Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I gave the NBA one shot this season. I wasted my time.

We've talked about this before. I talk about it a lot, as it turns out. But in case you've missed all of the other conversations, here's something you should know about me: I love basketball, but I don't like the NBA. I'm pretty open about that. I've done my best to perpetuate a rumor that watching it causes pink eye. I do my best to avoid it.

But, once each year, I give it another shot. I know a handful of pretty smart, likeable sports fans who love the NBA. I've never understood what they see in it, but once each year I do my best to be open-minded and see if there's something I've been missing.

Last year I sat through two Bucks games, sucked in by the hype that followed Brandon Jennings' 55 point performance. This year, inspired by a TV slate that featured nothing else of interest, I sat down Friday night and watched the Bucks-Timberwolves game.

The Bucks lost this game, sleepwalking to a double-digit loss against a team that won 15 games last season and hasn't won more than 33 games since 2004. In the middle of the game, though, my in-laws stopped by and we had this exchange:

I notice Ersan Ilyasova has checked into the game.
ME: Ersan Ilyasova is the embodiment of everything I hate about the NBA. He's sloppy, selfish, he takes terrible shots and he's defensively worthless.*
MOTHER-IN-LAW: Which one is he?
Ilyasova catches a pass on the perimeter and immediately jacks up a three that barely draws iron.
ME: That's him.
At the other end of the court Ilyasova picks up his fourth foul, in the first half.

* - I've watched him play three times over the last two seasons. I suppose it's possible I've just seen him at the wrong times. But man, has he ever been awful when I've seen him.

See you next year, NBA.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This Is Why They Invented the Word "Shit."

I haven't FJMed in a while, so I'm probably out of practice. But His Admiralty directed me to this schlock from onmilwaukee.com's Dave Begel -- and, hell, let's get this out of the way right now, Dave: you MIGHT want to come up with a byline pic that doesn't make it look like you're huddled in your basement with the lights off, hiding from your wife, with only the glow of the computer screen to keep you warm -- but I digress.

The topic of this screed is Brett Favre, and why he's a "legend." I think. I'm not sure, and I've read it four times. Maybe you can help me.

This was why they invented the word "legend."

I thought the word "legend" was invented for the Will Smith vehicle "I Am Legend." I mean, it's right there in the title of the movie: he is legend. Brett Favre, on the other hand, is an overpaid, overcovered, and (apparently) underhung quarterback for a bad football team.

But, more to the point: the Vikings lost on Sunday. Seems like kind of an odd time to be crowing about the "legendary" exploits of Minnesota's quarterback, no?

Brett Favre was not the best quarterback on the field Sunday night when Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers exorcised their demons by beating Favre and the Minnesota Vikings, 28-24.

Shit, Dave, I think there's a strong argument that Favre wasn't even the second-best quarterback on the field on Sunday. I mean, did you see the ball that Matt Flynn threw to the uncoordinated, fourth-string tight end whose name I can't remember?

But he was the only one who had his hands wrapped around our hearts.

I know what you want me to do: you want me to say, "Better that he had his hands wrapped around our hearts than around his hoo-hoo-dillie." And, ordinarily, I would say just that. But we have to stay on task, people. There's nonsense to dissect here.

Forget Ted Thompson.

Um. OK.

Forget the Jets and the Vikings.

Sure. Done.

Forget the texting and sexting and little boy voicemails.

Little boy voicemails? Is Brett Favre going to be on To Catch a Predator?!? My tittles are lated here, Dave, but, with the expectation that you're going somewhere with this: Fine. They're out of mind.

Forget all of that crap because none of that really matters.
What matters is that with all the odds stacked against him, with the fury of 80,000 people raining down on his shoulders, with one leg, one arm, gray hair, and with time running out, he almost did it again.

Oh. So you do remember that the Vikings didn't win. You just decided to construct a column around the premise: "Brett Favre is a legend because his team almost won." That's sensible. Or: you're desperately trying to win eyeballs for your site by taking a preposterous -- and barely-comprehensible -- position.

One or the other.

The ball was snapped, he dropped back and he fell down. But in an apt metaphor for his legend, he got back up, stepped up and threw a bullet into the end zone again. This one was high. Just high. Barely high.

Six feet over Moss's head high.

And, just so we're clear: the "apt metaphor for his legend" -- and, briefly: what the fuck? A "metaphor for his legend"? Perhaps you meant vignette, or something along those lines -- is an incomplete pass?

And this is a good thing?

You're sure you want to keep going down this road? It's not too late to turn back. I can still see the fork in the road, back there near Bat-Shit Crazy Boulevard. No? You're good?

That [sic] the thing about him. He played a game for two decades with a sense of wonder and wonderful adventure. His failings made us love his success even more.

His failings caused the demise of two (2) remote controls, one (1) beer mug, and put a sizable dent in my closet door. (I threw a shoe.) Other than that, I didn't get a whole lot out of his failings, and they certainly didn't lead me to conclude: "This guy is a legend!"

He never quit.

Minor quibble: he quit twice.

Not almost never. Not almost never. Never!


All of a sudden, this turned into a scene out of a bizarro H.M.S. Pinafore:

Did he almost quit?

NOT ALMOST NEVER!

What, not almost never?

NOT ALMOST NEVER! NEVER!

That's what a legend is.

So, on the list of "Things a Legend Is," we've now got:

(1) Someone who never quits. Not almost never. Never.

If this is the primary criterion, then I would like to point out that I never quit my grocery bagging job in high school. Not almost never. NEVER. I am a fucking legend.

There is a reality to all legends and there is a myth to them as well. Brett Favre has a ton of reality and several tons of myth.


Add to the list, re: "Things a Legend Is":

(2) Someone who has "a ton of reality and several tons of myth."

While working at the grocery story, I once used a skid jack, an empty Minute Maid jug, and a block of Mild Brick cheese to stop a runaway grocery truck. Management was so grateful that I was given a lifetime supply of the foodstuffs of my choice. I selected cheese-filled microwaveable pretzels, grape Juicy Juice, and Mr. Goodbars.

Fucking. Legend. This guy.

Let us never forget that the most hallowed name in the long history of the Green Bay Packers turned his back on the team and left them to go to the Washington Redskins. His name was Vince Lombardi.

No, thanks. I had lunch today. No red herring for me.

So, too, should it be for this flawed quarterback who gives us thrills and chills even when wearing the uniform of the enemy.

That's why they invented the word "legend."

I've spent all my bullets, so I turn to a trusted source for the final word:

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Favre's Final Act has No Magic


As a Packers follower since my days of wearing diapers, it's clear Brett Favre is wearing out is welcome as a professional football player in the NFL. It's clear as day that last year's fantastic run to the NFC Championship game was really, the FINAL ACT. On Monday night, undernear the Sunday night Lambeau BigTop, a dark cloud seemed to floating above the once beloved #4. Perceptions of this Packer hero has become shrouded in questionable actions within the last several years. As a football player however, the fade into an average quarterback, is becoming strikingly clear. I saw a player who once could will mediocre/average players (i.e. Don Beebe, Antonio Freeman, Javon Walker to name a few) around him like he did in the 1990s and 2000s with the Packers, and find a way to get the "W". He was always finding a way because of his remarkable ability to improvise, scramble, and throw laser-beam touchdown passes that would culminate in two Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl Ring. However in 2010, it's clear that Brett should have stayed home on his tractor. Last years magic is gone. He can't scramble. He can't improvise. He can't even use the fantastic weapons that the Vikings have around him, to make it happen (AP, Harvin, Moss). It's a sad end. It's a jaded end to an era that still has many questions to answer as all of these are on field issues with playing the game of football must be answered in the final 10 games. Brett Favre has lived and died on the field as a gun-slinger and love him or hate him, it will be interesting to see how the show ends.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ok, I've digested the Miami game.....

And I think it might be worse than we thought. Again, the defense does a respectable job but this "potent" offense can't muster up more than 20 points. So what gives? I'm seeking answers from my viewers because aside from Baffoon, everyone here seems to disagree with my analyses. In addition to my previous thoughts regarding the running game, I am going to throw out another theory in hopes of stirring up the pot even more.......and I'm guaranteeing controversy here. So again, what gives? Answer....

Aaron Rodgers isn't who we thought he was!

