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


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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lawrence Guy is the Packers' Man

Ted Thompson went outside of is comfort zone and selected a guy that we've actually heard of, taking Arizona State's Lawrence Guy with his final pick. Guy is a DT/DE that was projected to go as high as the third round, but slipped due to those dreaded "character issues". From what I can tell, he had some problems early in college but turned them around, yet the perception on him never changed. Great value pick here for the Packers nabbing a guy who is coming out as a junior. It seems like he's suited as a defensive end in the 3-4 defense. The scouting reports on Guy make him seem like a steal for a seventh round pick, and I think we can expect him on the regular defensive line rotation come this fall. All of these draft thoughts, of course, pending that there actually is football played this season.

Packers Add a Fullback in Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor is the newest member of the Green Bay Packers, and even though he's listed as a tight end, it appears that the Packers are looking at him as a fullback. He played a bit of that H-back role at UNC, which seems to be the buzz word this year. Korey Hall and John Kuhn are both free agents, so Taylor may be the guy to fill in the void if one or either of them leave. The word is that he was getting a lot of interest late in the draft as a special teams player, so look for him to play that role should he make the roster. Nothing's guaranteed when you go this late in the draft, although the Packers have had success in this round - Adam Timmerman, Donald Driver, Mark Tauscher, Scott Wells, Matt Flynn, Brad Jones, and C.J. Wilson to name a few.

Keep in mind as we get further into this draft, things are a little different this year. I've seen the initial reaction over this pick as sort of a question as to why we'd select someone at this position, but as WisconsinRob on the CheeseheadTV live blog suggests - Posing this question: What would you have said if Green Bay had brought this Taylor kid into camp as an UDFA, and he made the team b/c of blocking and special teams? This is a different draft in these rounds than the past.

Packers Finally Grab Defensive Lineman... Kind Of

Packer fans wanted Ted Thompson to take a defensive linemen, and that finally happened in the form of Ricky Elmore. The defensive end comes to Green Bay from the University of Arizona, where he was second team all Pac-10 last year with double digit sack totals. The thing is, he's likely better suited as an outside linebacker, so the Packers still haven't drafted a true defensive linemen. Who knows, maybe Thompson is banking on a breakout season from Justin Harrell? Elmore seems like a legit stud though, we'll see if he can stand out in the likely battle with Erik Walden and Frank Zombo.

D.J. Smith Added to Packers' Linebacking Core

Ted Thompson needed to look at Appalachian State to find a linebacker he liked, and he found one in A.J. Smith.  A leader on his defense, Smith appears to be a solid player and a hard-hitting linebacker and there's nothing wrong with guys like that on your team. He had 144 tackles last season alone, which appears to be a very high number during a collegiate season. Actually, he had more than 500 tackles during his collegiate career. Wow. Smith isn't the fastest guy in the world though, and if we see him suited up on gamedays it will likely be on special teams, at least this season.

Pack Bolster Offensive Line With Schlauderaff

After trading down three times, Ted Thompson finally found a kid he likes in Caleb Schlauderaff, a bit 6'4'', 305 pound offensive linemen from Utah. He's not the defensive linemen that Packers fans seem to be hoping for, but he's more depth along an offensive line that has really been made through the drafts of Ted Thompson. It's clear that Thompson doesn't like paying money for offensive linemen in free agency, so the way to counter that is to build through the draft. The Packers have two more sixth-round picks coming up, so I'm sure Dom Capers will get more guys to work with along the way.

We're in the point of the draft now where these are players I haven't heard of - you have to be deeply invested into this game to rattle off information about linemen from Utah off the top of your head - but Ted's got immunity with me, and I'm going to agree with every pick he makes until he proves me otherwise. Which he won't, because Ted is awesome.

Mackey Award Winner Williams Comes to GB

After spending their fourth round pick on the defensive side of the ball, the Packers went back to the offensive talent well and selected yet another weapon for Aaron Rodgers. The pick was D.J. Williams, Mackey Award winner for the nation's top tight end a year ago. The Arkasas tight end should fit nicely into the Packers offensive scheme, likely used in that hybrid H-back role that we've seen Tom Crabtree occupy last season. He could find himself on the field more often as well if Andrew Quarless continues to struggle with catching the football. He'll make the team, but it'll be interesting to see how much the Packers actually utilize his talents in his first year. No matter what though, the kid was worked hard to get here, and this piece from E:60 shows us just that. Definitely worth watching.

Pack Take Davon House in Round Four

The Packers first pick used on a defender is the selection of Davon House, a cornerback out of New Mexico State. House was on the board anywhere from the 2nd to the 4th round, so it looks like Ted got some good value here. A lot of people across the blogs I'm reading today are pressing for Thompson to draft a defensive lineman, and that will happen, but it appears that Thompson is just plucking off who he thinks is the best available, regardless of positions. House will be competing to come in on those nickel and dime packages, and the situations when the Packers throw five cornerbacks on the field. Dom Capers noted that they like the way he covers the field, they like his versatility, and they like his ability to press at the line of scrimmage.

Thompson did have another fourth round pick, but he traded that down. Thompson has made two trades to move down already today, so it's clear to me that they really aren't targeting anyone and just selecting who they like when their time comes.

Speaking of trades, a very interesting one coming between the camps in New England and Philadelphia. Since 2000 when Belichick took over, the teams have made a draft-day swap at least once every season. They extended that streak today by merely just swapping picks #193 and #194, even though those picks were thirty-some slots away when the deal was made. Love a good inside joke between the teams.

Brewers Notch Another Shutout

Despite the fact that Zach Greinke has yet to debut in a Brewers uniform this season and despite the fact that Yovani Gallardo has been flat out struggling as of late, the Brewers still getting ace-like performances out of their pitching staff. The latest was from a guy who could easily be the ace of half of the staffs in the league, Shaun Marcum. Marcum went seven innings giving up just three hits and no runs, pushing the Brewers towards their fifth shutout of the season.

“I told him (being ill) was going to work in his favor,” Prince Fielder said to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “His game is spotting (the ball) and changing speeds. Usually when guys like that feel under the weather, it’s that much more in their favor.”

Prince's performance at the plate worked in Marcum's favor as well, as the big first baseman cranked a shot into right field and had two RBI on the night. Also homering were Ryan Braun and Yuniesky Betancourt, who hit his first blast of the season.

The end result, a 5-0 win for Milwaukee, who will look to grab a series victory with a win tonight as Randy Wolf takes the mound tonight against Wandy Rodriguez.

POTG: Shaun Marcum

Marcum feeling ill
Battles through, and dominates
Makes Houston feel sick

Friday, April 29, 2011

From Hawaii to Green Bay, Alex Green

The Green Bay Packers have dipped into the running back well in the form of Alex Green of Hawaii. Never heard of him? Neither have Hawaii fans, as that seems to be a team that never runs. Throw Green into the mix with Ryan Grant, James Starks, and Brandon Jackson, and it looks like BJax will have his work cut out of him if he wants to try and defend his Super Bowl title. A versatile back, he appears to have some speed and should be used nicely out of the backfield throughout the passing game. Personally, I kind of had a gay spot for Jordan Todman out of UConn at the running back position, but this Green kid seems like a quality chap. Pretty sure someone is going to need to buy him a shovel though.

Moffitt off to Seattle

The fourth Wisconsin Badger has been taken off the board, as John Moffitt is now a member of the Seattle Seahawks. Moffitt, who once said that "people come to watch me snap the ball" should be a good fit on the Seattle line. He'll provide good protection for Marshawn Lynch and anyone else that wants to run behind him, as the Badgers were definitely a run-first program. You can probably line him up a little at guard, a little at center and be good to go if you're Seattle. He was taken with the 75th pick, which is actually little higher than where most had him going. Good luck, Johnny.

Cobb Adds to Already Explosive Packers Offense

It's really not fair what the Packers are doing in this draft, but those are the perks when you're the Super Bowl Champions. Quarterbacks are flying off the board as teams scramble to build a new future, GM's across the league are hoping to plug in most of these picks as rookie starters, but the Packers are just adding to an already strong roster by adding pure depth - guys that won't be called on to change the world, but guys that will be given the opportunity to make a big impact.

