Monday, February 27, 2006

John Sickels: Brewer Fan

John Sickels, baseball prospect guru and farm system afficianado had a few posts last week about the Brewers. Seeing as how Boston has taken up all my time (and my employer frowns on non-financial internet use) I haven't had any chances to post.

Anyway, Sickels lists the top twenty prospects in what he calls "a very impressive farm system." He is very high on the guy who seems to be creating a bit of a buzz around the club, Will Inman.

In a separate post, he projects the career of Prince Fielder. He admits it is probably overly optimistic. His career line? 1313 RBI's, 418 HR's (with three 40+ homer seasons) and an average of .276. Interestingly, Mr. Sickels has the immense Fielder playing until he is 35 and missing very little time to injury.

By the way, it's good to be back, I hope to make much more time for you folks as the season draws nigh. I also made a bet with the third base security guard at Fenway that the Crew would have a better record than the Sox this year (he spotted me 8 games) so wish me luck.

Have You Bought your Brewers Tickets Yet?

I decided to go the single game route this year. My kids are two young to really enjoy a 10 pack so I didn't do it this year. I have tickets to the 4 Bobblehead games since my wife and kids have that disease.

The nice lady said they sold 90,000 tickets on Saturday the first day of single game sales. It will be interesting to see if the "Take back Miller Park" Movement has gained any traction. I think the Cubs games were losing there appeal for the Cubs fans since there no longer easy wins for the baby bears. There where even a few cubs games last year that had walk up tickets on game day.

So don't wait to get tickets if you have a specific game you want to go to. I think each year its going to get harder to get tickets.

I am trying to keep my hopes for this year based in reality but I really think the Crew should be in the middle of the Wild Card race all year. Who knows a rash of injuries and the Cards could be catchable.

Damn its nice to have Baseball to talk about.

Hurray Beer

Baseball America Releases Top 100 Prospect List

Not as exciting as in the past few years for the crew, but we had three in the top 50. None in the second fifty though.

Theses are the entries in inverse order (highlighting done by me)

49. RYAN BRAUN, 3b, Brewers
"He's got awesome bat speed but also has some things to work on. He's got all the talent to be a legitimate middle-of-the-order bat down the road."--West Virginia hitting coach Johnny NarronETA: 2007

44. MARK ROGERS, rhp, Brewers
"His last outing in instructional league, when he was throwing 96 mph at the knees with a hard curve for strikes and mixing in a changeup, you could see the light bulb going off."--Brewers roving pitching instructor Jim SkaalenETA: 2008

11. PRINCE FIELDER, 1b, Brewers
"He's the Prince of Power. He does that one thing that makes guys the most money."--anonymous scout ETA: 2006

I know this comes as no surprise to bar patrons but it is National Media. Interesting note though, seems one of The Crews favorite trading partners, the Diamondbacks of Arizona looks about how the Crew did two years ago when they clearly dominated the list. Interesting if they both keep all their prospects it could turn into a rivalry. Meanwhile Richie Sexton languishes on the left coast.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mark March 8th on your calendars

March 8th is going to be an important date in the "Brett Favre decision." Brett is due to receive his roster bonus that day. Last year, I believe his bonus paid out on March 11, and he announced he was coming back on March 11. It is possible both sides could agree to push the roster bonus back, but that could be as telling as to his state of mind as anything. The longer this goes without a decision, the less likely it is we'll see number 4 run out onto Lambeau Field in September.

Ok the Head Bartender is back in Charge

Paul put me back on as an Administrator here so I got my bar back. Thanks to Paul and ESK for holding down the fort. Both will stay on as Admin guys too. Thanks for Jib and Ched Head for pulling the oars and dragging the good ship WSB through the horse latitudes of Winter.

My Guess with March Madness and Baseball firing up there will be a lot more to right about.

So start bitch and complaining about how teams suck etc lol.

The Bar is Open.


Racing Gods strike down Tony(Asshat)Steward

Well what a fitting Second week for Wisconsin's Favorite NASCAR Son Matt Kenseth Wins the second race of the season after being wrecked by the cheating asshat Tony Steward in the Daytona 500. Matt had a chance to win Daytona but was robbed by Steward.