That's right I said it. In watching the last 2 atrocities, I've noticed a different Aaron Rodgers. He no longer looks like the confident, sling it all over the field QB that he did in the second half of last year. His throws aren't nearly as accurate, he doesn't look downfield like he used to, and as a whole he doesn't look as comfortable in the pocket as he did last season. Rodgers gets hit a couple times and it seems like it affects his psyche so much that he's more concerned about the pressure than what's opening up down field........thus he's missing open guys and holding onto the ball too long, which in turn leads to sacks and a number of holding penalties on the offensie line.

Am I saying he's no good? No, not at all. I simply think that we jumped the gun at giving him this "elite" status before he really earned it. He put up good numbers last year, no doubt, but it wasn't until the O-line got shored up and the running game got going that ARodg really started tearing up opposing defenses. Currently, Rodgers is 20-18 as a starter, 7-13 (35%) when facing teams with a 0.500 record or better (1-7 on the road, 6-6 at home!), 0-1 in the playoffs, and worst of all........0-2 against Brett Favre! I think that this last one is key. The majority of Packer fans have such a distaste for Brett Favre that they essentially are giving ARodg a pass, meaning he's untouchable. As I stated, I do think the Rodgers is a good QB and I hope he will continue to be behind center for many years, however I don't think that he is the guy that we can just put the game on his shoulders and win alot of games (ala Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees). I predict that if the running game continues to be as woeful as it has been, ARodg will continue to struggle and the offense will sputter. If that is indeed the case, considering the competition that Green Bay will be facing the next 3 weeks (Vikings, @Jets, Cowboys), they could very well be 3-6 heading into their bye week. Sunday night could answer alot of these questions as Rodgers will again play Favre and that physical Viking defensive front. It should be interesting and I hope ARodg proves me wrong.

I hope my intuitions are completely off base and I'm sure many of you will disagree. Let the games begin.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'm sure there will be plenty of other reactions here to a second straight overtime loss

But while we wait for those, I present you with this thought:

The over-under for today's Packers-Dolphins game was 44. After one quarter, the score was 10-7, and the two teams were on pace for 68. When the Dolphins hit the field goal to make it 23-20, the total combined score was 43, one point away.

The people who set these lines are pretty good at their job.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Just Speechless!

Can anyone explain to me what is going on with the Packers? And don't tell me injuries either. Defensively, sure we are decimated, but we only gave up 13 pts in regulation. If you would have asked me if Green Bay won while allowing Washington to only score 13 pts in regulation I would have said yes hands down. I would probably have bet the farm on that in fact! Offensively, while we have lost Grant for the year, and lost Finley and Lee during game play today, I still don't think that that's enough of a handcuff to prevent this offense from clicking. They did move the ball 2day. Hell, they even ran the ball effectively today.......much to my surprise. So WTF? There are 2 things that I have come away with through the first 5 weeks of the NFL season regarding this team.

1. Complete Imbalance Offensively - As you all know, I have preached about the ineffectiveness of our current corps of running backs. Today, however, they surprised me when Jackson rushed for over 100 yards on only 10 carries! Kuhn even averaged 4 ypc on 4 carries. So my question is, when running the ball so effectively what's with the 4:1 ratio of pass plays to run plays? Teams realize that Rodgers is our primary weapon and we go to him on roughly 70ish% of our plays, so they are sitting back in pass coverage thus allowing big holes to run through. I know that many people think that the NFL is now a passing league, but I feel that there are only a select few elite QB's that can pick apart defenses without an effective running game (Manning, Brady, Brees). Rodgers is close, but it's obvious that the loss of Grant has really hurt our passing game's effectiveness. Further, I can't explain it, but there doesn't seem to be a sense of urgency with our offensive unit. I don't know if there is just an overconfidence on their part to simply outscore their opponent at will, but they aren't converting 3rd/4th and short yardage plays, the receivers are dropping balls left and right, and even Rodgers has been prone to throw a number of picks of late.

2. Overrated? - Leading into this season, Rodgers was essentially hailed the next great Green Bay quarterback. The talking heads for giving him "elite" QB status along with Manning, Brady, and Brees. He was a hot commodity on the fantasy front and went in the first round in many drafts. To go along with this theme, the Packers were a very popular pick on a national level to represent the NFC in this year's Super Bowl. In fact, when questioned about this, many GB players used the phrase "Super Bowl or die" during interviews in training camp. And I think there were t-shirts made with this phrase and worn by some players on the team......one of which being ARodg. This makes me reminisce to the Packers of the 90's that consistently had high expectations leading into the season.....so much so that coach Holmgren banned any SuperBowl talk within the locker room in hopes of reeling in any sort of over confidence.

I don't know what the hell is going on with this team. They are 3-2, but again they have lost a game that they essentially dominated and should have gotten the W in. Further, this injury thing is really getting out of control. I don't have any answers, but injuries are no excuse, and I think there needs to be some major corrections on the offensive side of the ball. Is it McCarthy's play calling? Is it Rodger's mistakes? Is it the running game? Regardless, we now sit at second place in the Central and I suspect Minnesota isn't going to go quietly now that they have added Moss. We are now entering the tough part of our schedule with Miami, Minnesota, @Jets, Dallas, @Minnesota, and @Atlanta. I suspect we will see this team's true colors once we get through some of these "tough" opponents.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NFC Central Foes Continue With Aggressive Approach

In an attempt to salvage this season, the Vikings got aggressive and made a move to acquire Randy Moss from the New England Patriots today. After stumbling out of the gate (likely due to the injury bug that infected their receiving corps and Brett Favre's decision not to show up til late August), the Vikings look like they may be a contender in the Central again. Moss should complement Harvin nicely and at the very least be a band-aid until Sidney Rice returns in 2-4 weeks. Whether or not the Brett Favre of '09 still exists has yet to be determined.

I bring this up because I wanted to see where the Ted Thompson defenders stand at this point. In successive years, Minnesota has added Brett Favre which resulted in an NFC Championship appearance, then went out and acquired Randy Moss after they lost their top receiver to injury when Moss wasn't even on anyone's radar as a trade option at this point in the season. Like Minnesota, Chicago saw a need to upgrade their QB position after 2 decades of mediocrity and made a move to acquire Jay Cutler. Then, this past off season, they decided to strengthen their defensive front by acquiring Julius Peppers via free agency and one PHAT contract (I thought they overpaid until I witnessed Peppers essentially single handedly beat us last Monday night).

In other news, the Buffalo Bills were bluffing when they said they were happy with Lynch and weren't fielding offers because the Seattle Seahawks managed to get him for 2 mid-round picks in '11 and '12. The Seahawks? 2 MID-LEVEL Picks? Isn't this the same Marshawn Lynch that was coveted by Thompson as a potential first rounder in '07 (and by the way this is when Justin Harrell was selected)? Yes, yes it is. So the question I have is, if you have an opportunity to acquire a guy that you were willing to use your first round pick on 3 years ago for 2 mid-round picks today.......on a proven NFL player that has made the ProBowl and is still only 24 years old.......wouldn't you pull the trigger? ESPECIALLY after you lost your starting running back for the year in week 1, and your team has failed to run the ball effectively since. ESPECIALLY since Chicago has already beaten you, you narrowly escaped with a W at home against Detroit, and ARodg hasn't shown any consistency since losing our balanced offensive attack.

My point in all of this is the upper management of both the Vikings and Bears (and most other teams for that matter) are continuously looking for opportunities to get better in hopes of vaulting them past their competitors and potentially winning a title. They don't just stand pat and live off of preseason expectations. Thompson made a good call with Rodgers ability to lead this team, but I can't wrap my brain around his stubborness to give up draft picks. For every Greg Jennings, there are 5 Justin Harrell's. Ted stood around and watched the final years of Brett wash away, I hope he doesn't do the same with Rodgers. In my opinion, the NFC is ripe for the taking THIS YEAR! The only possible contenders out of the remaining NFC divisions are New Orleans, Atlanta, and Dallas......and none of these look dominant. Sure we can stand firm with what we've got and squeeze through to the playoffs, but I personally don't see Green Bay making the NFC Championship much less the Super Bowl with the way they are playing. In my opinion, the NFC Central just got tougher and I no longer expect to walk away with this division. I hope TT gets a sense of urgency soon because we are only 1 low tackle from losing Rodgers to a serious injury.

So where do the TT defenders stand today? Any change since last season?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ryder Cup Preview...


Golf's most exciting event takes place this weekend as the Ryder Cup begins Friday at 1:30 am CDT. The Americans are looking to retain the Cup in an event that seems to favor the Europeans in recent matches. The Americans always seem to have the stronger team on paper, but the Europeans have dominated recent Ryder Cups having won 5 out of the last 7. The only two American victories came at the last Ryder Cup where Paul Azinger's team defeated the Europeans 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 and in 1999 when Ben Crenshaw's team staged a miracle finish in Sunday singles (won 8 1/2 of the 12 points) to win 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.