Add Randall Cobb to that offense, as Ted Thompson swoops in and rescues the remaining player in the green room once again. What the Packers get in Kentucky's Randall Cobb is a number three, number four type receiver that will play increasingly more when either James Jones leaves or Donald Driver retires. Not only that, but they may also have a guy they can plug in at kick returner, which is really the only true "need" for the Packers at this point. We don't need to hope that a guy like Jason Chery comes out of nowhere this year, at this point I'd say the return job is Cobb's to lose.

A comparison for this guy seems to be in the vein of Antwaan Randle-El, as he has similar attributes and similar features. This kid looks like he'll be money out of the slot, and there's a chance that the Packers will actually break out the Wildcat formation for the first time ever with Cobb as the centerpiece. Basically, all you need to know about this kid is that he's a weapon, one that I'm sure that Aaron Rodgers is going to enjoy having at his disposal.

Keep up the good work, Ted.

Rams Select THE Lance Kendricks

For those of you that don't know, we here call Lance Kendricks "THE Lance Kendricks" because of THE Brian Kendrick, a former WWE wrestler. This is the kind of witty topical wrestling humor you get only at The Bucky Channel. No matter what you call Kendricks though, you'll soon need to call him a starter of the St. Louis Rams. Just where he'll be starting though remains to be seen. The Rams really don't have anyone at tight end (Billy Bajema, Michael Hoomanawanui, and Fred Onobun), but it's conceivable that they should shift him out to a wide receiver or even an H-back role. Good strong pick from the Rams here to give Sam Bradford another (a first?) weapon, and I'm expecting a successful career out of THE Lance Kendricks.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Derek Sherrod, Welcome to Green Bay

Even though 90 percent of the mock drafts had us taking Cameron Heyward out of Ohio State, that prophecy didn't come to fruition as the Steelers took him one spot in front of us. Um, yeah, you can have Heyward, we'll take the Super Bowl rings. We'll also take Derek Sherrod, a tackle from Mississippi State. He appears to be the safest pick that Teddy could take here, and I have no problem with that. By now, we all know that it doesn't matter who Ted takes, we need to respect his decision. He is a football God, and we are all lucky to be his disciples.

As for Sherrod, he's a better pass blocker than a run blocker, and he'll probably at least contend for a starting gig throughout the season. I don't think he'll be a part of the starting five, but he's a quality guy to rotate in and out of the lineup and be a starter for years to come. Pro Bowler? Probably not, but likely a tentpole of this line for years to come.

Kudos to our Lemmy and Turtle for taking him at the 31st pick, and kudos to Roger Goodell to making sure he mentioned that the Packers were "Super Bowl Champions". Ahhh, what a nice weekend to distract us from the fact that a lockout is going on.

Carimi to the Bears

Another Badger is off the board as Gabe Carimi has been selected by the Chicago Bears. There's really no one else that the Bears could have taken with this pick, as he will fill in on their offensive line quite nicely. It's the first time since 2001 since the Badgers have had two picks taken in the first round (Jamar Fletcher to Miami and Michael Bennett to Minnesota), and this was a worthy selection. It's a shame that Carimi has to go to the hated Bears, and trust me when I say it won't be his fault when Cutler gets sacked as much as he does, because Cutler is just a terrible quarterback who finds a way to get sacked no matter who is blocking for him. I do except a long and solid career out of Carimi though, and we wish him the best of luck even though he's going to FIB-land.

Watt to the Texans

The pride of Pewaukee is headed to Houston, as Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt is the newest member of the Texans. Kind of a curious choice for Houston, as they seem to take a defensive end every other year, and a guy like Prince Amukamara might have seemed a better fit. But this team liked what they saw in Watt, and he was the first Badger taken off the board (as for the Bucky Channel writers, James and Lemmy both had him going at 16, and Turtle saw him falling in at 28 to the Packers via a trade).

Look, admittedly, I am not the biggest expert when it comes to the NFL draft, but even I can tell that things are going haywire right now. Christian Ponder just went to the Vikings???? Jebus, what a mess that franchise has turned in to. I'm starting to think that the Lions are going to give us the most fits in the division next year. We'll continue to update throughout the night, but in the meantime join the party at the CheeseheadTV live blog.

Bucks Survivor: Week Two

John Hammond hasn't ruled out a return for Michael Redd to the Bucks, but the readers of The Bucky Channel definitely say it's time for the Olympian to put on a new jersey. Out of the 14 Bucks that remain on the roster, Michael Redd is the first one off of Bucks Survivor, but for the second year in a row. I think that Redd does have some value on this team, perhaps maybe as a sixth man. Problem is, the Bucks roster is full of "sixth men", and it's probably time that the two sides part ways. With 38 percent of the vote in this week's Bucks Survivor poll, Michael Redd has been eliminated.

Most all of the Bucks did receive votes to be booted off - although Bogut, Boykins, Delfino, Ilyasova, and Mbah a Moute all had clean sheets on the week. Bucks Survivor will remain in the single elimination format this week, and voting can be done on the right hand side of the blog. Michael Redd was probably the easy choice, so it should be interesting to see who gets the boot this round.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NFL Draft First Round Predictions

After our collective success in the NCAA Basketball Tournament predictions, a few of us thought we'd take a shot at the fuster cluck that is the NFL Draft.
PickJamesStock LemonTurtle
1CAR-QB Cam NewtonCAR-QB Cam NewtonCAR-QB Cam Newton
2DEN-DT Marcell DareusDEN-DT Marcell DareusDEN-LB Von Miller
3BUF-QB Blaine GabbertBUF-LB Von MillerBUF-DT Marcell Dareus
5ARI-QB Jake LockerARI-QB Blaine GabbertARI-CB Patrick Peterson
6CLE-CB Patrick PetersonCLE-DE Da'Quan BowersCLE-WR Julio Jones
7SF-CB Prince AmukamaraSF-CB Patrick PetersonSF-CB Prince Amukamara
8TEN-QB Andy DaltonTEN-DT Nick FairleyTEN-QB Blaine Gabbert
9DAL-OT Tyron SmithDAL-OT Tyron SmithDAL-OT Anthony Costanzo
10WAS-WR Julio JonesWAS-QB Ryan MallettWAS-DE Da'Quan Bowers
11HOU-DE Cameron JordanHOU-DE Robert QuinnHOU-DE Robert Quinn
12MIN-DE Da'Quan BowersMIN-DE Cameron JordanMIN-QB Ryan Mallett
13DET-OT Anthony CostanzoDET-CB Prince AmukamaraDET-OT Tyron Smith
14STL-DT Nick FairleySTL-DE Ryan KerriganSTL-DE Aldon Smith
15MIA-RB Mark IngramMIA-OL Mike PounceyMIA-RB Mark Ingram
16JAC-DE JJ WattJAC-DE JJ WattJAC-DT Corey Liuget
17NE-DE Aldon SmithNE-OT Anthony CostanzoNE-OL Gabe Carimi
18SD-DT Corey LiugetSD-DE Aldon SmithSD-DE Ryan Kerrigan
19NYG-TE Kyle RudolphNYG-RB Mark IngramNYG-OT Nate Solder
20TB-DE Ryan KerriganTB-DL Adrian ClaybornTB-DE Cameron Jordan
21KC-LB Von MillerKC-OT Gabe CarimiKC-OL Mike Pouncey
22IND-OT Nate SolderIND-DT Corey LiugetIND-DE Adrian Clayborn
23PHI-CB Jimmy SmithPHI-OT Nate SolderPHI-CB Jimmy Smith
24NO-DT Muhammad WilkersonNO-DE Ryan KerriganNO-DE Cam Heyward
25SEA-CB Aaron WilliamsSEA-QB Jake LockerSEA-QB Jake Locker
26BAL-WR Torrey SmithBAL-CB Jimmy SmithBAL-CB Aaron Williams
27ATL-OT Gabe CarimiATL-DL Cam HeywardATL-DT Marvin Austin
28NE-OG Danny WatkinsNE-LB Akeem Ayers*GB-DE JJ Watt
29CHI-OG Marcus CannonCHI-DT Marvin AustinCHI-OG Danny Watkins
30NYJ-DT Phil TaylorNYJ-DT Phil TaylorNYJ-DT Muhammad Wilkerson
31PIT-OL Mike PounceyPIT-OT Derrek SherrodPIT-OT Derrek Sherrod
16GB-RB Mikel LeShoureGB-LB Brooks Reed*NE-LB Akeem Ayers
*Projected Trade: GB & NE swap late first round picks. NE also receives pick #32 of fourth round (#129 overall).

