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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.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Brewers Fans and the Love of Overreacting

I love Brewers fans as much as the next person. Hell, I am a Brewers fan, and a big one at that. But there's a disturbing trend that I'm noticing among our fanbase, and that is a tendency to overreact a bit. I wondered the other day if all of our managers were stubborn coming into the gig, or if the nature of Brewers fans made them that way. I'm leaning towards the latter. Look, three days ago the Crew had three games on the Cardinals, and we were ready to declare them division champs already. Now, after getting swept by the Yankees, some within the fanbase are ready to concede the NL Central race once again. None of this is really surprising - we are the same people that thought it was time to look forward to 2012 after we started out 0-4.

Look, I know the Brewers have problems. They suck on the road, and there really is no excuse for that. But we can't be living and dying with every series as much as we have been, both good or bad. After that Twins series, we couldn't have been feeling better - on top of the NL Central with a three game lead. But then after Milwaukee got swept in the Bronx, the Twitterverse immediately exploded with the same kind of overreaction that we have all been guilty of all season. This brief post here is not intended to be a "fuck you" post to all of my fellow brethren, nor is it me trying to be pretentious and act like I'm above it. I'm not. I'm as guilty as overreacting as anyone else. I just think it's time that we, as a collective unit, realize that the baseball season is 162 games, and your future is not determined by your most recent three game clip.

Perhaps I'm overreacting in this very article, but I truly feel that we as Brewers fans are lacking a bit of the perspective that we should have. I couldn't even imagine what would happen if the Brewers went to Minnesota this weekend and got swept there as well. There would be calls for Roenicke's head, and there's no arguing that. I'm also not saying that every fan is this way, but the voice of the panicked gets louder and louder with every game. Maybe it's because we have the talent to be contenders and we're upset that we don't think we're living up to it, or maybe it's because we had a taste of the postseason three years ago and are dying to get back. I'm not sure what it is, but I'd like to see it change. Myself included.

As for the game that is causing some of this reaction, the Brewers lost 5-0. Former Brewer CC Sabathia (who I still think should have his number retired by Milwaukee) dominated his old mates, striking out 13 batters in a winning effort. But I say instead of dwelling on what happened in New York, we move on and worry about Minnesota. And if the Brewers struggle there as well, we move on to the next series. We're not even to the All-Star break yet. There will be a couple more losing streaks along the way, as there will be a couple more winning streaks. The race between St. Louis and Milwaukee (and perhaps a couple others) is going to come down to the final couple of weeks. Let's not lose sight of that fact, win or lose.

POTG: Ryan Braun

Against his old mates
CC makes Crew look foolish
Please come back, CC

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Brew Crew Haiku

Yankees 5, Brewers 2

The quick early lead
The Yankee comeback in fourth
The pain of losing

POTG: Ryan Braun

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Brewers Bomb in Bronx

Greinke gets destroyed
Brewers stupid on bases
Can we go home yet?

POTG: Mat Gamel, believe it or not.

Tough loss tonight, as the Brewers fall 12-2 to the Yankees. I'm not sure if the Brewers really are that distracted when they play in these historic stadiums or if the announcers just like to dwell on that storyline, but we do have a tendency to get killed in AL East stadiums. I'd like to see us win at least one of these next two games, but it's incredible how strong that Yankee lineup is. At one point during Tuesday's game I tried to picture these two matching up in the World Series, and then I remembered that our "ace" just got lifted after two innings. Tough game all around, let's just move on and regroup Wednesday.

U.S. Women Kick Off World Cup with Win

The United States Men's team may be struggling as of late, but the Women's side looks just fine especially after their 2-0 win against North Korea on Tuesday. The first half was scoreless, but then Lauren.... you know what, not even I can do this. I'm glad the women won, I had the game on but barely watched, but until they at least get out of the group stage I just can't get around to writing about them. Maybe I'll try to sit down and actually watch the game on Saturday (11am against Columbia) and then we'll go from there.

Three Brewers Could Start All-Star Game

Ryan Braun is going to be there, Prince Fielder is going to be there, and for the first time ever, Rickie Weeks may be there as well. Not only are these three Brewers expected to be heading to Arizona for the annual Midsummer Classic, but they could all be part of the starting lineup. The races are tight, but with the recent homestand in Milwaukee it appears that the fans have done their part to help get as many Brewers to the All-Star game as possible.

We'll start with Braun, who is seemingly going to be starting in the All-Star game every year for as long as he is healthy. He leads all outfielders by 700,000 votes, and barring a change in how votes are counted he will be starting. Actually, Brewers fans have always been very good at getting all three outfielders on the ballot into the top fifteen at that position, and this year is no exception. The difference, once again, is that nationwide the fans are willing to put their votes behind Braun as well, and the thought of Carlos Gomez as an All-Star remains but a dream. The outfield:

Ryan Braun, Brewers: 3,932,100
Lance Berkman, Cardinals: 3,208,183
Matt Holliday, Cardinals: 2,935,965
Matt Kemp, Dodgers: 2,743,927
Andre Ethier, Dodgers: 2,264,640

Corey Hart, Brewers: 1,217,629 (12th)

Carlos Gomez, Brewers: 1,016,685 (14th)

As has been the case for the past several years, Albert Pujols is far and away the leading vote-getter at first base, although his injury has opened up a starting spot for whoever can finish second. By the looks of things right now, that honor would appear to fall to Prince Fielder, although it's close.

Albert Pujols, Cardinals: 3,358,432
Prince Fielder, Brewers: 2,903,584
Joey Votto, Reds: 2,832,857
Ryan Howard, Phillies: 1,881,711
Freddie Freeman, Braves: 702,911

The other starter could come from second base, where a hot June from Rickie Weeks coupled with the first place stature of the Milwaukee Brewers has put another Brewers at the top of the charts. The battle between Brewers and Reds for starting positions extends from first base to second, where Rickie is barely holding off Brandon Phillips. Both are on the road the next couple of days, but a weekend series at home for the Reds could give them the victories at the 11th hour.

Rickie Weeks, Brewers: 2,869,583
Brandon Phillips, Reds: 2,791,186
Chase Utley, Phillies: 2,406,965
Dan Uggla, Braves: 1,223,812
Freddy Sanchez, Giants: 1,184,145

So it's obvious that the Brewers will have at least one starter in the All-Star game, but three is a very real possibility as well. Even if Weeks and Fielder don't make the starting nine, you can bet that both of them will be invited to the "exhibition." Shaun Marcum would be deserving of a nod as well, possibly John Axford and possibly Yovani Gallardo, but we'll have to wait and see on those. Until then, keep on voting, which you've done a good job of doing so far, as evidenced by the fact that Jonathan Lucroy and even Yuni B are both in the top five at their respective positions.

Brian McCann, Braves: 3,062,884
Yadier Molina, Cardinals: 2,271,887
Buster Posey, Giants: 1,849,984
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers: 1,451,280
Carlos Ruiz, Phillies: 1,392,944

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies: 2,955,609
Jose Reyes, Mets: 2,710,777
Jimmy Rollins, Phillies: 1,724,166
Alex Gonzalez, Braves: 1,142,470
Yuniesky Betancourt, Brewers: 1,131,078

Sadly, Casey McGehee's vote totals are nowhere to be seen.

Roster Moves: It was announced on Monday that Mat Gamel and Zach Braddock have been brought back up to the 25. Braddock is likely here to stay. Gamel, unless something crazy happens, figures to be here just for the six game AL road trip. Sergio Mitre has been designated for assignment, while Mark DeFelice is headed back to Nashburg.

U.S. (Women's) Soccer on Soon!

Now, I know there is absolutely no chance that you've forgotten about this, but consider this your friendly reminder that there is United States World Cup soccer on today. Granted, it's women's, but hey they are people too. The United States are considered to be one of the favorites of this tournament, although from what I know it appears that the road goes through Germany. The Americans will start their quest today, at 11:15am as they take on North Korea. Enjoy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wilson Brings High Expectations to Wisconsin

And just like that, the Badgers are National title contenders. That seems to be the feeling out of Madison today as Russell Wilson has decided to transfer to Wisconsin where he will without question be the Badgers starting quarterback next season. Sure, technically he'll be enrolled in a grad school program (he finished at N.C. State in four years and has one year of eligibility left) but nobody really cares about academics here. Wilson is coming to Wisconsin to play football, and by all indications he's going to have quite an impact.