The racing Gods struck Asshat Boy down with a blown engine today hopefully the first of many bad things to happen to the fattest man in NASCAR ;)


What I Thought About The Evenings Proceedings

On the disagreement between Larry Merchant and Manny Steward

When they gave Sugar Ray Leonard the decision over Marvin Hagler because of punches landed I was livid. Of course I was twenty years old and all I wanted to see was a KO. Hagler was throwing those bombs and I loved it. The punch count was still relatively close and no matter how you slice it Hagler got jobbed.

That differs from this fight in that the punch count in this fight was not even close and it was known going in that Mosley was over his punching power at 154 lbs. so a KO was not likely (100 grand bet not with standing) so the only way for Mosley to win was to accumulate points through punches landed.

The background for my change in perspective of boxer vs. brawler (sweet science vs. puncher) came about when I was stationed at Ft Eustis Va. right outside of VA Beach and a stones throw from Norfolk. I watched Pernell "SweetPea" Whitaker train and was astounded at his ability to slip a punch. I realized that boxing was much more then street fighting and I experienced somewhat of an epiphany. When Whitaker got robbed by home cooking in San Antonio and Mexico City vs. Julio Caesar Chavez I realized that boxing was a worthwhile sport and was even worthy of being called the "sweet science".

With all that being said Mosley easily outpointed Vargas. I know many will comment that this is not the Olympics and points don't matter but whatever you think about brawler vs. boxer you will see Mosley won this fight. He, plain and simple, outperformed Vargas.

After Fight Interview Revelation Number 1, this will be Mosley's last fight at 154 lbs. (not really shocking) The dearth of fighters at that weight class led Mosley to ascend in weight to fight money making opponents. With the emergence of Floyd "pretty boy" Mayweather that is not the case anymore.

After Fight Interview Revelation Number 2, Mosley spoke only of Mayweather and it is obvious that is his prey. I really want to see Mosley at a lower weight take on Mayweather. Mosley's power at that weight will once again emerge.

After Fight Interview Revelation Number 3, Vargas thought the fight was stopped prematurely and he may have been right. Arguably he won the ninth round. He had adjusted slightly to counter Mosley's attack on his eye. The problem I have with this is the lack of urgency his corner showed even after the referee had warned them of a possible TKO. Not once were the words KO him now before this gets called were uttered by Vargas corner. It may have been called early but his corner did nothing to assure the continuance of this fight.

Disturbing Moment of the Evening, The ring Dr. trying to look at Vargas swollen eye, after the fight, to see if a concussion or other head trauma had occurred could not even open his eye wide enough to see Vargas eyeball let alone his pupil or retina. Very disturbing.

Final Vision, By the time HBO got around to interviewing Fernando Vargas, you could see his eye again and when the DR let the ice pack slip a couple times during the interview it looked as though Vargas could have continued.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Fight Round By Round

Prelim Fights were unspectacular as usual, except this line by James Brown (sitting in for Jim Lampley who is on Olympic snooze duty) . After the Boxing Banker Calvin Brock knocked Zuri Lawrence out in the sixth round Brown, explaining the punch count graphic up on the screen said, here's the punch count which really doesn't matter, "the only punch that matters is the left that put Lawrence to sleep". Great line made even better when they showed Lawrence regaining his senses on the canvas asking the doctor when the fight was starting. Classic.

To the main event:

Round One
Mosley jabbing to keep Vargas at a distance. Vargas looks sluggish. Typical round one non-event, round to Mosley by number of punches landed

Round Two
Mosley going to the body and getting a little more bold, when the crowd begins chanting Vargas; Vargas; Vargas, Mosley backs out. Mosley clearly is getting off quicker. Vargas left eye showing signs of swelling and Shane is going after that eye. Mosleys round

Between Rounds: Mosleys corner warns of Vargas walking him down.