A few notes from the contributers:
Yes, 4 QB's, in the first 8 picks, boom! (Emphasis added)

Looking at the top eight picks, there are a lot of pretty common sense moves in the bunch. Plenty of teams have a combination of need meeting best overall player, which could make the first eight relatively predictable. The biggest exception to that statement is the first overall pick. Cam Newton will not make a great quarterback in the NFL, but the Panthers need a quarterback and a ticket seller, and for a little while, Newton will be both in the NFL.
As one would expect, the end of the first round is filled with question marks. Guys like Jimmy Smith and Marvin Austin carry a lot of baggage to their new teams, but their talent is worthy of first round money (whatever the new CBA decides that is). These last eight teams are really all about boom or bust, except for the Seahawks, who go all for bust with the local quarterback. Expect Andy Dalton from TCU to go off the board early in the second, and possibly be the best quarterback from this draft. The Patriots once again draft smart, and Ayers could be the best of this bunch.

I read in SI that JJ Watt could drop for some reason so I'm clinging to this and thinking Ted and Mike make it happen.

For those interested, Green Bay's picks are as follows:
Round 1: #32
Round 2: #32 (#64)
Round 3: #32 (#96)
Round 4: #32 (#129) & #34 (#131) Compensatory
Round 5: #32 (#163)
Round 6: #32 (#197)
Round 7: #1 (#204) from Carolina & #30 (#233)

Am I the only one hoping for the start of free agency tomorrow? My GOD, how awesome would that be?!??! Talk about strategy!

The fun starts at 8 PM ET/7 PM CT on Thursday.

Brew Crew Haiku

The Brewers game wasn't on TV today, so I didn't watch it. I was busy at work, so I didn't get to hear much of it. I wasn't at the game, so I definitely didn't see it. For those reasons, I'm going to refrain on writing a recap about their 7-6 loss to the Reds tonight (real reason: girlfriend is coming over to watch American Idol), but I will say this much - is it time to start to get worried about Yovani Gallardo yet? I know that we as Wisconsin sports fans like to panic whenever possible, but even a somewhat decent start from him would be all it would take to put my mind at ease about the situation.

Yovani struggles
Part of great staff, but with holes
Please demote Sean Green

POTG: I'm not sure. Suggestions welcome.

Delfino Back in the Fold for Bucks

No they are not in the playoffs, but the Milwaukee Bucks are working to get back into the dance for 2012. Their first step to doing that was picking up Carlos Delfino's last year of his contract, which they did on Tuesday. I really think the concussion that held Delfino out of the line up for a long time hurt us this season. He is just a solid player, and can play tough on the defensive side of the ball. He averaged 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.6 steals a game in his 49 games. He missed 32 games because of that injury.

Before Delfino got hurt he started the season off hot. When he came back you could tell he was rusty from not being able to do much while he was hurt. Giving him a 3.5 million dollar option is a good start for the Bucks as they try to get back to the playoffs. Next they need to find a team leader, because that is what we lack right now.

In other news, the Rockets are looking for a new head coach. Why not look at Milwaukee assistant Kelvin Sampson? The guy has formed Brandon Jennings into a NBA point guard, and seems to be someone everyone will listen to. I know the NCAA has its rules, and they should be followed. But Sampson shouldn't be held in contempt for his collegiate indiscretions forever. His work with Jennings proves that he would be able to produce a lot of NBA talent from the collegiate ranks. Personally, I'd like to see him stick around with the Bucks, but his time will come soon where he will get a head coaching position. 

Hey, So This Estrada Guy is Pretty Good

Before you know it, the Brewers will have Zach Greinke dominating on the mound. They'll back him up with the stellar work of Shaun Marcum. Yovani Gallardo will continue to single-handily win games by himself. On some days, Randy Wolf will be the best pitcher on this staff. And Chris Narveson will get over his rocky start and continue pitching like a quality fifth starter would. With that being said, what the hell do we do with Marco Estrada?

Estrada has now pitched in five games this season, two of them being one inning relief appearances, but the other three being very strong starts. In his first outing, Estrada went six innings and gave up one run before he made one bad pitch that Jason Heyward converted into a three run homer. He rebounded nicely in his next outing, giving up just one run in six innings of work. And then on Tuesday night, Estrada was dealing again, giving just two hits in seven innings. He didn't factor in the decision - it was Kameron Loe who got his second win of the year - but he's more than proved that he's someone that not only belongs on the big league roster, but deserves to be in the rotation as well.

I'm sure that when push comes to shove, the Brewers will keep him in the pen for perhaps a long relief role, but the option of sending him to Nashville to focus solely on starting, and bringing him up with injuries occur, is there as well as far as I can tell. Either way, it's a lot better to see these guys on the pitching staff come in and actually perform when compared to some of the rough starts we've been accustomed to throughout the past few years.

So our POTG Estrada leads the Brewers to the 3-2 victory against the Reds, and the Brewers got each of those runs on solo homers. They got them from the big boys too - Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, and Prince Fielder. One of their other offensive studs made his 2011 debut in this affair, as Corey Hart came in for a pinch hitting opportunity. He grounded out, but it was good to see Hart back in uniform, and I'd assume he's getting the start on Wednesday.

Hart was actually activated about 30 minutes before the game as Erick Almonte was hit in the head with a baseball and quickly put on the 7-day DL, the first major leaguer to do so. It's a new roster spot that MLB has come up with for players recovering from concussions. At first, I thought that the Brewers were kind of playing the system and making up the fact that Almonte was in fact concussed, but apparently there are a bunch of tests the player has to go through before he can be put on the 7-day list. I don't expect him to come back to the active roster though for awhile, especially when Nyjer Morgan is ready to return. Perhaps they keep Almonte up over Boggs, but I think Boggs can contribute more at this point.

One guy that I do not expect to see on the roster much longer is Craig Counsell. I hate to say it, but he's been playing a lot older than the 40 years of age that he is. With every plate appearance I've watched in him, he seems more and more tired. It's like he's ready to call it quits, but he has too much pride to try and give up. I don't know, maybe he can become more productive as the season goes on, but I think the Brewers are wasting a spot with this guy. I mean, it's nice that we can plug him in at third, second, and short, but he's more of a body at this point than anything else.

Brewers back in action on Wednesday, 12:10pm start time.

Estrada dealing
Brewers finally top Reds
Axford, redemption

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gweedo Eats His Way to Qdoba History

He's used to eating two Chicken Queso Burritos from Qdoba, but the third one proved to be quite the challenge.  Re-live the final three minutes of his hour long quest to make history! Congratulations, Gweeds. You truly are an American Hero.

Gweedo's Quest at Qdoba History - Live Blog

Qdoba History Being Made Tonight

For those of you that don't know, my current living situation right now includes myself and two roommates, fellow Bucky Channel writer Gweeds and lazy Bucky Channel writer Bear. We have a Tuesday night ritual of going to Qdoba every Tuesday night, as it's double points night with our Qdoba cards, of course. Burritos are our flavor of choice, and the big guys that we are, we like to eat not one, but two burritos per sitting. The food is so delicious, but the health ramifications of this endeavor have yet to be seen. Because of the mini-diet that I'm on (doing a little calorie-counting, although I'm purposely forgetting to leave any and all alcoholic beverages off of the list), I have decided to cut back to just one burrito per week.

In fact, the last time that I did eat two burritos - the Chicken Queso is my burrito of choice - it was during a very late night session at a Milwaukee Qdoba. I was so hungry that I got in line to order a third, but had seconds thoughts and pull the trigger. Eating three burritos is something that I've always wanted to do, but never have actually attempted it. I eat the first two pretty quick, so I think a third one would be manageable. Despite the fact that the guys at the Milwaukee 'Doba told me that if I ate a third, a fourth one would be on them, I passed and let my dream slip away from me.

Now that I'm on this lame attempt at a diet, I decided to cut back to the one burrito per week. In fact, I told the staff at the Fond du Lac Qdoba that when I come in there I either want one, or three, but never again just the two. Since there are like 1,000 calories in these things, it wouldn't really mess well with the diet, so it sounds like it's just going to be one per week for awhile, and the Triple Doba will never be attempted.