The story on the kid is this - he went to N.C. State for four years, and was a pretty damn good player. But he was then drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2010 MLB draft with the 140th pick, and has been spending his time most recently with their single-A affiliate, where he had been hitting .228 with three home runs and 15 RBI this season. It was his desire to play both sports that actually lead him to leave N.C. State a bit early, but he wants back on the gridiron and Wisconsin will be happy to comply.

In what came down to a race between the Badgers and the Auburn Tigers, Wilson selected the Badgers for some reason, most likely because the quarterback depth at Camp Randall isn't very deep. After the spring game, Jon Budmayr, a redshirt sophomore, was atop the depth chart with the talent behind him weak after that (a problem that will be solved once my main man Bart Houston gets to Madison, but for now is of great concern). Thanks to the magic of Wikipedia, the print screen button, and Microsoft Paint, here's a sample of the kid we're going to see in white and red this fall, on paper:

The Badgers are already known as a running team, but now to have a quarterback that can run a little bit as well is going to do what they call "open up the offense". Schematically, he might not fit with what the Badgers are used to running offensively, but that's because they've never had a player with the talent that Wilson has. From Darrell Bevell to Jim Sorgi, John Stocco to Tyler Donovan, and most recently Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin's signal-callers are historically nothing more than the dreaded term of "game-managers". Wilson is athletic, mobile, efficient, and exciting, and he's going to change the face of the Wisconsin Badgers offense, at least for this season.

Even before this move, you would have had to say that the Badgers were at least in the mix of favorites to win the Big Ten Championship, and with this latest acquisition that is even more the case. I still think the Badgers toughest contest is going to be October 1st against Nebraska, for both the talent on the other side of the ball and for the hype that the game will incur. But the Badgers have to be thinking right now that the Big Ten is theirs to lose, and with a weaker schedule this year (thank you Ohio State violations), four games in primetime, and a quarterback who is already a potential Heisman candidate, the Badgers could be in for a very good year.

Get to know your new quarterback by checking out this video made by either a) a member of the N.C. State PR staff, b) a communications major as a homework assignment, or c) a person who is a little too obsessed with this Russell Wilson fellow:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sweep Over Twins Puts Brewers Up Three

What a difference a weekend makes. Coming into Friday's slate of games, the Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals were tied atop the NL Central. After Sunday's games were officially in the books, the Brewers now lead the division by three games. That will happen when you are able to sweep your opponent like Milwaukee did in their series against the Twins, in addition to seeing your rival in St. Louis get swept at home by the Toronto Blue Jays. The standings now read Milwaukee at 44-35, with the Cardinals three games behind. The Pirates and the Reds are within striking distance as well, both at four games back apiece, but it's so thrilling to see the Brewers up a handful of games at this point in the season.

The Brewers used the comeback route in each of their three games against the Twins, although in the last two games of the series Milwaukee was really only battling a one run deficit. Chris Narveson gave up a run in the second inning but was able to hold the fort until the 5th inning, when the Brewers bats finally came to life. Jonathan Lucroy started the inning off with a triple, but then it appeared as if the Brewers were going to waste his efforts as Narveson and Weeks became quick outs. But Nyjer Morgan singled Lucroy home, and then Ryan Braun hit home run number 16 on the season to put the Brewers up 3-1. The bottom of the order delivered again an inning later, as Lucroy and Narveson both doubled in runs, and Prince Fielder would an an insurance run later to give Milwaukee the 6-2 victory. Kudos to Narveson for his work both at the plate and on the mound, and more credit to the bullpen (Hawkins, Loe, Axford) for locking it down once Narveson's day was complete.

Next up for the Crew, a matchup against a fellow first place team in the New York Yankees, series beginning in the Bronx this Tuesday.

Slow start at the plate
But bottom steps up again
Braun with some pop too

POTG: Chris Narveson

U.S. Blows Lead, Game in Gold Cup Final

I don't care how good or how bad of a team you are, you just can't blow two goal leads in soccer. To me, there's really no excuse, especially when you are on a stage as big as the Gold Cup final that was played between the United States and Mexico on Sunday. The U.S. took a 2-0 lead early, getting quick goals from Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan. At that point, in a game this big, you might want to start thinking more defensive. I wouldn't say to pack it in completely, but you should definitely turn your mindset into one more of protection rather than aggressiveness. A two goal lead is one where you can still afford to make one mistake, but ultimately should be able to lock things down. The United States took the other route though, by taking that two goal lead and instead collapsing with tough breaks out of their goalkeeping and an overall terrible showing on defense. In front of a Rose Bowl crowd of more than 93,000, most of them fans for Mexico, the United States collapsed and capped off an overall topsy-turvy Gold Cup performance, losing to our rivals to the south by a 4-2 final.

There's really a lot to be upset about if you are a fan of this American soccer squad, as blowing a two goal lead can't be acceptable for a team that was supposed to be the best in at least their region. The game felt awfully similar to the Confederations Cup Final of 2009, when the Americans took an early lead against Brazil only to blow that one and lose 3-2. This American team needs to learn how to close teams out better, it's their biggest downfall besides the fact that they usually can't finish in the first place. Second place in a tournament is always an accomplishment, but the American's placement in this tournament could cost coach Bob Bradley his job. Sure, they took second, but this stretch of games was one of the weaker performances by the U.S. in quite some time.

Coming into the tournament, the United States had yet to win in 2011, drawing in friendlies with both Chile and Argentina, losing to Paraguay in another friendly, and then getting embarrassed by Spain in a Gold Cup tuneup. Then, against competition that should be regarded as inferior, the United States did have a nice showing against Canada before getting shocked by Panama, then barely beat the lowly Guadelope when the Americans were threatened with elimination, handily beat Jamaica, struggled to get revenge against Panama, and then collapsed against Mexico. Not a very impressive 2011 campaign for Bradley and the boys, as a .500 year should not be acceptable for a team ranked 22nd in the world (and higher than Mexico as of May 2011).

Ultimately, I'm not sure that the powers that be will decide it is time to go a different direction with this team and replace Bob Bradley, as he did just get an extension after the 2010 World Cup. But something is not right with this unit, and I do feel a change needs to be made. Jurgen Klinsmann, the former German star, as long been rumored as a potential candidate to head the squad, and I would love to see him finally take the reigns. I like Bob Bradley as much as the next guy, but there are way too many questions as to the future of this team and I'm not sure Bradley is the answer to any of them.

Now, here are some highlights of the game, which are in Spanish just as the celebration ceremony was:

Brew Crew Haiku

Full Brewers/Twins series recap coming after Sunday's game, but for now, lets quickly drum up a haiku for the Brewers 11-1 victory in which Carlos Gomez, Corey Hart, Prince Fielder, and Yuniesky Betancourt (inside-the-park) all homered.

Gallardo brought it
Bottom of order now good?
Love beating the Twins

POTG: Carlos Gomez!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bucky Channel Classics: June 12, 2008

Trying out something here, which may be short-lived, but we'll see. I'm really only doing this because of how busy I have personally been lately, and I want to still keep this site fresh. And what better way to keep things fresh than to re-post old Bucky Channel articles and label them as "Classics". Hey, we've written over 3,000 of these things, and the audience may have changed in the last three years (as in, less of you), but here's an article I wrote three years ago about the rivalry between the Brewers and the Twins entitled "Don't Call it a Rivalry". You can also probably find it on Bleacher Report because I told them to remove all my posts from their site but they have yet to do so.

There is nothing in sports quite like a rivalry. A history of battles between two teams that make every game between them seem that much more important. Pride, integrity, and bragging rights become so much more important in each victory than where it will put you in the standings. You'll witness a number of incredible games in any given season, but every game between rivals automatically becomes a classic.

In Wisconsin, we have our fair share of rivalries. Packers/Bears. Packers/Vikings. Brewers/Cubs. Wisconsin/Big Ten. What do all these rivalries have in common? It's a bitter history between the two sides, aided by their geographical proximity. It's a key component to nearly every good rivalry. Yet, as much as the MLB you like you believe it, the upcoming Brewers/Twins series is not a rivalry.

