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


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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Deadline Appears to Be Passing By

Roy Oswalt, Miguel Tejada, Matt Capps, and Jorge Cantu were all on the move on Thursday, and so far nobody has been shipped out of Brew City. It's looking like even as we get closer to the trade deadline that will remain the case, as the reports out of MLB front offices say that the Brewers have pulled Prince Fielder and Corey Hart off the trading block.

The fact that neither Hart or Fielder will likely be moved doesn't really surprise me, as all along we've known that neither was going to leave unless the price was right. Granted, things could still change before Saturday but I think that if any Brewers are going to be leaving at this point it's going to be minor role players. Guys like Jim Edmonds, Todd Coffey, and even Carlos Villanueva (currently down in Nashville) will be the likely candidates to be moved, not so much our more attractive trading options.

In the long run, I think that the rest of the season will be the Prince Fielder farewell tour in Milwaukee, as I all but expect him to be traded at the Winter Meetings. Corey Hart is a guy that has been vocal about his desire to stay in Milwaukee, and I don't think he'll be leaving Brew City anytime soon. In the meantime, enjoy some mediocre baseball for the rest of the season. It will be over soon though, as Packers training camp is just a few days away.

Speaking of, here's what you missed from the shareholders meeting today. This would be it's own separate post except for the fact that I'm locked into Big Brother After Dark pretty hard right now.

Thursday's POTG: Alcides Escobar

Cleveland Sucks

With what this guy is wearing I can't say that he didn't bring this on himself, but for him to not be able to finish watching the Indians game he was at is just bullshit. Sorry for my choice of words, but come on people get over it. This fan was heckled, escorted from the game, and then followed by fans while being escorted out. Yeah the fan was being a loser himself, but you'll have one of those in every crowd. That doesn't mean he needs to be followed out of the building after he's already been kicked out of the game.

Cleveland, you need to realize that you had a guy that was fun to watch, one who put your team in a good position every season. He is gone now, so don't be mad at fans that wear his jersey. James hasn't played a game yet for the Heat, who knows if this is even going to work out for them. To relate to the whole LeBron to Miami scenario, I guess if someone is wearing a Brett Favre Vikings jersey, I wouldn't feel compelled to run them out of Lambeau Field. I would just feel bad for them.

This whole act of people out dumbassing each other doesn't surprise me out of the fans of the Cleve. We went to the Cleveland Browns game last year, and with the Browns just being awful all they had against us was saying "Brett Favre." The comment didn't make sense what so ever, because we waxed them like every other team did last season. We happened to sit by a couple fans that understood that they sucked, and they were cool. But for the most part about 90% of the Browns fans only went to the game to cock off to us about not having Favre anymore. The only problem is we didn't want that idiot. He pulls this "I don't know what I want to do" crap every season, and it was getting old. He throws interceptions in NFC championships games like he gets paid to do it. Why would we not want a new quarterback?

We're not only weeks removed from LeBron taking his talents to South Beach, but we're also weeks removed from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert ripping the hell out of LeBron, and about how he doesn't try all the time. My question is, if Cleveland is going to be in agreement with Gilbert's words, then why are people so mad he left? Be happy that you now know all your players will be trying hard, since you have guys like Mo Williams, and Antawn Jamison. Oh.... wait.

Maybe I don't agree with what happened at the Indians game the other night, but maybe the city does need to blow off a little steam. The Indians had an awesome baseball team in 2007, but traded everyone away. The Browns are putting their faith this year in Jake Delhomme, and the Cavaliers are at best a 25-win squad. If you look at the facts here Cleve, the only people to blame for your city's sports being awful is the owners of the teams. They just bring in players that have upside, but don't have any character. I guess that fits in quite well with your city, because your city has no character either.

As hard as it is to watch Wisconsin sports at times, we need to be glad we have them, and the fans we have here. One of these days maybe the Sports Gods will bless us with a championship of some sort, because of all the hard work our fans put in for us to be a great state to attend sporting events within. The same gods that hopefully keep Cleveland in the eternal hell that they are in for years to come.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

DJ Steve Porter Gives Us 'Press Hop 2'

You gotta love Youtube. Years ago, some guy named Steve Porter mashed together a couple of press clips with the help of autotune. Now, he's DJ Steve Porter and he's used his talents to receive paychecks from the NBA among others. Making money off the internet isn't easy, trust me, so you gotta credit Porter for finding a way of being successful. Porter is back again with the second installment of his Press Hop, featuring favorites such as Tiger Woods, LeBron James, and Jim Mora, and even going back to the archives with a little Hal McRae thrown in. Watch out for douchebag Favre though. I'll stop talking now, just enjoy.

Bigby is Back With The Pack

Atari Bigby signed his tender to stay with the Packers, so he will officially be part of the team for the 2010 season. The only question now is how much he will actually play. With third round pick Morgan Burnett looking good in rookie camp, Bigby isn't a lock to regain his starting spot. Either way it will be nice to have a guy that can fill in if someone gets hurt or just to give the other guy a break. I personally have never been one to really get into the training camp thing (Winks edit: I have! I have! Look at me!), but this year it should be fun to watch these two battle it out. In the long run looking at this as a fan it should make both of these guys better having them battle for a starting spot.

I have always been a fan of Bigby, because of the way he seems to be around the ball at all times. He also is a big hitter, and it's nice to have a guy that can put fear in the other teams eyes. Burnett seems to be a little more different as a ball hawk with his interceptions. Training camp starts Saturday, July 31th at 2:00 p.m. so I guess we will get a better feeling for who will play where, and who will not be playing for the Packers next season.

The only person Green Bay doesn't have under contract right now is Bryan Bulaga, our first round draft pick. Sounds like he will be signed by training camp, and they were waiting on some teams to sign players picked close to Bulaga. Doesn't seem like the Packers have issues with signing rookies before training camp, which is always a good thing. So if you get a chance to check out training camp keep an eye on the safety battle, and also to see how the rest of the rookies progress.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Back to Reality For Brewers, Myself

This reason behind this post is two-fold, as I need to contradict two things that I have been saying this week.

1) The Brewers might have a shot at the playoffs. Update: They don't.

Nah, this isn't an overreaction to just one game, you'll see me do that in a second. The fact of the matter is the Brewers are just too far back with not enough time to legitimately put a playoff run together much less reach .500. I think .500 has to be the one and only goal at this point, as we would be well to salvage a season that started off so poorly. Sure, this team is good enough to put together a five game win streak every now and then, but they are also poor enough that they would give up 19 hits to the Reds in a game started by their ace.

It was a rough night for Gallardo, who only went 2 2/3 innings while giving up six runs (five earned). He did hit his fourth home run of the year in the contest, so that's something. Still, this 12-4 loss wasn't even a game that the Brewers were taking seriously once the latter innings rolled around. Alcides Escobar in left field. George Kottaras in right. Joe Inglett on the mound? To his credit, Inglett actually pitched a solid no-hit inning, similar to the job we saw Bill Hall do for the Red Sox earlier this season.

Still, as much as we'd love to pretend that the Brewers can still do something magical, we saw tonight that they just aren't the team we wanted them to be this season. Let's build for next year and beyond, without reloaded. I'm not rooting for any particular trade to go down, I just want to see us somehow improve.

POTG: Rickie Weeks

2) The MLS is a credible league. Update: Far from it.

So I've been getting a tad excited this week about the MLS and their play in some of these international friendlies, even though I should be considering that the MLS squads are in midseason form while the European teams are in their preseason right now. After Kansas City's win against Manchester United though, I was all about this league once more (even though that was far from Man U's top squad). On Tuesday night though, the MLS may have seen it's most embarrassing moment in the history of the league.

In a CONCACAF Qualifying match (North American's version of the UEFA tournament), the Los Angeles Galaxy hosted a team from Puerto Rico, a team that is the equivalent to a very poor Double-A baseball team. Puerto Rico won 4-1, with LA's only goal coming from an own goal. So basically, the best team in the MLS lost to a terrible low level squad, at home. The good thing is that nobody cares enough about soccer to know just how truly terrible this loss was for the Galaxy and for the MLS, but I have never been more embarrassed to be a fan of the league than I am tonight. Manchester United is set to take on the all-star team from this league on Wednesday night, a game in which I have lost a lot of interest in after this result.

Reunited and it Feels...