At least that's what I thought. Seems that my dream was also shared by Gweedo, and he will be attempting the feat tonight. Three Chicken Queso burritos from Qdoba. Nearly 3,000 calories of tasty goodness. And you can bet that The Bucky Channel will be covering this historic occasion live tonight, shortly after 6:30pm. Check back with us for the results for this truly momentous affair.

The NFL Lockout is Over...Kinda...

NFL Logo wrapped in do it better, then!


Yes, technically the lockout portion of your NFL off-season has been interrupted but there's the pending appeals portion, the fact that coaches have been instructed to give the players the silent treatment, the rumor that players aren't going to be allowed in the weight rooms, etc. This is still an ugly situation and now it's increasingly complicated because no one knows all the "rules" so look forward to violation accusations volleyed between the two sides as well as the upcoming draft and additional complications to the convoluted rules that would have gone along with that.

Before the ruling, once a player was drafted, could the team talk to said draftee? Obviously there wouldn't have been the possibility of any contract negotiations but now? Holy hell, what a cluster!

Remember one thing Vikings fan...the GREEN BAY PACKERS are WORLD CHAMPIONS!

So, definitely, YAY!

Now, QB12 and Coach McCarthy need to take some sign language classes so they can get the QB School going! We don't need any coach-player interaction violations!

We Are at the Mercy of the Cincinnati Reds

If you're decided whether or not to watch a Brewers/Reds game or partake in other plans, unless your other plans are completely terrible you may want to avoid the baseball game. The exception would be if you are a Reds fan, because this series has been about as lopsided as it gets. In their last 21 games, the Reds have beaten the Brewers 18 times. The way things went on Monday night, it's beginning to seem like things are only going to get worse.

The Brewers did get some offense in during this 9-5 loss, but ultimately the damage that Chris Narveson did was such that Milwaukee could never recover. Narvdog only lasted 2 1/3 innings in this outing, his first rough start of the season, and by far the worst start from a Brewer in 2011. In his time, he gave up seven runs on eight hits, and put the game out of reach very early for the Crew. Over the course of 162 games, you're bound to lose a few like this - it's just getting frustrating that it seems to happen everytime we play the Reds.

Also, Casey McGehee sprained his thumb on the final out of the game. Lame.

POTG: Let's go off the beaten path and give it to Brandon Kintzler. He came in, pitched 2 2/3 innings, and kept the Reds off the board to at least give the Brewers a chance to get back in this thing. He earned five K's along the way as well. Runner up awards go to Zach Braddock, who also pitched well in relief, and Ryan Braun, who homered again.

Another tough loss
As Uncle Jessie would say
Please Reds, "Have Mercy"

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Randy Wolf is Amazing, Hawk is Close Second

Even though all the attention during Sunday's Brewers game may have went to the hawk that was flying around Miller Park, it's clear that Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf was the star of this game. Wolf was actually pretty terrible last year until the month of September, when he pitched some of the best ball of his life. I figured it was just because there was really no pressure on him to perform at that time, but apparently not. Wolf has pitched like our ace during the month of April, and it's refreshing to see someone carry the load like this with Greinke still recovering on the DL. Despite the best efforts of the Miller Park Hawk, Randy Wolf will get Sunday's POTG after giving up just four hits and one run across eight innings.

It was a solid 4-1 victory for the Milwaukee Brewers, who take two of three from the Astros, although you would have liked for Milwaukee to get the sweep with how disappointing Saturday night's game was. Brandon Boggs and Rickie Weeks both homered in the affair, and I'm really hoping that Boggs sticks around instead of Almonte when a decision has to be made, as Boggs was my guy during Spring Training. Weeks came back after an off night due to a hand injury, but apparently it didn't bother him too much today as he continues to have a nice start to this season.

What we're seeing from the Brewers right now is a team that is really relying on their pitching, believe it or not, because for the most part their offense has consisted of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. Braun struggled a bit on Sunday, and Fielder only had one hit as well (but it was a triple!), which is fine with me because we saw the other guys step up. The Brewers are at 11-10 right now, 1/2 game back in the division and there's nothing wrong with that. Greinke and Hart will be back soon, and hopefully the Brewers can start to go on a bit of a tear this May. I'm liking the approach that Ron Roenicke is taking as manager, and I think that once this team gets a few more weeks under their belt, you'll see their record get farther and farther away from .500, and in the positive direction.

Hawk steals the spotlight
But Wolf is also flying
Under the radar

Brew Crew Haiku

One Shaun starts off rough
Another Sean blows the game
Have fun in Nashville

POTG: Ryan Braun

Additional Note: I told you I didn't trust Sean Green.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Inevitable Football Score Joke

14-7? I thought it was Brewers vs. Astros, not Packers vs. Texans. 14-7? Didn't they stop playing football in Milwaukee like ten years ago? 14-7? I thought that the NFL was doing some sort of lockout right now. I can only imagine what other terrible attempts at humor were tossed out after the good people of Wisconsin saw the Brewers score on Friday night. This happens like once or twice per year, when a baseball game will put up a score more suited for a football game, and the same lame jokes get recycled every year. Oh well, at least Milwaukee was on the winning side of things (and for the first three sentences, imagine those lines being spoke by a southern hick, because that's how I was saying them when I was typing them for whatever reason).

The biggest take-away from the Brewers win has to be the performance of our POTG, Ryan Braun. Fresh off of a contract extension worth more than $100 million, Braun soaked in the standing ovations that he received and thanked the fans by belting a three-run home run in the fourth that put the Brewers in the drivers seat for the rest of the night. I was really impressed with the article Miller Park Drunk posted defending the new Ryan Braun deal, and I think Braun defended it pretty well last night with a 3-for-4 performance which included the aforementioned dinger. Just a spectacular couple of days for a guy who admittedly wants to be a "Brewer for Life". Even though in 2020 this situation is probably going to get as murky as the Derek Jeter one with the Yankees was this summer, I'm ready for nine more years of Brauniecakes.

Braun's offense was just part of the explosion however, as it was a game that saw the Brewers score in every inning but their first and their last. In addition to Braun, multi-RBI performances were also enjoyed by Carlos Gomez (who I still think sucks - nice job running the bases last night - but whatever), Casey McGehee, Mark Kotsay, and even Yuniesky Betancourt (another sidenote: I'm convinced the Brewers are trading for a new shortstop at the deadline, a .224 average does not mix well with spotty defense). It was one of those games where our pitching staff actually really sucked, but it was laughable because we had double digit runs, so good on you offense.

Yovani Gallardo was part of the rough pitching performance on Friday, as he has been struggling as of late. It's nice that he makes up for his struggles with Yovani Smashes though. Sean Green was pretty terrible too last night. I just don't trust the guy on the mound. Is it because I can't trust him because he looks kind of creepy to me? Yes, yes it is. That's okay, I'm kind of a weird looking dude myself, and I'm not that bad of a guy, so I'll try to give him another chance.

The Crew is back in action tonight at 6:05pm Miller Park Standard Time. Weeks will probably be a scratch in this one because he did something to his hand while sliding into second. Get ready for Craiggers at second tonight!

Brew Crew Haiku

"Show Me the Money!"
Braun asks, owner Mark complies.
Worth the investment.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Big Bucks for Braun

I'm firmly starting to believe that Mark Attanasio is the greatest thing that ever happened to the Milwaukee Brewers. Not only do we get to hear his father Joseph croon out the national anthem at Opening Day each and every year, but he has somehow turned the wastleland of baseball into a viable playoff contender. Not only that, but the guys on his team are willing to spend their careers in Milwaukee, because Attanasio is willing to pay out the bucks to do so (when he can).

The joke about the Brewers five years ago was always that even though we had a lot of young studs coming up through the system, their time in Milwaukee was basically just going to be an extended tryout before they moved on to larger markets such as New York or Los Angeles. But little by little, Attanasio and General Manager Doug Melvin are locking these guys in to Milwaukee for much longer than we thought they would. Granted, it's not going to work with everyone (CC Sabathia - although I still believe he'll finish his career in Milwaukee as like a fourth or fifth starter or something, and it doesn't look like Prince Fielder is going to be here much longer), but they're doing a lot better job in locking in guys than previous tenures have. Case in point - Ryan Braun is going to be a Brewer until 2020. I'll let Tom Haudricourt explain:

The five year (extension), which runs from 2016-2020, (is) worth $105 million. There is a $10 million signing bonus, with salaries of $19 million in 2016, 2017 and 2018, $18 million in 2019 and $16 million in 2020. There is a mutual option in 2021 worth up to $20 million with a $4 million buyout. It includes a no-trade provision and Braun agreed to defer some salary to help keep the team competitive.

