needed to be. The highlight though of this 6-1 win against the Astros was when Yovani Gallardo pinch hit in the 8th inning, because when was the last time you saw Gallardo in an 8th inning? All snide jokes aside, the starter in this one Randy Wolf did go seven, something you still don't see out of this staff that often. In those seven innings, Wolf gave up just four hits and struck out three batters, and anytime a pitcher does that for this team they are almost a lock for our Player of the Game.

After Wolf, the bullpen was serviceable. Carlos Villanueva came into the game in the 8th inning and didn't allow any runs. Then, after the Brewers extended their lead, Todd Coffey gave up one run but did close out the ninth. No signs from Zach Braddock, Trevor Hoffman, or John Axford, and I still haven't seen any official word as to who the closer will be. One has to assume at this point Axford is going to get the next shot, we'll likely find out later in the week.

At the dish tonight, the Brewers got a 2-run shot from Ryan Braun in the first inning and they never looked back. They tacked on four more runs in the 8th, courtesy of a 2-run shot from Rickie Weeks as well as RBI from Alcides Escobar and Casey McGehee. In total, it was a complete game, the kind of game we've seen too little of so far this Brewers season.

Milwaukee is back at it on Wednesday night at 7:10pm, hoping to get their first series victory in weeks. Chris Narveson will get the call against some tough competition, as the Brewers could be facing Roy Oswalt in an Astros uniform for the last time.

U.S. Falls to Czech, Roster Cuts to Come

It was a game the Americans were using solely to help them make some roster cuts before they boarded the plane to South Africa, but it was a game that you'd prefer the Americans could win to give them some momentum heading into the Cup. In the end, the Americans lost a friendly to the Czech Republic by a score of 4-2, causing some players to likely lose their bid to be on the 23-man roster that is heading overseas.

Many of the U.S.'s top stars, such as Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, and Tim Howard, were on the bench (or in the box seats) for this one, so it was basically the Amercians' reserves fighting for roster spots. Helping their cause were Maurice Edu and Herculez Gomez, both of whom scored goals for Uncle Sam on Tuesday. Edu's spot on the team was probably secure anyway, but unless coach Bob Bradley had his lineup set in stone Gomez probably fought his way onto the team. One man who may be left out is Edson Buddle, the star of the Los Angeles Galaxy I've been pulling for to make the squad, as he struggled a bit in this one.

The rosters will be announced at noon on Wednesday, and we'll make sure to have those up for you. A lot of tough decisions are going to have to be made, so here's to hoping Bradley puts together the right squad. I don't have any suggestions really as to who should make and who shouldn't, I just want Bradley to put together a team that is going to work well on the field. Find the 23 guys that will have the best possible chemistry and that will give us our best shot.

The U.S. actually does have one more game stateside before they head over to Africa, and that will be against Turkey this Saturday afternoon, live on ESPN2 in Philadelphia. Gametime is at 1pm, if that is all something that interests you. After that, it's one last tune up on June 5th against Australia in South Africa, and then on June 12th - it's on baby.

Bucks Survivor: Round Six

Last Week: Due to an eagerness to shake things up, and more likely an overall lack of creativity, the Bucks Survivor challenge saw a first last week. All eleven players that remained were placed on the chopping block, and three of them would be sent packing. Now, some of you thought it would be quite humorous to vote for Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings, two guys who obviously should not be heading out this early in the game. I'm not even mad you ate the whole wheel of cheese though, I'm just happy to see people vote.

Results: Had this just been a single elimination contest, we'd be seeing a music video highlight package for Royal Ivey right now. Ivey lead the eliminations with 39% of the vote, Dan Gadzuric also fell out of the competition with 28% of the vote, and Kurt Thomas followed up with 15% of the vote. The next closest guy to being eliminated then was Bogut, and I can't imagine he's going to be the one kicked off this week, unless there's some kind of Vote for the Worst campaign going on here.

This Week: Eight Bucks remain, and the normal voting pattern will resume this week as one Buck will be kicked off on Friday evening. Only one will be eliminated this week, and remember you want to vote for who you would like to see eliminated at the top right of the blog.

Braun, Brewers Earning All-Star Votes

If you're not a Philadelphia Phillies fan, you can do one of two things right now. You can pledge to not watch the 2010 MLB All-Star game, or you can start voting for anyone but a Phillies player online at Admittedly, I haven't voted yet, but it looks like there are plenty of Brewers fans that have at least spoke their mind, as the Brewers have someone in the top five at every position except for catcher.