Let me just state, for the record, that I love interleague play. I also love the fact that the MLB makes sure to match up teams in similar areas on a year to year basis. No matter what the schedule says, you will always see White Sox/Cubs, Yankees/Mets, Orioles/Nationals, Angels/Dogders, Giants/A's and so on every given year. As a fan, it's a great opportunity to see your home team play without having to travel too far.

There are many feelings of hatred between teams from Wisconsin and Minnesota, but the Brewers/Twins have never been one of them. I've made the trip to the Metrodome for this series a few years ago, and besides the typical boneheaded fans of any team, the crowd was relatively friendly. I imagine a Miller Park crowd to be the same when the Twins come to town. Unlike the other rivalries I've mentioned, I feel the Brewers and the Twins have a greater respect for one another. We used to play in the same division, but that was a generation ago. In the time since, we've learned to appreciate the other for being a small-market team trying to compete, as our franchises aren't all that different (besides the Twins success in the World Series of course).

Think about it. We both hate a team from Chicago more than we can put into words. We've both been in the area for relatively the same amount of time (the Twins coming from the Washington Senators in the 60's, and the Brewers coming from the Seattle Pilots in 1970). The Twins lost Santana because they couldn't afford him, the Brewers are likely to do the same with Sheets (editor's update: now read "Fielder"). The Brewers were never close to contraction, but that's because Bud Selig was our owner. And we have both shared the wonder that is Paul Molitor.

As our teams embark on the first three of six games we'll play this year, you can bet there will be some tense times from the first pitch from the final out. But, win or lose, we'll still have respect for the fans sitting next to us. After a Brewers/Cubs game, I'm out in the parking lot looking for someone to punch in the face. After a Brewers/Twins game? You can bet we're looking for each other in the parking lot, but only to do some extra tailgating together, and perhaps share a beer.

That's why this isn't a rivarly.

Unless, of course, the Brewers lose.

Your Gold Cup Reminder

Sadly, I'm thinking that the Gold Cup final between the United States and Mexico is going to be very pro-Mexican as the two sides meet up at the Rose Bowl tonight on the Fox Soccer Channel (8pm Central). The final is however seemingly drawing a bit of interest from even the most casual sports fans, as any game between these two nations should. Mexico hasn't had too tough of a road to get to the finals, even though they have been dealing with a rash of suspensions. The United States should consider themselves almost lucky to be here, losing to Panama in the group stages before eventually regrouping and playing some decent soccer in the last week.

The two sides will meet in the final for the fifth time in eleven Gold Cup tournaments, including for the third consecutive time that the Cup has been held. I'm still working on a way to be able to watch this thing live, maybe I'll have to sack up and order the sports pack on DirecTV. Hell, I get all the WWE pay-per-views that come my way, might as well get something that's actually a legit sport (to some people!).

Brew Crew Haiku

Brewers 4, Twins 3

Decent night from Wolf
Valencia gives Twins lead
Thank God we have Prince

POTG: Prince Fielder

Friday, June 24, 2011

One Year Ago

One year ago yesterday was one of the greatest sporting moments I can remember.

"Distribution Brilliant."

"Goal, Goal. USA!"

I still remember where I was and how I felt. It is one of those moments I will remember forever. 90 minutes of agony, followed by pure jubilation, almost vindication for us soccer fans out there. I will remember it even more fondly than the Superbowl, because it was just one moment, one moment which was the culmination of years and years of work for US soccer, whereas a football game is a collection of moments and numerous important plays. Here is my day of reaction.

Check out the supplemental videos below. The fan reaction one still brings tears to my eyes. I love it. And one in Spanish just for the heck of it and it does sound better. Univision is an American channel after all.

This also serves as a get hype call for tomorrows game. We got this. Indivisible.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Welcome to Milwaukee

Hold up... Jimmer Fredette? No, no, no don't forget Milwaukee made a trade to send Fredette to the Kings. Instead Milwaukee will welcome Tobias Harris to the roster. He is the youngest player in the draft, and very athletic. I like the pick, because I think the Bucks have a good core to go off of, but taking a guy with upside was a great idea. I would have loved Marshon Brooks, but they took Harris that had the best IQ in the draft when it came to basketball. If I have to rate the pick I will give it a B, because they had the chance to take a guy that can score, but they passed it up for a Skiles ball player.

In the second round Milwaukee went with the homer pick of Jon Leuer. Get pick by the Bucks, because I either wanted Jimmy Butler or the man we did end up getting. These two got talked up a lot as of late, and also moved up the draft board as the week went on. Jimmy Butler went to the Bulls with the last pick of the first round. Hey Mr. Butler it was nice knowing you, but I will not cheer for you ever again unless you leave the Bulls. I really think Milwaukee did some good things tonight with the trade, and the two picks they had. I hope this works out for them, and it would also be nice to see them make the playoffs next season.

You Might Have Seen This, But it's Funny

Posting this because it's funny, and as much I want to hate the Manning brothers I just can't. I just can't do it. (h/t Awful Announcing).

The Milwaukee Shake Up

Believe it John, because you are no longer a Milwaukee Buck if the reported deals do in fact go down. You'll soon be able to take your talents to the Sacramento Kings. It sounds like a three team block-buster deal will go down tonight at the Draft. Milwaukee will get the 19th pick, Stephen Jackson, Beno Udrih, and Shaun Livingston. The Kings will get the 10th pick and John Salmons. The Bobcats will keep their 9th pick, and get Corey Maggette.

Now because the deal was agreed upon after 3pm Eastern, the trade can't be official after until the draft starts, so I hope this doesn't get shot down. Milwaukee will clear some cap, and move down in the draft like I said they should. With the 19 pick it would be nice to get a guy like Marshon Brooks, and in the second round I'm going with a homer pick of Jimmy Butler or Jon Leuer. Either way this adds depth at the PG spot for the Bucks, and also gives a shooter, passer, rebounder in Jackson. I hope tonight continues a trend of things looking good for the Bucks.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

USA Advances to Gold Cup Final

This play is American soccer at it's finest. Some beautiful passes and a finish delivered by one of our greatest players, Clint Dempsey. The assist came from Landon Donovan, and the pass that set it all up came from... Freddy Adu? As in, the kid that whenever I tell someone that I like soccer they say, "Golly gee shucks, whatever happened to that Aye-doo kid?" What happened is that he entered the Gold Cup semifinal against Panama in the 64th minute and never looked back.

So after all the panic that went through my head and the rest of the U.S. Soccer community after the Americans loss to Panama in the group stage, the Americans are back to the Gold Cup final, taking on the winner of the Honduras/Mexico game. Well done, boys. Sorry for doubting you.

Fans Point to Roenicke After Loss

The interleague play woes continued for the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, as they dropped their series finale game against the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3. The Brewers and their fans will have a couple of days to stew over this one, as this was one of Ron Roenicke's more questionable games as a manager. First, if Shaun Marcum is hurt, he's hurt. Don't have the guy start the game if he's only going to toss three innings. And then if you do start him, don't have him bat in the bottom of the third only to yank in before the top of the fourth. Roenicke did that, and you could see Shaun Marcum wince in pain after trying to hit David Price, which makes you again question just why the hell he was in there in the first place.

Our skipper is also getting criticized for his decision to bat Mark Kotsay, who is on a recent 0 for 15 streak, with two outs and two on in the bottom of the ninth instead of batting George Kottaras. Roenicke never gave an honest reason for his decision, just saying "it's just which guy you want to hit first", as Kottaras was on deck. It seems that in both of these situations, Roenicke made these decisions off of feel and with his gut, which he has done quite a few times this season to his success. But his managing didn't pay off on Wednesday, and it's easy to jump on him for that. Between the last few managers that the Brewers have had, I really can't tell if they are all just stubborn or if we as Brewers fans have been asking too much of them.