The annual yearly value of $21 million is second-highest ever for an outfielder (after Manny Ramirez's last two-year deal with Dodgers).That's in addition to the $45 million, eight-year deal he signed in May 2008 -- still the largest deal ever (total and AAV) signed by a player with less than one year of service time.

Braun is now guaranteed $145.5 million from this season through the end of the extension.

Holy wow.

I gotta say, I like the move. How can you not? Braun is a top five player in this league and the fact that he's committed to this team and the future is going to go a long way in showing other guys like Prince to maybe stick around, and it's going to make Milwaukee a much more attractive place for potential free agents to sign here. I'm a bit shocked that this extension occured, as he already was locked up until 2015, but sometimes being shocked is a good thing.

Elsewhere in Brewers land, Milwaukee is once again a two-catcher team as George Kottaras has been sent to Nashville after clearing waivers, a roster move likely made to bring Shaun Marcum back to the club after he spent some time visiting his ailing father. Reliever Mike McClendon is back in Nashville as well to make room for LaTroy Hawkins who is back from a stint on the DL.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bucks Survivor: Year Four

Everyone's favorite elimination style Bucks game is back! It's Bucks Survivor! Bucks Survivor, of course, is the popular game where you have the opportunity to vote off a member of the Milwaukee Bucks week by week, and the last one standing is the Bucks Survivor. The goal is to find out who the one Buck would be that we want Milwaukee to build around for the future. Andrew Bogut was deemed the winner during our first attempt at this three years ago, he repeated the performance in year two, and last year Brandon Jennings took the nod. Who will reign supreme this year? I honestly don't know, because everyone kind of sucked. That will be left up to you (and me from as many computers possible in an effort to inflate the voting numbers).

In the past, we've separated the team into tribes of young guys and veterans, and then I put them through "challenges" each week such as assists per game and how good/terrible their contracts are. Since the challenges we're semi-rigged anyway, I'm going to keep everyone in one tribe and leave it all up to fan voting. So each week we'll vote one Buck off the island and determine who the Bucks Survivor really is. Voting, as always, can be done at the poll on the right hand side of the blog. Enjoy.

Even the Robot Sucks for the Phillies

<a href="" target="_new" title="Robot throws first pitch">Video: Robot throws first pitch</a>

Throwing out the first pitch at the Brewers game against the Phillies the other day.... a robot. "PhillieBot" threw out the first pitch and was of course booed for doing so, as this is the same city has that boo'ed Santa Claus. It wasn't a very good throw by the robot either, so it's safe to assume that the inevitable robot attack on all humans is still a few years off.

That being said, the Phillies did avoid the sweep today by knocking off the Brewers 4-3, so maybe they aren't as bad as the Brewers have been making them out to be that last few days. Chris Narveson took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Philadelphia got to him, specifically in the form of a three run shot by Placido Polanco. The Brewers allowed another run from there and couldn't muster up any of their own, and the sweep in Philly that was so close to happening never came to fruition. Still, taking two from a team of their stature after a tough weekend in Washington in a positive sign. With that, the Brewers will return home on Friday for three-game sets against the Astros and the Reds.

POTG: Prince Fielder

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Brewers Get to Halladay, Phillies

Alright, well I didn't see this coming. After dropping three to the Nationals, the Brewers could have held their heads in shame and limped through the rest of their road trip, especially as they were set to go into the home of the Philadelphia Phillies. That may have been the mantra of the Brewers teams of the past, but not this current version. Milwaukee not only took care of business in game one of this series, but on Tuesday night they then took it to Roy Halladay of all people, outlasting the Phillies 9-0. Of the nine Brewers victories this season, four of them have been shutouts. Looks like the upgrades in the pitching staff have paid off quite a bit, no?

Even though the Brewers did go out and get Shaun Marcum and Zach Greinke (who pitched well in a rehab start on Tuesday), credit a guy like Randy Wolf for stepping up to the occasion and making sure he's just as much of a factor in this rotation. Wolf tossed six innings in this one, striking out five batters along the way and allowing just two hits. In fact, those two hits were the only two that the Phillies mustered, as Sean Green, Zach Braddock, and Mike McClendon each all pitched a hitless inning.

Despite my tendency to give the POTG to the pitcher with a performance like that, I have to change course and give it to Ryan Braun tonight. Braun brought it with his bat, going 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, and one of those hits being a home run. He also scored a total of three times, but the difference for his POTG nomination tonight was the catch he made in the third inning that robbed Jimmy Rollins of extra bases and also a couple of RBI. The catch was just a nice extension of his arm as he ran backwards, but it was good enough to get him the top Web Gem on Baseball Tonight. Top Web Gem usually trumps solid pitching performance in my unofficial POTG rankings.

I'm really impressed that not only were the Brewers able to get the victory tonight, but more impressed how they got it. Even when things were still close, Casey McGehee sealed it with a three run shot that shut up Phillies Nation pretty good, which is always nice to hear. They've won the series and are looking for the sweep tomorrow afternoon, when Chris Narveson faces off against Cliff Lee. Either way, the Brewers are coming back to Miller Park on Friday at .500 or better, and then it's time for some of that home cooking. And hey, as of now, the Brewers are tied for first in the NL Central!

Packers Have Most Interesting Schedule Ever

Assuming that the NFL season actually begins as planned, this is going to be one wild season for the Green Bay Packers. They'll open the season on a Thursday against the New Orleans Saints in front of what is sure to be a raucous crowd at Lambeau. They play each of their divisional rivals on national TV once throughout the season, with a Monday Night Football game against Minnesota, a Christmas night game against the Bears at home, and then on the road against the Lions on Thanksgiving.

Along the way the Packers only play six games at noon, which is befitting of a Super Bowl championship club that has deserved this exposure in front of larger national audiences. They also play a Sunday night affair in Atlanta on October 9th, which may be where my annual Packers road trip takes me this season. Here's a look at the schedule in full (printable version):

Thursday, Sept 8 - vs. New Orleans Saints - 7:30pm NBC
Sunday, Sept 18 - at Carolina Panthers - Noon Fox
Sunday, Sept 25 - at Chicago Bears - 3:15pm Fox

Sunday, Oct 2 - vs. Denver Broncos - 3:15pm CBS
Sunday, Oct 9 - at Atlanta Falcons - 7:20pm NBC
Sunday, Oct 16 - vs. St. Louis Rams - Noon Fox
Sunday, Oct 23 - at Minnesota Vikings - 3:15pm Fox
Sunday, Oct 30 - Bye Week

Sunday, Nov 6 - at San Diego Chargers - 3:15pm Fox
Monday, Nov 14 - Minnesota Vikings - 7:30pm ESPN
Sunday, Nov 20 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Noon Fox
Thursday, Nov 24 - at Detroit Lions - 11:30am Fox

Sunday, Dec 4 - at New York Giants - 3:15pm Fox
Sunday, Dec 11 - vs. Oakland Raiders - Noon CBS
Sunday, Dec 18 - at Kansas City Chiefs - Noon Fox
Sunday, Dec 25 - vs. Chicago Bears - 7:20pm NBC

Sunday, Jan 1 - vs. Detroit Lions - Noon Fox

Oh and just for the record, the picture I used for this post was not for the sign, not for the young fan enjoying her first game, but for the girl on the right. Please admire the girl on the right. Almost like a more tan version of Trenni.

That Was an Important Win

Whatever these two guys are doing is little bit on the strange side, but then again it is snowing in Wisconsin today so I guess anything goes (also things that apparently go nowadays - the month-long game of keep away with my laptop that Best Buy and Sony are playing, DirecTV not giving you any love if you've been a customer for more than ten minutes, and me using The Bucky Channel to bitch about things I don't like because I didn't get a Brewers recap up in time. Sigh...).

What's really strange is that even though the Brewers were on the road in Philadelphia, even though John Axford blew the save, and even though Casey McGehee put as much effort into barrelling through the catcher in extra innings as I am into this post, Milwaukee was still able to get the 6-3 victory against the Phillies last night. This was the win to get though, as the Crew has to face Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in the next two days. Still, after dropping a terrible series in Washington, coming back and picking up a win in Philly on national television was much needed for this team.