... maybe not so good for Mo Williams, as the man who ran him out of Milwaukee will now be joining him again in Cleveland. This has to be a tough summer for Mo, as not only did he lose LeBron but now Delonte West is gone too. Now the 2007-08 Milwaukee Bucks backcourt will be running the show in Cleveland trying to make up for the loss of King James. His sadness represented in the picture above couldn't be any better an indication for what Williams has to be feeling, but he ran himself out of Milwaukee to go to a better team, so screw him. It's a shame for him he never got the job done in the playoffs to help his team win the title.

Now the Cavs are just missing one piece to complete this former Bucks puzzle, none other than Michael Redd. Redd played at Ohio State, and it seems that almost every season the Redd to Cleveland rumor comes up near the trade deadline. If Redd, Sessions, and Williams were to run the court in Cleveland it would be like the Bucks of old. Not saying this is going to happen, but it would be awesome for the fact that Redd wouldn't be playing for the Bucks anymore. It would also give Bucks fans a reason to go to the Cavs game when they are in town. With LeBron not on the Cavs anymore this is no longer a sellout game for Milwaukee. If Redd, Williams, and Sessions were all coming to town I would go just to see us beat them.

I don't really know what to think of this Cavs team this season. The only thing I can say for sure is they won't be clinching the Central Division with three weeks left in the season like they have been in the past few years.

The Other Night on Entourage...

Recapping this week's episode of Entourage in case you missed it...

Everyone was eating breakfast at Vince's house talking about what they were going to do throughout the episode, or rather, what they were up to that day. Vince was there. Turtle went to Mexico with some girl who may or may not want to sleep with him. They went to a very sketchy party where people usually end up dying, but all that was hurt was Turtle's ego. That's because some guy wants Vince to be on a bottle of tequila. Sounds great. John Stamos came over to meet Johnny Drama and they played in ping pong. Drama won, Stamos was mad. Vince was there too, playing with a boat. E called Sloan, they are in love. E didn't like his coworker, but now he does. E forgot to look at flowers for the wedding. Maybe next time. Ari still wants to buy own an NFL team, he got some investors, and one of them really likes Diet Coke. The girl that quit Ari's firm still doesn't like Ari. No sign from Lloyd. Drama felt bad about beating Stamos, they had a rematch at Stamos' ping pong palace. Stamos won, but might do Drama's show. Vince was there. They went to Vegas. E looked sad.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Crew Makes it Five in a Row

File this one under the "Too Little, Too Late" category. After struggling throughout the first half of the season, the Brewers seem to be finally putting things together as they are now on a five game winning streak, including Monday night's 3-2 victory over the Reds. Another win puts the Brewers at just five games under .500, something that seemed impossible during pretty much any point this season. All year long the Brewers have won some and loss some, but mainly they've been hovering around ten games under. Now, just days away from the trade deadline, is when they finally decide to make a move? Nice guys.

In the game on Monday night, the scoring was few and far between, but the Brewers did make the most of the long ball. Rickie Weeks hit a two-run bomb in the third, and then Jim Edmonds hit the game winner in the eighth inning. Milwaukee only had three hits total, but they definitely made them count for runs. The only hit that wasn't a home run came off the bat of Randall Christopher Wolf, and he was plated thanks to Weeks. Wolf actually didn't pitch shitty on this night for a change, going seven innings, allowing just two runs and striking out five. On a night where POTG candidates are few and far between, Wolf will get the nod.

I almost want to hold off any judgement about the future of this team before the trade deadline passes, because I have no idea what the Brewers would do in this situation. Hell, I have no idea what I would do. I think that because ultimately we just don't have a quality pitching staff at all, I would start thinking about building a contender for next season. That means that if I were Doug Melvin I think I would hang on to Corey Hart, trade Prince if I got real nice value for him, but definitely try to ship out guys like Jim Edmonds and Trevor Hoffman to see if I could get anything to help us for next season. I'd still hope to stay competitive this season, but my ultimate goal would be to put together a contender for 2011.

You're waiting for a train; a train that will take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you, but you can't be sure. But it doesn't matter - because we'll be together.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sweep Could Alter Trade Deadline Plans

Last week I made the statement that in their week long endeavor against the Nationals and the Pirates, the Brewers needed to go no worse than 6-1 to realistically put them in a position where they could still be looked at as contenders. A 6-1 record would be just enough in my opinion where it would still be logical for them not to become sellers, and to see if maybe they couldn't hit a streak ala the Colorado Rockies or Houston Astros of a few years ago. Anything less than that, and I would declare the season over (again).

Milwaukee didn't achieve my goal for them, but as it turns out they put together a pretty solid week. They flubbed up against the Pirates a couple of times but ultimately split that series before returning home to sweep the Nationals. In the end it was a 5-2 workweek for the Crew, one that now puts them at six games under .500, and they are actually now just eight games back in the NL Central. Can the Brewers realistically make up eight games in the next 2 1/2 months of baseball? I'm not sure, but ask the Boston Red Sox if they are going to become sellers even though they are eight games out (I know they have a more realistic shot at a Wild Card than the Crew does, but let me try to make my point here).

I've declared this season to be over so many times already that it would be foolish of me to go back on that assessment. At the same time though, I don't think that eight games back in the NL Central is too far back that you want to be become sellers. I've never really gotten the feeling from Doug Melvin and especially Mark Attanasio though that they planned to sell the farm, and I still think any trades that would happen will happen at the Winter Meetings (although the Brewers did win their last three games without the services of Corey Hart, hmmmmm...). My stance that the season is over still remains, but at only eight games back, I don't want to see them involved in any major trades that will hurt them short-term. Because, hey, you just never know.

How things are going to shake out though remains to be seen, but it's clear that our upcoming three game set with the Reds is going to be a huge one. There's no better opportunity to climb up the standings than to take on the team you are chasing. Hopefully the Brewers can take advantage of that and then we'll see what the rest of the second half of the season has in store.

Saturday POTG: Ryan Braun

Sunday POTG: Casey McGehee

Am I the Only One Who Likes the MLS?

As a soccer fan, I like to see when people who don't care at all about the game get into it if only for the World Cup. I actively root for the growth of soccer in this country, and even though that couldn't be happening any slower it's nice to have the opportunity every four years to actually root with other people instead of sitting alone cheering by myself. And even though I enjoy soccer more than the average American, I'm not that much different, because like them my interest in the game picks up every four years as well.

I'm always up for the World Cup, but I've also been a fan of the MLS ever since it's inception. Clearly, it's nowhere near the level that the top leagues or even the second level leagues in the world are, but it's something that Americans can be proud of and I've had a good time watching the league grow over the last fifteen years. Ever since the World Cup ended though, I've become a diehard for the league once again, catching a part of every single game that has been on TV since the Cup started.

On Thursday night I knew that I was getting deeper into the league than I thought I would when I decided to watch four straight hours of MLS action. While it could have been classified as my act of rebellion against watching the struggling Brewers, I was more or less watching the action because I legitimately cared. I had a great time watching French star Thierry Henry score in his New York debut, and then enjoyed the spectacle of a thrilling 2-2 affair between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes. Again, the quality of the league isn't anywhere near where the top leagues in the world are, but the MLS is also better than a lot of people give it credit for.

There's often a lot of discussion about how diehard soccer fans don't like bandwagon soccer fans, but I don't see that to be true. As stated before, I'm always up for hanging out with a bandwagon fan, as hopefully they learn a little more about the game each time. The fans that I actually don't like are the snobby American soccer fans, the ones that won't shake a stick at the MLS because it's an inferior league. The ones who live in the Philly area but won't show up for Philadelphia Union games, but then when the Union scrimmages Manchester United they will come decked out in their Man U apparel. The MLS is not a bad league at all, and I love watching it anytime it's on. But then again, I'm not delusional, and I know it will never be as big here or overseas as I want it to be. In fact, I chuckled and even agreed with Bill Simmons and his take on the league in his latest mailbag:

I don't see the MLS ever being bigger than Triple-A baseball in America, which is fine; Triple-A baseball sells out stadiums, works as a feeder system for the majors and remains lucrative. The hook for soccer is the national team, and by proxy, the success of the best American players. And, as [my reader] points out, our players can only get better by playing against the best competition. So if we want to expose fledgling fans to the best possible soccer AND tap into the American/underdog/our-guys dynamic, the following scenario needs to happen: Donovan (the most famous American soccer player ever and still in his prime) needs to play overseas for a Premier League team (let's say Everton, given that it already has Tim Howard); Everton needs to sign two other blue-chip Americans (let's say Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley) and turn itself into America's Overseas Premier League Team; then, ESPN needs to sign a deal to show every game live for this team -- and create a "Hard Knocks"-type show about a season in the life of this team.

