Quite the block and season saving moment made by Derrick Rose, even though he missed the two free throws to extend the lead. Bulls beat the Celtics 128-127 in 3 overtimes to force Game 7.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
There is no question that the Minnesota Vikings are the best fit for Brett Favre. The Vikings have Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels as the potential week one starters. I'd almost rather start Rex Grossman than those two. Brad Childress should be worried if he expects the Vikings to repeat in 2009 with no answer behind center. Ultimately, Favre could be the answer in the Twin Cities if his injury is healed.
Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse thinks the deal is already done.
'At this time,' here we go again with Brett Favre (via Star Tribune)
And, if you're into stalking a plane did arrive in Hattiesburg from Minnesota
Plane flies from Minneapolis to Hattiesburg, and back again (via ProFootballTalk.com)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Jeff Karstens isn't making any friends in Brewer Nation. After serving up a trio of gopher balls to brewers sluggers Karstens decided to take issue with his hanging curveballs by beaning All-Star Ryan Braun in the back. Braun was none too happy about it after the game, and these are two teams that have a rough history.
So what I wonder, is when and who will face retribution? The two teams have 12 more games against each other so does Macha wait until the next time the Crew sees Jeff Karstens in the batters box and put one between the numbers or will we see Adam LaRoche given a base via bruise in game two tonight?
I say wait, and make sure Karstens gets his.
Brewers.com is reporting that top Center Field prospect Lorenzo Cain will not need surgery on his torn left PCL.
This is a major relief for a player who really needs to play to develop. Cain is not a J.J. Hardy type of prospect that can jump a level in the minors despite missing a year with a major injury.
Brewers Assistant GM Gord Ash said that Cain should return to the field in 4-6 weeks. That means Lo will have to wait until June to get his first hit of the season, in the four games he did play he was 0-14.
If he develops like many of us hope he can, a September call-up may still be possible.
Monday, April 27, 2009
We'll have to see what Jeff Suppan does this Thursday against the Diamondbacks too see if this could make sense.
Could Brewers Take Pedro Off Market? (via RealGM.com)
Youssoupha Mbao Prospect Profile (via DraftExpress.com)
There were six or seven players who had a realistic chance of being selected, but only four would be selected, and they all went in the same round, the third. And TE Travis Beckum declared in an interview, “I think the third round is Wisconsin time.”
DE Matt Shaughnessy - Rd 3(71) - Oakland Raiders
This was probably a reach for the Raiders, but that seemed to be the theme with Al Davis and company in 2009. The "experts" were/are still scratching their heads with the selection of Darrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree in Round 1 to really give much notice. Besides, getting a steady DE with 173 careertackles and 14 career sacks normally won't bring too much criticism. So, maybe the Raiders aren't as stupid as we all think, though, their consistently poor performance would prove otherwise.
This is a good situation for Matt in the fact he should get some playing time, but unfortunate situation that he will be playing for the lowly Raiders, at least his new boss (Al Davis) isn't crazy or anything, wait.
LB DeAndre Levy - Rd3(76) - Detroit Lions
It might seem like a bad break for Levy to go to the winless Lions, but they always seem like they are just missing a couple pieces of their puzzle. Last year QB seemed to be their main weakness, and the Lions are hoping Stafford can make an immediate impact similar to what Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan did to their respective teams. Throw in TE Brandon Pettigrew and S Louis Delmas, and factor in a fairly weak NFC North, the Lions might just be competitive (or so we have been saying for the last few years). I forgot to mention their fierce new logo.
Interestingly enough, according to Lions officials, Levy's stock skyrocketed after reviewing tape of Beanie Wells. They noticed Levy blowing back the highly touted Ohio State RB on several instances. They found out what most of us Badger fans already knew, that we had a good linebacking corps. The Lions say that they will try Levy in the middle, but that should work pretty well for him as he is used to the smashmouth in your face type of football, and his OLB capable speed should give the Lions a pretty good defender against the pass as well.
OL Kraig Urbik - Rd3(79) - Pittsburgh Steelers
Urbik is heading to the Superbowl champs - not a bad situation. The Steelers will be counting on a steady performance when he is playing as the last thing Ben Rothliesberger needs is to be hit too many times. Urbik was expected to be the first Badger to go, and the way it seemed offensive linemen were coming off the shelf early on, a surprise to many that he was the third Badger taken. Wisconsin is a offensive line power house, and Urbik has been as steady as some of the best. Here is a direct statement off of steelers.com:
Urbik started 50 games at Wisconsin, lining up at right guard 34 times and added 16 more starts at right tackle...In 2005, he became the first Badger freshman to start at offensive tackle since former All-American Chris Mcintosh did in 1996...As a Badger, he registered 45 touchdown-resulting blocks and 325 knockdowns...In his final two seasons, Urbik tallied 176 knockdowns, 15 down field blocks and 26 touchdown-resulting blocks on a total of 1,641 offensive plays, grading 86.58% in those 24 games...During that span, he allowed only three quarterback sacks and two pressures on 680 pass plays.