Round Three
Vargas nice straight left, countered by Mosley with a right hook to the body at the halfway point of the round. Fernando trying to press his weight advantage laying on Mosley to wear him down. Vargas registers his best round thus far but a flurry in the last 20 seconds of the round by Mosley wins him the round

Between Rounds: Vargas' corner implores him to walk down Mosley and cut off the ring. Great work by HBO showing both corners and the strategy being deployed.

Round Four
Mosley landing at will early, but at this weight the punches aren't hurting Vargas. At 1 minute mark Vargas connects with a wicked left hook that stuns Mosley. Mosley has no counter and just circles away from the trouble. Vargas best round and it goes to him.

Between Rounds: Fernandos corner insist that he go to the straight right hand. Manny Steward explains this is the punch that did in Mosley against Vernon Forest.

Round Five
Mosley back to the jab but seems to have forgotten to dot the eye (Vargas left eye) that is starting to become noticeable even at the wide angle aerial view. At the one minute mark Mosley connects with three straight shots on the swollen eye. Vargas beginning to wear down Mosley. Its Vargas round

Round Six
Mosley really getting muscled now and Vargas is executing his game plan to perfection. Like Leonard in the Hagler fight, Mosley is counting on quantity and sheer number of punches not power punches because those clearly do not hurt Vargas. I have Mosley winning the round.

Halfway through the fight I have it 4-2 Mosley, Harold Lederman of HBO has it 3-3. Larry Merchant scoffs at Ledermans scoring but Steward believes it should be 4-2 Vargas.

Round Seven
Mosley really countering well and that seems to be his new strategy. Every power shot landed by Vargas is answered by a flourish by Mosley. This pattern is really becoming obvious now. Who gets more points, 1 or 2 power shots or 9 or 10 crisply landed punches. My count has crisp combos counting as much. Mosleys round. Steward and Merchant disagree vehemently during the round as to who is winning. Steward complaining that numbers don't matter but power shots do. I remind myself that Steward was Tommy Hearns trainer and that is how his fighters from the Kronk Gym always fought. Merchant is old school and realizes the wear down effect of several good combos.

Round Eight
At 2:41 of the round Mosley lands a solid left hook that cuts the inside of Vargas mouth and the blood trickles out ever so slightly. Mosley really working on Vargas eye now. Mosley has dotted that eye at least 13 times so far in this round. The eye is hampering Vargas. He doesn't seem to be able to see Mosley's right hand coming time and again. Mosleys round

Between Rounds: Vargas corner warns Fernando of the possibility of a stoppage because of his swollen eye. Ref comes over to Vargas corner and warns Vargas corner about the eye, specifically stating that if it looks to him that Vargas cannot see the right of Mosley he will stop the fight. Brown and Steward for the first time mention the possibility of a stoppage because of the swollen eye.

Round Nine
More punishment on Vargas right eye by Mosley and the ref is stepping in real close to see if Vargas can protect himself. Vargas gets in close to protect the eye and it works for one third of the round. Mosley steps out and connects three times to the body. Vargas drops his right hand to protect his body and Mosley connects squarely on the eye. Vargas refuses to change his strategy and its costing him dearly. At this point there is no urgency in Vargas corner and I can see Mosley closing the show and the fight is his.

Between Rounds: Harold Lederman has it 5-4 Mosley, I have it 6-3 Mosley

Round Ten
Mosley looks fresh, Vargas reputation for being out of shape... Fight stopped by referee decision.
Mosley wins TKO at 1:22 of the tenth round.

Redemption Fight, Mosley vs Vargas

I didn't live blog the fight but I noted it and this is what I saw.
If you are going to see it next week on HBO and don't want to know the outcome

Is ThIs Horse Dead Yet? I Keep Beating It, Yet It Doesn"t Die

Shanoff again, need I say more. This happens everyday!!! The guy constantly is trying to make an impression as a playa in the pop culture world. Has anybody called Sasha Cohen the Peyton Manning of Ice Skating? If you have please contact this blog.

Thats just the beginning, the guy then creates a new metaphor to dis (disrespect) Peyton Manning, he says "pulling a Peyton" is the hip thing to say. HUH.

This is what Shanoff would have you believe. The grind of an eight month NFL season is the equivalent of a four minute "program" of skating. Does the guy fail the basic common sense test?