While that is probably less likely to happen than and MLS game getting higher ratings than Monday Night Football, it's a solid stance that the MLS hopefully recognizes that it will never be the world's top premier soccer league, just like European basketball leagues realize they'll never be the NBA. I think the MLS does realize that though, but is still doing the best job they can to be successful.

The problem with MLS isn't that it can't market itself to the non-soccer fan, but that it hasn't yet become appealing to the "snobby" fans that only care about European soccer and the Premier League. I realize why someone would love a team and root for a team that is based overseas, but I wish they'd also help give the MLS a bit of a stronger foundation. To me, it seems like if you like Premier League and are willing to wake up on a Sunday morning to watch a game on ESPN2, you'll never be the kind of person that will watch MLS on a Thursday night. My gross generalization here is that if the people that liked soccer in this country watched the MLS, it would be a lot better for the game in this country. Although according to TV producer Michael Davis, also via the Simmons mailbag, just the fact that anyone likes the MLS at all shows that soccer is gaining traction in America:

There are even people who watch Major League Soccer. And that may be the biggest miracle of all. And the biggest proof that soccer must be going somewhere here. It's like Daniel Kellison's [former executive producer of 'The Man Show' and 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'] heterosexuality test: Any man can have sex with a model, but only the most heterosexual of men can bring himself to have sex with a truly unattractive woman. The fact that American soccer fans can sit through 90 minutes of MLS is proof of a love of soccer beyond anything the rest of the world can possibly fathom.

In short, with the Brewers struggling more and more and my interest in soccer continuing to grow, I imagine myself watching as much soccer as I can in the coming weeks. That, or continue to watch the Brewers, which seriously when they are struggling the games turn into nothing more than a three month commercial for Rock's fantasy baseball camp.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

I could see but only one person I know wearing the moronic shirt posted above. The man in question used to write articles on this website about Fantasy sports, before his basement flooded which ended his career on The Bucky Channel. That's right, our old friend Bear thinks he is awesome at fantasy football, if only because he has won our league the past two years. The only problem is he doesn't know who was the first ever winner in said league. It was no other than myself, Gweeds, who set the bar for this league by taking out Winks in the title game. That was before we ever got into all the mock drafts and magazines that help you pick who is going to be good. So I'm a little old fashioned, but for the next 4 weeks I'll be doing a "mock draft" of my own. So lets get a start with the first two rounds.

Our league is 12 teams, and we count points per reception. So the picks will be based off that. We also start 1-QB, 2-WR, 2-RB, 1-TE, 1-K, 1-DEF. So here we go......

Round 1, Pick 1

Chris Johnson, Running Back. He ran for 2,006 yards last season, and also caught 50 balls. This is a no brainier at number one.

Round 1, Pick 2

Adrian Peterson, Running Back. If stupid Favre doesn't come back you could move him up, because he will touch the ball all the time. But two seems to be the best place for him with or without Brett.

Round 1, Pick 3

Maurice Jones-Drew, Running Back. Why do people not see this guy as a face of the NFL?He is like 5 foot 5, and he is awesome every year. This is the kind of person kids should be looking up to.

Round 1, Pick 4

Ray Rice, Running Back. This team could take the AFC by storm, and this man could have an awesome year. If you have the fourth pick consider this the first steal of the draft.

Round 1, Pick 5

Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback. This is where I got lost on who to take. Last year I took LT at this spot, and well that didn't work out well for me. So this is a safe pick over the other running backs at this spot. Why Rodgers as the first quarterback? I say because he can run for touchdowns, which moves him up the board.

Round 1, Pick 6

Frank Gore, Running Back. The guy has the potential to be a top three pick, but it is just a matter if he can play every game. If he played every game last year he would have had more points than Peterson for sure.

Round 1, Pick 7

Steven Jackson, Running Back. Another guy that could put up huge numbers if he can find the endzone, although he only had four touchdowns last year. I could see him getting 12 total to make him a nice pick at number seven.

Round 1, Pick 8

Michael Turner, Running Back. He just doesn't catch balls, so in a league like this it is hard to take him before this pick. He might still be a little high at eight in a reception league, but we are going to take a shot with him. (Winks Edit: This is where I'll be picking this year, and I don't know if I can take Turner again like I did last year at the four. He just doesn't catch balls, although I'll gladly make this pick if we vote receptions out. Also, Rodgers at five?)

Round 1, Pick 9

Andre Johnson, Wide Receiver. The dude just loves to catch balls, and if he scores a lot of touchdowns as well this guy could put up huge numbers. He is going to be looked at around 18 times a game, so if he catches half of them that's nine points right there. The rest is just helping you win the league.

Round 1, Pick 10

DeAngelo Williams, Running Back. He splits time with another great back, but this team loves to run. With a quarterback that hasn't played a whole season yet starting for them Williams will get a lot of touches.

Round 1, Pick 11

Rashard Mendenhall, Running Back. He's a 1,000 yard rusher with seven carries in the first three games. I can only think his number will go up. Also with no Big Ben to start the season someone has to make plays.

Round 1, Pick 12

Larry Fitzgerald, Wide Receiver. No more Boldin, so this guy will be a huge redzone target. He always makes it look easy getting into the endzone, so I see that happening again this season. From the 10 yard line in this guy has the best chance to bring down a catch for a touchdown.

Round 2, Pick 13

Reggie Wayne, Wide Receiver. Every year I put this guy on my guys to draft list, every year I pass him up, and every year I kick myself in the ass for not taking him. The guy has the most accurate QB in the league, so you know he is going to catch balls. In a PPR league he is a good value here. If you don't get reception points, you might want to wait a little on him.

Round 2, Pick 14

Drew Brees, Quarterback. He has too many weapons to not spend an early pick on him. Also the Saints defense has a few holes, so that puts more pressure on the offense to pick up the slack. If you can snag a guy that scores a lot off the PPR Brees is solid pick here.

Round 2, Pick 15

Randy Moss, Wide Receiver. I see him as a huge risk, but every year he puts up the numbers need to be a top 20 pick, so what better time than now to snag him. In a PPR league he can have some awful games, but you have to hope he finds the endzone.

Round 2, Pick 16

Ryan Mathews, Running Back. I don't know what to say other than Chargers backs are always good in fantasy. I don't know anything else about this guy, so my guess is I don't see myself taking him. Then again I haven't won since 2002, so maybe he wouldn't be a bad idea.

Round 2, Pick 17

Ryan Grant, Running Back. I have him behind Mathews, because of the PPR. Grant doesn't catch many balls, but he is a hard runner. Also he will get a lot of touches with not much else in the Packers backfield.

Round 2, Pick 18

Calvin Johnson, Wide Receiver. He worries me because of health issues. That being said, if he plays every game I don't see why he couldn't grab 100 balls this season. Teams are also saying that the Lions could be sleepers this season, so for that to come true this guy needs to step up.

Round 2, Pick 19

Peyton Manning, Quarterback. Getting him this late would be a nice pick up. The guy is good every year, and I don't see that changing this season.

Round 2, Pick 20

Cedric Benson, Running Back. He will get a lot of carries just like he did last season. If he can stay healthy he will be a great snag in the late second round. Won't catch a lot of balls, but he will power his way to the endzone when the Bengals get inside the ten.

Round 2, Pick 21

Knowshon Moreno, Running Back. With no Marshall Plan in action, Moreno will be all the Broncos have on offense. He has a great chance of putting up huge numbers, and being a steal if you got a proven back in the first round.

Round 2, Pick 22

Miles Austin, Wide Receiver. I think if he was on any other team I would like him more than I do. He runs great routes and has awesome hands. I think he could be a huge play maker this season. He could be a risk this high, but his upside seems too good to be true.

Round 2, Pick 23

Roddy White, Wide Receiver. Big time play maker, and with Gonzo not getting any younger White will catch a lot of balls. White has to go high, because he might be all the Falcons have in the passing game this season. If he plays every game this season look out cornerbacks, you might just get burned.

Round 2, Pick 24

Jamaal Charles, Running Back. This is a hit or miss pick, but I have a good feeling it will be a hit. Thomas Jones might take some of his touches, but Charles is does it all. He can run, catch, and score touchdowns. In most leagues kick returns don't count for the player, but if they do in your league that would be another reason to pick Charles now. This team is not that good, so he should get touches to try and make a big play.