I'd say the Steelers got good value at this pick. Plus the Steelers grinding style of play fits what Urbik knows well from playing at Wisconsin.
TE Travis Beckum - Rd3(100) - New York Giants
This is going to be the pick I think most people will keep an eye on. Beckum after a monster 2007 was projected to be a 1st or 2nd round pick if he were to enter the draft. He decided to return for his Senior year though. A decision that future NFL prospects will likely look at when deciding to enter the draft or stay for their Senior years.
Beckum started off the season slow and then a freak injury sidelined him for the remainder of the year. He slid to the last pick of the 3rd round, and was the 5th TE taken overall. Beckum seems to be taking it in stride, saying he doesn't regret his decision. It is quite possible he is serious too as he falls into one of the top NFC teams who will likely use him in his preferred role, the H Back. Beckum will be a nice compliment to Kevin Boss. Maybe I am a little biased, but I think this could end up being one of the steals of the draft. General Manager Jerry Reese seems to think so to with this statement to ESPN:
“We think he’ll create some nightmare matchups for us - Plus, he’ll be a friend to the quarterback when it gets cold and the wind starts howling up here in November and December.”
Andy Kemp OG - signed as a free agent with the Vikings.
Jonathon Casillas LB - signed with the Saints.
PJ Hill RB - surprising some, went undrafted and as of yet is unsigned.
Chris Pressley FB - Signed with Bengals
Bill Rentmeester FB - signed on with the Chargers
Dave Peck (Long Snapper) - has a workout with the Bears.
Article from badgerbeat.com
Sunday, April 26, 2009
"I was in a 'no doubles' situation, playing deep, and on a fly ball I ran in and made a sliding catch on my knees," Cain said on Sunday while at the airport awaiting a flight to Milwaukee, where he was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday. "The outfield there is kind of hard, and I banged my knee against the ground."
We'll see how this story develops throughout the week.
Brewers' prospect Cain injures knee (MLB.com)
Round 1 (9) - Boston College NT B.J. Raji
Round 2 (26) - USC LB Clay Matthews
Round 4 (109) - Eastern Michigan OL T.J. Lane
Round 5 (145) - LSU FB Quinn Johnson
Round 5 (162) - South Carolina OL Jamon Meredith
Round 6 (182) - Georgia DE Jarius Wynn
Round 6 (187) - Cincinnati CB Brandon Underwood
Round 7 (218) - Colorado LB Brad Jones
No argument here with Thompson's two first round draft picks with B.J. Raji, and Clay Matthews. The Pack fills the highest two need categories in my earlier post. Dom Capers is a happy man after these two selections to fit his new 3-4 scheme. B.J. Raji has to the favorite to start at the DT in the new scheme with his disruptive size and strength. I think Teddy has a bit of a soft spot in his heart for long haired linebackers as well. The Packers traded up (yes, that right) from New England and selected USC Clay Matthews. Check out the video below on Clay Matthews.
Good picks for Ted Thompson? What do you think?
Saturday, April 25, 2009
No future prospect.
Tyner, who has played in the big leagues with the Mets, Rays, Indians, and Twins, had a astounding .095 batting average with Nashville.
You know the Brewers are for real when we can afford to give players away.
check out the full article: http://blogs.suntimes.com/sportsprose/2009/04/milwaukee_brewers_give_detroit.html
Friday, April 24, 2009
Seems like a certain football coach in Wisconsin over reacted this week.
After this article from the Royal Purple "Spoiled athletes need reality check", UW-Whitewater's head football coach Lance Leipold had this to say:
""This is [expletive deleted] bullshit," Leipold said Wednesday. "It's going to be a bitch to try to cover football next season."
Oops, and of course then had to apologize.
Football coach meets with Royal Purple (RoyalPurpleNews.com)
With the Packers switching to the 3-4 defense, Dom Capers should be hoping for a defensive player with the ninth overall selection. If Ted Thompson decides to pick "best available" and go with an offensive player Kevin Greene should body slam him. This needs to be a defensive draft for the Green Bay Packers.
What are the experts predicting? It seems that anything can happen in the top ten this year with teams wanting to move up or move down.
Jay Glazer, FoxSports.com
Packers at #9: Virginia T Eugene Monroe
Pat Kirwan, NFL.com
Packers at #9: Texas LB Brian Orakpo
Don Banks, si.com
Packers at #9: LSU DE Tyson Jackson
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com
Packers at #9: Texas LB Brian Orakpo
Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball.com
Packers at #9: LSU DE Tyson Jackson
I'm not quite sure what Ted Thompson will do, but Packer fans better hope for defense. If Capers doesn't get 3-4 type players this weekend, looks for Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte run all over the Packers this season. The Packers need a dominant nose tackle, and Boston DT B.J. Raji is my pick.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Technically the sport was axed due to Title IX, but cutting baseball still baffles me. At least in one sport the Big Ten has, as the conference name implies, 10 teams. It is just a shame the school left out is UW. The city of Madison has proved it has a passionate baseball fanbase by drawing good numbers for the Northwood League's Madison Mallards. Maybe Alvarez understands that with the success of the Mallards in Madison and also the Brewers recent successes in Milwaukee, that UW would be unlikely to secure a solid fan base especially as the first years of a new program would likely struggle to win games. Your opinions?