So our babe skates for two minutes and is in first place.

The Indiapolis Colts play twenty games over a span of five months, and are in first place.

The similarities are astounding!

Two days later Shanoff's hero has to accomplish the unthinkable, skate for a whole four minutes straight!

Shanoff's simile has to play the Pittsburgh Steelers, with a "D" that has only bad intentions.

O.K. enough, I think we get the point. If anyone has pulled a Peyton, It Is Shanoff
I think, in my humble opinion, anyone (derelicts included) could do a better job than this hack.

Open Question for Dan Shanoff?
How do you reconcile your obsession with the "curl girls" and your obvious predeliction to there cuteness with your wifes controlling uber feminist attitude? Actually I want to know if she let you take your cajones off the shelf for more than two hours at a time?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Maybe they should have kept Randy Moss

After a miserable 2005 Packer season, there is only one thing in the football world that can warm my heart, and that is controversy in Viking land. Thankfully, the football gods are looking out for me:
The Vikings are gauging quarterback Daunte Culpepper's trade value around the NFL, a person with knowledge of the situation said Wednesday -- confirming a decision triggered when Culpepper demanded that his 2006 compensation be more than doubled.
Thr rumor is that they are looking for a mere 2nd round pick for Culpepper after he asked the Vikings to increase his salary from $8 million to $18 million next year. It does my outlook on life wonders to see the Vikings slowly dismantling themselves.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Warriors Rock and so does Majerus

Great game last night at the Bradley center. Rick Majerus was announcing for ESPN and several times throughout the broadcast he referred to Marquette as the Warriors. Majerus actually called them the Warriors the entire game until there was 44 seconds left when he caught himself and apologized to the administration. The apology came with an explanation about his coaching days and how they will always be the Warriors to him. Very nice to here that. He also mentioned that he was a walk-on player and graduate. I think his cache as an alum carries much more weight (no pun intended) than your average politically correct lefty idiot who narrow mindedly thinks warriors is a denigrating term used for the peoples who crossed over from Asia and settled in North America more commonly referred to as Indians.

It gave me hope that maybe someday the University will pull its collective head out of its third point of contact and revert back to its original name.
BTW Marquette won the game and Majerus thought the win would lock up an NCAA tourney birth.
This post was provided by a warrior of the US Army 1981-2002.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Ohka signs a one year deal

I know that there are mixed feelings here about Tomo Ohka, but I think the deal the Brewers signed him to is fair. It is a one year contract for $4.53 million, with the potential for up to $100,000 more if he meets certain innings pitched goals. Ohka is a decent guy for a developing team to have as a number 4 starter. Hopefully the Brewers will find a way to improve that starting staff over the next year, though, and be able to part ways with Ohka for 2007.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

B minus 2 days and counting

The Brewers' pitchers and catchers report on Friday.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Let the NFL silly season begin

What do the early rumors hold? Well, the Packer Insider blog is reporting the rumors of Football Outsiders. Their guesses have Ahman Green coming back for a year and the possibility of DeShaun Foster or Will Demps in the green and gold.

Sheets unlikely to make Team USA roster

Thank goodness:
Team USA plans to announce its 30-man roster Tuesday for the World Baseball Classic, and Milwaukee Brewers ace Ben Sheets is not expected to be on that list.

Despite the Brewers' objection, Sheets was placed on Team USA's provisional roster of 54 players for the 16-nation tournament, which is to be played in March. Because the 27-year-old right-hander missed the final six weeks of the 2005 season with a torn muscle behind his pitching shoulder, the Brewers filed a formal protest, which was denied.

Team USA is announcing its roster much earlier than expected, however, which makes it nearly impossible to gauge Sheets' readiness to pitch. The Brewers don't open camp officially until Sunday, though Sheets has been doing some throwing in informal workouts in Arizona.

I admire Sheets' desire to play for his nation, but as a Brewer fan I'd much rather seem him progress at a slower pace in camp than throwing hard early in the World Baseball Classic. As much as I'd love to see him relive his Olympic glory, I'd much rather see him win 20 games this year or pitching in October (for the extremely optomisitic).

