Saturday, June 30, 2007
Was Aramis Ramirez's ninth-inning walkoff homer the biggest June home run in a generation for the Cubs?
Hmm....that begs the question:
Was Ryan Braun's 4-5, 4 RBI day at the plate today the best performance in Brewers history by a rookie third baseman in June on a Saturday afternoon against a second-place team on the road in a nationally-televised game?
I'm not even going to check with Elias on this one...I'm just going to go out on a limb and say yes, it was.
I got to watch the game today from a bar in downtown Chicago with a buddy of mine who is a Sox fan. That was just good times. Direct quote from some poor sap at the bar, when talking to the bartender as he closed out his tab:
"Time to go home and take a nap. Looks like this one's a lost cause."
It was the third inning.
Looks like NL ROY, Ryan Braun, is learning how to give interviews from none other than The Glue. It's obviously good to see the rookies look to the vets for advice like this.
"They went through the same thing yesterday and came back. We understood we
needed to keep tacking runs on," Braun said.
"It's obviously good to get a lead, you know. It kind of takes the
crowd out of it a little bit. They're obviously a good team and
they can swing the bat, so we needed to keep
"It's about longevity and consistency over the long haul. So I try not to
give away any at-bats," Braun said. "I try to take the same approach in each
at-bat with me, and I try to keep my focus, which obviously
sometimes is not always easy."
Friday, June 29, 2007
Then, for some reason, they went away form this format and tried more original programming and sitcoms. Cheap Seats, Arli$$, Classic Now, and those stupid ESPN movies were the norm: Season on a Brink, 3, Bear Bryant at Texas A&M (this one was actually pretty good).
Now? That channel is useless. I swear they only show 5 things: Boxing, Poker, Rodeo, American Gladiators and Stump the Schwab. That’s it...almost every evening. When’s the last time they had a 2001 WS Game 7-esque game? An old AFL Championship game? The 1994 Rose Bowl? These kinds of games are seemingly off the programming list. Yeah, I’d rather watch the 1998 Wrangler Rodeo Classic from Butte, Montana than 1985 Villanova-Georgetown…yeah, right.
You suck ESPN! You took a great concept and turned it into watching fat people play cards.
--Craig Biggio just got his 3,000th hit. Impressive? Yes. But, at any point in his career, did you ever watch him play and say: “I’m watching an all-time great, he’s a sure-fire hall of famer?” I sure didn’t.
MIL: Gallardo (1-0, 2.70)CHC: Hill (5-5, 3.13)
MIL: Sheets (9-3, 3.09)CHC: Marshall (4-2, 2.44)
MIL: Bush (6-6, 5.06)CHC: Marquis (5-4, 3.46)
--I figured out the Yi pick. The Senator is trying to save a few bucks. Instead of paying shipping fees for the new jerseys, he figured all the Yi jerseys will be sold right where they are made, in China. Rim Shot! Thank you, thank you very much…I’ll be here all week.
--What the hell happened to ESPN Classic? They used to show great games: Game 6 of the 85 World Series, a great Bird-Magic clash, an exciting FSU-Miami game…something like that. Now, I swear they only show 4 things: Poker, Rodeo, Boxing, or Stump the Schwab. WTF happened???
--Finally, when some of us were souring on the Brewers, loyal reader Dan Lorum told us to keep our heads up. He was right. Here is more of his wisdom and projected numbers:
I don't want to say I told you so but a couple of weeks ago, everyone was down and I said this thing will turn around. Well, it has and the crew is going to run with this thing. The Brewers had 30,000+ people in the stands on a Tuesday night game vs. the terrible Astros. The city is excited and I have to say that this is going to be one hell of a summer.
Prince 38 2b, 56 HR, 130 RBI NL MVP
JJ 28 2b, 38HR, 104 RBI
Braun 44 2b, 24HR, 84 RBI this guy is a machine and will be an MVP before you can say Saltalamacchia
Hall 40 2b, 20 HR, 70 RBI
Glue 20 2b, 24HR,70 RBI
Weeks 30 2b, 10 HR, 40 RBI Disappointing
Sheets 18-6, 204 IP, 194 H, 24 HR, 140 SO, 46 BB
No, we're not betting a wheel of cheese against whatever it is Chicago is nationally known for (rampant cronysim? election fraud? hot dogs with too many condiments?) Instead, we thought it'd be fun to wager editorial control over our respective websites for 24 hours. If the Brewers win the series, we get to have some fun with their website. I'm planning an in-depth analysis of miniature horse atrocities that have occurred over the past century. If the Cubs win the series (unlikely), you'll probably get a steady stream of Felix Pie fluff pieces on Chucky Hacks for 24 hours. Don't be alarmed.
I'll be glad if we can just start talking about Yo again and leave the subject of Yi...
Thursday, June 28, 2007
With that being said, we should be able to figure out the top of tonight's NBA draft lottery by following the exact opposite of what is being reported in the media. Without further ado...here's the misinformation mock draft.