Sunday, April 19, 2009
"Hoffman will be starting a game for [Triple-A] Nashville in Memphis on Tuesday, then pitch for them again in the middle of a game on Thursday," Brewers manager Ken Macha said before the Brewers played the Mets at Citi Field on Sunday. "He should be ready to be activated next Sunday in Houston."Todd Coffey and Trevor Hoffman at the end of the bullpen? Sounds like a great idea to me. The offense just needs to be able to score runs consistently, and the starting pitcher needs to reach Macha's goal and pitch six innings. The SP has looked better the third time around, and I just hope the hitting can get going when Gallardo is on the mound.
(via Nashville Sounds)
In normal circumstances I really don't pay attention to the Washington Nationals or any of their players? Quick, can you name five current Nationals?
Elijah Dukes was out signing autographs at a Little League function promoting the Nationals, showed up late for work, fined $500, had to sit the pine, and was threatened to be sent to Triple-A Syracuse.
Other than signing Adam Dunn, I know nothing about the Nationals. Other than they don't win, nobody wants to play for them, they copy the Sausage Race, and now have created bad PR.
"We are going to change the culture here, regardless of how well a guy is playing," Acta said. "It was a bizarre situation, because he was doing something that we encourage our players to do. He was out in the community doing something for some Little League program and he just showed up late for work.
Dukes was late because he was promoting the Washington Nationals, not himself. Being five minutes late after creating good press for the organization, I think Manny Acta and Mike Rizzo need to start worrying about winning first.
Nats discipline Dukes for tardiness (via MLB.COM)
Friday, April 17, 2009
The Minor League season is in full swing so the time has come to keep a close eye the top brewers prospects, and the Triple-A pitchers that will at some point this season replace Jeff Suppan.
Matt Gamel (3B): He can hit but we already knew that, in seven games to start the year his line is... .500, 2 HR, 10 RBI's... the defensive is still a concern though, he has 4 Errors already.
Alcides Escobar (SS): Three errors to start the season is, honestly, shocking; his defense will be fine. He's hitting .281, but what's nice to see is the early plate presence, his OBP is .361.
Angel Salome (C): Slow start for the stout catcher, hitting only .211 at the outset. OBP is .346 however.
Tony Gwynn Jr. (CF): Still has a lot to prove, TG Jr. is hitting .233 but does have four stolen bases without being caught.
Tim Dillard (P): The hard throwing righty has made only one start so far, and it was fairly good. He pitched five innings and gave up only one run, though his WHIP was high at 1.40.
Best of the rest:
Brendan Katin (OF) is hitting .367 with five driven in, Sam Narron(P) and Mike Burns(P) each sport 4.50 ERA's in multiple starts and Chris Narveson(P) has yet to give up a run in relief for the Sounds this season.
Huntsville Stars (AA)
Lorenzo Cain (CF): On the 7-day DL, hasn't played yet for the Stars.
Chris Errecart (1B): Off to a poor start, the First Baseman has only one extra base hit in the first eight games on his way to a .152 average.
Jonathon Lucroy (C): They say the Southern league is tough on hitters, Lucroy is only hitting .241, but he has driven in five.
Chris Cody (P): The lefty is off to a good start. In two starts he has 12 K's and an ERA of just 2.00.
Jeremy Jeffress (P): Jeffress has struck out 10 but walked seven in his two starts, his ERA sits at 3.86 but his WHIP is 1.71.
Best of the Rest:
Yohannis Perez(SS) is hitting .400, Joshua Wahpepah(P) hasn't given up a run in eight innings of relief and Donovan Hand(P) has an ERA of only 2.08.
Brevard County (High A)
Caleb Gindl (OF): The diminutive Gindl (5'9") is hitting .375 at the seasons start.
Cole Gillespie (OF): He won't be here long, Gillespie is rehabbing at Brevard County and will find himself in Nashville before long. He's hitting .259 for the Manatees.
Eric Farris (IF): Not a good start, hitless in six games.
Mark Rogers (P): He's pitching! Let's hope he stays on the mound after being sidelined last season. No runs allowed in 5.1 innings pitched.
Mike Jones (P): Remember him? The Brewers 2001 1st round pick gave up three runs in his first start, but his WHIP was only 1.20.
Best of the Rest:
Martin Maldonado(C) leads the team with a .429 average. Evan Anundsen(P) gave up only one run in six innings in his first start.