That is enough for the now with the first two rounds in the books. Check back later next week for the third and fourth rounds.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Oh, Those Hideous Uniforms

Hopefully Friday night was the last time the Brewers will wear those retched mid-90's uniforms, because I can't stand those things. At least the parting image of them if that's the case will be a Milwaukee victory, because Lord knows that didn't happen much when these were our daily kits. Although another lasting memory could also be the fact that Corey Hart may have taken himself off of the trade block when his right hand slammed into the concrete on the right field wall. Awesome. He did have both the x-rays and the MRI done already and both came back negative, so that's a good thing of course. But still, yikes.

I don't know, I just really hate those uniforms. To me when I see those things I think of this set of police cards I had where the Brewers were trying to sell stars like Turner Ward and Jeff D'Amico. It was just a terrible team all around and it's hard to relieve those memories by looking at the dreads all these years later. There's a reason why people like our current uniforms and why people are dying to see the ball and glove logo come back more often, and that's because they don't suck like these blocky green ones do.

Actually, one of the reasons I hated the Washington Nationals when that whole franchise switch went down is because I was told that the Nationals font was based on the Brewers uniforms from the mid-90s. I've already expressed my disdain for the uniforms, but I also think another reason why I hate them is because when I was in 6th grade I had a lucky baseball cap, and it was off the old diamond Brewers logo from that era. Well, while wearing the hat I was the subject of a horrible car crash which left glass shards throughout my face and blood draining everywhere. I guess I was lucky that neither of my eyeballs were punctured, but every time I saw that logo I was reminded of that horrible experience and the worst headache I've ever had (seriously, there is no worse headache than that of a bad car wreck; the screeching of the medal and the collision is an unbearable noise for your skull to experience).

So yeah, that's why I don't like those uniforms.

But hey, Milwaukee got the win on Friday which means this team is on a winning streak. It's only two games, sure, but we'll take it at this point. Player of the Game is going to Jim Edmonds, as he had a great game after filling in for Corey Hart. If there are days where we don't get to a Brewers recap (i.e. Thursday and probably many more to come), we'll still update the POTG standings accordingly, for the one of you that care (which would be myself).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rock is King of the Forest

Wow, what a fantasy come true this would be. Not only do you get dinner at the Historic White Spruce Inn, but you get a whole weekend fishing with Bill Schroeder. A whole weekend! That has to include Friday evening, all day Saturday, and then Sunday morning right? I wonder if separate rooms at the hotel are included, or if you get to bunk with Rock as well. Either way, you're in good hands, as it looks like Rock not only enjoys the forests of Northern Wisconsin but he's also the king of it. Come to think of it, I think Rock has got a pretty good career choice lined up after his broadcasting duties are over.

Let's All Agree That it's Over, Right?

My favorite part about the Brewers loss on Wednesday night was when I checked in the 6th inning when the Crew was down 12-3, and the headline was "Brewers making their hits count against Pirates". At least they are trying to stay positive their over on the team's website. I'm a little less optimistic though.

My goal for the Brewers this week was to win at least six games which is a little too much to ask for (it would have put them at four under .500 and back in contention), but it was still something I thought could be done against teams like Pittsburgh and Washington. Plus, if you really are a playoff contender, you'd be up to task. But Milwaukee wasn't, and they have already lost two of their three games this week. The worst part about it was that in their losses they gave up a large quantity of runs, which just furthers the theory that the down year is less about being unlucky and more about being un-good.

So with the season fading faster and faster each day, it's now time to think about what else we might want to do to occupy our time this summer. I'm still in soccer fever from the World Cup, going as far as watching the entire Manchester United / Philadelphia Union friendly on Wednesday night instead of the Crew, so I can occupy myself with that this summer. The Packers are starting up again soon, so that will be nice. And I'm still in contention in all of my fantasy baseball leagues, so maybe I'll spend the night watching a little more MLB Network. Sure, I'll pay attention to the Crew, I'll even go to a few more games this season, but I'm not going to invest more time than I need to in a team that loses 15-3 to the Pirates in what I considered a must-win game.

Season's over my friends. In some ways though it seems like it never really began. Have a good summer, everybody!

POTG: George Kottaras

Uecker Back on Friday

With this Brewers season slowly fading in to obscurity, at least we'll have an old friend back to help us along for the ride. Bob Uecker will be returning to the broadcast booth on Friday as the Crew is set to start a three game set with the Washington Nationals. Uecker, sidelined earlier this season after needed heart surgery, is expected to tentatively return for the home games while eventually traveling with the team later on down the road.

I may be in the minority here, but I haven't hated the work of Corey Provus and Davey Nelson. Sure, Nelson may have problems speaking sometimes which generally isn't acceptable in a business where your main job requirement is to speak, but they've kept decent company so far this summer. The problem is that a guy like Uecker is irreplaceable. Scratch that, there is no other guy like Uecker. I've always found it incredible that a guy with his talent has chosen to stay in Brew City over the years, and I look forward to his return as well as wish him the best of luck. Nelson and Provus filled in admirably, but it's time for the king to regain his throne.

Don't You Look Like...

Haven't done one of these in a long while, but watching the Astros/Cubs game on WGN this afternoon inspired me. Is that Astros managers Brad Mills, or David Palmer's Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Novick?

Diener Getting Some Love

With this site being based out of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, you're probably going to find more Travis Diener coverage here than anywhere else (and Cory Raymer coverage, for that matter). But the guys at Anonymous Eagle did a nice job of picking up our slack today, as they have nominated him for the SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame. Pretty good little article on him if you want to check it out. How much more weight would this argue have though if he would have come back to the state as a member of the Bucks?

This is Our Last Chance

My little crusade this week for the Brewers to win six of their seven games against the Pirates and Nationals isn't just some cute little thing I'm doing to get more readership to the blog (because trust me, that's not working), it's more or less an actuality that if this club is going to be competitive they have to start performing. As we get deeper into the season here, it truly looks like a two horse race between the Reds and the Cardinals for the NL Central, and if we want to stake a claim in that race we have to produce. And in a week where wins are an absolute necessity, it's always a thrill to see your beloved Brewers go down by nine runs in the first inning of a ballgame.

Dave Bush was having a good couple of weeks for the Brewers, but his off night along with a multitude of errors from the Brewers infield put Milwaukee in a huge hole after the first inning. I'm not sure if I agree that we should "cut the asshole", as Quevedo at the Buffet suggests, but I also don't agree with keeping a pitcher in the game when he's given up nine runs either. But Macha needed a sacrificial lamb, and kept Bushie out there even though he did settle down. Personally, I would have liked to have seen Bush pinch hit for as the Brewers were starting to put a couple of runs together, because what use does a pop-out bunt really provide if you're going to yank him after four innings anyway?

The one positive for the Brewers in this game was that they were able to put up nine runs of their own, although the Pirates did plate a couple of more to win the game 11-9. It was a valiant effort by the Crew, but good losses don't show up in the win column. The Brewers need to figure out a way to win their next five games, otherwise it's sell time. Three out of five won't do, four out of five won't do either. The Brewers needed to win six out of seven games this week and they've already lost one. Time to do the impossible, Milwaukee, otherwise start learning how to say goodbye to some of your favorite players.

POTG: Jim Edmonds, even though he can't run.

Monday, July 19, 2010

One Down, Five to Go

Maybe I've just been a bad fan this season, but I have to say that I was more interested in Monday night's Brewers game against the Pirates than I have been for a game for quite some time. With this little challenge that I've created for the Brewers this week, you may remember it as the one that few people care about, I've kind of created my own drama to get behind this team. The challenge for Milwaukee this week is to win six out of their seven games against the Pirates and the Nationals, because that's what I realistically think is what they need to do if they are going to have a shot in the playoffs and prevent themselves from becoming sellers. After one night, things are so far so good.

As I said the other day, it's a lofty goal to ask a team to win six games in one week, especially a team like the Milwaukee Brewers. But these two opponents are teams that we could put a run together against, and it's clear that owner Mark Attanasio is waiting as long as possible before he has to trade anyone. If we do somehow pull of a week of six wins then we'll be four games under .500 and withing striking distance of a relevant season. Despite how negative I've been about the Brew this season, I really think they can pull this off, and Monday's game was the reason why.