This year's event its taking place in Wales at the Celtic Manor Resort on the 2010 Course, a course designed specifically for this event. On paper, the Americans have the stronger team once again with 4 of the top 6 ranked players in the world. However, odds makers have the Europeans as the favorites once again.

The Friday morning four ball pairings were announced this afternoon and provide some interesting matches to say the least. Four ball consists of each player playing their own ball and the lowest score by any player wins the hole.

Match 1 - Phil Mickelson/Dustin Johnson (USA) vs. Lee Westwood/Martin Kaymer(EUR) - This match consists of 3 of the top 5 players in the world. Mickelson and Johnson have been rumored to be a team for quite a while and asked for the opening slot Friday. Their aggressive styles of play are perfect for this type of format as they both should make lots of birdies. This will be Lee Westwood's, who has a stellar Ryder Cup record, first tournament since mid-August as he recovered from a calf injury. Martin Kaymer is the reigning PGA Championship winner thanks in large part to the Dustin Johnson is it or isn't it a bunker troubles at Whistling Straits. This match should go down to the wire.

Match 2 - Stewart Cink/Matt Kuchar (USA) vs. Rory McIlroy/Graeme McDowell (EUR) - The Northern Ireland combo of McIlroy/McDowell is a solid team. McIlroy is considered by many the games next big star and McDowell is the reigning US Open Champion. Stewart Cink is a Ryder Cup veteran and paired with Matt Kuchar who is a Ryder Cub rookie, but is having a solid season. I think the Europeans have to be considered the favorites in this match, but if the USA could steal a point here it would be a great victory.

Match 3 - Tiger Woods/Steve Stricker (USA) vs. Ian Poulter/Ross Fisher (EUR) - Tiger Woods may have found the perfect partner to help improve his less than stellar Ryder Cup record in Steve Stricker as the two combined to go 4-0 in the team portion of last year's Presidents Cup (the USA vs. the rest of the world version of the Ryder Cup). It helps that both are in the top 4 in the world rankings. Ian Poulter is a fiery competitor but with Ryder Cup rookie Ross Fisher, the Europeans are the obvious underdogs in the match. However, defeating the seemingly unbeatable Woods/Stricker team could be a huge momentum builder for the Europeans.

Match 4 - Bubba Watson/Jeff Overton (USA) vs. Luke Donald/Padraig Harrington (EUR)- Captain Corey Pavin is sending out 2 Ryder Cup rookies in the final match of the morning session. Much like the Mickelson/Johnson team, Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton both play aggressive styles of play which might work well in this format. Jeff Overton has never won on the PGA Tour and Bubba Watson is playing with a lot of emotion as his father is dealing with terminal cancer. Hopefully the nerves and emotion won't get the best of this team. The European pairing is made up of 2 of Captain Colin Montgomerie's controversial captain's picks. A win by Luke Donald/Padraig Harrington should quiet some of the critics who wondered why world number 8 Paul Casey and Justin Rose, winner of 2 PGA tour events this year, were left off the team.

Both captains have indicated that they expect to use all 12 players on Friday so expect to see Fed-Ex Cup winner Jim Furyk, Ryder Cup veterans Hunter Mahan and Zach Johnson, and controversial captain's pick Rickie Fowler for the Americans and veteran Migel Angel Jimenez, rookie Peter Hanson, and the Molinari brothers (Francesco and Eduardo) for the Europeans in the afternoon foursomes matches. In foursomes, each player will alternate teeing off on odd/even holes and then they will play alternate shot the rest of the hole.

Unfortunately, I'll be traveling this weekend for my godson's baptism so I won't be able to provide any additional insight/update on the matches. If the Europeans get off to a hot start Friday it might be a long weekend for the Americans. However, I like the Americans to win in a close match that should come down to the 12 Sunday singles matches. I wouldn't be shocked to see Tiger Woods be the MVP of the American team as this stage would provide the perfect opportunity for Tiger to have his coming out party after all the controversy and struggles over the past year.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stay Puft Marshmallow Tauscher




Do the Packers trust #65 at right tackle for the rest of this year? I really don't think there is another more unathletic looking right tackle in the NFL. And honestly, does Bag of Tausch scare anyone except the workers at Old Country Buffett? And no, I don't trust him the rest of the year at right tackle.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hate Anger Rage...DAMN YOU YELLOW FLAG


I don't think I've been so angry in years watching a Packer football game. I understand that the Packers vs Bears games are supposed to be closely contested contests that provoke fans to clammer for these types of overhyped games...HOWEVER, this was abismal. NEVER, I mean NEVER have I seen officials at any level of football take over a game with so many game changing calls that went in one team's favor than there was tonight going the Bears way. Now legitimately there were penalties on both sides of the coin, but how on god's green earth can these fools in the zebra outfits call penalties twice on the Packers after what would have been game changing interceptions. The Zombo call is what just drives me mad. The guy is doing his job, sacking the qb, forcing a bad throw which is LEGALLY picked off by Barnett. How the fuck can a defensive player stop his forward momentum into a player, that should have been a non-call. The helmet to helmet call is just so fricken ridiculous now. I mean its not like the quarterback doesn't where a helmet?!!?!? My anger really goes back to the no call in Arizona during the playoff game last year, how in the world does that not get called when Rodgers gets his face nearly ripped off by an Arizona defensive back, but a solid form tackle on a quarterback tonight on Cutler is pretty much out of the question because his helmet hit another players. On top of it those stupid talking heads back up in the box Chucky Gruden, Fat Jaws, and Dinky Tirico just call the game without really questioning what the hell they are seeing. I'm fuming f-ing mad at those clowns. I mean even on the pass interference by Burnett down near the goalline, which Collins had an easy int, Burnett actually has better leverage and position than Bennett, but somehow the refs saw that playing physical on the ball isn't what the NFL is all about. All Dinky can say is, "Well Gruden, that's what happens when you play rookies on defense." Now granted McCarthy blew several calls especially that ridiculous challenge and our special teams got smoked, but look at the numbers, the Bears didn't do jack on offense and basically used 150+ penalty yards to move the football down the field. The one silver lining of this whole shit show is that we get those douchebags at home at Lambeau for hopefully all the marbles, but I suspect that the Bears will need to improve their offense and quick because they can't pay off all the refs in the league, at least I don't think so?!?!?!?!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rivalry Week!

I apologize for missing my weekly preview last week, but it was the Buffalo Bills.....THE BUFFALO BILLS. If I would have posted something, it would have been along the lines of "Green Bay wins big" and "for all you gambling degenerates out there, I again give Green Bay's opponent the points and take that easy money to the bank!" (For those of you keeping score at home, I'm 2-0 versus the spread after 2 weeks). Week 3 is a different story however. The Chicago Bears are off to a surprising 2-0 start after getting a quality win in BigD last week.....although using the phrase "quality win versus Dallas" seems to be less common with each passing week. Jay Cutler is looking more like the Denver Jay Cutler of 2 years ago by racking up huge yardage, getting his receivers in the endzone, and limiting his turnovers. Is this a product of Mike Martz's offensive genius or is it due to playing a weak Detroit Lions defense and over-rated Dallas team? In defense of Martz, Matt Forte has also improved since last season and has regained his rookie form....not so much from a rushing standpoint, but a shear production standpoint. Through 2 games Forte is averaging almost 150 yards from scrimmage and 1.5 scores, so it appears that Martz is using Forte like he did Marshall Faulk in the St.Louis days of "The Greatest Show on Turf". All that said, Chicago has gotten away from their traditional philosophy of pounding the ball and winning the game at the line of scrimmage, and now looks to open up their offense and win the game through the air. Defensively, the Bears are much improved from last season. Their defensive leader Brian Urlacher appears to be healthy again, and they have added the talented albeit old and overpaid Julius Peppers to their defensive line. Whether or not their defensive unit can stay healthy for a whole season is the big question and may be key to whether or not they are a true contender in the NFC Central this season.