Wisconsin (Low A)
Brett Lawrie (IF): He's finally playing, and playing well at that. Lawrie is hitting .300 with an OBP of .385, he leads the team in total bases.
Cutter Dykstra (OF): A slower start for Lenny's kid, Cutter is hitting .214 for the new Brewers affiliate.
Cody Scarpetta (P): The fast tracked Scarpetta has been good so far, with an ERA of 1.59 and eight strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
Best of the Rest:
Trey Watten(P) and Efrain Nieves(P) are both off to good starts with 11 k's apiece and ERA's under three.
For the Record:
William Inman(P) (Traded for Scott Linebrink, 2007): Inman is still in Double-A, in two games this year he's given up a pair of long balls and six earned runs.
Michael Brantley(CF)(Traded for C.C. Sabathia, 2008): The speedy outfielder is hitting .278 with 4 stolen bases for the Indians Triple-A affiliate.
Matt LaPorta(OF)(Traded for C.C. Sabathia, 2008): LaPorta is hitting .375 with two homers for Cleveland's Triple-A squad.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Week 1 Chicago Bears
Week 2 Cincinnati Bengals
Week 3 @ St. Louis Rams
Week 4 @ Minnesota Vikings
Week 5 Open Date
Week 6 Detroit Lions
Week 7 @ Cleveland Browns
Week 8 Minnesota Vikings
Week 9 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 10 Dallas Cowboys
Week 11 San Francisco 49ers
Week 12 @ Detroit Lions
Week 13 Baltimore Ravens
Week 14 @ Chicago Bears
Week 15 @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 16 Seattle Seahawks
Week 17 @ Arizona Cardinals
Starting off in Week 1 the Pack have a prime time slot with
With a quick rundown of the list, I've projected the Packers to be 8-8. Granted, this is a lot of ifs (reminds me a lot of another team). Can the Packers make a good adjustment to the 3-4? Will Ted Thompson ever have sizzle? Can Aaron Rodgers be consistent?
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Macha to meet with Suppan (brewers.com)
Pitching to Context: How bad is Jeff Suppan? (Brew Crew Ball)
Hoffman on track for Wednesday bullpen session (Brew Beat)
Monday, April 13, 2009
And this is why I love the curse.
The current College Football Hall of Fame has been located in South Bend since 1995. The current economic downturn has been felt in South Bend, and the HOF could be a victim. With notables of Deion Sanders, Roger Staubach, and Oklahoma State booster and billionaire T. Boone Pickens lead the way for Dallas to fully fund a new HOF in downtown Dallas.
This would be quite the blow for South Bend, and the campus of Notre Dame.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
With opening day at Miller Park taking place tomorrow, many of the same fans who have heavy hearts over Adenhart's loss, will hop in their cars after the game after having a bit too much to drink and head for home, endangering themselves and others. I am not in much of a position to criticize or look down upon, though I certainly wish I was....but people, think about what you've had before you turn that key in the ignition. If you aren't too sure, fire the grill back up and relax in the parking lot for a while. Many times last year I spent an extra hour or two, laughing at the people fighting for position in traffic as I tossed a football around. The best part is, I still get home at about the same time since I am not stuck in traffic.
I am glad to say I have my sober ride set for tomorrow, and I hope you have yours set as well. The loss of a life is always tragic, be it an MLB player, a family of four, or even your own. Have fun, but please, Be Safe & Be Smart.
Hey, this is my first PSA.....so you better listen to me so I feel like I made a difference
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Baserunning mistake, costs us 1 run.
Did we mention he can hit?
Gallardo 6.2 IP, 6 Hits, 2 walks, and 6 K's plus a homer.
Stetter was wild. Quick pull from Macha after the walk. Yost would have left him in there.
Big AB for Coffey. Free swinging Molina is up... Ground ball..inning over. 2 innings to go bullpen.
CV12 gets his 3rd career save. Brewers win 4-2, back to .500 baseball.
Gallardo was the big star of the game with his pitching performance, but also with his HR. However, the Brewers can't count on that every 5th day. Coffey looked sharp especially with that nice sinker.
Opening day in 2 days!!
Who went into yesterday really feeling good? Jeff Suppan vs Tim Lincecum. I fully expected it to be a loss. What I didn't expect, and anyone else for that matter, was the manner in which the Crew would lose. You expect Suppan to get hit around for a few runs, and you expect that Lincecum would be almost impossible to get any sort of rally going. Well, the Brewers hit Lincecum and chased him out of the game after 3 innings, the batters were patient, as mentioned in a previous post, and that is an exciting sign and a reflection on Dale Sveum. The problem, Suppan managed to give up 6 earned and the bullpen just added gas to the fire.
We know Suppan got shelled hard enough to give war veterans horrible flashbacks. We know Seth McClung couldn't find the strike zone. We know that Dave Bush should never come out of the bullpen, though he only had one mistake and a bad umpiring call.