Last year you may remember that Brewers fans were pretty good at getting to the polls so to speak, as guys like Jason Kendall and Bill Hall found themselves in the top five for their respective opinions, and Rickie Weeks had the second most votes for awhile even though he was injured for the season at that point. If you remember, Ryan Braun eventually went on to be a starter, while Prince Fielder and Trevor Hoffman made it to the game as well. Here's a look at the leaders for the NL so far, as well as where our guys rank on the list as well:

Catcher: Yadier Molina, St. Louis (316,795 votes), no Brewers in top five.

First Base: Albert Pujols, St. Louis (647,666 votes), Prince Fielder is in third place. (200,395)

Second Base: Chase Utley, Philadelphia (687,724), Rickie Weeks is in second place. (169,941)

Shortstop: Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia (340,747), Alcides Escobar is in third place. (151,710)

Third Base: Placido Polanco, Philadelphia (309,458), Casey McGehee is in third place. (185,312)

Outfield: Ryan Braun leads all outfielders (423,834) with Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino of the Phillies right behind him. Jim Edmonds is in 12th place (162,130) while Carlos Gomez is in 14th (140,145).

Braun has a decent lead in the infield, and I think he'll be able to hang on. He'll definitely make the top three though and get a starting nod. Everyone else seems to be an afterthought at this point, although Casey McGehee still has a shot at taking over the third base gig. I think the Brewers should really focus on him and make a push to get him into the game as a starter. I think he'd still make it on his own merits, but it'd be a thrill to see him start. Prince Fielder will probably get the nod based on the past, although he might not really deserve it this season. Rickie Weeks has an outside shot, and don't expect any of our pitchers to make it.

There is plenty of time to vote though, but instead I'm going to say that you better start voting now or else puppies will die. We need a sense of urgency here, people. Make sure you vote as much as you can, whether it's at the ballpark or online. Let's keep Braun atop the outfield ranks, and let's start a movement to get McGehee in there as well.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gulp... We're on Twitter

It's something I swore I'd never do, but then again I always swore I'd never go down on.... actually I'll leave that one to the imagination. Nah, just playing. But often I've felt that Twitter was just one of the worst things in the history of America, even worse than the suggested act I may have been referencing. But then I realized that I can manage an account there, have all my posts updated to the site, without even having to do a damn thing! So that's what I did.

I'm sure occasionally I'll delve into it a little more as I figure this thing out, and by no means will I ever focus on Twitter more than I focus on this site. But Twitter is a real medium, and it's one that I guess I'll register for until the next popular social networking site comes along. I still think that any site that only gives you 140 characters to express an opinion is a little backwards, but we're on it. Hopefully, if any of you have this wonderful little application you'll follow me, it's pretty easy., or @thebuckychannel, or #thebuckychannel, I don't know what all that means.

See you on Twitter.

Let's Hope This is The Turnaround

So here's the deal. My brain is fried right now. Why? Well when your weekend starts off with you passing out in a parking lot, you know it's going to be a long one. In addition to that, the Bucky Channel crew had a raucous night in Chicago on Saturday, the Lost series finale has turned my brain into scrambled eggs, I'm legitimately sick and and under the weather, and this weekend I did something I never thought I'd do in my life. Spoiler alert - The Bucky Channel has joined Twitter. More on that later tonight.

In the midst of all that though, the Milwaukee Brewers were one state over taking on the Twins in round one of their annual interleague play series. Usually for the Brewers, the interleague play games are a mixed bag, except for the games against the Twins in which they always seem to struggle. That would be the case again this year, but if you look at the series as a whole, there's an argument to be made that this could serve as a microcosm for the season. That is unless, of course, I'm getting too excited about just one victory and they continue to lose six games a week as they have been.

Friday night's game, the first game of the series, perfectly illustrated how when the Brewers are bad, they are really, really bad. Dave Bush quite literally had a meltdown in this one, as not only did he get into a shouting match with the home plate umpire, but he was unable to control his emotions to the point where he gave up seven runs in the first inning. All the while only securing one out. This was a rare moment in my life where I rooted for Jeff Suppan to enter a Brewers game, only because he was warming up and Dave Bush desperately needed to exit the game. Suppan ended up not doing so hot either, and the Brewers lost the game 15-3.