That being said, the Brewers kind of sucked last night. Not only for the reasons mentioned above, but for the two errors and the botched routine grounder by Yuniesky Betancourt late in the game. POTG is going to Ryan Braun, Marcum pitched very well but the Hebrew Hammer getting the nod.

As always, one "advantage" to posting our recap so late is that we can steal the starting lineups from Haudricourt:

2B Rickie Weeks
CF Carlos Gomez
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
3B Casey McGehee
RF Mark Kotsay
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
C George Kottaras
LHP Randy Wolf

Thanks buddy. Also coming from the Brewers Blog today is that Shaun Marcum has been placed on the bereavement list to spend some time with his father, who is having heart surgery. Sounds like he'll be back this weekend though for his scheduled start. Mike McClendon has been called up to pitch in relief for the meantime.

NFL Schedule Comes Out Tuesday

There are a lot of questions going into this NFL season, but at 6pm tonight we will know the schedule for the season. That is if there is a season of course, but they still have time to figure that out, and I hope they do very soon. Who will the Packers face at home to open the season on Thursday night? It has to be the Bears or the Saints, but since they seem to like the Bears and Packers to play late in the season I'm going with the Saints to open the season in Lambeau.

When will the Packers face their other opponents this season to defend the title? You will have to wait a few hours to see. The only other things that are leaking as of now are it will be the Bears vs Buccaneers in London this season. If the lockout isn't ended by August 1st however, the game will be moved back to Tampa. Also it sounds like the NFL has something special planned for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, so one of the New York teams will play the Sunday night. Other than that all I know is a few of our questions about this coming NFL season will be solved tonight.

Does anyone else find it ironic that it is snowing out the day the NFL releases its schedule? At the very least, it does bring back memories of a great Super Bowl season.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

How Sweep It Isn't

If anyone else wants to write their thoughts about the doubleheader and thus series sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers by the Washington Nationals, then feel free. But I am not going to spend the next thirty minutes of my life summing up how earlier today I wasted seven hours of my life watching this go down. This was a series that I wanted the Brewers to take two out of three in, but instead they come up empty handed. Now it's on to Philadelphia, the team with only the best starting rotation in the big leagues. Sigh.

Nationals 8, Brewers 4

POTG: Casey McGehee

Nationals 5, Brewers 1

POTG: Marco Estrada

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sitting with the Away Fans

There are few things better in sports than cheering for the visiting team. I like it better in England when they call it sitting with the "away fans". It's great to be in that minority of fans, cheering on your team in unfamiliar, sometimes unfriendly, confines. I got to do that tonight in Washington DC (my new place of residence) to cheer on our Milwaukee Brewers. And I hate to disappoint you, but it was rather underwhelming and it is much more to do than the atmosphere than the game we threw away (literally).

My previous away fan experiences are not vast, but they have all been pretty great - Brewers at Wrigley, Brewers at Phillies, Bucks at Sixers (ok not that great), Rufus King at Vincent and maybe Nicolet, and a few English soccer games. Sadly not the Badgers yet. Hopefully I'll rectify that soon. Now English soccer games ( I won't call it football because I don't want to sound too pretentious) are on another whole level. They actually have to segregate the fans to prevent large amounts of violence. It makes everything more intense and you have a true sense of ownership with your team, a great us vs. them attitude. I want to somehow make this happen at Miller Park for Cubs game, but that is another story. Wherever you are, the "away fans" are always the best fans. They travel for their team or cheer on the team of their youth and always face the wrath of the home team. It shows true loyalty, no band wagon fans here. You have that solidarity when you see another fan in your colors, you give a high-five and are instantly great friends. Great stuff.

So back to tonight's experience at Nationals Park. I expected a weak crowd and lots of Brewers fans, but the place was totally dead. It's a cool stadium and it was a beautiful day, but there weren't many people there period. I know a place like DC will have trouble building a true fan base and the team isn't great, but you can do better than this. Also, the Brewers fans, not that awesome, sorry to say. At the 7th Inning Stretch, after "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and "That's the way I like it" (yes, that's what they play in DC), I of course sang a rousing rendition of "Roll Out the Barrel" or "Beer Barrel Polka" as I do at every Brewers away game, and only like two of the 20 or so Brewers fans in my section joined me in singing. Really? By this time in the game the crowd was like 50/50 Brewers to Nationals fans. And the worst part, I didn't even get booed by the home crowd. I just received a few puzzled stares. C'mon Nationals, protect your house! Again, I guess none of this is too unexpected considering the location and we know there is not a huge Brewers/Nationals rivalry, but still I was left wanting more.

The game itself had a strong possibility of being the worst game I had seen in a long time until Rickie Weeks' double and Carlos Gomez' RBI in the 9th. That at least made it a fun, exciting game. The Brewers gave this one to the Nationals, with one bad inning by Naverson, walking in two runs, and then horrible defense in the 10th - Werth safe on and error, gets to second, steals 3rd uncontested with 1 out, WTF?, poor throw by Fielder for the play at the plate. End result is a frustrating 4-3 loss.

A few other random notes:

- the President's Race is lame

- Nationals Park has the best ushers ever! Really. I was there in a huge leg brace due to my recent ACL surgery and the usher didn't care that I didn't sit in my assigned seat. Not only that, he wiped down the seats for me and my friends with a towel before we sat down. Another usher asked if I needed any assistance with my crutches. Another danced to songs between the late innings and took pictures with fans. Well done DC Ushers.

-If you didn't see the game, in the 10th inning with 1 out and Jason Werth on 3rd, the Brewers played a 5 man infield/2 man out field. Ryan Braun was in the shortstop position. Now I've seen a lot of baseball, but I don't ever recall seeing this happen. I guess Werth is fast and maybe LaRoche at the plate is a goundball hitter, but still, two outfielders? It turned out to be the right play as the ball was hit directly to where Prince Fielder was, but his throw was off the mark.

- Sorry I don't have any poor cell phone pics. As we were sitting in right field, all you would have seen was Erick Almonte's bald spot, Erick Almonte eating lots of sunflower seeds, and Erick Almonte pretending to catch ghost fly balls. I love sports!

- Bucky Channel POTG - Rickie Weeks (I hope I have this authority)

- A huge exception to my early statements that away fans are the best fans would have to be any away fans sitting in the student section at Camp Randall. It's good to go to away games, but why would you sit in the student section? I'm looking at you in the Gophers sweatshirt. It is even worse if you are old and even worser if you are old and bring a child under the age of 12. Think about it.

Please feel free share your own "away fans" stories.

We still got this series 2-1. No worries.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Weekend Series Preview

The Brewers look to push their season high win streak to five Friday night as they travel out west to take on the Nationals.  After sweeping the Pirates in a rain shortened series, the Brewers find themselves 7-5 after starting the season 0-4.  Brewers pitching in the last nine starts are 6-1 with a 1.84 ERA with Narveson taking the hill for the Crew on Friday night.

Friday, April 15th
Chris Narveson (1-0, 0.00) vs. Tom Gorzelanny (0-1, 8.44)

Narveson looks to build on his two near flawless starts and looks to build on his already 13 inning scoreless streak.  Gorzelanny is coming off of a start against the Mets in which Gorzelanny pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed five earned runs on four hits.

Saturday, April 16th
Yovani Gallardo (1-0, 2.70) vs. Jason Marquis (0-0, 3.65)

Gallardo is making this start with an extra day of rest. He didn't have his best stuff in his last start on April 10, allowing 11 base runners and four runs in just five innings in the Brewers' 6-5 win over the Cubs.   Marquis is coming off of a solid start in which he went 6 strong innings, allowing three runs on seven hits.

Sunday, April 17th
Marco Estrada (1-0, 5.14) vs.  Livan Hernandez (1-1, 3.50)

Estrada threw six shaky frames on April 6, allowing eight hits and four runs while striking out four in the Brewers' 5-4 win over the Braves.He hasn't pitched since April 9, when he tossed a scoreless inning against the Cubs.  With Hernandez, you know what you are getting.  You're getting a a veteran pitcher, who knows how to get people out.  You're also getting a 60 MPH 12-6 curveball.