With our pitching already the big question mark, seeing this horrid performance has caused many to overreact. You know what though, you have to remember, these games happen...it just sucks it happened on opening day. Reading reader's posts throughout the internets, calls for a Peavy trade have been a prevelant idea, people forgetting Milwaukee is not one of Peavy's teams to be traded to, not to mention the financial burden and high cost it would put on the Brewers. I've read that Suppan should be cut and that Castro should be fired. Both highly illogical and irrational thoughts.
Opening day was not a good day for pitchers all throughout the league....the Brewers just followed that trend. We'll be ok people, take a breath. Now let's hope Gallardo can lock down tonight.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
“I’ve been playing baseball video games for as long as I can remember. All of my idols have appeared on a video game cover, and now to have that same opportunity is truly an unbelievable feeling,” said Fielder. “I can’t wait to see myself in The BIGS 2. I’ll be the guy crushing mammoth home runs into the stands.”
The crew TOOK pitches!!!
Cameron had 4 walks.
Weeks 2-3. And a walk.
Even Suppan took 8 pitches from Lincecum in the second inning.
These are signs that maybe Sveum showed them how to not swing at that low outside fastball.
What yall think?
So before we all commit to the doom and gloom outlook that is all over our media lately, here at sheff's house i have comprised 3 core reasons not to prematurely cry in your 17 dollar Miller Park beers.
Ok, before you whine about the lose of C.C. and the Sheeter, consider this FACT: The brewers did not open the season last year with more than one ace. Sheets was it, and only later did C.C. come in and rescue us from his falter in the second half. SO don't fall for the guy who says "Dude, their pitching is wrecked, we got no one we can count on..blah blah blah." Parra has got more experience, and a healthy YoGo should take Sheets place for a whole season. With the 10 to 12 wins we WILL get from Bush and Suppan, only Looper is the wild card. And if he fails, McClung should be able start. The bottom line-Brewers pitching is not in the dumps, regardless of what SI and others may tell you.
2. Bye bye Ned Yost.
No more will we watch in amazement as Yost does NOTHING while our pitcher gets shelled in the sixth. And no longer will slumping players remain in the lineup while others ride the pine (Weeks and Durham last year). Ken Macca lends his experienced hand and tough attitude to the formally player-friendly position held by Neddy. So rest assured we won't be yelling at our T.V.'s over stupid moves by the leader of the the crew.
3. Experienced Core
With another year down and our team core in tact, things can only get better. Weeks, who struggled mightily last year, had a sold spring with a batting average over 300. Prince got his money, so he won't be gripping the bat as hard as possible and swinging for the fences on every turn. The smart decision by GM Doug Melvin to keep Cameron in center, who will play a whole season this year, is only going to provide leadership for the younger guys. And to expect 30 homeruns from him is not unreasonable. And Braun is, well, Braun.
So we can debate stats all day, and we can fret about the care bears to the south, but the Brewers are poised for a great season. And, hopefully, a repeat playoff run. Get happy Milwaukee.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Dustin - Last years champions, the Phillies are going to have a battle on their hands. After 2 years of perfecting the art of the choke, the Mets stacked their bullpen to prevent what happened in 2008 to happen again, it will work..........Mets
A.Guss - The Phillies surprised me last year, and now with championship experience I expect them to repeat and hold off the NY Mets.
Lange - If everyone stays healthy it's Philadelphia's to lose. They won't, and the Mets will win the division. New York fixed it's biggest flaw with the signing of Francisco Rodriguez.
Dustin - I want to say the Brewers, but, their starting pitching is going to be on shaky ground......ugh.........Cubs
A.Guss - Definitely not a sexy pick, but the Chicago Cubs. I refuse to go any further.
Lange - 100+ million dollar payrolls can buy division championships, just not playoff wins. Cubs will take the Central again.
Dustin - A very weak conference. The Dodgers lost some arms, the D-Backs have no bats, the Rockies and Padres, laughable. The Giants are intriguing, they have solid pitching and for once, a young team...but look for them to come on in 2010, not 2009.........Diamondbacks
A.Guss - It'll be Manny time in LA once again, as the LA Dodgers dominate the division.
Lange - This is a poor division. Arizona could make some noise if their young players make some strides, but they won't. The Giants still have some rebuilding left to do and the Padres and Rockies are bad (terrible really). Look for the Dodgers to win by a lot.
Dustin - I am rooting for a repeat of last year, but I am reasonably certain it will come out of the east............Phillies
A.Guss - Just like the Yankees, the Mets tried to fix their pitching and did so with the acquisitions of J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez. Their offense is to potent, and with Santana as the ace the Mets should be wild card bound.
Lange - Seven out of the last nine National League world series teams failed to make the playoffs the following season, I see that happening again. Whether Brad Lidge breaks down mentally or Cole Hamels physically, something will keep this team out of the playoffs. I'm taking the Milwaukee Brewers, there will be enough improvement in the pitching staff that they will be in.