The three runs the Brewers garnered came off the bat of former Twin Carlos Gomez, who not only hit a 3-run shot to get Milwaukee on the board but also did a little flaunting to his old teammates about it. Any time you strut your stuff even though your team is getting killed, you are going to catch flack for it. On the same token, Gomez's homer was the only positive thing about this game, so he'll be the one getting the Player of the Game nomination for Friday.

Milwaukee was hoping to forget about the series opener and grab a victory on Saturday afternoon, but things started off poorly again as Yovani Gallardo (our quote unquote ace - sorry but aces are supposed to go longer than six innings per outing) gave up four runs in the first inning. The Brewers would chip in a few runs themselves, including a home run from Corey Hart who is inexplicably hot right now, but coming into the bottom of the ninth inning they were down 6-2.

That's when this year's Brewers team does something they never do - they started to make a comeback. Rickie Weeks hit a 2-RBI double, Carlos Gomez came right back with a 2 RBI single, and Casey McGehee gave Milwaukee the lead with an RBI of his own. Do the math there, that's five runs, and that's a 7-6 lead for the Brewers heading into the bottom of the ninth inning.

But if there is one thing the Brewers do better than making a comeback, it's blowing a lead. Carlos Villanueva gave up a run in the ninth and the game went into extras. Villanueva went two innings but when he couldn't go any further, the Brewers had to call on Manny Parra, who was actually scheduled to start Sunday's game. Parra went 1 2/3 innings, and he wasn't able to go any further for a different reason - he gave up the game winning sac fly, and the Twins got the victory.

This was a backbreaking loss, and not surprisingly the calling of the heads of Ken Macha and even Doug Melvin increased heavily after this one, but so far it appears the two are safe in their current positions. As for player of the game, we'll give it to Corey Hart. Not only has he somehow remembered how to hit home runs, but he made a fantastic defensive play in the ninth inning to force extra innings and at least give the Brewers another chance.

Hoping not to leave Minnesota without some semblance of pride, the Brewers set out on Sunday to get their first victory at Target Field. Milwaukee did get a lead right away in the first, but then before you knew it the Brewers were back on the losing side of things. Well, Corey Hart hit yet another home run as did Prince Fielder, and the Brewers found themselves with a lead in the ninth inning for the second straight game. The question was, could they maintain it?

Up until this point, the Brewers pitching staff had been doing a decent enough job of keeping them alive in this one. Marco Estrada was forced into the starting role, and he was able to give three innings, giving up a pair of runs. Manny Parra was thrown into the game for the second straight game, and he pitched a solid two innings. Next up was newbie Zach Braddock, who pitched two more solid innings after getting called up to replace Mitch Stetter. Then, it was Trevor Time, albeit in the 8th inning. Hoffman pitched a solid inning, and the ball was then passed to our mustached hero John Axford who was going for his first save.

Things got a little shaky at first, as Axford did give up a run and shades of Saturday starting bleeding through like the Island world into the sideways timeline. But despite giving up a run, Axford ended up getting all of his outs via the punchout, and the Brewers picked up their second win in like two weeks. It's still a rough go of things right now for Milwaukee, as at 17-27 they are still ten games under .500. But I'd like to think that while we saw the awful Milwaukee (Friday night), the heartbreaking Milwaukee (Saturday night), we also saw the Milwaukee that is capable of winning games (Sunday afternoon). I'd like to think that going forward, this is the Milwaukee we'll see for the rest of the season, but I guess we'll just have to wait to find out.

The Brewers have an off day today, and they've still yet to fire anybody, so it looks like everyone's job is safe for now. If they are going to turn it around, now would be as good of a time as any, as they are home this week against the Astros and the Mets. They face some tough competition the next couple of games with the likes of Roy Oswalt and Johan Santana, but hopefully having an off day the day after a victory will keep the good vibes permeating in the clubhouse and things will start to turnaround.

POTG: I'm going with Zach Braddock. Just called up, solid two innings, kept us in the game. There's your future closer everybody, but for the meantime let's rally behind John Axford and his beautiful mustache.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Here Comes The End

The show started with a plane crash which left survivors stranded on an island in the middle of the Pacific, but those of us who have been watching Lost know that this isn't a just about getting rescued. In the interest of not spoiling things for my brother who has just began watching the DVDs I won't get into specifics, but I did want to pay a quick tribute to the show, as tonight a new episode will be broadcast for the last time.