After breezing to victory over Master Reid's "other" favorite team last week (that statement would be clever if Drew Brees was our QB), Green Bay is also is sitting at 2-0 and tied with Chicago at the top of the NFC Central. In spite of the 34-7 shalacking, the Green Bay offense still does not seem to be operating on all cylinders. If you're a "glass half full guy", you're thinking, wow.....we're 2-0, just blew out Buffalo by 27, and our offense STILL isn't playing to it's full potential! This is going to be a great season! If you're a "glass half empty guy", you're thinking Rodgers may have been overhyped coming into this season and isn't quite ready for "elite" QB status, and that Ryan Grant's injury may be more significant than what was first thought as Brandon Jackson is only averaging 3.2 ypc (2.6 ypc without his 18 yard longest carry). Personally, I'm sitting between half full and half empty. I do think Rodgers will improve his accuracy and cut down on interceptions, but I am concerned about our running game. If Green Bay cannot establish any sort of a consistent running game, the pressure goes squarely on Rodgers, thus allowing opposing defenses to focus more on stopping the passing game and attacking the quarterback. In relation to this, how effective is Bulaga going to be now that he is our starting left tackle? This week should be a good test for Bulaga as he will likely be squaring off against the crafty vet Peppers.

So what is my prediction? Offensively, Green Bay gets the edge here. Defensively, I would say the teams are roughly equal, with a slight edge going towards Green Bay mainly due to Baffoon's man crush Clay "The Truth" Matthews who seems to wreak havoc on every other play. Vegas seems to agree with me as they are making Green Bay a 3 point favorite even though they are on the road against a 2-0 team. In spite of the fact that I think Green Bay is the better team, I think that this is going to be a very tough game! Chicago is going to come out fired up in front of their MNF home crowd and look to pounce on us early. Like most tough road games, I think early success (whether it be a score on offense or stop on defense) is key. Quiet the crowd early and don't let Chicago get a big momentum swing. For whatever reason this Chicago Bears team, whether they are good or bad at the time, feeds on momentum throughout the game more than any other team I have watched. They love to make big plays on defense and special teams, and their offense seems to respond directly to this. That being said, I think the #1 key to the game is the turnover battle. If Green Bay can win this, they have a great shot at taking sole possession of 1st place in the division. The last thing you want to do is let Urlacher snag one of Rodgers passes and get the fib-filled crowd all fired up. While it may not be an obvious choice, I think Key #2 is the running game. Neither team has been able to establish much of a run game through 2 games, but if 1 of these teams can get it going, their QB will automatically be more dangerous than they already are. In the end, I think the Green Bay D forces Cutler into a few mistakes and Chicago's weak offensive line play will prevent Forte from doing much on the ground. Due to this, Green Bay gets the W 27-20......so for all of you gambling degenerates out there, this means you should give Chicago those measly 3 points and take that easy money to the bank!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Road to Super Bowl for GB?

The NFL regular season is officially underway, and if you're a Green Bay fan, it got off to a striking start! Not only did Minnesota lose, which gives Green Bay an early opportunity take an early division lead with a W over Philadelphia on Sunday, but Brett Favre looked out of sync as well. Expectations are high for Green Bay this year as they seem to be a trendy Super Bowl pick for many of the talking heads throughout the nation, but I remain hesitant. The way Minnesota came out last night gave my confidence in GB winning the division a bit of a boost, but I still have too many concerns regarding our offensive line play/fragility and our defense's inability to stop any form of an offense. So as we approach the opener, what do we expect to see on Sunday?

Philadelphia, like Green Bay, is loaded with young talent.....but, unlike Green Bay, Philly ALWAYS manages to put together one of the league's top defensive units. I like Philly's potential. Kevin Kolb appears to be one of the league's next star QB's as the Eagles let a good QB in Donovan McNabb walk away, and is supported by a talented young trio of pass catchers in DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Brent Celek. To continue this youthful trend, LeSean McCoy stars in the backfield and looks like he solidify their backfield for years. The theme that I see in all of this is youth.......meaning unproven. I like the direction that their organization is taking, but due to their youth and inexperience, I think Green Bay will prove to be too much for them. As I previously stated, I'm not too confident in our defense. However, the one thing that GB is good at is forcing turnovers, and I think a young QB in Kevin Kolb is prime for the pickens. Look for Green Bay to blitz early and often with the likes of Clay Matthews and Woodson off the corner in hopes of forcing Kolb into a mistake. In addition to this, and something that could facilitate our defense's ability to force Kolb into a mistake, the Green Bay offense needs to get on the board early. Come out sharp, quiet the crowd, and put Kolb in an early hole. This will allow our offense to dictate the game......something that I have GREAT confidence in! All that said, I predict that Green Bay gets the W 27-17..........so for all you gambling degenerates, that means you should give Philly those measly 3 points and take that easy money to the bank.

Monday, August 30, 2010

How Much Do We Still Hate These Guys?


Last year, I openly questioned where the majority of Green Bay Packers fans were placing their priorities. I stated my feelings about the insanity that most people fall into when the topic of the Packers' head coach and general manager. After that post, the Pack went on to win 6 of their last 7 games to finish the season 11-5 and make the postseason. Obviously, the playoff game in Arizona did not go quite as we had hoped, but it looked like the team took a huge leap forward. The players, who couldn't play, that the one idiot drafted, played... and played well. The quarterback that no one wanted suddenly emerged as a near elite level NFL quarterback. The offensive scheme that the other idiot put in place, which would never work, worked. Now national pundits are extolling the Packers a potential Super Bowl team in 2010. This should be exactly the image rehab that the Thompson/McCarthy regime needed... right?

But in listening to the thoughts of the local fandom via talk radio, blog comments, etc., I get the impression that that isn't the case at all. People inside the state of Wisconsin seem to have a far more negative outlook of the team than do those that cover it on a national level. When the fuck has that ever happened before? Aren't Packers fans usually the ones saying that people need to watch out for the Packers, when those big-time media types are writing them off? This seems like a bit of a reversal in the normal trend. And I can't help but think that this general resentment towards both Thompson and McCarthy. If that "Do you want the Packers to lose sot that Ted and Mike get canned" question were posed again today, I wonder if the response would be any different than it was in November of last year?

I don't know what's going to happen with the season. My own opinion is that they are going to be pretty damn good. But what I do know is that there's still something amiss in Packerland. The whole vibe is like one of a couple where one cheated on the other, but they didn't break up. They got back together, and they tell everyone that everything is OK. But it's not OK. Every time you're in the room with them, you can just tell that they're just putting on a good face and trying not to let the tension ruin everyone else's good time. But behind closed doors, they're both just waiting for the other to slip up so they can say "AHA!! See, I knew it, I knew you were no good!"

So where do we come down on this now? Who will you be rooting for this year: The Packers or these guys? Personally I'll be rooting for the Packers to go Jake Taylor on everyone and win the whole fuckin' thing. If for nothing else than to just see people's reactions.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Manny Parra Ruined My Sunday

Nothing quite like battling traffic through construction in Kenosha and dodging the future mother-in-law's comments about my health (hangover) to get to Miller Park and see another frustrating effort by Manny Parra. His "stuff" truly sucks. Maybe Prince should shake Manny up a bit again... might motivate him a little.

The effort was so terrible that I texted Va Jay Jay suggesting that Manny's batting music should be switched to "Undone" by Weezer. At least I was able to get a good chuckle when I saw the Brewers.com game summary.

It might be time to consider letting Cappy get a start.



Saturday, August 21, 2010

Joe Mauer Threat, Not Really A Threat At All... Just German.

It turns out that a post from a White Sox fan threatening death to Joe Mauer on an SBNation blog was not really a threat at all. The "Die Mauer"post was actually a compliment much like the compliment Sideshow Bob made by tattooing "Die Bart, die" on his chest.

Honestly, why would anyone ever think that someone who speaks German could intend to harm somebody?

The real threat here is Joe Mauer and his God damned sideburns; he's corrupting America's youth.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

shocking

In what has become an unfortunate trend, Doug Melvin and the Milwaukee Brewers have AGAIN managed to swing and miss on a 1st round selection of a starting pitcher. Unlike the previous circumstances where the selections have "busted" due to things such as weed, injuries, or flat out ineffectiveness, this years selection of Dylan Covey has failed due to diabetes! What next???? Question....when evaluating prospects leading up to the draft, do you not evaluate their health before ultimately deciding to select them? Maybe taking a blood sample isn't common practice, but considering that as an organization you are not only investing the million dollar signing bonuses that get paid to 1st rounders, but you are also investing in their talent as being a contributor to what hopefully is a winning ball club in the future, I then suggest that you fully evaluate each player's health. I understand that in the end Milwaukee will be reimbursed their selection of 15thish in next year's draft, but considering the time that it takes for pitching prospects to emerge from the minor league system and the fact that our "young" team isn't exactly young anymore, pushing back the drafting of a starting pitcher another full year is flat out disheartening. When can this organization catch a break with these early round selections? It is becoming evident that Doug Melvin & Co. simply cannot put together a quality starting staff with home grown talent.....or via free agency for that matter. This additional black mark on their resume only reiterates the need to trade Prince Fielder.....whether it be for an established and quality starting pitcher or for a pitching prospect(s). Unfortunately Melvin's history with trades hasn't exactly been extraordinary so I'm not holding my breath regarding this scenario.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Heart This Man.