The last three series
Brewers losers in all three
Turn it around, boys

POTG: One of those games where nobody deserves it so we give it to the one pitcher that didn't give up a run. It's happened before, and it'll happen again. Sergio Mitre.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Brew Crew Haiku

The question I poised earlier in the day was wondering how long I'd stay up for Brewers games considering how early I have to get up now. Well, the answer is until the game is over in the instances where Zack Greinke is dealing on the mound, as was the case in Tuesday's 5-1 victory against the Rays. With ten strikeouts and just one run allowed in seven innings, he obviously gets the Player of the Game. Credit the bullpen for locking it down after that, Yuniesky Betancourt for getting his fourth home run of the season, and the entire team for still having yet to lose back to back games at home this season. Now, while I did stay up for the game, I can't stay up for much longer than a haiku.

Greinke on the hill
Ten strikeouts with zero walks
Zack Attack is back

Bogut Trade Rumors Are False

Unless the Bucks think his career is over from the injury he suffered from the picture above, Andrew Bogut will remain a Buck, and probably for a long long time. This guy is worth way more than the second overall pick in this draft. It seems that rumors are going around about Bogut and the 10th pick to the T-Wolves for the 2nd pick in the draft. That just makes no sense unless the Bucks know something crazy about Bogut that we don't. The guy was a walking double-double before he went down with that injury. I hope this off-season he will get healed 100%, and be able to play more physical again this coming season. I guess I don't see why they would trade the only center they have to get someone like Derrick Williams. No seriously, ?????

So lets just put these rumors to bed right now, and maybe I shouldn't even be justifying them in the first place. iF somehow thist does go down you can bet I won't do many Bucks posts this season, as they would have just made the worst trade of all time. Unless the Bucks know for a fact Bogut will never be the same again I would just let these trade rumors pass for now. Now if the number two pick was a LeBron, Kobe, Rose, or Love type player then count me in. I don't think Williams will be that great, but don't get me wrong he will be good. Just seems like a risk the Bucks can't afford to take, because fans need to see wins, and they need to see them now.

Oh, and Winks wanted me to tell you that Andrew Bogut just won Bucks Survivor for the third time in four years. So that's nice.

New Challenge: When Is it Safe to Sleep?

Four months ago I was working in a call center, hating each and every miserable day of my life. Then I finally got a job that I've wanted for a long time, working the afternoon drive shift on an FM radio station. Three months later, one thing lead to another and now I've been moved to the morning show, hosting the show by my lonesome. What does that mean for my professional life? Well, clearly, it's a great opportunity. But what does it mean for my life as a Brewers fan? It means watching every game in full, especially the late ones, is now impossible. Getting up at four in the morning every day means that I will likely be going to bed before the final pitch, something I have recently said I just wasn't able to do. So the question now instead becomes, how late can I stay up for my Brewers? At what point am I comfortable enough to go to sleep with knowledge of the current score and then wake up to check the final result in the morning?

That theory was put to the test on Monday night, when physically I just didn't have it in me to stay up for the whole game. I doubt I'll be able to stay up for the game tonight either, even though initially I did have plans to go (the Rays are my American League team). So the plan now is to stay up as late as I can until I decide the game is in hand, one way or the other. Last night I decided to finally crash when the Brewers went down 4-0 in the 7th inning, which proved to be the correct choice as Milwaukee eventually lost 8-4. It wasn't the best game that your Brewers have ever been involved in, as it was a game which saw another Narveson implosion, an offense that was slow to get started, and probably most memorably the "look-at-me" performance of umpire Bob Davidson.

Another challenge that not watching all of the Brewers game presents me with is just how the hell I'm supposed to write recaps of games I don't see the conclusions of? "Hey now Winks, is this just your way of telling us you don't feel like recaps for awhile?" No, no, I swear that's not what this is. I enjoy doing these capsules, even if I'm the only one who ends up reading them. Blogging like this has helped me become a more knowledgeable Brewers fan, so it's just as important as ever for me to keep writing. Plus, we got haikus and POTG awards here, where else do you find that much excitement during your daily internet sweep!

The other part that's tough to get used to is that I used to come home from work and the game would be just getting started. Now, I have all this time to kill before the first pitch, and am not sure what to do with myself. I sure as hell don't plan to work out or do anything productive. I think there is only one solution here. Work from 4am - 2pm. Sleep from 2pm - 6pm. Brewers from 6pm - 10pm. Sleep from 10pm - 4pm.

Done and done.

Roenicke tossed
Miller Park gives Standing O
Watershed moment?

POTG: As much as I want to give it to Roenicke, let's go with..... ah, what the hell. Let's give it to Roenicke.

Monday, June 20, 2011

NBA Draft Preview

We all remember last time the Bucks had the 10th pick, the time when we drafting Brandon Jennings - who wasn't even in the green room for the draft. He was down the street watching it with his family at the hotel, and after he was drafted he showed up a few picks later to shake David Stern's hand. But who will the Bucks take Thursday with the 10th pick? Well this is a weak draft, and seems to be one that will only have a few stars in this league. The Bucks could really use a scorer, but a big guy down low to help take the pressure off Bogut would be nice too.

Kawhi Leonard and Tristan Thompson would be the big guys I think the Bucks hope to fall. If they don't another name I see is Marcus Morris. I kind of want to stay away from a guy like Morris, who just seems to be a little of a hot head. He seems to always be talking himself up, and that worries me at a young age when people do that. Also some guard names are being thrown around for the Bucks. Alec Burks from Colorado  has been mentioned as a home for the Bucks, Jazz, or Suns. Another guy that is shooting up the charts is Klay Thompson from Washington State, who could be one of the best shooters in the draft. Something the Bucks have been lacking is a guy that can shoot, so he seems to be the right pick for them. TBC Staff Member Bear has already stated that he would love to see the Bucks draft Thompson.

Will they maybe try to trade down, and hope a guy like Thompson is still there? A few other names that have come up that might be sleepers are Jimmy Butler from Marquette, and Marshon Brooks from Providence. We should all know about Butler, and he is being compared to a Raja Bell type player that can come off the bench and play good defense. Marshon Brooks is the guy who scored 52 points against Notre Dame. I'm not saying these are guys that would go ten, but would be guys the Bucks could maybe trade down for and acquire some picks in the process. It just seems like a weak draft, so trading down if you can find someone that wants to move up would make sense. Take a chance with a sleeper later in the first round. With the team we have now we should win more games regardless, as long as people don't get hurt every week.

The draft is set for Thursday night at 7 ET. It will air on ESPN, which sucks because I don't think NBA TV will have anything live, and I'd rather watch their coverage. I don't see the Bucks getting a franchise changing type player, but you just never know.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Resilient Rory

It really should have never been in doubt, but after what happened at the Masters you had to think it wasn't over till his birdie on hole one Sunday. You have to give him a lot of credit, because we always talk about athletes getting in their own heads. This was not the case for McIlroy this weekend, as he put on a show that will never be forgot. He broke records, he was the leader wire to wire, and he earned his first major. I really think this guy will be the next big superstar in golf.

I know Tiger Woods was the only player to shoot under par in 2000, but what Rory did just seems so much better. Tiger had already won a major in his career when he won the Open in 2000. Rory was coming off of a huge collapse just two months ago at Augusta. I guess Tiger had already won two majors, but him being the only one to shoot par makes it hard not to say that was the best performance of all time. We always talk about Kobe, LeBron, Manning, Brady, Jeter, Halladay, and other superstars about how they are the best of their time. but Rory has to do everything himself. He can't have a bad hole, and have his teammate pick him up. That is what makes this weekend so amazing. It just seems that golfers are over looked for what they do, but no one should ever over look this weekend.

Since it was a one man race we have to talk about the other tournament at the U.S. Open, the tournament for second place. Jason Day, a 23 year old from Australia showed he is another up and coming guy. He took second place Sunday at the U.S. Open, and also tied for second at the Masters in April. Since Rory just had to play par golf he really didn't have any pressure putts. Jason Day made a huge putt on 18 to for Y.E. Yang to make birdie on 18 to tie him for second. Yang was unable to make birdie, and Day will take home the second prize all to himself. Jason seems to be close to maybe winning a major himself, and I really hope he does. The guy plays with no fear, and just makes crazy shots.