Think about it. We had a guy on the mound on Monday that hadn't won a game in three years, and he was thrust into a starting role only because our ace is injured and that because that ace's replacement then had to be placed on the disabled list as well. But Chris Capuano did all that was asked of him, which was to keep the Brewers in the ballgame (inside joke). Cappy earned his first win since 2007 by going five innings as he gave up just one run. The bullpen did a great job of maintaining that lead, especially John Axford who picked up his 12th save of the season and has yet to blow a save this year.

It's one game down and six to go, and even if the Brewers don't achieve this insane mission I've presented to them, at least for myself I've invented a way to get myself invested again in a team that is eight games under .500. Still, if the Brewers do end up making the playoffs this season, this week will be the reason why. With Corey Hart and Prince Fielder on the trading block, and with our season slipping away more and more each day, this week is our playoffs. So far, we're right on track. Let's keep it up.

POTG: Rickie Weeks

Bucks Bring in Dooling

The Bucks search for a backup point guard may have ended on Monday when Keyon Dooling was signed to an undisclosed two-year contract. Dooling has played ten years so far in the NBA, most recently with the Orlando Magic and the New Jersey Nets. He's a solid veteran signing in a market where all of the point guards were pretty much already signed, minus Fond du Lac native Travis Diener who is still available (although rumor has it he's a bit too preoccupied with and old school NBA Jam arcade machine to focus on where he'll be signing. Just a rumor).

The Bucks may have also dealt Darnell Jackson to the Sacramento Kings for power forward Jon Brockman, although nothing has been confirmed. If that is true, that would mean that the Bucks have Drew Gooden, Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders, Brockman, Tiny Gallon, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute that can all play the power forward position. That's quite a rotation of guys there. I know all the talk in the East is going to be about the Celtics, Bulls, and Heat this season, but you have to argue that the Bucks may have the deepest team in the conference. It's going to be a good season, perhaps more impressive than the performances Trav is putting together on NBA Jam this summer.

Last Night on Entourage...

Here's what happened last night on Entourage...

Vince bought a motorcycle. Wild. He went shopping for really expensive random things and Adrian Peterson was there to act poorly and collect an appearance fee. Vince was hanging out with someone that E doesn't like, so E stopped having dinner with Sloan to check in. E also helped Johnny Drama read scripts and we might get a cameo from John Stamos soon. Meanwhile, Turtle realized that running a business isn't easy if you're not making money. Ari Gold still thinks he can own an NFL team and then let a girl quit because his wife was being bitchy and jealous. Random chicks were in bikinis again. A dinosaur skull was broken.

Summer League Recap

Milwaukee didn't get out of the Vegas Summer League with a good record (1-4), but they did have a few bright spots and got some excellent play out of their rookies. Larry Sanders played awesome all Summer League, and Deron Washington played well too. Tiny Gallon also got a lot of minutes in the last two games, and he looked good too. I really think those two guys really need to stick around for the long haul, as they could be good with a little bit of work. One reason the Bucks record was so bad is because they didn't have a true point guard to help their offense, but that can be forgiven for now.

Sanders was the real star of the Summer League team, and he played the most minutes for any Bucks player in the five games. He averaged 14 points a game, which for a guy that isn't supposed to be a force on offense is very impressive. He also had some highlight reel blocks that really showed his true game as well. It was also good to see him find a little bit of a jumper and hook shot. Those are things that he really needs to work on to be the next big thing. Watching him play five games is really getting me pumped for the NBA season to start.

Lets look at some highlights from this Summer League:

* John Wall looked good in Summer league for the Wizards with 23.5 points a game, and 7.8 assists. Also he had the best coach of the Summer League in Sam Cassell, who was wildly entertaining with how serious he took the outcomes of the games.

* DeMarcus Cousins had somewhat of a triple-double in one of the games with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and ten fouls. Yes, ten fouls, in one game. It is just Summer League so no one fouls out. My guess is he never does this again in his career.

* Greg Stiemsma played for the Timberwolves team. He only scored three points in five games, but did have eight blocks. Still, I don't see the former Badger being an NBA player anytime soon.

* Lazar Hayward played well for the Timberwolves, as they drafted him with the last pick in the first round. He averaged 14 points a game, and 3.5 rebounds per game in his four games played. He was a surprise pick in the first round, but hope it works out for him.

* Hasheem Thabeet still isn't a good NBA player. He got owned by anyone and everyone. One key play I saw was when Dominic James got around him for an offensive rebound, yikes.

* Brian Butch ruptured his left patella so he will be out for awhile. He was on the Denver Nuggets summer team before this happened.

* Larry Sanders averaged 3.2 blocks a game in his five Summer League games. That was tops for the league. He also went from "Who is this Guy?" status in the beginning of Summer League to, "Holy shit, this guy really does have great potential" status after the Summer League.

* O.J. Mayo showed he is a team leader by playing for Memphis in Summer League to work on his point guard skills. I have to give him a lot of credit to just take time out of schedule to play in Vegas.

* Evan Turner had a rough time, but the 76ers guard Jrue Holiday looked good.

Overall none of this really means anything, but it is always good to see one player look good for your team. The record doesn't mean anything, but Sanders skills were a real bright spot. I would really say that Sanders, Cousins, and Wall were the big three of Summer League. So now the pressure is on them to make it happen on the big stage when the season starts.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

These Next Seven Games Are Deciding the Season

While watching MLB Network the other night, I was almost floored when I heard the broadcast team talk about the Brewers as if they were not out of the playoff race. As it stands after Milwaukee's series with the Braves, the Brewers don't appear to be in any type of position to contend as their record sits at 42-51. It's not a good record by any means, and while I realize that one good streak could still catapult the Crew back into the discussion, it's not going to happen. This team has been eight, nine, ten games under .500 for the last two months, why should we expect any different now? They are not showing signs of improvement, and they are not the type of team that can put all the pieces together. Not this season at least.

That's the stance I've been taking on this team for quite some time now, but the Brewers still have one last chance to change my mind. For the Brewers to be able to be relevant again and possibly prevent them from being sellers, they needed to come out firing after the break. Even though ideally that would have meant that the Brewers would have won more than two out of the four games in Atlanta, they did still split a series against a first place team on the road, so I will give them that. Up next though is where they have to make their move.

Throughout the next week, the Brewers have four on the road against Pittsburgh and then three at home against Washington. As we've seen numerous times this season, Milwaukee doesn't seem to have too much difficulty against the Pirates, so you'd like to see that continue. Washington isn't a team to take lightly as they always seem to do well against us, but they are a beatable team and it's looking as if we won't have to see Stephen Strasburg during the three game series. I truly believe that if we are going to have a shot at this thing, we obviously can't have a losing record over these next seven. But we can't settle for like a 4-3 or 5-2 clip either. If the Brewers don't go at least 6-1 this week, then the guys can start planning vacations for October. A six win week may seem lofty, but we are nine games under .500 right now and the trade deadline is two weeks away. You gotta make a move sometime, and that time is now.

Can they do it though? I don't feel like they can, because I just don't think they are good enough. The Brewers are a team that just when you think they can really be something special because they have put a couple of good moments together, they throw a couple of stinkers at you and make you wonder why you thought they were good in the first place. Sort of like Carlos Gomez's career up to this point. Seriously though, just look at the last two games. On Saturday the Brewers got a quality performance out of Chris Narveson and exploded for five runs in the seventh inning to come from behind and win the game, but then on Sunday Manny Parra gives up ten runs in five innings. Not a successful formula there.

So this is it Brewers fans. Seven winnable games against two teams we should be able to have our way with if we truly are contenders. If we get six or seven wins this week, you can stash away the Corey Hart and Prince Fielder rumors until the Winter Meetings. But if not, you better scramble to pick up Lorenzo Cain in your fantasy league because he will be starting in the outfield every day. It's now or never, Milwaukee. Let's see what you've got.

POTG: Chris Narveson

POTG: Rickie Weeks

Friday, July 16, 2010

Johnny Jolly Taking the Year Off, and Then Some

Although the details remain cloudy, the one thing that is clear is that Johnny Jolly will not be playing football with the Packers this season. In fact, he may never suit up for the Green and Gold again. Jolly was suspended "indefinitely" by the NFL, a suspension which is sure to last for the entire 2010 season and possibly longer. The reason for the suspension was a violation the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, but it's a pretty hefty charge for someone who has never been suspended before.