1. Portland - Kevin Durant
ESPN's Ric Bucher told us last night that Portland is definitely taking Oden. Meaning that Durant is their guy.
2. Seattle - Greg Oden
No amount of disinformation or misinformation can reasonably lead Oden to fall past #2. Oden is Seattle's pick after he falls into their lap.
3. Atlanta - Al Horford
The Hawks want Yi. So that means they won't take him. Horford it is, in a mild upset (because this pick actually makes sense for Billy King).
4. Memphis - Brendan Wright
The Grizzlies love Corey Brewer. The Grizzlies are going to definitely take Joakim Noah. The Grizzlies want Mike Conley Jr. Chad Ford tells us so. Therefore, we're going to look behind door number 4 and pick Brendan Wright.
5. Boston trades #5 pick to Phoenix. Phoenix takes Yi Jianlin.
Danny Ainge said they're not trading this pick. Which, of course, means it's as good as gone. We'll guess that it's going to Phoenix for Yi.
6. Milwaukee - Joakim Noah.
The Bucks aren't even considering Joakim Noah, according to personnel boss Dave Babcock. A clear indication that Noah is their guy.
7. Minnesota - Spencer Hawes
Hawes said that he doesn't have any assurance that the T'Wolves will draft him. Which means that's exactly where he's going. I don't even know who this guy is, which is a perfect fit for Kevin McHale.
1) It doesn't resemble watching a glacier....unlike the NFL version. 3 minutes between picks. You can watch the NFL draft for 3 hours and see like 7 selections. Lame
2) The Unknown – After #1 and 2, it's up in the air.
3) See Ya! – It’s the last chance we see these guys before they enter the witness protection program know as the “Association.”
4) Hubie Brown and Jay Bilas – Listen to Hubie Brown make up words and Jay Bilas accentuate statements like his microphone is 10 feet away. I remember the Shaun Livingston pick, it was “THE BALL IS AN EXTENSION OF HIS HAND…” like I’m getting yelled at.
5) Bill Simmons – Love him or hate him, his NBA draft recap is funny.
6)Milwaukee's Best – There is a good chance Larry Harris will do something ridiculous…like draft the Chinese guy who already stated he wants to play in a market with a large Asian population. I know a large Asian, but not a large Asian population.
7) Chuckster – The Chuckwagon Barkley is always good for a few laughs.
8) No Crew – The Brewers are off…what else are you gonna watch?
9) The Green Room – Every draft needs someone to go “Quinn” and fall 12 spots lower than anticipated.
10) Say Cheese! - Who doesn’t like the handshake/fake smile photo op the Commish. How about this old school pic with a young Akeem (sans "H") and a stache-sporting Stern?
This blog is blowing up like Hiroshima, circa 1945. OK, maybe not. Anyhow, we are now accessible through these two addresses:
It's easier to tell your friends this way! Actually, it was done so Woz can wear a T-Shirt with the address on it during his WSOP final table run! Just kidding.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
"He might be the best #5 pitcher in baseball. Other teams would die to have Claudio Vargas."
Easy there cowboy...easy. The first sentence, debatable. The second...settle, settle.
"I'm confident in Jack Zduriencik," said Yost, who has three first-round picks and a second-rounder in his starting infield.
"If Jack drafted Pee Wee Herman, I'd be feeling pretty good about it."
I don't even know where to go with this one...
Monday, June 25, 2007
- The pitch that Carlos Lee struck out on in the 8th should have been hit about 500 feet. That was a hanger and he was simply not looking off speed. That was a terrible pitch from Turnbow
- I don't mind Brian Anderson, but it continues to be obvious that he knows diddly-dick about baseball.
- Manny Parra threw a perfect game for Nashville tonight. Fo those who don't know, Manny was promoted from Huntsville when Yo was called up. Check out Manny's sweet look. I may have seen him out in Racine before.
"How you doin?"
Check out this video to see one of the workout devices they're using - Ben Wallace! Let's see if Al Horford can take the 3-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year down on the block. Just $49.99!
Even though the NBA is dead to me, I enjoy the NBA draft. Why? Because of the excessive college basketball I watch, predicting how guys will do in the NBA is an annual event. I’ve been right (Said the Bucks should have taken Chris Paul in stead of Bogut), and I’ve been wrong (Matt and I both said Reece Gaines would be a NBA stud. Oops). Here’s this year’s edition:
Lottery Guys I Really Like (Besides the big 2):
- Al Horford, Florida. This guy’s a man child. I’m looking at 16 and 10 for the next decade. Maybe not next year, but eventually. Big, strong, athletic…the best guy not named Greg or Kevin, in my opinion.
- Corey Brewer, Florida. Would love to see him fall to the Bucks at #6. An athletic slasher who can defend? Are you kidding me? I say bye-bye Bobby Simmons.
Lottery Guys I DONT Like:
- Mike Conley, OSU. Don’t hate him, but some mocks have him going #3. I don’t see it. He doesn’t shoot very well, and I don’t think his little herky, jerky moves will translate in the NBA. Oh, and did anybody watch him pre-tournament? He was nothing special at all.