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Winter Olympics

I tried. I really tried. I've watched chunks of the Winter Olympics this weekend. Then I remembered something that I had learned in 2002 but forgotten. I'd rather repeatedly slam my hand in a door than watch 90% of the sports in the Winter Olympics.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Skinny On The WBC

So I guess everyone wants Cuba to participate in the WBC, not I. Continuing to unmask the fallacy that is Cuba's participation in this event I give you this article by Weekly Standard writer Duncan Currie. Does anyone believe Cuba will field a competitive team? No they will not. As my earlier post pointed out (albeit quite graphically) this brutal murderous regime deserves no audience nor does it deserve any empathy. The usual suspects (Sports Illustrated, New York Times, Time, Newsweek, Bryant Gumble, Shanhoff, ESPN, hollywood know nothing party members led by Oliver Stone) will appear, and wax poetically about there participation. The reality is that this will be a depleted team manned by oldsters and party kool-aid drinkers who have no intention of defecting. Nowhere in that line-up will you see any prospects or for that matter any member under the age of twenty-five. What you will get though is a warm greeting from the worst ex-president in the history of the U.S. Jimmy Carter and his same old tired rhetoric about the "greatness of Castro's regime".

Edward Gibbon:
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Of All-Star snubs, Pro-Bowl futility et al.

This blog has a hockey guy right? What is going on with the Badgers? Why are they going south when they should be peaking? Is it a youth thing a schedule thing or what?

Baseball guy wait your turn!

Where's the hoops guy? all-star snub of Gilbert Arenas, Phil vs. Cuban, Antonio Davis (president of the players union and visitor to the stands to defend his loud mouth wife) being outcast to Canada, trade deadline/where will Stevie Franchise be next month. None of this gets your juices flowing.

Baseball guy wait your turn!

Generally a boring Super Bowl but that bozo that lives in PA should have something for this blog (oh yea thats me, I'll have something this weekend), Oaktown can't hire a coach, Martz changes the landscape in the NFC Norris. Theres gotta be something there.

Baseball guy wait your turn!

UWM rolls in the Horizon, Marquette hangs tough in the powerful Big East with the youngest team in the league, U Doub gets off the schneid with big win over Indy (Ryan finds a rotation that works, finally overcoming losses of two key players). For goodness sake Marquette women just whupped the 24 team in the country St. Johns. Throw me a bone here.

Baseball guy hold on just one more!

Big hockey shoot-out in Lambeau this weekend, that chunky blonde girl called out the goddess of all golf Michelle Wie (who still needs to win a womens tournament before playing men), Tiger two for two, Great one gambling and his wife knee-deep in it, Irvin deservedly gets snubbed, NFL draft and we have the fifth pick, World Baseball Classic and the U.S. team, the Olympics, and oh yea that guy who plays QB up in G.B. making a decision. Anything here you guys can get your teeth into?

Now Baseball guy go ahead,

BTW, yes I'm attempting to play ball this year (first time since 1998 in Korea when I broke my nose playing overhand with a female softball, wicked knucklers with those big balls) and pulled out the leather and spikes and took a few swings with Bingo a couple weekends ago. I'll blog about the team and if I can make it or not. The team was 14-0 last year and boasts an ex-Toronto BlueJay and an ex-All Air Force/All DOD Team member. If I make the team it will be amazing.
I'm back now and will post regularly, NASCAR is not my strong point but we have a couple races here in PA and I can give you the insight on Pitt Steel free-agents. Lets go guys we built an audience, lets continue.