The harsh suspension is in fact for substance abuse, but just how many tests he may have failed remains to be seen. We all know about his pending trial coming up which centers mainly around "purple drank", which is basically just cough syrup and crumpled up Jolly Ranchers, or other sweet alternatives. But this suspension seems to be much bigger than that, highlighted by the fact that Jolly's getting tagged with a year right off the point.

I'm not totally devastated by the news, mainly because we had to figure a suspension of some kind was coming for Jolly, although the severity of the punishment is a bit surprising. I'm sure it will make more sense though when we are fully aware of the crime. As far as what this means on the field, Justin Harrell better get good in a hurry.

NFL Suspends Jolly (JsOnline Packers Blog)

Brewers 9, Braves 3

I worked a 40 hour week this week for the first time in a long, long time, and the exhaustion has caused me to turn in early on this Friday night. Thus, I would like to enlighten you with just the box score for tonight's game. I may be curbing back a bit on the Brewers recaps anyway, and instead writing longer articles when I truly feel the need. Unless you're looking for three paragraphs of "this team sucks" after every loss and "this team won, but they still suck" after every win? If that's the case, let me know.

Tonight though, Randy Wolf looked sharp for the most part especially in the early innings, and the offense came alive to put up nine runs. I'm going to go with Wolf for the Player of the Game, he looked better than he has lately and he did deliver an RBI.

Braves 2, Brewers 1

There's a very good indicator of how things work here at The Bucky. If you follow us, you know that we like to bang out as many posts as we can and constantly keep the site updated. If you follow us, you also know that we really like to drink alcohol. Ergo, the less posts there are the more alcohol we drank. That being said, the Brewers lost last night to Atlanta 2-1, with the only run being a Corey Hart homer. I'm going to give the Player of the Game to Dave Bush though, who pitched very well and just didn't get the run support he needed. Complete standings for the POTG are always listed on the right-hand side of the blog, and you better believe that they matter!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Aaron Rodgers, Cover Man

Even though I am not subscribed to ESPN the Magazine, I have still been receiving issues in my mailbox for the past year. This is not a problem I am likely to look into however, especially now that Aaron Rodgers will be gracing the cover of their next issue. The Packers quarterback will be featured on the Mag's NFL Fantasy Special edition, which is just another sign that people all over the country are falling in love with this kid.

Actually, people all over the country have been falling in love with the Packers, as more and more predictions are placing them not only in the Super Bowl but also to win it. You're always a little hesitant when you come into the season as one of the favorites to win the whole prize, but this team is deserving of all the praise. They are only just two years removed from the NFC Championship Game, and they very well could have gotten back there last year had they showed up for the first half of their playoff game against Arizona. This will be a team to be reckoned with, and the national media isn't oblivious to that fact. Elsewhere in quick Packers news:

* The Packers website has undergone a complete overhaul, and for the better. Worth checking out.

* Coming soon to Lambeau, a Big Ten title game?

* The Packers have picked a date to wear their throwbacks, it's December 5th against the Niners.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bucks 0-2 in Summer League

Milwaukee Bucks draft pick Larry Sanders looked very good in his second summer league game, and that is really what you'd like to take out of these contests. In both games he was all over the court on the defensive end, but Tuesday night he was tops in the scoring department as well. Sanders finished the game with 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks. He also made a three pointer with .7 seconds left to tie the game. The only problem is Demarcus Nelson fell down when the Grizzles were executing their inbounds pass, and that allowed Sam Young a wide open three for the win. Really if it was a game that mattered they would have seen that Young didn't actually get the shot off in time, but it is the summer league so no one really cared.

Tiny Gallon also had a nice game for the Bucks, as he finished with eight points and 11 rebounds. He also had a nice jumper as he made a three, but his foot was on the line. I was surprised to see how nice of a stroke he had. Talking about nice strokes, Deron Washington has a nice one himself. He was on fire from downtown Tuesday night, as he hit 5-7 of his tray balls. The guys announcing the game compared him to a Jared Dudley type guy, a guy that can come off the bench to hit open jumpers.

I don't see any room for this guy on the roster, but maybe he could hang around the D-league to be a Buck someday. Overall a few guys really stood out, but one guy that just looked awful was DeMarcus Nelson. He forced up shots, couldn't make an inbound late, and left Sam Young open at the end of the game. So if he keeps playing like that we can cut his ass any day now.

The Bucks will play the Hawks at 7:30 central time on Thursday. I hope it is on ESPN 360 again, or else will have box scores for you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hart, Braun Unremarkable in All-Star Game

Ryan Braun delivered the first highlight of the 2010 All-Star game when he made probably the best defensive play he's made since he switched to left field, robbing Josh Hamilton of extra bases in the fourth inning. But other than that one play, the Milwaukee Brewers representatives did nothing of note in the annual Midsummer Classic. And that's nothing new.

Ever since I can remember, it's been rarer than rare for a Brewer to get on base much less make an offensive play that really made a difference in the All-Star game. Both Ryan Braun and Corey Hart had a chance to bring home some fellow National Leaguers in the fifth inning, but both men attributed for the first two outs of the frame. The National League was unable to bring anyone home, and had they lost it would have been this inning where they let the game get away. The Brewers didn't do much outside of that inning either as they both went hitless, pushing Braun to 0-for-7 lifetime in the game, while Hart is 0-for-4.

The Senior Circuit did it without the Brewers though, as Brian McCann hit a three-run double in the seventh inning to give the National League all the support they'd need. The National Leaguers won the game 3-1, giving themselves their first win in the game since 1996, and their first win in the contest since it started to "matter". As much as we hate the Cubs here at TBC, we have to give credit to Marlon Byrd for his put out of David Ortiz in the bottom of the ninth inning, a defensive gem of a play which helped the NL win. This was a game that followed this season's trend and was all about the pitching, and the offense was few and far between.

It's fitting that our Brewers representatives did little to contribute, because they really haven't been contributing ever since they joined the NL in 1998. This is actually the first time the National League has won an All-Star game since the Brewers switched leagues, which somehow says a lot without saying much at all. It wasn't the most exciting game in the world, but it sure beat anything else I would have come up with on this idle Tuesday night. Go baseball.

Bucks Start Summer League With Loss

The start to the Vegas Summer League for the Milwaukee Bucks was all about the guy who joined this team very late last season. Darnell Jackson had a nice game for the Bucks finishing with 17 points, and seven rebounds. The Bucks had a good chance of winning this one as they were up by two with .3 seconds left. Only the Bucks could find a way to lose this one, as they allowed J.R. Giddens to get to the hoop for a tip in as time expired. In the summer league they only play two minute overtimes, and the Mavs scored with .7 seconds left to win it.

For the Bucks, the big men seemed to contribute the most in this contest. Deron Washington had a nice game for the Bucks with 11 points and eight rebounds. First-round pick Larry Sanders had a rough night on offense only scoring nine points. You may not think that is low, but he took 15 shots. When the Bucks drafted him it was more for his shot blocking and rebounding. He had seven rebounds and three blocks for the Bucks, but also did have six turnovers. You can't judge him by one game, but it still looks as if he has a lot of work to do.

Marquette alum Dominic James played 20 minutes for the Bucks, but only had four points, and five assists. The one highlight James did have was he hit a buzzer beater at the end of the first quarter. Milwaukee is still without a backup point guard, and I don't see James being the one to fill that role but who knows. The Bucks only made 14-24 free throws, so that might be a good reason why they lost.

Next up for Milwaukee is another contest against the Grizzles, which you can watch live on or NBA TV.

Batting Stance Guy Does the All-Stars

Because we can always use a little Batting Stance Guy in our lives...

And while we're on the topic of Batting Stance Guy, here's a classic clip I haven't seen before today from a season ago, where BSG and Prince Fielder try to outdo one another.

Big night tonight in baseball as the All-Star game takes place tonight in Anaheim, and the American League look to continue their dominance against the Senior Circuit. Ryan Braun and Corey Hart should be getting at least two, maybe three at-bats, and hopefully they can change the tradition of Brewers being irrelevant during All-Star games. Coverage starts tonight on FOX at 7pm.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dominican Dominance Eliminates Hart in Derby

He stole the show in the first round of the 2010 Home Run Derby, but was nowhere to be found in the second, but Corey Hart will still take a solid third place in the contest. Granted, that means nothing. Hopefully for Brewers fans thought, this Derby won't prove to be a microcosm of Hart's season (a hot home run hitter in the first half/round, cold as ice in the second).