Brewers Stock Up:  Nyjer Morgan:  The way Morgan has been playing, it's hard to keep him on the bench, whether its pinch running, pinch hitting, or starting, he finds a way to contribute.  With the continued lack-luster play of Carlos Gomez, and the return of Corey Hart imminate, you'd have to think Morgan will start seeing more time in center.

Brewers Stock Down:  Erick Almonte:  After starting the season with a solo shot, Almonte has since went hitless, batting only .077.  With Corey Hart a few weeks away, the writing is on the wall in regards to roster moves.  Craig Counsell could make this list too, as he is 0-8 so far this year, but if given regular playing time, that number would surely change.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Twitter is the answer: @WiscSportsTalk @JamesSmizek

How Sweep It Is / Hungry Like the Wolf

Obvious headline week continues here at The Bucky Channel, and Thursday night's victory against the Pirates was too good for just one title to this post. It's almost as if the Brewers pitching staff is trying to play a game of one-upping one another, and now you can throw Randy Wolf into that mix. Wolf pitched on Thursday night the way that he did towards the end of last season, aka not insanely terrible. In the Brewers 4-1 win over Pittsburgh, Wolf went 6 2/3 innings, allowing just three hits and striking out ten batters. Ten strikeouts! I firmly believe that the acquisitions of Marcum and Greinke are pushing guys like Wolf and Narveson to pitch better, because we are seeing a very high level of pitching from the back end of the rotation right now.

Thanks to Wolf, the Brewers took their bid for their fourth shutout of the season into the ninth inning, but John Axford struggled a bit again and his wild pitch with the bases loaded gave the Pirates their first run of the night. Thankfully, it was their only run, although Axford still is a little more on the shaky side than you would like to see. Also pitching in this affair was Kameron Loe, who made his eighth appearance in twelve games. I often say "In Ron We Trust", but it looks like Roenicke doesn't trust anyone in his bullpen outside of Loe.

Betancourt, Fielder, and Morgan all had RBI in the game on Thursday, although Morgan was denied his nightly goal of a triple. Tony Plush hit one down the right field line in the ninth inning, but fell on the base path as he passed second. When Morgan got up, instead of going back to second base where he would for sure have been safe, he still tried to get the triple and was eventually caught down in the rundown. Gotta love the hustle from Wisconsin's biggest Twitter sensation.

So even though it was just a pair of games, it counts in the books as a sweep, and the Brewers now improve to 7-5 on the season. I'd still like to see them win two against the Nats this weekend, and pick up one against the Phillies even though we are hitting the top of Philadelphia's rotation. If we can come home next Friday at 10-8, I'll be more than pleased. Six o'clock start tonight for the Crew, and then afternoon baseball the next two days.

POTG: Randy Wolf

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Think This Team is on to Something

I don't want to get too excited about how well the Brewers have been playing as of late, for the same reason that I didn't want to panic when this team started 0-4: It's still very, very early. But you have to admire how well the Brewers ballclub has been playing as of late, winners of six of their last seven. They are doing it with pitching, they are doing it with hitting, and to the chagrin of Yuniesky Betancourt, they are even doing it with defense.

In Tuesday night's game, the Brewers got another great performance out of their pitching staff, this time with Shaun Marcum going seven innings, giving up just four hits and no earned runs. In fact, both he and the Pirates' Kevin Correia took no-hitters into the fifth inning (I don't think anyone at the ballpark jinxed them out of it either, since nobody was at PNC on Tuesday). But where the Brewers were able to get to Correia, Marcum was able to keep the Pirates in check. The bullpen came in and finished the job for him to give the Crew the 6-0 victory, but I am a little concerned that Braddock looked a little off, and that Kameron Loe pitched for the 7th time in 11 games. In Ron We Trust though.

With the win, the Brewers earned their third shutout of the season, the most so far in the big leagues. They are getting the offensive attack to compliment the pitching though, and this game highlighted by Prince Fielder and his three run shot in the sixth. Fielder should actually have never batted in the inning, but defensive mistakes by the Pirates allowed Prince to come up with two men on, and that was all she wrote. Tony Plush aka Nyj Morgan may have stole the show though when he scored in the seventh inning after a collision with Ryan Doumit at the plate. As Tony Plush says, "Plush finds Ryan Doumit to be a generally affable chap. But when he stands between Plush and a run, Doumit must take a seat." I love this guy.

Milwaukee improves to 6-5 with the win, and they'll take on the Pirates again Thursday evening at six.

POTG: Shaun Marcum

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Game of Smiles and Tears

I know we always talk about the negatives things that athletes do, but it's rare that we truly focus on the positives. Today that is going to change for at least one post. On March 20, police were called to a house in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, because of gun fire. Officer Craig Birkholz was shot, and killed at the scene of the crime. The picture you are looking at above is of Brandon Jennings with Ashley Birkholz (wife of slain office Craig Birkholz) before the last game of the season Monday night at the Bradley Center, which occurred as the Bucks and their players took special notice to the fallen hero.

Another officer, Ryan Williams, was also shot at the scene and was in critical condition for several days. He did return home to his family on March 25. He was also in attendance Monday night sitting court side for the game. The people involved in this tragic incident were all honored on the court during the second quarter of the game for their commitment to safety in the Fond du Lac community. It is always cool when teams reach out to people in the community. Click here for more on the story and more photos from Monday night. And if you are looking for a career in which you can do good things too, checkout a social work online degree.

The Bucks went on to win the game Monday night 93-86 to close out the season at home. It is always nice to win on the court, but it is also a good feeling for these guys to be involved off the court. I could not imagine something like this happening to me, but for those affected in the tragedy to be able to go to a Bucks game just to take their minds off things had to be a relief. Also put yourself in the shoes of the players that had to talk to Ashley or Ryan. What do you say? How do you not just break down in tears? I know this stuff happens more then it is written about, but sometimes it just needs to be put out on the web.

As for the Bucks, Milwaukee will end the season Wednesday night at Oklahoma City in a game that means nothing. So this will be the last we talk about the Bucks until the draft. I wish we could have ended this Bucks season with a playoff run, but at I think the picture above shows that we did go out on a high note.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Always Up For Some Packers News

So we still have a lockout in the NFL, but that shouldn't detract us from forgetting who the Super Bowl Champions are. I know no one has really forgot, but I still love to talk about it at any chance possible. And with the draft coming right around the corner, the conversation about the Green Bay Packers will hopefully pick back up.

As far as the draft goes, what will Ted do with the 32nd pick in the first round? I have no clue, and I wouldn't be shocked to see him trade a down a little bit. Cameron Heyward, a defensive end from Ohio State, seems to be the hot pick on mock drafts. When is the last time you saw Ted Thompson take a guy that was a hot pick in the mock drafts though, so I still don't even know if I believe this one. If Cullen Jenkins is really gone, which I think he will be, defensive end would be a must in this draft. I guess we will have to wait till Thursday, April 28th to see who we'll get.

Elsewhere, Aaron Rodgers is in the final four of the Madden Cover vote. He is facing Peyton Hillis right now to maybe have a chance to reach the finals. If he does make it to the final vote he will face either Adrian Peterson or Michael Vick. I have never been one to say that Madden Cover curse is a for sure thing, but I wouldn't mind seeing Rodgers on the cover. The only other Packer to be on the cover is Brett Favre, but he was actually Jet that season just wearing a Packer jersey. So good luck to Rodgers, and if you want to vote click here.

The regular season schedule will come out soon, but as of now the Packers know who they will be playing in preseason. The only game that has a time and date is a national TV game against the Colts, and that will be August 26th, 6pm Central. It's the third game of the season which is usually the best game of the preseason, because that's the game in which the starters play the most. The Packers will open preseason in Cleveland, and will play the second and fourth weeks of preseason at home. They will face the Arizona in week two at home, and Kansas City to wrap up the preseason at home. That will be nice, because we know the Packers will play the first game of the regular season at home on Thursday night against someone. If I had to pick a team that'd I think they'd play against I would say the Saints, because that would be a highly rated game.

Other than that the fans are waiting for both the players and owners to agree on something. I really hope something is figured out soon, and the draft can be held with no problems. I just want to see the Packers at the White House with Obama, so I don't have to keep watching it in my Madden seasons.

Brewers Postponed

Rain delays are stupid. No makeup date has been announced. Oh well, have a good night everybody!

Farwell, Michael Redd?