I started watching Lost on day one, as I got together with a group of friends in college to watch the pilot episode of a show that was receiving an enormous about of hype. Intrigued, we watched it and were impressed with what we saw. Over the years, those friends have faded and my love for the show came and went, but six years later I can't think of too many things I've been looking forward to as much as the finale.

I watched every episode of season one pretty religiously, but fell off the wagon sometime in the middle of season two, only to hop back on in season three. Boy am I glad I did. Clearly, I had some catching up to do on the DVDs, discs which I have watched multiple times by now. The mystery and the mythology of the show have been captivating, but for me it's always been the character moments as to why I kept watching the show.

After six years, I can honestly say that Lost is without question my favorite television show of all-time, as there is just nothing else like it. Sure, there were bumps and bruises along the way, but never has a show given me so much pleasure in watching it. That sounds kind of gay, but it's true. I look forward to it every week like it's Christmas, because the emotional payoff after watching the episodes and the moments they provide make it worth it.

As much as I want to keep enjoying this show every week, I do want to see it end so that I can see how it all plays out. Most people want to stay alive long enough to see their kids graduate or to live out their dreams, I've always said I just want to stay alive at least until I can see how Lost ends. After that, every thing else is gravy, I just really want to see how this thing ends. I don't need every little mystery or every single question to be answered (although the unresolved ones will be explained on DVD), I just want to see the final outcome of these characters, how their issues get resolved, and if they achieve their shot at redemption. It's a testament to the show that it can get people like me so emotionally invested in the outcome of fictional people.

It's going to be very exhilarating for me watching the series finale tonight, and I'm not sure how I am going to feel when it's over. What I do know is that for a TV dork like me, this is going to be the barometer to which I measure all other shows that I decide to get into. Everything about this show - the twists, the scenery, the music, the characters - everything is going to be hard to beat in terms of quality. Well, except the CGI effects, those usually have sucked. It's really hard to put into words just how much I love this show, so I'll let these guys do it for me (DONT WATCH THIS BROCK!):

Saturday, May 22, 2010

WWE Predictions: Over The Limit

We're spending the weekend in Chicago so the Brewers recaps will be coming a little later, so in the meantime I figure I'd leave you with something you'd rather have - WWE Predictions! This weekend's pay-per-view is "Over the Limit", and for the first time in a while I will not be ordering this one. The fact that I regularly get these says a lot about why I'm 26 and single, but when it comes down to Lost vs. the WWE, Lost is going to win out every time. Sigh, I'm a loser.

R-Truth vs. Ted DiBiase (w/Virgil) - A decent midcard feud that has Ted DiBiase following in the footsteps of his father, the Million Dollar Man. The result of this feud came to be when DiBiase was looking for someone to be his sidekick, similar to how the Million Dollar Man had Virgil had his sidekick. Virgil is actually back in DiBiase Jr.'s corner, so it wouldn't be out of the question for him to swerve on the fortunate son and side with R-Truth. But I think the angle works best if DiBiase picks up the win, so that's what I'm going with.

Eve vs. Maryse for the Divas Championship - Maryse is the more recognizable Diva, but Eve just won the belt from her a few weeks ago. I don't think they take it back from her this soon, Eve for the win.

The Hart Dynasty vs. The Miz and Chris Jericho for the Unified Tag Team Championship - The Miz and Chris Jericho both have been Tag Team champions lately, each of them partnered with The Big Show. Now, they are going for the title together, and I'm really not sure which way this will go. I don't really expect title changes on this show, but this could be the one that does switch hands as it's usually better television for the good guys to be chasing the belts than having the bad guys do it. But with Bret Hart's increasing presence, and him just winning the United States Championship from Miz, I could see the Hart Dynasty's luck continuing. In the end though, my beer gut is telling me to go with Miz and Jericho.

Randy Orton vs. Edge - Former tag team partners have somewhat of a score to settle, as Edge recently cost Orton the WWE Championship, and Edge is bitter that the fans haven't embraced him the way they have Randy Orton. I'm going with Edge in this one, allowing the hot feud to continue.

Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk - These guys will be battling for what seems like their 8th straight pay-per-view, but they always put on a good match so no complaints from me. If Punk wins, Mysterio has to join his "Straight Edge Society", a group of people that preach a drug-free life. Trust me, it's more intense than it seems. But if Mysterio wins, Punk has to shave his hair. Ooooooo, right? Well, as much as I think Mysterio joining the SES would be great television, I kind of see Punk losing here and shifting to a new feud. I don't know though. Credit the WWE for having some matches without clear outcomes on this card.

Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship - McIntyre has been the IC Champ for awhile now, but he recently had the belt revoked when Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long fired him. Well, apparently McIntyre got reinstated thanks to Vince McMahon, as Drew often claims to be Vince's "chosen one". McIntyre revealed this to Long about two minutes after Kofi won the IC belt as the result of a four-man tournament. Not only did McIntyre get reinstated, but he got the belt back without challenge. Naturally, this match is a result. I'd like to see Kofi lose actually so that they can get him into a feud with Jack Swagger for the Heavyweight belt, and even if McIntyre does lose, he'll snake his way out of it, at least that's what we've been trained for. I'm going with McIntyre.

Jack Swagger vs. Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship - So apparently Big Show is a babyface now, good for him. Despite losing to Kofi on Friday Night's Smackdown, I'm enjoying Swagger's title run right now and don't want that to end. I don't think it will, at least not to the Big Show. The Big Show serves a purpose, but he should not be given a belt at this point, although now that people like him I'm afraid the WWE may want to do that. I still think Swagger retains though.

John Cena vs. Batista for the WWE Championship - Again, two guys that have been wrestling each other way too much lately. Not entirely sure how this one will play out, as there has been a lot of speculation that Batista is leaving the WWE with his contract expiring soon. That would mean an obvious victory for John Cena. But the WWE does like to throw curveballs now and then, so I wouldn't be surprised if somehow Sheamus walked out of here as the champion. Sheamus has been in the middle of this feud for the last few weeks now, and I think he'd have to play a role in this match too. Bullet to my head though, I say this match ends the show, Cena wins, and the crowd goes home happy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Time to Start Getting Excited for the World Cup

I really don't have too much to say on the matter, but at least this video was a lot more relevant than the one I posted about a congressmen from Alabama. Simply put, I just wanted to show everyone why I'm so excited for the World Cup this summer, and why you should at least give it a shot if you're still on the fence about soccer. We as a country may passively root for our Yanks, but in every other country, every pass, every shot, every decision could be the difference between a life of heartache and a life of glory. That's what this Nike "commercial" so brilliantly represents, and I just wanted to share that with you all.

As for the World Cup itself, the Americans are actually in action on Tuesday as they have a friendly against the Czech Republic. As far as Wisconsin sports blogs go, I'm pretty sure we'll be the only ones covering the World Cup as I'm pretty sure we're the only ones who even tolerate soccer. I'm possibly thinking about bringing the live blog back for the Americans game against England on June 12th, but those live blogs usually end up being train wrecks so I'm not sure yet. Either way, make sure you stop by ESPN on Tuesday night (7pm) and check out the Americans in their first true World Cup tune-up.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's Finally Over

Everyone, band together. Take each other's hand and close your eyes. Take a deep breath, and exhale. It's over. It's finally over. The worst losing streak the Brewers have had in four years has come to an end, and it's about damn time. Honestly, I don't know how much longer I could have taken this mess, but thankfully it didn't come to that. It's over, and we now have a one-game winning streak. I guess we can hang our hat on that tonight.

Things didn't start out so well though, and it looked like we were headed to our tenth straight loss. When the Pirates came out swinging and scored three runs in the first inning off of Chris Narveson, it didn't look pretty. But we all know by know how Narveson operates, he gives up a handful of runs right away and then he's lights out for the rest of his shift. Tonight, he went six innings en route to his fourth win of the season, as Milwaukee would win 4-3. Credit also goes to Mustache Man John Axford who pitched two solid innings, and Carlos Villanuesavea (weak, I know) who both gave the bullpen a good name Thursday night.

Offensively, the big news coming in was that Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun were switching spots in the lineup, with Braun now batting cleanup. I've always thought that they were better suited with Prince as the three and Braun as the four, but when Ned Yost tried that two years ago, the two of them cried to Ned and make him switch it. Now, apparently two years wiser, Braun and Fielder actually went to Ken Macha to request the switch. Didn't really work in this game though, as they combined went 0-8. Good stuff.