Hart cruised to the lead in the first round with 13 home runs, far above anyone that was chasing him, especially Arizona's Chris Young (he started the festivities off with just one shot). But after the opening round he had to wait nearly 90 minutes before he was to bat again, as going last was to be his "reward". It makes sense why the guy leading the competition would go last in the second round, but the time in between at-bats is quite a long time to overcome especially when you're trying to maintain consistency. That's ultimately what ended Corey Hart's run tonight, although it was an impressive showing that he should be proud of.

In the end, the Dominican firepower of David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez was just too strong, as the two ripped off homers in the second round to leapfrog Hart and make it into the finals. From there, David Ortiz made the final round his bitch and took home his first Home Run Derby title in four tries, ending up with 32 home runs.

Other All-Star related reading for your entertainment that I did not author:

Last Night on Entourage....

How about a new feature here on The Bucky Channel? After watching this season's premiere episode of Entourage where literally nothing happened, we decided we'd fill you in on the plot of each new episode just in case you missed it. Here's what happened last night.

Long description: Vince woke up after sleeping longer than normal. He was feeling delusional a bit and he decided to get a haircut. He cut his own hair, and some people got mad. He also said his new movie sucked. Turtle's credit card was maxed out and he was mad, but it turned out to be an error. Drama and E talked about reading scripts and hugged, this was after Drama was at a strip club to give us our obligatory shot of tits. Ari then tried to buy the TV rights to the NFL after a meeting with Jerry Jones of the Cowboys, Jones says that Ari should own a team. Ari's wife bought a chandelier. Vince jumped out of a plane.

Short description: Nothing.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spain Makes History in World Cup Final

The 2010 World Cup final will not be a game that will be shown to young students who are trying to learn just how beautiful of a game soccer can be, because this was not soccer at it's finest. But at the end of the 120 minutes that were played, it was a game that if nothing else decided a winner. To me, soccer really isn't a game that you can just watch for five minutes of and get a true idea of what's going on. You can flip on a baseball game and watch an inning or two, you can watch a couple of drives during a football game, but soccer is more of a story. To appreciate what you've just witnessed when you watch soccer, you have to watch the full affair.

This was a game where Spain overcame a relentless attack from the Netherlands, as the Dutch seemed to take on the role of "beast" over that of "beauty". We ended up seeing thirteen yellow cards given, one which turned out to be a double yellow card (which equals a red), and eight of those went to the Netherlands. Of course, Spain played quite ugly at times as well, but the Netherlands will also be painted as the more vicious team in this game mainly because of a literal drop kick that was performed in the 28th minute by a Dutch defender.

In terms of non-violent excitement, this game really didn't pick up until midway until the second half when the game did start to open up a bit. Both teams ended up having some real solid chances, including 1-on-1 opportunities that were missed by both sides. But neither team could find the net in regular time, and an extra thirty minutes were tacked on. It really did seem like penalty kicks where inevitable until in the 116th minute when Cesc Fabregas intercepted a Netherlands clearance and promptly found Andres Iniesta. Iniesta put just enough heat on the ball so that Stekelenberg, the Dutch keeper, wouldn't be able to deflect it, and Spain found themselves World Cup champions for the first time (and they are also the new unofficial world football champions, let's not forget that!)

Without question, Spain has been the world's best team since the last World Cup, and the victory in this tournament was deserved. They only managed to score eight goals in seven games, but that proved more than enough. Spain becomes the first European team to win a World Cup away from European soil, as well as the first team to win a Cup after losing their first game. Other teams may have been more flashy, but Spain was the best side in this tournament and now have been rewarded as such.

Honestly, this World Cup seems like it went a lot faster than other ones I've remembered. It does seem, at least in the country, that there were two World Cups. One that included the Americans, and one that happened after we were eliminated. I'm going to remember this Cup as the time where the Americans had a captivating run but ultimately were eliminated a lot quicker than they could have been. As we've talked about, this was our best chance to really go far in a World Cup since ever, and we weren't able to come through. I am excited though to watch this team mold together in the next four years and see what we can come up with. Start making travel arraignments to Brazil now my friends.

Brewers Fooling Us With the Sweep

I used to have a pretty insane crush on a young woman, even though she had no sexual interest in me. We would hang out all the time and while I was pining for her love, she was just enjoying our friendship. Every now and then she would throw me a bone - a glance, something she said, a sensual touch - and she would lead me to believe that a relationship may one day be the outcome after all that I had invested. But alas, that never materialized, for she was a dicktease. And such are the Milwaukee Brewers.

Just three days ago the Giants had embarrassed the Brewers in what has to be the worst four game series we've ever had at home in the history of the franchise, but now here we are once again feeling good about this Brewers team. Why? Because they swept the Pirates? Who cares, the Pirates are about as awful as we are. But the Brewers have won these games in a fascinating manner, with walk-offs especially, and that has us believing that this team may have begun to figure it out after all. You know, kind of just like the time after myself and the aforementioned girl shared "a moment" only to find her the next morning in bed with one of my friends.

All unresolved bitterness issues of mine aside, I am not going to allow myself to get caught back up into the notion that the Brewers still have a potential playoff run in them. For the last two months it seems like it's been the same pattern. The Brewers lose a few games and it's time to sell, the Brewers win a few games and we start to believe. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, and I'm not going to let myself drive myself crazy thinking that this team has the ability to do anything more than what they've been doing right now.

I'm hearing the whispers already - "IF the Brewers come back from the break and start out hot....", "IF we can just get clicking on all cylinders...", "IF we live up to our full potential...". We've been saying things like this all season though, and I'm afraid that time is running out. Mark Attanasio says that selling is still not necessary, but that would mean we'd have to put ourselves back in contention in the next four series. It's not exactly the toughest road, as we're at Atlanta, at Pittsburgh, and then home against Washington and Cincinnati, but realistically we'd have to go at least 9-5 in these next fourteen games, and that's being generous. That doesn't sound too daunting, but we have been down this road before and this time I'm just not buying into it.

This team does have the makings of a winner, and I don't think we need to sell the farm. But this team is not going to be a winner this season, and the sooner we realize that the better.

POTG - Ryan Braun

POTG - Corey Hart

That all being said, lots to look forward to in the next couple of days if you're a Brewers fan. Corey Hart will try to carry over his home run momentum from Sunday when he participates in the Derby on Monday, and then he and Braun will both start in the outfield for the National League on Tuesday night. I love the All-Star game way more than I should, so that is one baseball game I am looking forward to this season at least.

Stricker Wins John Deere Classic

Steve Stricker won his second consecutive John Deere Classic Sunday, even though on the final day he shot his weekend worst of a 70 which was 1-under par. But he was on fire Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. He shot an opening round 60 on Thursday which was a side note after Paul Goydos shot a 59. Paul was the fourth golfer of all time to shoot a 59 in a tour event, and the 12-under score was very impressive. Stricker on the other hand shot 60 on Thursday, 66 on Friday, and 62 on Saturday. He set the record for a 54 hole score with those three rounds.

Stricker hasn't been as hot as he was at the end of last season but has still played well this year. He really came to play this weekend, and was able to hold on Sunday after having a seven shot lead to win by two. Steve had a chance to break both the lowest total score, and most birdies for the tournament, but he just couldn't get into that groove on Sunday. Those would have been cool, but winning the event is the most important thing. So congrats to the Wisconsin native Stricker for his big win.

Another thing that is nice for Stricker is that he won the event right before the British Open. He must feel good right now about his game going into the year's third major. In 2007 Stricker finished tied for 8th in the British Open. He would also do well again in 2008 as he finished tied for 7th. Last year he just made the cut, and was never in the hunt for the title.

Stewart Cink is the defending champion as he beat Tom Watson in a playoff last year. Don't think you will be seeing these guys at the top of the leaderboard this year, but who knows. Will Tiger find his game like he did when he won the event in 2005 and 2006? Phil had a rough weekend in Scotland, will he be able to find his stroke? Or will someone make a name for themselves this week by winning their first British Open? Since the World Cup is over now take some time and check out the third Major of the year this weekend.

World Cup Prediction: World Cup Final

Spain vs. Netherlands - 1:30pm - ABC

It's been a long road to get to this point for both these two teams, as preparations for this game began four years ago when the final whistle blew for the last time in Germany. Both teams have struggled a bit on their way to the final, but when you look at the results in the last two years of international play, these are the hottest two teams.