I think even Michael Redd knows his days are over in Milwaukee. It was a real up and down career for Redd with the Bucks, as he was drafted by Milwaukee in the second round of the 2000 draft. He is the only player in the 2000 draft to still be on the team that drafted him. He was given a contract in 2004-05 season for 6 years, $91 million. This made the fan in Milwaukee think we were saved, but he really didn't have anyone around him on those teams to make a difference.

He put up solid numbers from the 03-04 season to the 07-08 season. His points per game were above 20 every season. In the 05-06 playoffs he averaged 27.2 points per game in the 5 games the Bucks played. The problem with a guy like Redd though is you really need a drive and kick point guard to supplement him. Well the Bucks never have had a guy like that, and I think that hurt him a lot.

He was never really solid at defense, but lets not kid ourselves this is still the NBA. He did get a long with the community well, and seemed to be a team player. He worked hard to get back this season, so his heart was there. I have been a victim over the years of saying Redd has killed this team, but look at this year. We thought we had a winning team, but instead the guys will be able to get the golf clubs out on Thursday. Maybe this franchise just isn't ever going to be a contending team. Maybe they are just cursed because of the small market city they are in.

Reflecting, I would have to say it was good to see Redd give his all. Do I think he earned his 91 million? Okay, well no maybe not, but he isn't the first player in the world to get overpaid. I know if he is overpaid, as the hometown team you like to judge him harder. If we made a mistake in the Redd years it was paying people like Dan Gadzuric, Charlie Bell, Mo Williams, and Anthony Mason. If that is the best team they could put around a guy like Redd, well then we have no one to blame for this team sucking other than former GM Larry Harris. If they could get Redd for cheap I would love to see him come off the bench for this team next year. But let's get realistic I think it is time for the Bucks and Redd to head in different directions.

Thank you Redd for trying to bring some excitement to this team. Wish it could have been better though, and I think he feels the same way.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Best Sunday Ever?

No it wasn't Phil Mickelson who won the Masters on Sunday, or any other well-known golfer for that matter. The man getting his first Green Jacket is no other than Charl Schwartzel. It might be the worst name of any Master champion, but the guy played one hell of a round of golf on Sunday. Charl was not the only guy to play great golf Sunday, but he was the one that played the best. He got lucky early with a few shots, but anyone that ends with 4 straight birdies plays well in the clutch and deserves a new coat, in my opinion.

As far as his competition, Geoff Ogilvy and Tiger Woods were tied for the lead when they finished their rounds. Adam Scott was up two stokes, but then Charl decided to birdie the last four holes. Luke Donald hit his tee shot in the water on 12, but birdied four of the last six holes to finish at 10 under too. Jason Day, 23 years of age, also shot 4 under on Sunday to get to 12 under.

All in all it seemed that everyone atop the leader board going into Sunday had a great Sunday. But you always have one guy whose day didn't go as planned. That happened Sunday, and it happened to Rory McIlroy. The guy played 63 solid holes of golf before he pulled out the collapse of a lifetime. It got to the point where CBS would refuse to show him, because I think even they felt bad for the kid. Only being 21 years of age he will get another shot at this, but you have to think this will stick in the back of his head for awhile. He shot a 43 on the back nine, which, well, is a goal for a guy like me every time I go out to shoot nine with my friends. Rory had three bogeys in the first three rounds, and finished with 6 bogeys or worse on Sunday. I do feel bad for the guy, but if you don't play good all weekend you don't get any love from anyone.

Wisconsin native Steve Stricker was another guy that really shot himself in the foot. He had 22 birdies on his scorecard this weekend, but only finished 5 under. Charl Schwartzel had only 17 birdies, and 2 eagles for the weekend. The Masters isn't about who can get the most birdies, but really it seems to be about who can prevent so many bogey's. Putting is what wins you a Green Jacket, and well Charl did just that. Tiger Woods on the other hand had too many three putts to win this weekend. He did show some life of the old Tiger, and I could see him MAYBE winning one major this year. But you must make putts at Augusta if you want to win at a course like this.

I always enjoy a nice Sunday afternoon of golf, but this year might have been the best of all. And that's not really having anything to do with who was at the top of the leaderboard, or who won it. The big story here was at one point in time about 8 different guys has a chance to win. With Rory having a 4 shot lead going into Sunday I thought it might be a lame Sunday. It was nothing close to lame as Tiger started hot, Rory gave up a stroke early, and Charl made a crazy chip on 1 and also holed it from the fairway on 3 for Eagle. After two lucky shots Winks said no way this guy doesn't win, but really he didn't make birdie again till hole 15. Overall it was a crazy day of golf, but one that we may never see again.

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

It's obvious headline week here at The Bucky Channel, and let's kick off this weekend series recap with the title of a Meatloaf record. As mentioned, I attended the game on Saturday night and the number one thing that I came away with was how it did not feel like an April baseball game. The rivalry between Milwaukee and Chicago was in full swing, and the chants of "Let's Go Brewers" in the concourse after the game mixed with the general atomosphere throughout the stadium made this feel more like a late August, early September game than it did anything else. Saturday of course was the impressive 6-0 win by the Brewers over the Cubbies, and the Brewers continued their success on Sunday by taking the first series between the two clubs in 2011.

Now in the past, I would have written a recap on Sunday night with in-depth analysis on all three games and a review of my time at Miller Park. But now this post is coming to you on a Monday afternoon, and anything I write already seems a little stale. This can be attributed to the fact that I took my laptop to Best Buy on March 26th, they sent it to Sony that evening, and Sony sent it back to Best Buy this weekend with a note telling them that no work was done. So Best Buy is sending it back to Sony tonight, and I'm sure it will be May before I ever see my beloved laptop again. I know that there are far worse problems in this world than going without a laptop for a month, but I just wanted to explain exactly where the hell I've been lately. So let's look at some POTG's for the weekend:

Friday - Cubs 7, Brewers 4
POTG: No real clear cut winner, so I'm going to give it to Prince Fielder because...

Saturday - Brewers 6, Cubs 0
POTG: As much as Prince deserves it here, I always go with the pitcher on a night like this. Narveson.

Sunday - Brewers 6, Cubs 5
POTG: One at-bat, one home run. All the difference. Casey McGehee.

The Crew will be back in action on Tuesday night with a three game set against Pittsburgh, then three against Washington and three against Philly. At 5-5, you'd like to see this the last time that Milwaukee is at .500 or lower on the season, so I'm hoping for winning series against the two teams this week, and then hopefully we can pick one up in Philly. If we can go 5-4 on this road trip, that'll be enough for me. This team looked pretty good this last week though, so maybe the Brewers can surprise me and pick up a couple more wins.

One man that won't be on the flight with them is Jeremy Reed, as his Adam Stern type stint with the Crew is over, and it's going to take some major injuries before he's back with the big league club. He had a great spring, but didn't get anythig going in his limited at-bats. So he's sent down to make room for Jonathan Lucroy, and the Brewers appear to be willing to carry three catchers for awhile.

Friday, April 8, 2011

It's Time For Plushdamentals

Since it's a Follow Friday, we here at the Bucky Channel would like to introduce everyone's favorite new Brewer. Check out Nyjer Morgan's gentlemanly alter ego on Twitter @Tony_Plush. If you check out his timeline you can see that his new teammates are getting him up to speed quite quickly. Here are few of the highlights:

On Cubs fans at Miller Park:

"Plush heard Cubs fans cross the border like mouth-breathing hordes sweeping across the moors, eager to berate and blaspheme."

"That they act with a belligerence befitting a team that has won a World Series more recently than the year the first Model T was produced."

"Tony Plush may be new, but he knows good from bad, right from wrong. Plush is a gourmand, but tonight he will feast on goat."

On Manny Ramirez:

"Tony Plush doesn’t want to steal Manny’s thunder, but he is announcing right now that he will retire as a Brewer in 2021. Possibly ’22."

On his defensive skills:

"I asked Coach Roenicke if he would let me play all three outfield positions by myself next inning. His response: 'We'll see.'"

On everyone's favorite douchebag:

"@WitradoSN You shouldn't have left. I could have been your muse."

And finally on Ron Roenicke suspending him from tweeting during games:

"Plush must accept the suspension like a gentleman and come back strong tomorrow. Now, he has to go practice hitting triples. #Plushdamentals"

Now go join Plush Nation, trust me, you won't regret it.

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