We immediately went to the Brewers & White Sox game at the Taj Mahal of spring training facilities - Camelback Ranch. It is brand new this year and is shared w/the Dodgers. Words cannot describe how exquisite the facilities are! It did take about 45 minutes to friggin' get tickets, so we missed what were the 3 regulars from the lineup play that day. I do know Dave Bush looked good and was very sharp. So sharp that he had to go to the bullpen afterward to meet his allotted pitch count. But the main buzz around that stadium that day was that big, bad Manny was making his spring debut their the next day. I couldn't have cared less.
Next game I went to was versus the Padres. Trevor Hoffmann brought his kids w/him and had them down in the dugout and bullpen area the whole time during the game at Maryvale. Since it was a home game, most of the regulars were in the lineup, so that was nice. I was lucky enough to get Hoffmann to sign a bat for me during the game too, so that made my day.
The next day's game was versus the Royals. Plenty of good seats available!!!! I was able to get to the Maryvale complex around 9am because I wanted to hawk for some more autographs and hang out and watch the minor leaguers practice. Fittingly, I saw Bill Hall boot his only chance in the field during a 10-inning intrasquad game. Same ol' Billy! The intrasqad was really interesting to watch... it had all of the highly thought of minor leaguers that weren't in big league camp. I was able to see Brett Lawrie make a Jeter-esque jump/turn/throw from 2nd base to record an out. Seeing Lawrie in action for the first time, he's a little shorter and stockier than I was lead to believe. We'll see how this move to second shapes up. Just like any other Brewers prospect, the bat will play and worry about a position in the field later. I also got to see Guss' hero, Jeremy Jeffress pitch 2 innings in the game. If he can stay out of trouble, the sky's the limit for him. He made a couple batters look foolish, including breaking Bill Hall's bat... imagine that - Hall struggling against a right handed pitcher... I also spoke to Jeffress' and Lorenzo Cain's agent for about an hour as well. It was very enlightening to hear his thoughts on some things.
Being at the Maryvale complex for about 8 hours that day, it allowed me to get a crap load of autographs. In additions to getting Hoffman on a Louisville Slugger, here's the list of baseball related signatures I got:
- Trevor Hoffman signed ball
- Brett Lawrie signed MLB ball
- Brett Lawrie signed World Baseball Classic ball
- Jeremy Jeffress signed MLB ball
- Lorenzo Cain signed MLB ball
- Michael Brantley signed MLB ball
- Matt Laporta signed MLB ball
- Brent Brewer signed MLB ball
- Alcides Escobar signed MLB ball
- Bill Schroeder signed MLB ball
- Matt Laporta signed bat
- Michael Brantley signed bat
- Matt Laporta signed game used batting gloves
- J.J. Hardy signed mini Brewers helmet
- Vinny Rottino game used Brewers rookie jersey
- Prince Fielder, Hardy, and Braun signed full sized helmet
I was able to the Laporta and Brantley things signed when we went to the game in Goodyear, AZ where the Indians train. Also a brand new complex this year, but it has nothing on Camelback Ranch! Overall, the first part of the trip was watching Brewers baseball games versus the White Sox, Padres, Royals, and Indians.
Then came the golfing half of my trip! When I go on an extended vacation out of town, I tend to play at some of the best golf courses in the area even though I have no business playing them, let alone setting foot on the premises! Some of the courses I've played in the past include Erin Hills, ASU Karsten, TPC of Scottsdale, and Torrey Pines. For this trip, I went crazy w/golfing...
I decided to have a "warm up round" at a place called Starfire Golf Club, which happened to be designed by none other than Arnold Palmer. First round in over 8 months, I played exceptionally well for me - fired an 85 - my best round I can ever recall. Granted the course wasn't too long, but there was major water & sand I managed to avoid the entire round. I got to play w/a few Irishmen, so I felt like I was at home w/some of my buddies. They gave me a cigar to start the back nine, and I could barely stand up after the 10th hole!
Since I played so well the first time out, I decided to play a course called "Talking Stick". This course has hosted a bunch of sectional qualifiers for AZ USGA tournaments and PGA Qualifiers. This course was designed by Ben Crenshaw and was deemed Top 100 courses to play by Golf Magazine. The course I played was more of a British links style course, so it worked well w/my "skull it and watch it run style". I shot a respectable 90, which is actually very good for me.
Now with two rounds of above average play for my standards in two days, I figured why not test my limits some more. The third course in three days I decided to pick was called Grayhawk. It just so happens to be Phil 'Man Tits' Mickelson's home course! It's also the host of the Frys.com Open on the fall swing of the PGA Tour. So it's a legit course obviously!! I didn't really fit in at this course, felt really out of place, but I did manage to somehow shoot a 95. Didn't see Man Tits anywhere though, but there were some other nice sets of tits were engaging in conversation with! You couldn't swing a dead cat without finding a hottie at this place!