The offense the Brewers did get came from a variety of sources, even if Braun and Fielder couldn't get into the mix. Corey Hart had an RBI triple, Gregg Zaun and Adam Stern had RBI groundouts, and George Kottaras had an RBI double. Kottaras had to come into the game after Gregg Zaun strained his shoulder, and Zaun has been sent to the DL. Prospect Jonathan Lucroy will be called up, a spot which would have possibly gone to Angel Salome, but Salome apparently didn't return to the Nashville Sounds after the birth of his child. Weird, but good luck to Lucroy.

Now that the losing streak is over, I don't have to spend the next two paragraphs talking about how this season is a disaster but how there are plenty of games left to turn it around. That's good. Hopefully though the Brewers can keep this up, and their next chance to do so will be against the Twins this weekend as interleague play opens up. Milwaukee will visit Target Field for the first time ever, with Dave Bush on the hill, start time at 7:10pm. Two game winning streak anyone?

POTG: Let's give to Axford. Somewhat for the stash he was sporting, but mainly because he was able to solidify the bullpen by going two innings without giving up any hits. Actually, mainly for the stache.

Random YouTube Video

Okay, what?

Look at These Things!

Idea for a post today - write about how disappointed I am in Floyd Landis, or show the ridiculous new mascots for the London Olympics. You know me better than that. Here's more.

Unhappy Birthday

Wednesday night I was celebrating turning another year closer to 30, and I was enjoying myself in the company of good friends and family. I received plenty of well wishes and some thoughtful gifts (although my Mom did buy me socks), but what I really wanted for my birthday was something only the Brewers could provide. I wanted a Milwaukee victory, and I wanted the losing streak snapped.

Too much to ask for I guess.

What I should have wished for instead was to see a scene from Little Big League recreated in the major leagues, because that's basically what happened to Ryan Braun that night. With Milwaukee down 6-4 in the bottom of the ninth, the Brewers had three outs to spare, and Braun on first and Prince Fielder at the plate. When Prince took a very questionable hack at a ball that wasn't even close to the strike zone, Braun used the opportunity to steal second. Somehow, the Pirates confused Braun to think that the ball had gotten into the outfield, and when Braun headed for third, he was tagged out right away. It wasn't the play that cost Milwaukee the game, but it was the play that best summed up just how bad this stretch of losses have been.

You would have hoped that the Pirates of all teams would have been our slumpbuster if you will, since we've been beating them up pretty good as of as late. But the fact that we can't even score with our slumpbuster shows just how bad of a streak we are in. Nine games, with nine losses. No matter how much the Brewers might struggle through the rest of the season, it's never going to be as bad as it is right now. And sadly, that's the only reason to be optimistic right now, because it really can't get worse than this. That's the reason why MLB Network's Harold Reynolds still thinks we are going to win the Wild Card. To that I say, one game at a time Harold.

At this point what more can we really say. The losses aren't just happening, they are now starting to happen in the most comical of ways. Of course, shotty pitching doesn't help much either, as this time it was in the form of Randy Wolf giving up six runs in 6 1/3 innings. Tonight Chris Narveson will get his chance to not suck, we'll see.

POTG: Casey McGehee

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jennings on Lopez Tonight

George Lopez has a late night show on TBS, and Brandon Jennings made a surprise appearance in it Tuesday night. It wasn't to sit down, and talk to him about the season and future. It was to cover George's ass in a game of HO (a popular derivative of HORSE) against Common. Common was on as a guest to talk about his new movie Just Wright. The film is about how Common is a NBA player that has a career threatening injury, but a therapist helps him work his way back. They fall in love I'm sure, and everyone is happy. I have seen some NBA players in the preview, but I don't plan on seeing this one.

Here's how this situation went down, George wanted to check out how Common was on the court for real so he challenged him to a game of horse. When they came back from break George said he hurt his shoulder warming up, so he had to have a replacement fill in for him. Common was thinking he was joking, and no one would replace him. Then George was like here is my replacement Brandon Jennings, and Common's eyes got real big. It was funny how surprised he really was, and it's something you have to see to enjoy. George Lopez also thought it was the greatest thing ever, how when they started playing the game they both kept making shots.

This link should take you to the video to check it out.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bucks Survivor: Round Five

After four weeks of intense Bucks Survivor challenges, I have already ran out of challenges that make sense as to see which team should be put on the chopping block. But that works out just find for this Bucks team, as they really have exemplified the meaning of a team all season. So the Young Bucks and the Veterans have been asked to go at this thing together, with all eleven members of the Bucks on the chopping block. No more immunity. Which Buck will earn the title of Bucks Survivor? Can Andrew Bogut be dethroned? Will the rookie Brandon Jennings add to his already impressive mantel of awards? Or will a surprise player emerge victorious? All that and more, on this week's Bucks Survivor!