Brandon Phillips, I'll tumble for you.

Referring to the Uptight Citizens of St. Louis, B-Phil sez:
“I’d play against these guys on one leg,” Phillips told Hal McCoy, a columnist for the Dayton Daily News. “We have to beat these guys. All they do is b—- and moan about everything, all of them. They’re little b——s, all of them. I really hate the Cardinals. Compared to the Cardinals, I love the Chicago Cubs. Let me make this clear: I hate the Cardinals.”
Doug Melvin, GET ME THIS MAN.

(With love to KL for the link.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

We Have a Trade

The Milwaukee Brewers finally found a dance partner.....and they found this partner in their own division. The Cincinnati Redlegs agreed to send the underachieving 27 year old "prospect" Chris Dickerson to Milwaukee for aging vet Jim Edmonds. Whatever. Not exactly an organizatioin changing event, but I'll take it. It appears that whatever the organization saw in Carlos Gomez was an illusion, so center field is definitely a position of need. Locally, and when I say "locally" I mean Cincinnati of course, the Reds fan base is not at all happy with the deal. Dickerson has been one of the up and comers for years, but health problems have limited his overall production and consistency which has prevented a prolonged stay in the bigs. This season, though, he has been playing well in tripleA......enough that I recall many reds fans on the local AM's discussing how he should be called up to be a contributor for the playoff run.

While Dickerson is already 27, I think that overall it's a good move for Milwaukee. Moving Edmonds is a low to no risk move and considering our center field situation, why not gamble on Dickerson. He has showed flashes of good offensive ability, speed on the basepaths, and is solid in the field. He'll have roughly 8 weeks to show what he can do which essentially will be an audition for next season. So as I previously stated....I'll take it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fat Fest 2010


Little needs to be explained about this other than the fact that Sheets Va Jay came up huge this past Friday night while I was out with old Whitewater football cronies, Sheets, you DA MAN. It was almost as big as the comeback the Brew crew had down 4 in the ninth to win. Come to think of it, the crew has done some good things this weekend, Prince walk off on Friday, Hoffman save on Saturday, and as I am writing this, the crew is up 8-2 in the 3rd inning looking for the sweep. Dare I say, that's a winning streak Bob, however, too little too late for any post season run, but good nonetheless. O, in Sunday's no shit Sherlock sports column of the Urinal Sentinal, Mark Attanasio announces that the Brewers are going to lose money this year. "Hi, I'm Earth have we met?" We can thank the great pitching staff for losing all those games this year and causing people to stay home to watch American Idol or You Think You Can Dance, instead of going to the ballpark. Maybe Doug Davis and Randy Wolf can give some cash back to pay for some free tickets and/or bobbleheads? I'm guessing not though, those asshats.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

REVITALIZE!!!!


In an effort to revitalize the war weary blog, Quevedo at the Buffet, I have been finally asked to contribute to the Buffet on a full time basis. My expertise really will be all things football and I have a keen eye for the guys who play on Sundays wearing the green and gold. However, at times I will spar my two sense now and again where need be. Now, on with the show. I couldn't help but mention this ridiculous story coming out of Deadspin about this hot broad Jenn Stenger getting weenus shots from our apparent favorite sexting football super hero Brett Lorenzo Favre. If you haven't read it, its worth the time just to check out the chick's who ha's. O and by the way, Pound Sand Favre.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Why I'm Down on the Corey Hart Extension.

I realized that I made an overly-emphatic case against the Corey Hart extension at The Jack last night -- fueled, in part, by our barkeep's exaggerated yet inspiring rant against Kate Winslet. Anyway, now that I've had time to work through this a little more, here are my concerns.

Below are the league-average (NL) "slash" splits by position, as compared to the "slash" splits of the Brewer who plays that position:











































































































Position
AVGOBPSLGOPSBrewerAVGOBPSLGOPS
Catcher.256
.331.390.721Jon Lucroy
.270
.301.350.651
First baseman
.274
.358.465.824Prince Fielder
.267
.400.499.899
Second baseman
.266
.333.392.725Rickie Weeks
.274
.372.486.858
Third baseman
.268.337.427.765Casey McGehee
.272.337.446.783
Shortstop.263
.325.375.700Alcides Escobar
.250.304.336.640
Left fielder
.266
.335.435.769Ryan Braun
.281
.334.463.797
Center fielder
.261.330.410.740Carlos Gomez
.228
.286.350.635
Right fielder
.265
.335.449.784Corey Hart
.294
.350.568.917


Note a couple of things, if you would:

(1) Corey Hart's having a banner year, for sure, but the league-average SLG and OPS numbers for right field are the second-highest on this list behind first base. Point is: a slugging right fielder isn't exactly a rare commodity.

(2) Conversely, a slugging second baseman -- who's also outpacing the league-average OBP for his position by forty points -- is a rare commodity. Part of the reason I don't like the extension for Hart is that it makes it that much more difficult to sign Weeks to an extension, and second basemen with 25-homer, .370-OBP potential don't exactly grow on trees.

(3) The Big Point: At every position save for C, SS, and CF, the Brewers are outstripping the league-average OPS for the respective position -- and, in some cases (1B, even with Prince's depressed slugging numbers; 2B, with Rickie's brea ... nope, not going to say it; and RF, with Corey Hart's career year), they're far ahead of the league-average OPS.*

*As my boy KL pointed out, the better-than-league-average OPS numbers are due, in large part, to the higher slugging numbers for Brewers like Braun, Hart, and McGehee. The numbers don't look as good when you compare average OBP by position to the individual Brewers' OBPs (Braun and McGehee are right at league average, Gomez and Esky and Jon Lucroy are well below league average, and Hart's just a shade above league average), but that's not the point of the post.

And yet, and still, we're 10 games under .500 this year, a year after it took a great year from Braun, very good years from McGehee and Weeks/Counsell/Felipe Lopez, and a sublime campaign from Prince to finish two games under .500. This team, as currently constructed, will not contend.

We need pitching, and we need it desperately. It's not coming from the free agent market -- in part because that market is going to be shit after the 2010 season, and in part because Doug Melvin can't identify solid free agent pitchers -- and the farm system isn't producing anyone in the near future. And we just took our biggest in-season trade chit, who was at peak value and who could be easily replaced (either from in-house or by a veteran on a short-term deal) ... and signed him to a three-year extension.

This isn't how you build a winning baseball team.

Oh, The Things I Saw Last Night

A quick run down of last night's action at Wrigley Field:

-The Brewers offense and defense came alive at the same time providing a 26 hit 18 run performance while only surrendering 1 run to the Chubs. This could have been a bigger drubbing given that the Crew left 15 on base.

-Hart, Braun, and Fielder combining for 14 hits.

-Carlos Gomez doing his best Rickie Weeks impersonation by getting drilled in consecutive at bats; once in the head and it looked pretty effing brutal.

-Alcides Escobar doing a solid job playing center field.

-Trevor Hoffman taking his 34th career at bat in the 9th inning. I have to say, his swing didn't look that terrible.

-The interior of the Wrigley Stadium Club. While the food was good, the view sucks. Nothing like building a fine-dining facility where the only window looks out onto the corner of Addison and Sheffield.

-An Ice Fishing With Kirby sighting.

-Douchey Cubs fans.

-Scantily-clad, over-served, coeds on a Monday night.

-Several over-served mom-types with new and improved mounds that they were more than happy to flaunt.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Desperation Is A Stinky Cologne

The Brewers, who have managed to:

-Let the trade deadline pass without trading Corey Hart at what was likely the height of his value.

-Fail to move Prince who is now just winding down rest of his time in Milwaukee as his trade value rides along a time-based return curve.

-Go on a 4 game skid leaving them 10.5 games back (with Wolfy on the mound today, I don't have much confidence that this trend will change).


Have now decided to let Mat Gamel play right field and 1st base at AAA Nashville in hopes of expediting his promotion to the Majors. This is a major CYA move for the Crew who will likely be losing Prince and Corey Hart after 2011.