As far as Stricker he had a great first 10 holes Sunday as he got to -5. With 5 birdies through 10 holes Steve finished the last 8 holes with two doubles, a bogey, and a birdie. Overall not a bad weekend for Stricker, but he just made too many mistakes. He dug himself a hole Thursday by shooting 4 over par. He did finish Friday with a 69, Saturday 69, and Sunday 70. So as for the three guys I picked Stricker finished -1, McDowell -2, Kuchar -2. I have to say I did fairly well, but wish I would have went with my Master pick Rory. For the rest of the scores click the link here. With the British next up in July will an American finally win a Major, or are the days of USA winning golf events over? Only time will tell.

Our 3,000th Post!

Here's to 3,000 more.

Americans on to the Gold Cup Semifinals

Excuse whatever the hell language is being spoken in this video, but here are highlights from the United States' 2-0 win against Jamaica in the Gold Cup Quarterfinals on Sunday. Jermaine Jones had the goal in the 49th minute of play, while Clint Dempsey added the dagger in minute 79, at which point the Jamaicans were playing a man down due to a red card given to Jermaine Taylor thirteen minutes prior. Dempsey did get the start today, which was in question after he and Landon Donovan both left the club for a few days to attend their respective sisters' weddings. Landon Donovan did not start in this one, instead coming off the bench with 25 minutes to play.

The highlights from the video are just of the second half, when all the scoring was done, but Jamaica nearly opened things up within the games' first five minutes, although Tim Howard made an incredible save with his feet to keep the game scoreless. The United States probably couldn't have played much better after their poor play so far this tournament, and they out shot the Jamaicans 18-4. Not so tough without John Candy around, are you Jamaica? The reggae boys have still never beaten the United States, but with the way the United States had been playing in this Gold Cup, Sunday was probably their best chance yet. Good to see the Americans rebound and dominate this one, although now we hold our breath and wait for word on the injury Jozy Altidore suffered in this game's 11th minute.

Next up, it's the U.S. vs. the winner of Panama/El Salvador on Wednesday night from Houston.

So That's Why Milwaukee Went to the NL

My goodness was that painful. If any of you settled in on Sunday afternoon to catch a ballgame with your dad on Father's Day, it's likely you tried to find something else on TV, or tried to do another activity together, pretty darn quick. As in, four Boston runs before their first out quick. The Brewers were out of their series finale with the Red Sox very early, giving up a six spot in the first and then six more runs from there. Nyjer Morgan and Prince Fielder gave fantasy players some late Sunday stats with a home run piece, but in the end there is nothing much to take away from this Boston series other than the fact that we went into Fenway and just got outplayed. Again.

Remember those comments that Ryan Braun made after the Brewers got swept by the Red Sox in 2008? If not, here they be: "I almost felt like this series, we didn't expect to win. We were competing. I know everybody tried hard. But it's not about trying hard. You've got to expect to win. I almost feel like we never really expected to win any of these games. I just kind of had that feeling."

While I wouldn't expect him to make any similar comments this time around, I wonder if it makes it worse that the 2011 edition of this matchup was a series in which the Brewers expected to win. They didn't expect to win in '08, I get that. They were young. Wide-eyed. In awe of Fenway. That's all good and fine. But this year, they are legit World Series contenders, whether you want to let yourself believe that or not. And even though they are that much better, the result was still almost identical. Thankfully they picked up the win on Saturday night, because the results on Friday and Sunday were embarrassing. A 12-3 loss to the Red Sox wasn't something that many people in Wisconsin planned on watching with Dad today.

It's been a tough week for the Brewers, first losing three out of four in Wrigley and now dropping two out of three in Boston. Thankfully, the Cardinals have had an even worse week, and even though we've tried to give them first place back all week long, they wouldn't take it. We're tied for first at 40-33, but the road is going to get even tougher the next couple of weeks. In that time, we'll be hosting the Rays, splitting a home and home with the Twins, and heading into Yankee Stadium. Honestly, I think we just need to get through these next two weeks around .500, and I'm not sure how possible that even is. Look, as good as I think the Brewers are, playing American League teams puts fear into my soul for this squad, and I'm glad we only see these teams once every three to five years instead of fifteen times per season. Let me share with you this Facebook status update posted by supposed Bucky Channel contributor Shep's dad from earlier on Sunday:

So I believe we now know the goal for the Brew Crew this season. Win the NL Central , Win the National League pennant and make it to the World Series and be cannon fodder for the Red Sox--Not so bad I'd take it.

I think I would too.

POTG: Nyjer Morgan

Brewers Finally Win in Boston

For the first time since the 1997 season, the Brewers have finally won again at Fenway Park. I can't say that I remember any of the series that occurred 14 years ago, but I still vividly remember when we were swept there in 2008. Back then, it didn't seem like the Brewers were anywhere in the league of the Boston Red Sox.  Their franchise was more recognizable, and thus more intimidating. The guys that made up that Brewers team were definitely overwhelmed by the experience, and as you can see this time around that is no such much the case. The Brewers no longer feel that there is that large of a gap between the two franchises, if they feel there is even a gap at all.

The win on Saturday was highlighted by a strong performance out of Randy Wolf, who gave up just a couple of runs in seven innings, while striking out three. He did give up nine hits throughout his time on the mound, but was able to make sure the runners that he didn't allow didn't come home. A POTG award is his reward for his efforts.

This game was won to watch right from the start, as the Brewers opened things up with back to back home runs from Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart. George Kottaras would homer as well, and the fourth RBI came from the bat of Casey McGehee, who punched one into left field after thinking twice that he was walked. So after 14 years, the Brewers finally can shake hands and give high fives after the game in the Fenway Park infield, and show the Red Sox that they belong.

Then again, as I type this game three is underway, and the Red Sox have guys at second and third with nobody out already in the first inning. Oh. Wait. Gallardo just dropped a ball at first. Red Sox up 1-0. Oh, shit. Three run shot by Youkilis. Jesus. Ignore all the praise I gave earlier.

Excited to win.
That feeling short lived, as the
Crew look bad today.

Your Gold Cup Reminder

We do Father's Day a little different in the Winkler family, because as most of you will be watching the final round of the U.S. Open with your dads today, I'll be watching the United States take on Jamaica in the Gold Cup quarterfinals with mine. Sure, we'll make sure to catch some of the golf as well (and the Brewers for that matter), but the soccer game will definitely hold precedent this afternoon.

It's a game that the U.S. should win, as really they should be winning this tournament every year, no matter how strong of a side the Mexicans are usually able to put together. But the U.S. has already dropped a game to lowly Panama in this competition, so the Jamaicans realize that they have an opportunity here this afternoon. It could end up being a tough Father's Day for Michael Bradley and his father Bob, as this could be Coach Bradley's last game if the United States does in fact lose.

You can catch all the action with the pregame coverage starting at 1:30pm on the Fox Soccer Channel.

Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Didn't This Happen Already?

If you're a Red Sox fan, make sure you buy tickets to any series that they play at Fenway against the Milwaukee Brewers. Not only will your team win, but they will also probably score at least ten runs while they do it. I'm not sure if it's intimidation - and as much as the Brewers PR tries to say that it's not it leads me to believe that it most definitely is - but the Brewers suck in Boston. They sucked there in 2008, and they are sucking there in 2011.

Things were a little different on Friday though, as the Brewers were in this game until about the fifth inning. That's an achievement in and of itself, as Shaun Marcum was pulled after one inning due to an apparent injury to his hip flexor. I've injured my hip flexor before, and while it's not devastating, it's just annoying. You can still function properly and you feel healthy, it's just that with a hip flexor injury, at least in my case, you feel a constant feeling of uncomfortableness and almost a clicking type sound when you try to manuever. Marcum should be fine by his next start, but it was disappointing to see him leave the game early, as he is one of the few players on this team who I wouldn't think is phased by the allure of Fenway (due to his time spent in Toronto).

So the Brewers lost 10-4, the pitching was terrible and the offense wasn't much better. Casey McGehee is somehow going to get our POTG, even though I thought all signs pointed to Mat Gamel being called up for this series and beyond as the DH/utility man role. Even though Milwaukee did get their ass kicked in Boston, my mantra remains that I will not get mad about this team while they are in first place, and the Cardinals lost 5-4 to Kansas City on Friday so the Brewers remain atop by one game. I know we sucked on Friday, but if we're in first, I really don't give a shit.