Having never gone 3 consecutive days of golfing, my muscles were very sore, but did it stop me from going a fourth day in a row? Nah! I saved the best for last: Troon North. Troon North is consistently considered the #1 course in all of Arizona to play year in and year out. They even have a Taylor Made performance center located there which was awesome. There are 2 courses, Pinnacle and Monument. Pinnacle is the #1 in the state, so I naturally played that one! And Monument was no slouch either, it's rated #4 in the state! Talking about being out of my league, I was so nervous on my first tee shot that I completely missed the ball. The only other time this happened was at Torrey Pines in San Diego. I was waaaay out of my league at this course. It was the definition of playing target golf the entire day. I have no accuracy to be trying to hit targets from 220 yards out. But by far the highlight of the round came on the 2nd hole when I hit a low liner that didn't get more than 3 feet off the ground and travelled some 200 yards. It would have wen't further, but it struck a meandering BOBCAT that was crossing the fairway!! That was the only bobcat I saw on the course, but there were other vermin... rattlesnakes, salamanders, iguanas, jackrabbits, and probably many more I wasn't aware of.
We also caught a Phoenix Coyotes / Nashville Predators hockey game one night and managed to snag even more autographs there. Got Kyle Turris (#3 overall pick in 2007 from Wisconsin) to sign a jersey and ticket stub, and a couple other players signed pucks for us as well. I'm actually starting to come around on the sport after despising it for all my life.
Did manage to do a little sightseeing too. Spent an entire day in Sedona, AZ which really reminded me of the Dells. Like I said, it was a great 2 weeks and I wished like hell I didn't have to come back. Maybe if all goes well, I'll be down there permanently at some point in my life.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Too funny. "Shhh, this is my favorite part comin up right now". POW! With Tyson's psychotic history of behavior, makes you wonder if it was improvised. I can't tell if the trailer Mike Tyson looks better than a-couple-of-months-ago Mike Tyson,
but at any rate, he sure has fallen from what once was...
(poor quality - not my fault, I didn't make the video)
And finally, no Mike Tyson post would be complete without a ridiculous compilation of quotes from him.
3:00-3:30 has me in tears. Oh, Iron Mike.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Dustin - Oh, hi 2008 Rays, why didn't I put money on you in Vegas to win the East? I know why, it would have been a stupid gamble. Don't look for a repeat, or for another shocker such as the Orioles. Being the only team spending cash will pay off in 2009........Yankees
A.Guss - A feel good story won't happen again for the Rays and the Yankees spent a TON of money for Burnett, Sabathia, and Teixeira. I still don't think that will be enough. The Boston Red Sox with their pitching staff from start to finish will be too much in 2009.
Lange - I would really like to take Toronto here, but let's be realistic. Boston will be the team coming out of the east, a healthy David Ortiz and Mike Lowell will help lift this team.
Dustin - Always an intriguing division, and many people are predicting Kansas City to rise from the cellar or Detroit to live up to their expectations. Not me.........Indians
A.Guss - Detroit will rebound after a disappointing year in 2008. KC seems to be a threat, but then again they haven't finished .500 for a long time.
Lange - Unlike the NL west, this is a very good division. Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit and K.C. could all win. I'm going to take the Twins, their pitching staff is too good and, if healthy, Joe Crede could be the bat they need at third.
Dustin - In what has to be the unfairest part of baseball, only 4 teams compete for the AL West, meanwhile my Brewers have 5 other teams to worry about! I think Oakland and Texas will once again be competitive teams, but this is obviously a lopsided division........Angels
A.Guss - Least competitive division in baseball, at least until Jack Zduriencik rebuilds the Seattle Mariners. The LA Angels are by far the favorite, lets hope that maybe Oakland can make it interesting.
Lange - Anaheim didn't get much worse, but they didn't get any better either. Look for Oakland to put together some long win streaks in the division and come out on top. With their young pitching coming due and the addition of Matt Holliday this team made a lot of good moves.
Dustin - I would love to pick anyone not from the east, but that won't be the case, and no, the Rays won't make it either......Red Sox
A.Guss - With the Red Sox predicted to win the division, the NY Yankees spent just enough money to get into the playoffs.
Lange - It'll probably be the Yankees, but where is the fun in that. My pick will be the Kansas City Royals. Behind Gil Meche and Zach Greinke the Royals will sneak into the playoffs. Alex Gordon will finally show why he was drafted ahead of Ryan Braun and Ryan Zimmerman.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Who do you think deserves the dreaded Madden curse?
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Jay Cutler - 86.0 QB rating, 4,526 total yards, and a TD/INT ratio of 25/18
Kyle Orton - 79.6 QB rating, 2,972 total yards, and a TD/INT ratio of 18/12
This move by Jerry Angelo vastly improves the Bears chances of winning the NFC North division crown. Last year the Bears were ranked 21st in overall pass offense, and ranked 24th in rushing. Not very impressive at all. But, imagine a pro-bowl QB now with Matt Forte in the backfield. Jay Cutler should be able to lead the Bears past the Vikings for the NFC North's top spot.