NASCAR Nextel Cup preview

I have the full preview over at No Runny Eggs, but I just wanted to recap here:

Field-fillers (35th and worse) (no particular order) - Scott Riggs, Derrike Cope, Scott Wimmer, Robby Gordon, Travis Kvapil, Randy LaJoie, Michael Waltrip, Kevin Lepage, Morgan Shepherd and Chad Chaffin (throw in most-of-the-timers Kenny Wallace and Tony Raines)

26-34: 31-34 - Dave Blaney, Kyle Petty, Brent Sherman, Sterling Marlin; 26-30 - Ken Schrader, Jeff Burton, David Stremme, Casey Mears

21-25 - Denny Hamlin, JJ Yeley, Bobby Labonte, Brian Vickers, Reed Sorenson

16-20 - Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer (one of those 2 will be Rookie of the Year), Mark Martin, Jamie McMurray, Dale Jarrett

11-15 - Joe Nemechek, Kurt Busch, Jeremy Mayfield, Kevin Harvick, Elliott Sadler (likeliest to finish 11th and get the $1 million booby prize)

6-10 - Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards

2-4 and the champ - Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson will be the closest to Wisconsin's own Matt Kenseth at the end of the season.

Monday, February 06, 2006



Did I not get the memo that we weren't posting here anymore?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Memories of a Hall of Famer

By now everybody knows that Reggie White was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame today. I'd like think back on the Minister of Defense tonight. I was in my high school's locker room after a baseball practice when I heard that White had signed, and I was shocked. I had been a Packer fan at least since watching the first football game that I can still remember, which was in 1979. All the team had ever done was disappoint me. In fact, they had done more than that. They had made me an object of scorn at school. My parents knew how much I loved the Packers, but they didn't know how much razzing a kid got at school for wearing Packer apparel. They gave me a lot of nice Packer apparel, and I got teased a lot. But when White signed, that changed. The 1989 team had given a little respectability to Packer fans, but White created the band wagon.

I remember watching White in those early years. He was absolutely dominating, clubbing offensive linemen to the ground, tossing them, occasionally vaulting them. I was young and I had never seen dominance like that from any Packer player. I'll never forget the chills that went down my spine during the game against the Broncos in 1993. I was sitting in my parents' car in the Pick 'n Save parking lot, listening to the end of the game. My expectation was that the Packers would find a way to lose to Elway and the Broncos. After all, that's what my Packers did, and did well-lose. With the crowd chanting Reggie!, Reggie!, White sacked Elway to end the Bronco comeback. It was the begging of the end of my Cub fan like attitude towards the Packers. I'm sure I'll be writing something sappy about Favre soon, too, but without White on the defensive side of the ball, I'm not sure the Packers would have become the team that they were in the mid to late 1990's.

Hopefully today Reggie was sitting with Jerome Brown, Ray Nitschke, and Vince enjoying his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Thanks for the memories, Reggie.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Get your Glory Days fix

Packer fans, do you want to forget about the present and live in the past, if only for a half an hour? Tonight at 6:00 on ESPN Classic you can relive Super Bowl XXXI. Just make sure you turn the channel by 6:30, or you'll be jolted back into the present with Super Bowl XXXII.

(Cross posted at the Badger Blog Alliance)

Matt Kenseth news

Not only is spring training just around the corner, so too is the NASCAR season. I know a lot of people have been hoping that Cambridge native Matt Kenseth would jump ship from Roush Racing and and join Dale Earnhardt Incorporated when his contract with Roush ran up. It is not to be, though. It was announced that Kenseth has signed a multi-year contract extension and will be part of the Rousch stable stable for at least a few more years.

A couple of unrelated side notes to this story. I live about 10 miles from Kenseth's hometown. When Kenseth came back to Cambridge to get married several years ago, there was a huge buzz that Earnhardt Jr. was going to be in his wedding and was going to be in town. It turned out to not be true. There is always the assumption in the media that Kenseth and Earnhardt Jr. are close friends. It makes sense, as the two basically came up through the NASCAR ranks together. I've never seen one shred of evidence that it is true. Point #2. If you ever get to Madison and have some time to kill, I highly recommend that you make the 30 minute trek down highway 12 to the Kenseth Fan Club Museum in Cambridge. The museum is set up so you have a lot of close contact with some great cars and trophies.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Can you smell the leather and hear the crack of the bat

Spring training is just around the corner, kiddies. Let's see things get lively around these parts, shall we? I don't want to have to start criticizing the Brewers for cutting loose that dead weight Branyon just to get people's juices flowing. But I will.

Hurray beer!

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