And yes, in case you haven't noticed, I'm overworked and overtired. I'm not exactly sure that this post makes sense. And if it doesn't, I have one request. Don't find all of the errors and then post them in the comments anonymously like a dick. Email me and tell me I fucked up and then I'll fix them. Thanks.

Brewers impression -
"Boston! OMG! SO BIG!
I'm nervous, let's suck!"

36 Holes To Go

We are 36 holes in to the U.S. Open, and Rory McIlroy is up by 6 strokes over Y.E. Yang. Rory shot a 65 on Thursday, and a 66 on Friday to reach 11 under. He set a record by being the first person to ever reach 13 under in the U.S. Open. Tiger Woods holds the record at 12 under for best finishing score in U.S. Open history. But I really think Rory will beat that record, and he I feel he will go on to win this weekend. I know he had the melt down at the Masters, but he would have to pull a LeBron James (huge James fan, but still pissed Deshawn Stevenson got a ring due to the LBJ choke job, as they say) to lose this one. He has learned from his mistakes, and he is just playing great golf right now. To go 35 holes before his first mistake in a tournament is crazy.

As for the guys I picked really I'm not doing to bad. Matt Kuchar is tied for third at -2, Graeme McDowell is tied for thirty-third at +2, and Steve Stricker is also tied for thirty-third at +2. Really, if it wasn't for McIlroy just being on fire these guys would still be in the hunt without a doubt. Matt Kuchar shot a -3 Friday, so if he can post another good round he could be in the hunt Sunday. The field will need Rory to come to them, but at this course anything can happen, so this is far from over. Still a lot of work to find a winner, but you have to think Rory should be able to shut this one down for his first major.

Bill Hall Defends Fielder's Actions

We all remember it, and so have the San Francisco Giants I guess. With the news of Freddy Sanchez getting hurt, the Giants have signed former Brewer (and Red Sox/Mariner/Astro) Bill Hall to a contract. He seems to be fitting in nicely with his new team, and he was recently asked about the Fielder celebration that went down September 6, 2009. You have to read this for yourself, but Hall points out some surprising things about who was really behind this celebration. Also he talks about how Fielder is a really good man, and a family man. Click here to read what Bill Hall has to say.  It's a nice way to kill five minutes on a Friday, if nothing else. The funny part about all this is, why do the Giants still talk about it? They won the World Series who cares about what Fielder did in 2009? Oh well, the picture still cracks me up, and it remains one of my most favorite Brewers memories.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Chicago Slows Down Brewers Momentum

Let me begin by saying that on a personal note, having to get up at 4:30am isn't very conducive to my life as a Brewers fan. Things changed a bit at the job which means so did my schedule, and that new schedule includes some early morning work. It's perfectly fine and a welcome change, however this new schedule also means that I need to go to bed earlier than I am used to, and that means that I may miss the tail end of Brewer games here and there and almost all of the late ones.

But if I was ever going to pick a series to miss, this would be it. Sure, the Brewers ended winning the one game start started late and the game that I missed the most of, but watching these games in Wrigley Field disgusts me more than anything else. I hate the Cubs, I hate the Cubs fans, I hate every single moment that they cheer for anything win or lose. They are a disgusting group of human beings, and I hate them. Except for our very own Turtle, he doesn't seem so bad. Vince Vaughn is a D though.

Anyway, I've already started ranting because it's past my new bedtime, but I suppose I should get back on topic and talk a little Brewers. Talk a little of the "new-look" Brewers, I should say. Honestly, it wasn't until two o'clock Thursday afternoon until I found out that not only did the Brewers bring up former La Crosse Logger Danny Herrera for Zach Braddock, but they also sent Wil Nieves down for George Kottaras. Kottaras made an impact in his first game back, but it wasn't all positive. He did hit a two-run blast in the 2nd inning, but he also struggled a bit defensively and helped the Cubs put some runs on the board early.

The Cubs put a lot of runs on the board actually on Thursday, beating the Brewers 12-7 courtesy of home runs from Aramis Ramirez, Kosuke Fukudome, and Alfonsio Soriano. Zach Greinke gave up eight runs, six of them earned, which a few of those coming off the three-run blast that Herrera allowed to the Japanese outfielder. It was a game that the Brewers were looking to win in order to at least tie the series, but instead the Cubs got the win and earned some pride back against their rivals ninety miles north.

Called up from minors
The recent callups struggle
Cubs take the series

POTG: Ryan Braun

We can end this hodgepodge posts on a positive note though and mention the Brewers 9-5 victory on Wednesday. Yeah, Chris Narveson imploded again, and yeah, Kameron Loe struggled again in the eighth, but the Brewers got the victory. Despite losing the series, the Cardinals have struggled against the Nationals this week as well so the Brewers will end the night either tied for first or still a full game in front. When you struggle this bad, try to acclimate new guys as soon as they're called back up, and get beat by a rival, still being able to say you're in first place after a series like that makes you feel pretty good. Here's the POTG and haiku for Wednesday:

Wish I saw the end
But a Crew victory is
Nice to wake up to

POTG: Corey Hart

Now normally I would stop the post there and end things on a high note, but the Brewers have to travel to Boston, host Tampa Bay and the Twins, and then travel to Yankee stadium in the next two weeks. Meanwhile, the Cardinals play the bottom half of the AL East and have the Royals in there as well, so this series against the Cubs was our opportunity to get some padding on the NL Central lead throughout the next two weeks. Hopefully the Brewers can impress against their old AL East opponents and keep their first place standing in tact, but when it all comes down to it between the Brewers and Cardinals, it could be their performances in interleague play that have the most impact on the standings.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jamaicans Up Next For Americans

So it's been a busy week for me, and I'm trying to play a bit of catchup tonight. Instead of writing a recap about a U.S. Soccer game from two nights ago that you won't read, here's some video that you may watch. The United States won, and even though they didn't win their group for the first time in Gold Cup history, they are moving on to face Jamaica at 2pm on Sunday. That is all, please move on and enjoy the rest of your day!

Another Eighth Inning Collapse

Stop me if you read this post before, as in, yesterday. The starting pitcher for the Brewers is strolling right along, gets through seven innings, a reliever comes in for the eighth, and then all of the North Side of Chicago is breaking out their "W" flags. Pretty lame if you ask me. Kudos to Roenicke for not relying on Kameron Loe this time around, but would it kill him to have one of his starters go into the eighth? Hell, take him out if he gives up a hit, but let the guy finish what is rightfully his.

While there is plenty to complain about after another Brewers loss to the Cubs, I'll keep this short and sweet because technically we're still in first place (and it's one hour before Wednesday's game). Chris Narveson is on the bump tonight against Carlos Zambrano, and the last thing I want to see is a fiery Zambrano yelling into his glove while walking to the dugout after another scoreless inning. Let's take it to Chicago tonight boys, and get our first win of the season down at Wrigley.

Will Ron walk Castro?
Put him on, try double play?
Nope, take the win, Cubs!

POTG: Yovani Gallardo

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

U.S. Open Preview

With no Tiger Woods this weekend I'm sure people might have a little less interest in the Open, but I think we are in for a great weekend of golf. Steve Stricker is coming off of a big win, and looking to keep his hot streak going this weekend (including many more birdies and maybe another a hole in one?). I would love to see nothing more than a guy like Stricker win this thing. Angel Cabrea won the Open in 2007, and that is about it for people winning over the age of 35 in the past 10 years. As for some more history for you, the last time it was held at Congressional in 1997, Ernie Els took home the title. Graeme McDowell is the defending champion, and will try to be the first person to win back to back since Curtis Strange in 1988-89.

The pairing this week for the first two days have a lot of solid groups. The group to keep a close on eye is the 1:35 tee time of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Rory McIlroy. We all know the mess Dustin Johnson went through with the grounding of the club last year. McIroy pooped, for the lack of a better word, himself at the Masters this year, and Phil Mickelson has to be the crowd favorite since Tiger is out. A group that is going out early Thursday with the 7:44 tee time is made of Matt Kuchar, Paul Casey, and K.J. Choi. This could be a sleeper group of three guys that all have a chance to make a run at the championship. Steve Stricker will tee off at 1:24 with David Toms, and two time Open winner Retief Goosen. Here is a list of all the parings and times they will tee off.