History will be made this afternoon as neither of these teams have ever won a Cup final, although the Dutch have lost a final game twice. Spain was the popular pick going in (and my pick as well), but I think this World Cup has belonged to the Netherlands, and I expect them to win the tournament. That's all I got for you, no real time for the tactical point of views because the game is starting right now!

Netherlands 2, Spain 1

PS - If you're watching the Brewers instead, take a day off. It's the Pirates. Both teams suck. Sit back and enjoy some soccer!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Diary of a Brewers Win

Gweeds here filling in for Winks on this Brewer post, so I thought I would change it up a bit. I'm going to do a reenactment of how the night went for myself amidst this actually exciting Brewers win, a celebration of a victory was turned out to be mostly people mocking the Brewers.


The game starts, and since the Brewers haven't been much to watch this season we decide to go get some food.


We find a table to eat at a local bar and grill in Fond du Lac. This place used to be a cool place to hang out, but when Fond du Lac passed the smoking ban this particular bar was outside the city limits. So people could still smoke there, and it just made it harder to go there. So since July 5th Wisconsin passed the law, and we now had good reason to go back again. The one problem I have with this place is lack of TV's, so from where we were sitting all we could see was ESPN's bottom line.


ESPN bottom line tells me that the Brewers are winning 2-0. They don't say how the Brewers scored so Winks looks it up on his phone. Winks tells our friend Bear that Corey Hart hit a 2-run home run (remember Fred Slacks Fantasy Stats? Remember the Real World / Road Rules Challenge recaps? That's Bear.) Winks singled out telling Bear this particular stat because he traded him to Bear in fantasy a while fact, a move I'm sure he's bitched about on here plenty. Since that trade Hart has been on fire, but for some reason Winks is moving up the standings and Fred is moving down the standings in our league. Regardless, things are looking good for the Crew.


Bottom Line update right before we head out to go to Winks parents house (where he surprisingly does not live anymore... yet), and the game is tied up 2-2. McCutchen had an RBI single, and Milledge hit a solo homerun. Giving up a homerun to Milledge is like a kick to the nuts, because this guy was supposed to be so great. He has been far from great, and has been bounced around more then Cliff Lee has been in the last couple of years, but not in the good way.


After we check out Winks parents' new house, and he owns me in a game of ping pong. We sit down to check out AT&T U-Verse for The Soundtrack Channel, a channel I know Winks has claimed to love in the past as well. Apparently, U-Verse no longer carries that channel, and I swear I thought Winks cry a little. Instead we flipped on the Brewer game only to see them down 4-2, and then turned it off for the movie Miracle. That lasted only for about two minutes, Winks turned it off because he knew how it ended (Winks edit: ???) For those who don't know it ended, the 1980 USA hockey team beat Russia in the Olympics. It just seemed like one of those nights where the Brewers were going to take a back seat for the night.


At this point, we decided to go to the same bar we go to every single night in the metropolitan are of Fond du Lac. When we walked in the place had about ten people in it, so you figured it was just going to be another night at JR's. We sit down right at the bar, and the Brewer game was on. Not more than five minutes after being there it seemed that Milledge hit a RBI single to make it 5-2. Since we had just got there I wasn't paying much attention, but after the Pirates put five up on the board they the run away. I'm still not sure why that happened, but it would become huge for the Brewers.


Some guys in their upper 40's were in Fond du Lac for some sort of their reunion weekend, and we found out it was their 30th anniversary of graduating high school, so that is cool that they still hang out. I guess they planed a weekend to go golfing, but to me it just seemed that all they did was suck down booze. So they started making fun of the Brewers, and Prince Fielder came to bat to smoke one out of the park to make it 4-3. As he is running around the bases one of them yelled out how Prince loves to hit solo shots. I can't argue with him at all. Fielder is the king of the solo homerun.


The Crew have one last chance to tie or win this game in the bottom of the ninth. McGehee hit a slow roller to third, which was kind of like Willie "Mays" Hayes first hit on Major League. So the older guys keep yelling "Mays Hayes would have beat that out." I didn't realize how slow McGehee is until that play. So with one out, and the Crew still need a run. One of the older guys started saying he'd bet anyone five bucks the Brewers get beat. I'm not sure where the confidence came from, but four of his buddies told him he was on.


Carlos Gomez was up and he laid down an awesome bunt single. The guys that took the Brewers in the bet acted like we had just won the Division Title. So with Gomez on first you have to know Dotel had to keep an eye on him. He would steal second, and the throw came in high so Gomez advanced to third. Now the four guys were going nuts like we were about to win game one of the NLDS. Next up was George Kottaras, although the drunk was wondering if "that Escalade guy?" was at the plate. I don't know why I found that so funny, but at the time it was. Does this guy really watch the Brewers and know his name is Escobar, or this that what being drunk in your 40's is like? I don't know. On the fourth pitch Kottaras smoked on down the line for a triple, and the game was tied at four with a guy on third, and one out.


One out, guy on third, and there was no way the Brewers cant screw this on up, can they? Then again it is the Brewers. Dotel threw a pitch in the dirt, so Kottaras headed for home. The only problem is he didn't react right away, and he isn't the fastest guy in the world, so he was thrown out at home easily. After that our friend Escalade struck out swinging to end the ninth.


At this time a few more of our friends showed up, one being Winks (he had stayed back at the folks ranch for some family time). Our new friends to the bar were just getting a small taste of how these older guys were acting. Then my boy John Axford came in in the top of the 10th to pitch. After a lead off single he would settle down to get a ground out, and two strike outs to end the inning. After those two strikeouts the group of older friends were now acting like this was game seven of the NLCS. They were banging their hands on the bar, and starting "Lets Go Brewers!" chants in a bar with about 15-20 people.


Jim Edmonds would lead off the bottom of the 10th with a single. Not sure why, but Macha decided to put Dave Bush in as a pinch runner. You can't tell me that Edmonds is that much slower than Bush, and also you are putting Bush at risk of getting hurt. As you can imagine the older guys couldn't believe that Bush came in. The guy yelled some stuff at the TV, but it didn't really matter sas Weeks would ground into a fielders choice. So Bush would be out at second, and he would not make an impact either way. Since Weeks failed to make a play at the bat he would make a play with his feet. He would steal second to be in scoring position with one out. The Pirates would walk Prince to get to Braun, who has been awful these past few weeks. Not only were the older guys like "Oh shit, Braun is up", but my guess is everyone in the bar felt this way at that time.

The problem with watching a game at the bar is they have so many TV's with different stations on them. One TV had MLB Network on, and they did a live look in on the Brewers game. It also just so happened to be faster then FSN, so I was watching the faster TV then come back to the other TV to see the replay. As Braun's ball landed just out of the reach of the fielders glove I quickly turned around to yell game over. The older guys who by this time are cheering like it is a world series game were like, what? They then all saw Braun smack a ball just over the head of the right fielder to score Weeks for the walkoff win. The guy that bet his other friends got out a twenty to ask the bar tender for change to pay up, and the guys that won made this Brewers win sound like the best win ever.


After all this, all I could think to myself was is this really where the Brewers are at right now? They are at the point where a bar full of 20 people mock cheer for them. They are in sell mode from what I can see. It took them 10 innings to beat the Pirates. Winks put it in words best earlier in the night when he reminded me about how excited we were five years ago for these seasons. It seems like we have the players, but we are missing one piece, which I feel is a manager without any emotion.

It was just a crazy night that started out seeming like I wouldn't watch an out of the game, and then turned into "Lets go Brewers!" chants, and then a walk off win. Not sure how to react to that, but I guess the only good thing is the Brewers can't get swept by the Pirates at home. Things I learned from watching the game - 1) Gomez needs to play everyday to create things on the base path. 2) Macha needs to put Braun back in the three hole were he likes to hit. 3) Macha actually needs to go, and Randolph needs to step in.

I guess we'll go with Ryan Braun as the player of the game for the walk off hit. In a game like this about four different people could get it for what they did. Braun did make the play to end the game, so lets just stick with him.

Stat of the night is that John Axford has four wins on the season, all of which are with walk off hits. So if you see Axford pitching a tie ball game in the 9th or later there's a good chance the Brewers win via walk off. Also a nice stat if you have him on your fantasy team. Sorry for the long post that my guess by the time you got half way you checked your Facebook profile. Winks should be back for a Saturday recap of the Crew.

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