Given Mat Gamel's injury history, I'm hoping this attempt at versatility is to increase his trade value.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Inglett Emerges As New Closer

Probably not but still a 1-2-3 ninth inning from our utility guy who showed off his testicular fortitude by replying to Macha "I'll go do that".

Not since Henry Rowengartner secured the Cubs a division win with his floater has a pitcher gotten by with "high stinky cheese" in the 56 mph range.


Much like Fabio was once honored to be recognized as the best Actor/Model rather than Model/Actor, I'm sure Inglett will be honored to be recognized for the Best All-Around Utility Performance rather than being called a Slugger/Pitcher (what ever happened to the Kiesch?).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Because We Can't Hate On The ENTIRE Pitching Staff

Way to go Yo! Six shutout innings on a limited pitch count. Unbelievable.

Nothing like showing those Pirates that a stint on the DL can only make you stronger. You took that ball and basically said "Here, you want this? You can't have it! I poop on you".


Bushie would have been lucky to make it through 5 innings on a 100 pitch limit. And, I think we all know that "shutout" is not part of his vocabulary.


Thank you, Yo, for giving me a glimmer of hope.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cut This Asshole, Take Two.

You see this face?

This is the face of the man who's going to get Doug Melvin fired.

It's not going to happen this season, of course -- Mark A. has made it more than clear that he's got a buttload of faith in Dougy Fresh -- but, if things keep going like this, I think Melvin's gone after 2011, and 2012 at the latest.

Why? Because if you can't identify young pitching talent in the draft (and have the staff in place to develop that talent in the minors), you have to be able to identify free agent pitching talent. We already knew that Melvin was a disaster with regard to the former. On the heels of the Jeff Suppan fiasco, the Randy Wolf debacle has all but cemented Melvin as a disaster with regard to the latter.

That ginger goatee is going to haunt Doug Melvin's dreams.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cut This Asshole.

If you let the Pirates Frackin' Pirates bat around on you in the first inning -- and you give up a walk, three singles, three doubles, and a grand slam home run -- that's grounds for immediate termination. And, no, I don't much give a shit that Casey McGehee clanked two grounders in the same inning, because Slapnuts gave up three more doubles after that.

Oh, but he had six quality starts before this, you say.

I will say this slowly:

Dave Bush.

Is Not.

A Good Pitcher.

He will occasionally bluff his way into a six-inning, three-run outing, and you'll think: "Well, I guess that could've been worse." Lest you forget: Bush can't throw more than 100 pitches in an outing (it's science, apparently), so six innings, three runs is about the best you can hope for when he's on the mound.

And he makes stupid faces when he throws the ball. Close your mouth before you swallow a fly, bulldog.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

After 3 Years, Pennies From Heaven Routine Is A Winner!

Segway-riding pitcher Chris Capuano made his second major league start of the 2010 season and earned his first win since May 7, 2007.

5 innings pitched, 3 hits, 1 ER, 1BB, 4 SO. All that on 65 pitches, 37 for strikes, not a bad night. The other pitches? Those are balls! (except for the hits)

Some credit should be given to the bullpen which managed to preserve Cappy's win. Including John Axford who decided to make it a little interesting in the 9th (anyone think Cappy would have ripped off his mustache if he'd blown it?).

After 30 appearances without recording a "W", a 13 game losing streak, two Tommy John surgeries, and a number of hurdles that had to be overcome on his road to recovery, I can honestly say that I'm happy for the guy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's the coolest! You ain't cool unless you pee your pants!

The Quevedo at the Buffet is cool again! Well, I think it should be anyways. Since the arrival of our latest baby, the "Anonymous Eagle" (found at http://www.anonymouseagle.com/), I feel that we have completely neglected the "QB". So much so, that until the most recent giant burger post, it has been a month since the last meeting of the minds. That being said, I am going to make an effort to revive this S.O.B.! Some don't think that it can be done. They say I'm too old and simply can't hack it anymore. They say I don't have perfect hair and am not wacky and upbeat enough to initiate such a renaissance. Well, you know what I think? I think I'd like to hang around and see if we can give 'em all a nice big shitburger to eat! So without further ado, here is my first attempt at a viagara-like remedy for everyone's favorite blog, the "Quevedo at the Buffet":



Here we are in the dog days of summer. It's July 19th and the Brewers are lulling us to sleep with their 9 game's under 0.500 record. Marquette basketball is all but dormant, with the only excitement coming from a glorified game of pick up in the Milwaukee Pro Am at Homestead High School. The Packers will be beginning training camp in the next couple of weeks, but since Brett Favre left, we don't have to sit around and discuss whether or not his appearance at the local Mississippi high school football practice means he's coming back this season. And, the Bucks......well, I know, it's the NBA. All that said, it is a VERY tough time to get a heated debate going. In spite of this, I'm going to grab the bull by the horns and use a recent road trip discussion that I had with some of our constituents.

As I previously stated, the Brewers aren't doing so hot. Not only are they not doing hot, they're kind of in a bad position from a "building for the future" perspective.....ie. they're wasting another year of Prince Fielder's bat. The Brewers have Prince locked up through the 2011 season, but then have to deal with everyone's favorite agent, Scott Boras. Attanasio and Co. have tried to avoid this scenario by locking him up early, ala Ryan Braun, but Boras doesn't work that way. He knows the best way to get paid is to let people fight over you, and word on the street is that he will be looking for a Mark Texeira-like deal that will have Prince earn about 20-25 mil for 5-7 years. Yeah, something tells me that's not in Attanasio's budget. And I'm not the only one to realize this. Prince was briefly discussed throughout the baseball rumor mill leading up to last year's trade deadline. The guy was tearing the cover off the ball and averaging roughly 43 HR's and 120 RBI's between the '07-'09 seasons. In my opinion, his trade value wasn't going to get any higher. Who knows if anyone offered, or who was offered for that matter, but in the end it was all smoke as Prince is still in Milwaukee. Here we are a year later, and sure enough, Prince seems to be a hot topic on Buster Olney's list of trade prospects. According to Buster, the two most probable suitors are the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays option actually made a bit of sense as Olney pointed out that Tampa Bay has desirable pitching prospects in the waiting and only have one year remaining on Carl Crawford's deal meaning they may push all in for a run.

I for one am completely for dealing him. I think he should have been dealt last season, but I understood the fact that Milwaukee still had an outside shot at making a playoff run this season with the current roster and SP addition. Now that that's out the window, I simply think that we are running out of time and need to heavily consider dealing him asap. I'd hate to still have him 1 year from now and let teams lowball us in trade offers knowing that all we might see is a compensatory pick if we lose him. One of the big chips that we still have in our pockets with him is that he still does have 1 "cheap" year remaining on his current deal. Not to mention the remaining 2 months for any playoff contending team. Now I don't have any clue as to who is on the market and I've lost reception to the wire tap that I had to Melvin's cell phone, so I don't know who's calling with what. Further, I don't know a damn about Triple/DoubleA ball, so I don't really know who the hot prospects are. All I know is that I want pitching. Pitching, Pitching, Pitching, and more pitching. Now I know many of you will say that 1) everybody wants pitching which makes it very $$$$$ or 2) if teams have pitching, they simply hold onto it. I'll partially agree with you, but refer you to some recent deals such as Josh Hamilton for Edison Volques and the most recent Justin Smoak and a case of blatz for Cliff Lee deal. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't mind having Gallardo and Lee/Volquez pitching 2 out of every 5 games.

The trade deadline will be here in no time meaning this team could look very different come August. Okay, go ahead and rip away.

Monday, July 12, 2010

OHMYGOD A HUGE FUCKING BURGER

Why did I put a huge fucking burger as a backdrop for the blog?

Bored.

And we haven't posted in a month. It was either the burger or a poor Photoshop of a fat dude on life support.

Shrug.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What's That? Brewers Win?!

And I didn't get to see it because effing CSN+ had technical difficulties in the bottom of the 9th inning. Instead, I was treated to this AWESOME graphic (that actually pretty accurately sums up the season for both teams) and some really poor quality audio of the game.

Thanks for nothing Comcast!

Monday, June 7, 2010

You Know What They Say ...

... better three months late than never: the Soup has officially been tossed out of the pantry.

If this had happened, say, at the end of spring training, I could probably muster a shit or two. But, with the move coming with the Brewers languishing at 23-34 -- and a half-game behind the fuckin' Pirates in the standings -- and the season torpedoed, I'm having a tough time getting excited about this.