With over 100 people playing this weekend it hard to single out one guy as the guy that is going to win the title. It wouldn't be fair for me to pick 10 guys either, so I'm going to give you my top three guys. My first guy has to be Matt Kuchar. Who? And why you ask? He is a long hitter that finds the fairway, and knows how to play par golf. That will be a huge key this weekend. My second guy is Steve Stricker. Might be a homer pick, but he played well two weeks ago. He also knows how to score, and stay out of trouble. My third guy is Graeme McDowell. He won it last year, and his putter can be very clutch at times. If you just play tee to fairway, fairway to green, two-putt for par, but sink a birdie here and there you will score well this week. The minute you find yourself right or left you will find yourself looking up at the leaders. That's why Phil, Dustin, and Rory kind of scare me. They could of course all still win without a doubt, but where is the fun in picking the best guys?

Either way it should be a good weekend. The final round falls on Father's Day again, and I have to say that would be one of the greatest feelings ever. Walking up the 18th hole about to win a Major with your dad standing by the green has to be an excellent feeling. Knowing the person that guided you through life is now watching you be successful in front of millions would be a once in a lifetime experience. I'm looking forward to watching someone possibly do that again this weekend.

Bucks Survivor: Season Finale

It's clear to see that the reason Bucks Survivor may have generated less interest than normal this season is that this game is nothing more than a two horse race. All season long, we knew it was going to come down to Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut, and here we are. Technically, the voting for this recent round was to go until Friday but when I woke up this morning the votes were unanimous to kick out Ersan Illyasova and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. However, just a few minutes ago I did see that a vote was given to vote out the Brandon Jennings, Ersan Illyasova combo, but I'm going to assume that was placed by the guy who has been trying to vote Brandon Jennings out since round one, for whatever reason. Anyway, executive decision here, and we're going to get right down to the final round of voting.

The question is simple: Who should the Bucks build their franchise around? Which of these Bucks players is the most important to the future of the franchise? Quite simply, who is the Bucks Survivor? Andrew Bogut won the contest in year one and year two, and then Brandon Jennings won the contest after his rookie campaign last season. But who will be the one to win it in year four? On the top right hand side of the page, you'll need to vote for who you want to win. Don't vote for the person you want to see eliminated, vote for the player that you think should win the ultimate crown of Bucks Survivor.

As always, thanks again for playing.

Your Gold Cup Reminder

Honestly, these reminders are more for me so that I don't forget about the U.S. Soccer Men's National Team's upcoming game in the Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is the next biggest tournament for the United States team behind the World Cup, as it's the tournament that includes every team in their region (CONCACAF). Since DirecTV hides the Fox Soccer Channel on their highest, most expensive package (which I do not have, as remember, I work in radio), I still may be unable to watch the games as much as I'd like. I guess going to my parents house tonight to check it out wouldn't be so bad. 

Tonight's game - USA vs. Guadeloupe - 7pm - Ford Field - Livestrong Sporting Park - Kansas City, Missouri

May We Now End the Kameron Loe Experiment

I know it's a little unfair to blame a 1-0 loss on just one guy, but if there is any silver lining in the Brewers loss to the Cubs on Monday, it's the fact that maybe, just maybe, Ron Roenicke will finally remove Kameron Loe from the eighth inning set up spot. Even though the offense was non-existent with just four hits in the ballgame, Loe can easily be named as the scapegoat largely due to the struggles that he's had in his role recently. He did give up just the one run, but it was the game's only run, and the feeling of being confident when Loe enters the game with everything on the line has disappeared.

It shouldn't be a surprise that Roenicke has been stubborn about keeping Loe in the set up role, every Brewers manager in recent history has always had a few things they've been stubborn about. Ned Yost was a big fan of leaving pitchers in too long and batting Jason Kendall in the nine hole with little success. Ken Macha  had a thing against letting batters steal bases and also had an indifference towards whether the team won or lost. For Ron Roenicke, his first point of stubbornness does appear to revolve around Loe.

Perhaps I'm making too much out of nothing, as the Brewers had to lose sometime after their triumphant series sweep against the Cardinals. It's a shame that Milwaukee wasn't able to continue their success against another rival in the Chicago Cubs, but hopefully the Brewers can at least split this series when all is said and done. It's going to be a tough couple of weeks with having to visit the Red Sox, Yankees, and hosting the Rays, so you'd like to see Milwaukee pick up some victories against Chicago while that team continues to struggle. It's sad to waste an effort like the one that Randy Wolf had on Monday (seven innings, six hits, zero runs, seven strikeouts), but the Brewers still remain in first place and as long as we're in the top spot or within striking distance I can't find reason to complain too much. For now.

Hungry like the Wolf
Easy headline can't apply
Because Kam Loe sucks

POTG: Randy Wolf

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Your First Place Milwaukee Brewers

There were a lot of doubts at the beginning of the season as to if this Milwaukee Brewers team was really as good as we thought they would be, but now on June 12th I think it's at least safe to say that we have a real contender on our hands. The Milwaukee Brewers are in first place in the NL Central for the first time this season, and the way they got there couldn't have been sweeter. A series sweep in the familiar confines of Miller Park against the rival St. Louis Cardinals, the same team who Milwaukee has been chasing all season, was a beautiful way to end a terrific weekend for baseball fans in Wisconsin. We'll sum the weekend up haiku style.

Friday - Brewers 8, Cardinals 0

Narveson goes eight
Wastes LaRussa's milestone
Fine with me, Cards suck

POTG: Chris Narveson

Saturday - Brewers 5, Cardinals 3

Prince continues tear
Weeks joins the party, Hart too
So close to first place

POTG: Rickie Weeks

Sunday - Brewers 4, Cardinals 3

Staring down first place
Prince makes it happen, again
MVP? You bet.

POTG: Prince Fielder

In other news, I really think I'm coming around on those alternate "Cerveceros" jerseys, and here's some fun facts about what has happened in the nearly two years since the Brewers have been in first place courtesy of Bernie's Crew.

Panama Embarrasses American Soccer

Well, that didn't go as planned. The Americans have never lost during the group stage of the Gold Cup tournament, but you can kiss that streak goodbye as Panama knocked off the United States in a 2-1 result in Tampa on Saturday. Fortunately for me, I wasn't able to watch this nightmare, so I'll let Soccer By Ives give you the recap if you so desire. Basically though, this was a game where the Americans just played shitty. They got down early, then gave up a penalty kick to find themselves down 2-0. They scored late in the match, but couldn't convert some other chances late in the game, including one of the worst misses in American soccer history when Chris Wondolowski missed an open net from four yards away in the 80th minute that could have tied it.

In the grand scheme of things, I'm not sure how detrimental this loss will be to American soccer, but right now it does seem as if the sky is falling. Couple this with their recent embarrassment against Spain a week ago, and the stock of American soccer couldn't be falling faster. Panama is so small that it's almost impossible to find on a map, yet their country is able to put together a roster of guys that is able to go in and beat the Americans, a country that has the greatest supply of athletes in the world. And yes, even though the top athletes in this country choose other sports like baseball, football, and basketball - you would think that with how large this nation is we'd still be able to beat these types of countries. Clearly, that wasn't the case on this night.

Losses like this - and I flashback a bit and think of how crushed I was when the United States lost to Ghana (the title of my post was "This is Why I Don't Believe in Anything") - make it really poignant to me that maybe the United States has a lot further to go in the game of soccer than I previously thought. Why should I care about the MLS when the national soccer team can't even beat Panama at home? Hopefully the team is able to rebound against Guadeloupe on Tuesday and advance past the group stage, otherwise I'm not sure what to think of for the future of American soccer.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bucks Survivor: This Thing is Still Going On?

Wisconsin's best kept secret continues in the form of Bucks Survivor, and the level of success that I am receiving from creating this competition is beyond my wildest dreams. Not only am I getting recognized on the street everywhere I go as the creator of this competition, but the Milwaukee Bucks have reached out to me about a potential job offer as well. In addition, CBS has offered to pay me a large sum of money for helping them promote the real Survivor show. Clearly, none of those wild assertions are true, but trust me when I tell you that Larry Sanders is the latest member of the Bucks to be removed from the competition.