And oh yeah, Darnell Jackson was eliminated this week.

The remaining contestants are as follows - Andrew Bogut, Brandon Jennings, Ersan Ilyasova, Carlos Del3no, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Royal Ivey, John Salmons, Luke Ridnour, Jerry Stackhouse, Kurt Thomas, and Dan Gadzuric all remain in the game. Now, since I'm a little inspired by Tuesday night's episode of Lost, we're going to do something we've never done before - TRIPLE ELIMINATION. If Lost can kill off ancillary characters at ease as they get closer to their finale, so can we.

The voting is going to be extended to one full week, so make sure you vote early and tell your friends often. It gets a little depressing when I have to go to the Public Library and vote on every computer there in an effort to inflate the voting totals. But eleven Bucks are being put on the chopping block, and the top three vote getters will be cut this time next Tuesday. Have fun my friends, and voting can be done at the top right of this blog. Remember, vote for which Bucks you'd like to eliminate.

Things Are Somehow Getting Worse

While driving home from lunch on Tuesday I was happily riding along jamming out to the emo-type songs I have on my iPod. I parked the car in the parking lot, headed up to the apartment, and turned on the television. I scrolled through the guide for a bit before I came across MLB Baseball on FSN Wisconsin, and realized that a Brewers baseball game was already about 2/3rds of the way completed. When a self-proclaimed die-hard Brewers fan like me forgets that their is a Brewers game, you know that's a sign of how bad the season is going.

Sure, I was pretty busy at work today but still, I always at least have Gamecast up on the computer, but on Tuesday afternoon I completely forgot. When I did finally remember that the Brewers were playing, and I saw Marco Estrada on the hill for Milwaukee, I began to wonder just how many games it was that I did miss. Little did I know but earlier that morning, Estrada was called up as Jim Edmonds was placed on the Disabled List.

Estrada sure did make the most of his appearance though. Coming in after a decent four innings from Manny Parra, Estrada held the Reds scoreless through his first three innings of work. Joey Votto did crush one off of him in the 8th inning but I was impressed with his performance nonetheless. And Estrada did the one thing the bullpen hasn't been able to do lately, and that is to keep the team in ballgames.

The offense really hasn't been the problem during this losing streak, and they did muster up four runs on Tuesday. Ryan Braun and Casey McGehee were really the catalysts for the offense, as Braun homered and scored on a wild pitch while McGehee had two RBI. You really can't say enough about how both of these guys have been playing this season, especially with the man between them in the batting order, Prince Fielder, often struggling.

But with Parra, Estrada, and the offense, the Brewers were handing a 4-2 lead to the all-time leader in saves, Trevor Hoffman. FSN's Brian Anderson suggested keeping Estrada in the game and picking up the save because of how well he had been pitching, but Rock was adamant that Hoffman should enter the game. Hoffman is the closer, he's the guy, and he gets the call. Well, after Tuesday, that may no longer be the case.

Hoffman looked worse on Tuesday than he did during any point of the season, as he faced five batters in the bottom of the ninth and picked up zero outs. He gave up a 2-run shot to Scott Rolen to tie the game, and then gave up a deep single to Votto to give the Reds the walk-off victory. I have wanted to take the stance that we let Hoffman work out his kinks as the closer, but enough is enough. Hell, eight is enough, remember? Hoffman can no longer be our closer, as closer's do not have 13.15 ERA's. I don't know who it should be, a lot of people like Zach Braddock in Nashville, and I don't think our closer for the rest of the season is currently wearing a Brewers uniform. Pitiful.

Where do you go from here though? I thought that the six game homestand was rock bottom, but what then do you call this? Losing two games to the Reds isn't the worst thing in the world, as they are playing well this season. But losing to them to extend the losing streak to eight, to lose in this sort of fashion, to have the job of your closer and your manager be as much on the line as they have been under Macha's tenure, this just can't be acceptable much longer.

So what now? Well, the one time this Brewers season was awesome this year was when Milwaukee took it to Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh. That's where they will be on Wednesday, looking to stop this thing before it gets any worse. If that's even possible.

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