Shitty team cuts shitty pitcher. Wheeeeeeee.

Have You Looked at Your Payroll Recently?

SB Nation -- the braintrust behind our little baby, Anonymous Eagle, and about 3,982 other fan-run sports blogs -- launched some regional sites last night, and two of the head cheeses at SB Nation talked to the New York Times about the company, their philosophy on covering sports, the niche the SBN sites fill, and the ingredients for a good marmalade.
Buried in that article is a quote from Marty Kaiser, the editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“As long as we have the reporters to cover the teams better than anyone else, we’ve got a place in the future,” said Marty Kaiser, editor of The Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee and a former sports editor for The Chicago Sun-Times.
Mr. Kaiser: this is a picture of one of the reporters your newspaper employs:

You may wish to revise your statement.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dear Jeff Suppan...

Please take a cue from Mr. Griffey:

"While I feel I am still able to make a contribution on the field and nobody in the Mariners front office has asked me to retire, I told the Mariners when I met with them prior to the 2009 season and was invited back that I will never allow myself to become a distraction," Griffey said.

"I feel that without enough occasional starts to be sharper coming off the bench, my continued presence as a player would be an unfair distraction to my teammates and their success as a team is what the ultimate goal should be," he said.

Here I'll even do the editing for you:

"While I feel I am still able to make a contribution on the field and nobody in the Brewers front office has asked me to retire, I told the Brewers when I met with them prior to the 2007 season and was invited back that I will never allow myself to become a distraction," Suppan said.

"I feel that without enough occasional appearances to be sharper coming out of the bullpen, my continued presence as a player would be an unfair distraction to my teammates and their success as a team is what the ultimate goal should be," he said.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

INSTANT REPLAY...

Two words that strike a chord with any baseball purist, but after tonight's blown call you are going to have a hard time defending why baseball shouldn't use more instant replay. Over the past few years there have been multiple instances of just obviously wrong calls. I understand the human element of baseball and I'm not saying instant replay should be used for ball/strike calls, but more objective calls such as fair/foul and safe/out should be reviewable plays. Allow the manager a challenge or two. I guarantee that the majority of the games won't even have instant replays but there has to be a mechanism in place to correct obviously incorrect calls.

The call by Jim Joyce is a disgrace and its just another recent example of umpires inserting themselves into the game and the spotlight. A bad call cost Gallaraga something that has only happened 20 times in the history of major league baseball and there's nothing anybody can do about it but bitch, whine, and apologize. After the Willie Mayes catch in center for the first out it seemed meant to be. Aren't there unwritten rules in baseball that say a pitcher with a 3-0 perfect game with 2 outs in the 9th and a bang-bang play at first would get the call to complete the perfect game?

Anyway, now that I'm done bitching, whining, and apologizing, it got me to thinking about the near no-hitter that Yo threw against the Reds I think. Aside from the perfect game vs. a no-hitter comparison, which would be worse: losing a no-hitter/perfect game because of a blown umpire call or because of a bad scoring decision? I'd give the edge to blown umpire call because safe/out is less subjective than a official scorers ruling.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day, Memorable Indeed

Happy Memorial Day to all the great men and women serving the USA!

And it was a memorable day for Chris Narveson who entered somewhat uncharted territory for the Brewers starting rotation by pitching into the 6th inning today. Unfortunately, the 9:30 show is completely different than the 7:30 show which is to say that, after 5 scoreless innings, the results in the 6th were not nearly as good. Narveson chose to pull a Manny Parra by losing command of the strike zone and giving up 5 runs. Chuckie New Town then came in to complete the 6th by giving up dos mas runs; nice work.

Speaking of Manny Parra and memorable days, Parra will be bumped back to the bullpen in hopes his good stuff will redevelop into starting material. This makes space in the rotation for the triumphant resurrection of Segway riding Chris Capuano's career. Props to the Brewers brass for sticking with Cappy and giving him a chance to be a starter as soon as possible.




As noted in Tom Haudricourt's piece on Parra/Cappy, decisions still loom on several pitchers within the organization. Things could get interesting within the next couple of weeks*.

*Update: Things got interesting a lot sooner than I thought. The Brewers are promoting Kameron Loe meaning another pitcher will be leaving the bullpen. They could make a Survivor-esque reality game show based on our pitching staff.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It is Time for Jeff Suppan to Go.


People have been screaming for Suppan to get the axe for about 2 years now. I have not been one of them. It's not that I'm a Suppan fan or anything. In fact I was adamantly against signing him back in 2006. But I'm realistic. I knew that he would be given far more chances than he warranted, because of his contract, his relationship with the owner, and the amount of respect that people within the organization have for the guy. So railing against the man has been pointless. I've just bit my lip, crossed my fingers and hoped he did something to justify those opportunities. But all along, I knew the day would come that the Brewers would be forced to unload Suppan and eat that damn contract. That day arrived today.


I sat at Miller Park today and watched Jeff Suppan come into a tie game and promptly fall apart... again. I said to anyone that would listen that this was the deal breaker. Today's outing illustrated, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that it is time to be rid Suppan. And this isn't your run of the mill, "Suppan sucks" rant, where some jerk-off will yell and scream about how terrible Jeff Suppan is. I think very highly of Jeff Suppan. I think he is really is a great guy. His work in the community has been well documented. Every person that I have ever met that has had any contact with him has raved about what a nice guy he is. An illustration of that point: Two years ago my wife's sisters went down to spring training on a mission to get every Brewer's autograph on a jersey, that they then framed and gave to us as a wedding gift. In all their encounters with Brewers that spring, telling the story of how it was a wedding gift countless times, Suppan was the only one player actually appeared to care. He asked them about the jersey and the wedding, and said "Well, tell them I say congratulations!" While this is just one little encounter, and not a huge deal in the grand scheme, I think it gives us an indication of what kind of guy Soup is.


However, he is no longer a capable major league pitcher worthy of occupying a Milwaukee Brewers' roster spot, and today was the perfect illustration. Suppan entered in the 6th, with the game tied at 2. He got the first out, and then got into trouble. He ended up intentionally walking Jose Reyes with 2 down, to load the bases and bring up Luis Castillo. The Mets fan in front of me stood up and yelled "Castillo, if you can't hit this guy you just can't hit!" How true. Castillo lines one back through the middle, 2 runs score. Soup has always been a guy that works in and out of trouble, and he had his chance to wriggle off the hook today. But he didn't do it, and I don't know that he can do it.


Soup then got the ball again for the 7th. Things quickly went from frustrating, to downright depressing. After striking out Ike Davis (on what appeared to be a generous strike 3 call), Suppan began throwing BP. David Wright doubled to deep left. Then Angel Pagan homered to right center. Then Jeff Francoeur doubled. All very well hit balls. And the boos poured down in buckets. Rick Peterson popped out of the dugout, and the crowd cheered. When he returned to the dugout without removing Suppan, the crowd booed lustily. Soup then walked Hank White, and nearly botched fielding a sac bunt by the pitcher. Then Macha emerged, the crowd cheered, and Suppan exited to yet another chorus of boos from the home fans. It really felt like that was the last time we'd see Jeff Suppan in an Brewers uniform. His final line: 1.2 inning, 4 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks.


Now it can be argued that Soup shouldn't have been out there in the first place. Or that he definitely shouldn't have been sent out for the 2nd inning. But that just makes it even more apparent that he needs to go. Throughout the course of a major league season, every guy in that bullpen is going to have to contribute. Suppan's role, ostensibly, is to be the "long man", a guy that can go out and cover multiple innings. And in a game where the starter only goes 5, and the previous night's starter only went 3, that "long man" is going to be called upon to get through a couple innings. But Soup can't be trusted in any game that is close, or even semi-close. The only time it is safe to put him in is when you're down big early. The Brewers are carrying a $12 millon mop-up man. There is no point to continuing to lug around a pitcher that can't be used in games that matter. The fact that they even brought him in today, appeared to be a sort of audition scenario. Almost like they were giving him that one last chance, to prove that he was worth his roster spot.