That leaves Andrew Bogut, Brandon Jennings, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, and Ersan Ilyasova as the final four in the contest. This is also a double elimination round, and as we've historically done we're going to give you the option to vote of two players with one vote. The voting as always can be done on the top of the page on the right hand side, and voting from this round will go on through Friday at noon.

Kelvin Sampson To Detroit???

Even Kelvin Sampson looks confused about all the talking going on about him going to Detroit. I guess Mike Woodson is the top runner for the head coaching job of the Pistons, but Sampson seems to be giving him a run for his money. I know it might be a homer pick, but I think Sampson will be one hell of a coach. He took a guy like Brandon Jennings under his wing, and while Jennings might not be the best player in the league, he is calm and cool for his age which you have to attribute a bit to Kelvin Sampson.

Sampson, I think, is the kind of guy that learned a lot from what went down at Indiana. He seems to be a coach that players would believe, and learn from. The Pistons had a lot of issues last season with players giving up, and not trusting the coach. I really think Sampson would be a guy that could fill this role very nicely. Do I want this move to happen? No not at all, because I want him to stay on our staff as long as possible. I know me and Winks have talked about this before, that he will be a head coach again some day. I would just like to see him work with Jennings another two years, and then we will really know what kind of player Jennings is. I guess till something happens Sampson will be our assistant coach, but remember his name will most likely be the first one thrown in the hat once a head coach job opens up until he gets a gig.

Your Gold Cup Reminder

Honestly, these reminders are more for me so that I don't forget about the U.S. Soccer Men's National Team's upcoming game in the Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is the next biggest tournament for the United States team behind the World Cup, as it's the tournament that includes every team in their region (CONCACAF). Since DirecTV hides the Fox Soccer Channel on their highest, most expensive package (which I do not have, as remember, I work in radio), I still may be unable to watch the games as much as I'd like. I guess going to my parents house tonight to check it out wouldn't be so bad. 

Tonight's game - USA vs. Panama - 7pm - Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Florida

Friday, June 10, 2011

As Temperature Drops, Offense Cools as Well

I've always liked Gweeds strategy of putting up pictures of people that were at the Bucks game instead of a picture of the Bucks after games that they had lost. Coincedentally, many of the pictures that he would put up were of Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Braun, so I thought it'd be fitting again to show these two continue their budding loving relationship. This picture is far better to me than the alternative, which would be showing a photo of the Mets beating the Brewers 2-1 at Miller Park on Thursday night, causing Milwaukee to lose a series at home for the first time since the last week in April (vs. the Reds from the 25th to the 27th).

The Mets offense was able to get to Gallardo, and get to him early. Yovani lasted just four innings and in that time gave up ten hits. He was able to put a bandaid over the damage somewhat by only allowing four runs off of those ten hits, but those four runs would be more than the enough for the Mets this time around. Credit the Brewers bullpen however for allowing just one hit the rest of the game, courtesy of Tim Dillard, Sergio Mitre, and Marco Estrada.

The Brewers lone run on Thursday was drived in by - you guessed it - Prince Fielder. He's really been the only one producing at the plate as of late, and outside of the two through four spots last night, the offense was a black hole. A lot of criticism is falling at the hands of Casey McGehee, who was back in the five-hole and now is back on another hitless streak. It's been a tough go of things for McGehee, and as the Brewers head to some American League ballparks in the next couple of weeks, I'd have to agree with the guys at Bernie's Chalet that we can expect to see Mat Gamel getting some regular at-bats soon, possibly in said five-hole.

Life away was good
Come back home, cooling down some
Rebound and crush Cards!

POTG: Prince Fielder. Thought about a courtesy victory for a reliever like Dillard or Mitre, but Prince has to receive all the recognition possible for the tear he's been on lately.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Congrats to My Graduating Brothers

The little man Brent graduates from high school tonight, and another Brock graduated from some crap school in Sheboygan a few weeks ago. This is for them.

Brewers Comeback Masks Poor Mistakes

It was all smiles and "T's" after the Brewers 7-6 comeback victory against the Mets on Wednesday night, and the Brewers do have the right to celebrate this one as it was a game that they really should have been on the losing end of. But thanks to the power of Prince Fielder and the late-inning heroics of Tony Plush, all is well in Brewers country this afternoon.

The biggest concern though that I have coming out of this game is that Ron Roenicke is legitimately in love with Kameron Loe. We saw signs of this early in the season when Loe was used in like 14 of 15 straight games or something ridiculous like that. Now we're seeing Loe being the guy that Roenicke is relying on in the 8th inning, even though we may have better set up men in our very own bullpen (Zach Braddock? LaTroy Hawkins?). Loe has now blown saves in two of his last four appearances, and his effort in Wednesday night's game was atrocious. I had told my buddy through a text that "Loe isn't set up man material, but he's not a bad pitcher" at one point last night. Two seconds later, crack. Ronny Paulino hit a home run. Sigh.

Make no mistake about it, Wednesday night's victory was an amazing one, but the Brewers need to realize that they were lucky to have it. But hey, the good teams get lucky sometimes, and I'll take a win anyway we can get one.

POTG: Prince Fielder

Roenicke loves Loe
A love story Prince powered through
Then Plush FTW

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fondy Native Drafted by the Crew

Chad Pierce knows a thing or two about baseball in Wisconsin. He's a graduate from Fond du Lac High School, he's spent some time with the Sheboygan A's, and he just finished up his ball at UW-Milwaukee. Now, he's going to be playing for the Milwaukee Brewers - or at least, in their farm system should he so choose. Pierce was taken in the 38th round of the MLB Player Draft, going at pick number 1,151 overall. In In 15 starts for the Panthers, Pierce was 6-4 with a 3.21 ERA. Congrats to Chad and maybe we'll try to get him on a podcast, which we are looking to get started with in the next week or two.

The Pierce selection comes one day after another former Fond du Lac Cardinal was taken in the MLB Player Draft, as Sam Munson has been selected by the Atlanta Braves organization.

USA Bests Canada in Gold Cup Opener

When it comes to the Gold Cup, the United States has sort of a knack for winning. At least in the tournament's opening stages. In their last 26 games in opening group play during the CONCACAF tournament, the Americas are on a 24-0-2 unbeaten streak, a streak which continued Tuesday night against Canada at Ford Field in Detroit (Uncle Sam's Army has done alright in the full tournament as well, winning the thing three of the last five times, with Mexico winning the other two Cups). It was a good win for the United States, who had just come off of a 4-0 drubbing to the hands of world champion Spain in a friendly last weekend in Foxborough.

While the final in their match against Canada reads 2-0, make no mistake about it, the Americans were in control of this thing for nearly the entire time, so a 2-0 lead may not do the team justice for just how well they played (then again, they only did have two actual shots on goal, with both of them going in of course). Familar names were able to put the United States on top and keep them there - Jozy Altidore scored in the 15th minute and Clint Dempsey added a mark in the 62nd. Tim Howard was able to keep things clean throughout the game, although not really facing much of an attack from Canada until the games' waning moments. But the goalkeeper put forth a solid effort and kept our foes to the north off the scoresheet.

Now personally, I actually didn't get to watch much of this game as I do not have the Fox Soccer Channel as part of our DirecTV package (it's on their highest level of service, which frankly is an unnecessary package to have, and the channel is unavailable in their separate sports pack, a rare DirecTV downfall when it comes to sports). And even if I had access to that channel, or if you currently do, the Gold Cup isn't something you're going to be hearing much about. Don't get me wrong, it's a prestigious tournament, it's just that the masses in America don't seem to care about soccer unless it's the World Cup. It's a shame, too, as these are the same guys playing only a slightly lower level of competition. As always, Mexico will be the top obstacle between the United States and a championship, but the Caribbean nations have been improving and are never an easy out.

Elsewhere in the tournament so far Costa Rica has beat Cuba 5-0, Mexico topped El Salvador by the same result, Jamaica topped Grenada 4-0, Honduras and Guatemala played to a scoreless draw, and Panama edged Guadeloupe 3-2. To be honest, Wikipedia's page is the cleanest way to look at all the results and the upcoming schedule. For the Americans, their next match is against Panama this Saturday night.

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