On a side note, Orlando Pace is headed to the Windy City as well.
"Brewers Fan Saves Hot Girl From Certain Death"
Realistically, the video title should be: "Unfortunately, semi-athletic Brewers Fan saves Jersey Chasing "Baseball is Boring" suntanning whore from imminent concussion".
Too bad. Think of the possibilities if he had tripped prior to making that catch. Oh, what could have been...
Dustin - If the highest paid player always was the best, this would be Mark Teixera's award, but the Yankees frivolous spending will get them no personal awards for their players. I think the Indians will once again be competitive this year, and that will be in large part of their star center fielder........Grady Sizemore
A.Guss - With Alex Rodriguez out for a few months, the AL race is wide open. Did the Yankees actually pay someone worth their contract in Mark Teixera? Probably not. With the NL East overshadowing the rest of the AL, most people don't think Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. Last year, Cabrera batted .292 his lowest since 2003, but also put up career numbers in home runs (37) and RBIs (127). If the Tigers don't tank it like last year, look for Miguel Cabrera to take home the AL MVP.
Lange - This is completely up in the air, I don't see Dustin Pedroia repeating and A-Rod is out for the start of the season so there are too many to choose from. I like the A's this year out of the AL West and accordingly that means Matt Holliday would have to have a big year. He's my pick for AL MVP. One note though, if I'm wrong about the A's then Holliday won't win the award because he'll be traded at the deadline.
Dustin - Conventional wisdom would tell me to select Albert Pujols, however I'm not a conventional kind of guy. I am going to go with a homer pick actually, but this homer pick actually has legs to stand on. After signing a long term deal and emerging as a leader after getting swept by the BoSox in 2008, Ryan Braun's attitude and bat (along with a man named CC) helped to propel the Brewers into the playoffs. He has a star power that Milwaukee hasn't seen in many years, so he will not be under the radar. In 2009 the Brewers pitching staff is going to be, iffy, and that is putting it nicely, so if the Brewers are going to compete they will need the bats in a big way, the number one reason the Brewers will compete is my selection for MVP.............Ryan Braun
A.Guss -I'd like to pick Hanley Ramirez or King Albert, but I'm going with Manny Ramirez. After the Dodgers acquired Manny last year and having a great and successful second half of the season, I will look forward to an entire year of Mannypalooza in LA. With Torre batting Ramirez third in the lineup behind Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson there will be many opportunities to produce runs.
Lange - I am willing to make the obvious pick here. Albert Pujols is far and away the best hitter in the National League, and (unfortunately) I think the Cardinals will be better this year. He'll hit .330 with 35 home runs and probably around 130 RBI's, he's just that good.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Dustin - I think CC Sabathia will be the sexy pick for this, but not for me. For all the money the Yankees dropped, they are certainly expecting Cy Young stuff from CC. I also do not think Cliff Lee will be able to replicate his 2008. My pick has survived cancer and posted a couple fairly solid seasons with the Red Sox, in 2009 he will be lights out........Jon Lester
A.Guss - I'd go with the semi-homer pick and select CC Sabathia, but too easy. I'm picking a former Cy Young winner in Blue Jay's ace Roy Halladay. After, having another great year last year earning him a second place finish I project Halladay to be the standout in the AL.
Lange - Going against Sabathia may not seem the wisest move, but anytime a pitcher threw that many innings (253 IP) it makes me wary, even if he did throw 241 the season before, those innings will catch up with him. So, I'm going to go outside the box on this one. Zack Greinke, (Kansas City Royals if you didn't know). Greinke struck out 183 against only 56 walks for K.C. last season and managed 13 wins on an awful team. Look for better run support and more wins for the 25 year-old.
NL Cy Young Winner
Dustin - Wowsa the NL has some top notch Aces, Santana, Hamels, Lincecum, Peavy, Webb, Haren. Part of me wants to select either Lincecum for the repeat or Hamels. Lincecum doesn't need an explanation, and I think Hamels, freshly locked up with the Phillies is going to have a monster season. However, I think Brandon Webb has a lot to prove after his almost perfect first half of 2008 and then a sudden dropoff, in 2009 the hardware is his.......Brandon Webb
A.Guss -Too many choices on the NL side, which will make it another interesting race. I may be hated for this pick, but Carlos Zambrano is the choice. Zambrano is capable of shutting down any NL lineup. His 14-6 record and 3.91 ERA weren't spectacular, but who can forget the no-hitter?
Lange - I like a few young players for this, Chad Billingsley in L.A., Adam Wainwright in St. Louis and Yovani Gallardo in Milwaukee. Because Wainwright and Gallardo are both coming off injuries it's tough to take either of them. So, Chad Billingsley is my choice. He'll have good run support and if he can cut down on his walks from a year ago he will win the requisite 20 games on a very good Dodger team.