With the looming opt-out deadline for Kameron Loe, who has been pitching well in Nashville, it appears to be the time to finally pull the trigger on this move. The Brewers don't have the luxury of keeping Suppan around and letting someone who may be able to contribute walk away. It's true that the team will be eating the remainder of his contract if he goes, but that's pretty much what they're doing now. What's the difference between paying him to not pitch and sit home, or paying him to not pitch and sit in the bullpen? I'm sorry it has to happen to such a good guy, but the reality of the situation was apparent today. It is time for Soup to go.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Brewers Purchase Segway

First and foremost, way to go Yo! Your complete game shutout gave the bullpen a much needed rest. And Corey Hart's first career walk-off homer decided the pitchers duel between Yo and Johan; nice work. Could this be the tipping point that brings back Rubie's too-tight sausage-stained Corey Hart retro jersey tee and a resurgence of the "Corey Hart I am a man club"? Probably not but who knows with all the goofy shit that has gone on this season.

On an important pitching note, the Brewers have purchased the contract of Segway riding bionic man Chris Capuano. Props to Cappy for making it back but it's a sad statement about the state of our pitching staff that I'm excited to have someone called up after two Tommy John surgeries and 30 months of recovery. He was impressive with Triple-A Nashville posting a 1-1 record with a 1.80 ERA in 25 innings; let's hope he proves to be durable. Corresponding roster move is TBD... Jeff Suppan?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Freckles Isn't Coming Back.

Unless we give her a reason to, and what's a better reason than ... SPIN-OFFS!

I have two LOST spin-offs that I need to see:

(1) Continuing the story from the purgatory / sideways / bizarro realm, Sawyer and Miles as LAPD officers.

(2) Continuing the story from the end of the island narrative, bossman Hurley and super sidekick Ben run the island. MR. CLUCK'S COMES TO THE SOUTH PACIFIC.

What else ya got?

Monday, May 24, 2010

FRECKLES COME BACK!



FRECKLES PLEASE COME BACK. It's only been, like, 12 hours but still that's long enough. Please come back to the island, there's no more Smoke Monster, everything is safe and you can go swimming in your skivvies and it'll be a great time with very little chance of death or maiming, etc., etc., etc.

PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Apocalypse Wow!

Today's sign of impending doom brought to you from Target Field where Jeff Suppan has just entered the game in relief of Bushy... In the bottom of the 1st inning.

Game over?

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Magic Is Back.

It's no secret that the Buffet has hit a bit of a rut lately. Between the birth of our new baby, work, tax season, kids, and the pending nuptials of Mr. Sparkle and Sheets' Va Jay Jay (respectively, of course; they're not marrying each other -- not that there's anything wrong with that), it's been tough to find time to create any worthwhile content.

Throw in the fact that the Brewers, at this point, are who we thought they were (around .500, capable of being very good in stretches, capable of being very, very bad in stretches, no threat to contend for the playoffs), and there isn't a lot to say that hasn't been said before. Jon Hart still swings at sliders in the dirt. The pitching still isn't good enough. Jeff Suppan still is a sunk cost, though he's now sunk at the end of the 'pen. Ken Macha still looks like Leslie Nielsen, and manages the team as well as Mr. Nielsen tended to the passengers in Airplane! Ho hum.

BUT ... all that might be about to change: KING NED IS BACK.

The Kansas City Royals apparently decided there are levels of Hell they've not yet explored, so they canned manager Trey Hillman after a month-and-a-half and turned the reins over to His Majesty, His Highness, His Over-Caffeinated and High-Strung Worshipfulness, Nedly Yost III.

This means more Yostys! This means more dugout confrontations. This means more talk of pitchers walking the park and fielding their position well.

Nobody else will be watching, but we will. We've missed you so, Ned. Welcome back.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Soup Is For Closers?

In the wake of Trevor Hoffman Gagneing away another game in spectacular fashion, it's clear that the "sample size" argument -- i.e., it's early, he's had a lot of success over the years, you can't make an informed decision about whether Hoffman is cooked after six (or so) games -- can be stuffed in a sack.

He's done. He has one plus pitch, and he refuses to throw it, instead opting for an 84-mph fastball that doesn't move (at least until it's hit out of the stadium). In the month of April, he's given up twice as many homers (5) as he did all of last season (2). Yes, he looked great last season, but, for some athletes, the end sometimes comes very quickly and with little advance warning. Hoffman looks like he fits in that category.

The M&M boys have made a number of moves based on the results of a few games (or, in the case of spring training, a few irrelevant games), removing Suppan from the rotation after two starts, exiling Parra to the 'pen after a bad spring, plugging Narveson into the No. 5 starter spot after a handful of good starts last September, and slashing Hart's playing time because he was awful in Arizona (and because JimEd had a solid spring). So, in the interest of being consistent, Hoff has to be removed from the closer's spot.
But, who takes the slab in the ninth now? It sure as shit isn't going to be Chuck New Town, who was a light-to-moderate disaster in his brief fill-in stint for Hoffman at the beginning of last season. Parra is just getting settled into his new role, insofar as "pitching every single day, regardless of score or circumstance" qualifies as a role. Hawkins needs to figure out the eighth inning before I'll trust him in the ninth. Vargas needs to be saved to do his one-pitch, two-outs trick illusion. And title of this post notwithstanding, I can't begin to type the words "Jeff Suppan" without breaking into a giggle fit. That ain't happening.

That leaves Todd Coffey, who's the most logical choice and who would unquestionably have the most excellent entrance from the 'pen in the ninth. COFFEY'S FOR CLOSERS. I can get behind this.

(EDIT: Walsh is gettin' on the train:

Monday, April 19, 2010

When Awesome Happens, We Must Copy.

I don't know if y'all have seen this, but, just in case you needed another reason to think that Scott Stapp -- of the legendary Wide-Open Armsed Stapps -- is the awesomest kind of awesome, he provided it last week:

Dude wrote a fight song for the Florida Marlins. It's called "Marlins Will Soar."*

* Admittedly, that's a curious verb for a song about a fish. I don't know a whole hell of a lot about marlins, but if a fish is "soaring," I think that means it got hooked and yanked out the water. And that ain't good for the fish.

This being the Internet, whenever someone comes up with a fantastic(-ly awful) idea, it is our right, if not our duty, to rip it off and make it our own. In case you haven't figured out where I'm going: we need a song like this for the Brewers. And I need your help.

In the comments, please, some verses. I'm looking for words that rhyme with "Molitor," "Gumby," "Listach," "Ginter," and, of course, "Ruben Quevedo." With any luck, we'll get the Femmes or the BoDeans or the Gufs on this project and then we, too, can soar with Scott Stapp. Or something.

Monday, April 12, 2010

There Are Two Types Of Moments In A Baseball Game:

One is the "shit happens" moment, when a guy makes a freak play that he couldn't duplicate if you gave him 100 more chances. Nick Stavinoha's one-legged, crouching seven-iron against Trevor Hoffman on Friday certainly qualifies as a "shit happens" moment.

The other type of moment is the "oh, shit" moment. For all intents and purposes, this is the exact opposite of the "shit happens" moment: it's not at all fluky. You can see it coming from a mile away. The back-to-back tape measure jobs that The Hoff gave up to Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday last night qualify as "oh, shit" moments: when you saw that Hoffman was throwing 90% fastballs, and that said fastballs weren't breaking 84 mph, all you could do was cross your fingers and hope that Pujols and Holliday would get over-anxious. But they didn't, and those fastballs went where they're supposed to go, which is to say: BYE BYE.

So far, Trevor's had two "shit" moments on the year. I hope he's getting that shit out of his system right quick, because I'm not suffering through Gagne 2.0.

Friday, April 9, 2010

YO!!!


In case you live under a rock, or have an outdated web browser that only allows you to read about sports on The Buffet, there was some big news out of Brewers camp yesterday. The Crew inked 24 year-old starter Yovani Gallardo to a 5 year, $30 million deal. I think I speak for everyone around when I say HAPPY HAPPY JOY, FUCKIN' JOY!!!! This is a fantastic move for the Brewers. Professional journalist Tom Haudricourt, breaks down the deal nicely in today's JS. The new contract buys out all of Yo's arbitration years, his first year of free agency, and there's an option for the year after that. Basically the deal nicely balances the risk associated with locking up a pitcher long-term, with the player's desire to hit the free agent market if he's playing at an elite level. From my angle, I love it because: A) If Yovani's pitching at an elite level he's an absolute steal at $6 million per, B) If he's hurt or pitching poorly, then the team isn't stuck with a Suppan sized millstone around their necks, and C) If he's pitching somewhere in between 6 mil is pretty much par for the course. Add in the fact that this avoids any potential arbitration battles, and keeps him off the free agent market for at least one year, and there is a lot to love about this contract. Big ups to Brewer management! Thank you for locking up one of the game's best young pitchers!