Posted on: July 8, 2008 9:50 am

Milwaukee Brewers welcome to the Big Leagues

What you will see tonight at Miller Park will be an absoultely incredible scene.  The season still has 70-plus games to go, but you will see the hopes and dreams of 40,000 plus having a real chance to become reality.  The Brewers have been a franchise in disarray for much of the past quarter century, and that burden looks as if it is about to be lifted.  No longer are the Brewers a team that trades all of its talent away, it is now in the position to take talent from other teams.  It can lock up homegrown talent like Ryan Braun, it can trade for the defending Cy Young Award winner in CC Sabathia.  Many times in the past quarter century my Brewers have felt like a AAAA team, which means that they are better than your typical AAA team, but not quite Major League ready.  This deal for Sabathia ends that.  They are a true Major League team.  They are serious playoff conteders and they even may be the NL favorites to make the World Series at this point.  No longer are the Brewers a perennial doormat or a laughingstock.  This team is here, this team is real and it is a force that deserves to be reckoned with.
Category: MLB
Posted on: June 16, 2008 11:15 am

US Open = Worst tiebreaker in sports

This is something I have felt for a while, and the events of this past weekend give me cause to rant on this a bit.  Let me get this started, I understand not all overtime and tiebreaking procedures are perfect.  In the NFL for example, the kicking team isn't even guaranteed a shot with the ball.  In the NHL, penalty shots are an effective way to end a game, but very anticlimactic if you ask me, same in soccer.  Baseball and basketball seem to have their overtime procedures down pat.  Boxing, way back in the day just went on and on until someone hit the canvas, even if they needed 97 rounds to do so, today they go to the cards and I think the controversies with those has effectively killed the sport.  In Golf, there is no universal overtime on the PGA Tour.  Some tournaments have a sudden death in which they go to a predetermined hole and first player with a better score on a hole wins.  The PGA Championship uses a 4 hole playoff format in which each player gets 4 holes and the lowest cumulative score wins.  However today, in the US Open they will play an entire 18 holes.  This very well COULD be over for all intents and purposes 4-5 holes into the match, and it very well could be a barnburner, however this format is very anticlimactic in my opinion.  I believe that whatever format you choose to use, the only prerequisite should be that you should be able to crown the champ on Sunday
Posted on: June 11, 2008 9:15 am

Where does Griffey rank among the alltime greats?

I was listening to some sports talk show here in Chicago yesterday.  The host, who is a baseball guy and old enough to remember people like Aaron, Mays, Clemente, Banks and others from that generation claimed that at the beginning of his career that Griffey was bar-none the greatest baseball player he had ever seen, and it got me thinking who would be better from those I have seen play.  I couldn't come up with a name.  Some will point to Griffey's highest HR totals coincide with the height of the steroid era from 1996 to 1999, but if you look at his age, those were and should have been his prime years and I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and partially due to that he is not a jackwad as a person, but also due to serious allegations never surfacing about Griffey in regards to steroids.  Personally I don't think a list of the to 25 players of all time is complete without him on that list and I would like to ask of you what you think of him as a player, as a person, and what he means to the game.

For me, I think it is a damn shame that his legacy will be grouped with McGwire, Bonds, Sosa and Palmeiro.  I think those names diminish the meaning of 600 HRs.  Griffey has earned every right to be alongside Aaron, Ruth and Mays in my estimation, those others have not.  While the vast majority of the population will not be able to separate the two, I would at least hope that lifelong baseball fans would be able to tell and note the difference.

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 21, 2008 1:55 pm

Packers OTA's

This is the status for injured Packers for OTAs.

Not cleared to participate in OTA's: Justin Harrell, Johnny Jolly, Will Blackmon

Not cleared to participate, but are being evaluated week to week and hope to gain clearance to participate: Daniel Muir, Colin Cole, Abdul Hodge, John Kuhn, Cameron Stephenson and Troy Humphrey.

Will miss first couple OTA's but should participate: Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila

Have full clearance to participate: Noah Herron, DeShawn Wynn, Ryan PowdrellJunius Coston and Tyrone Culver.

Everyone else did not have injury concerns and unless is granted permission to not attend from the team and coaching staff, they should be there.

Category: NFL
Tags: OTAs, Packers
Posted on: May 5, 2008 9:31 am

Packers Rookie Camp

The Packers had their Rookie Camp this weekend.  This is for rookies to get some practice time in front of their new coaches, to get indoctrinated into the Packer Way, and learn about the storied tradition of this franchise.  They will learn about names like Lombardi, Starr, Favre, Hutson, and Lambeau.  They will learn what it means to be a Packer and what a priviledge it is to play for the most storied franchise in the NFL.  Some of the standouts from Packers Rookie camp this past weekend were people like Patrick Lee, Breno Giacomini and obviously Brian BrohmMatt Flynn was good as well.  Obvioulsy this is just competition against fellow rookies, so it is really difficult to gain a good assessment until the minicamps or training camp itself.  However, Ted Thompson has struck gold in the past two drafts and his 2005 one wasn't bad either.

Lee is coming in hoping to win the nickle corner job.  Woodson and Harris have a solid stranglehold on the 1 and 2 corners.  Lee, hopefully is the long term replacement for one of them.  He like to play bump and run which fits into the mold of the Packers as Harris and Woodson both like to employ that strategy.  I was excited about this pick on Opening Day and all indications so far are that this was a quality pick at the end of round 2.

Breno Giacomini, was tried at both the left and right tackle positions and looked at home at both spots.  This is valuable because he can come off the bench and play multiple positions, which increases our versatility there and we likely will have to find an extra body to cut somewhere on the field as we will probably field 6WRs vs 5 from last season.  Versatility by the backups on the O-line will quite possibly help make that decision easier.

Both Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn got their first taste of the Packer playbook and looked to have no real problems picking it up.  They will both take their playbooks home and further study it and get even more familiar before June minicamp.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 25, 2008 8:59 am
Edited on: April 25, 2008 9:31 am

Jim Thome. My Homey

Last night Jim Thome of the Chicago White Sox knocked his 513th out of the park.  513, while not a round number, is significant in baseball as he simultaneously passed 2 of the greats in the game.  Ernie Banks and Eddie Matthews.

In the steroid era in baseball, many of the great sluggers of this generation have had their legacies completely discredited due to steroid use and/or allegations.  Some of these names are Sosa, McGwire, Bonds, Palmeiro and I think the jury is still out on A-Rod.  There is a trifecta of stars whose numbers in my opinion are not nearly as appreciated as they should be because there really are no steroid rumors hanging over their heads.  Jim Thome is one of these people, with the others being Ken Griffey Jr and Frank Thomas.  There is an argument that can be made, that Jim Thome is the best pure power hitter, who is also clean, of this generation.  Griffey, while having more HRs, was really a 5 tool, all around player and I put that in a different category.

Since he has come to Chicago, it has been apparent to me that Thome is a wonderful person, always willing to do some good in the world and I am sure many of his fans that he left behind in Cleveland and Philadelphia would agree with that assessment.  It is a shame that his legacy is going to be tainted by the sheer fact he played in the steroid era, alongside some of these cheaters.  Hopefully 20 years down the road, when we look back at the great players of the 1990s and 2000s, Jim Thome's name is at or near the top of that list, as I think in order to fully escape the steroid era, we not only have to punish those who used them, but to prop up the accomplishments of those who didn't.

Category: MLB
Tags: Jim Thome
Posted on: April 16, 2008 10:51 am

Packers 2008 Schedule

  1. Minnesota (Monday Night)
  2. @ Detroit
  3. Dallas (Sunday Night)
  4. @ Tampa Bay
  5. Atlanta
  6. @ Seattle
  7. Indianapolis
  8. BYE
  9. @ Tennessee
  10. @ Minnesota
  11. Chicago
  12. @ New Orleans (Monday Night)
  13. Carolina
  14. Houston
  15. @ Jacksonville
  16. @ Chicago (Monday Night)
  17. Detroit

Seems like a fairly fair schedule.  There are none of those 3 game road trips, nor is there a 3 game homestand, and we essentially alternate home and away for the first half of the season.  My focus always goes to the 2 games against the Bears, both of which will be in the latter half of the season, and weather should be a factor in both games.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  I don't like starting the season against 2 division opponents right away.  Don't take it as I think we are getting screwed, it's just a personal preference of mine that we wait until week 3 or 4 to play teams within the division.  It overall seems to be a little tougher than last season as the AFC South is a big upgrade over the AFC West, but the NFC South is a downgrade from the NFC East.  We have 4 prime time games and will be throwing the new QB into the fire right off the bat.  Living in Chicago, I will probably have to go to the bar to catch the Packers play at least 6 times due to playing at the same time as the Bears.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 15, 2008 9:14 am

Jackie Robinson 61 years later

On this date in 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African American player in baseball history.  He wasn't the best player available, but probably the best one available to not only play but handle the hatred, the publicity, the heckling and the media pressure this move would undoubtedly bring to the forefront.  His success translated into a generation of African Americans who dominated the game like Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.  There was another generation of top African American talent led by Kirby Puckett, Tony Gwynn, Ken Griffey Jr and others. Today there are very few African American players in baseball with some teams not even having one on their team.  I don't know exactly what Major League Baseball needs to do in the inner city to promote the game of baseball, but in order for this to remain the finest game on the planet we need to attract top African American talent as we have in the past.  For whatever reason, African Americans are choosing football and basketball in droves over the game I love.  Being a Brewer fan, I am blessed with seeing talented African American players on a daily basis such as Prince Fielder, Bill Hall and Rickie Weeks. When he gets off the DL, I will enjoy seeing Tony Gwynn Jr, and when he gets off suspension, Mike Cameron
Category: MLB
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