- Brandon Wright, UNC. I’ll basically say the same thing about Wright as I said about Marvin Williams: I saw the Heels play numerous times and never once did I say “wow, Marvin Williams has to be a top 4 pick, this guy’s awesome!” Never. Ditto for Wright.
- Joakim Noah, Florida. His shot is atrocious. The best comparison I’ve seen someone give him Marcus Camby. Camby really wasn’t a factor (On O, or D) until his 10th year!
- Jeff Green, Georgetown. I’ve seen top 5 for this guy? Please.
Non Lottery 1st round sleepers:
- Acie Law, Texas A&M. Even if he single handedly ruined every one of my brackets with a terrible final minute vs Memphis, he’s a gamer. Somehow, some Crittenton guy and Rodney Stuckey have crept above him in the PG rankings. Who the hell’s Stuckey? He’s from Eastern Washington, if you’re scoring at home. That would be in Cheany, Washington…a suburb of Spokane!
- Aaron Brooks, Oregon. Instant offense. He’ll fall to about 25-30 and end up coming off someone’s bench to spark rallies next year. Then again, I don’t watch the NBA (other than the Bucks) so this may or may not happen.
- Derrick Byars, Vandy. SEC Player of the Year. If he was from any other school but Vandy, people would love him.
2nd Round Sleepers:
- Gabe Pruitt, USC. As a Pac-10 fan, I’ve seen this guy play a bunch. He’s got, as Hubie would say, “tremendous upside potential.”
- Carl Landry, Purdue. I’ll add the local boy. Purdue with and without him was like night and day. A poor man’s Horford.
- 'Do Tucker, Bucky. I don't see it....unless his shot gets a major overhaul. He'll likley play the 2 guard in the NBA....even if he can't shoot off the dribble, shoot off screens, or handle the ball very well.
- The Chinese Guy. If the Bucks take him, he will suck. If they don't, he'll be alright. That seems to be the Bucks luck.
Gordon has a nice stroke, he’s got stud potential
Those Negro uniforms are sweet
It was a rowdy crowd on Saturday…saw a couple guys with bloody grills locked up in handcuffs.
Turnbow still makes me nervous
Give me one good reason to pull Yo from the rotation? Just one. I don't want to hear about limiting his innings...make him the #5 so he's skipped a couple times. Schroeder even implied he might get sent back down. What purpose would that serve?
What happens when Hart gets full-time ABs….good things, that’s what.
You know who should be embarrassed right now? The ChiSox. They’re record is almost as bad as KC’s. Best team in the world two years ago, to Royals-esque. That’s not good.
After a poor weekend by Colorado and Atlanta, the Brewers are now scheduled to play a grand total of 4 series against teams at least 3 games over .500 (Arizona, Mets, Arizona, San Diego). I'm still stunned by this.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
First, former Buc Donald Igwebuike was charged with assisting with the smuggling of $1 million worth of heroin. Then, Reggie Roby unexpectedly dies (the cause of death is still unknown), and now Tuten. All I know is, you better watch your back Don Bracken...you better watch your back. Raul Allegre, Rich Karlis, Max Zendejas, and Ali Haji-Sheikh were not available for comment.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Remember this guy? He was supposedly the next Reggie Jackson. So, of course, I bought every one of his baseball cards I could find. What happened? He hit a few tape-measure shots, but his .231 career average made him more Rob Deer than Frank Thomas. His cards are basically worthless.
This guy had it all: Great college career, was a prospect in New York, switch hitter, and a nice smile. He was the next Mickey Mantle. Back in the day, you had to give your friends 4 Nintendo games just to breath on a Jeffries rookie card. Not a bad career, but please...I want my Contra back!
Who could forget this gem? When it first came out, it was going for $300! Rumor had it, Fleer was so quick to bust out the air brush that there was only like 5 in the world. It was the Holy Grail of baseball cards, and I had one. Today, its worth 5 bucks. Should’ve dropped that thing like an illegal walleye.
First 79 games of his rookie year: 24 bombs. What’s not to like? How about the rest of his career…and the fate of his rookie cards. You might as well burn them, at least you get some heat out of that.
Jose Canseco Rated Rookie
This was THE card growing up. You knew all the kids in school who had one. Jose was a freak among freaks in the late 80s, roids be damned. I basically traded my entire card collection, pair of Air Jordans, brand new 10-speed, and the rights to my first born son to get this thing. Got it at it’s peak, of course; which was over 100 bucks, an unthinkable amount for a 12 year old. Canseco’s career went downhill at precisely the exact same time I acquired his Donruss Rated Rookie card. You can get it now for about 5 bones. Check out the stache.
I'll be at Millar today taking in that awesome Brian Bullington/Dave Bush pitching duel.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Simplicity is closing its Port Washington plant, with 325 employees losing their jobs. While not unexpected, this is unfortunate. For those of you from Port, or wish you were from Port, you know what a big deal this is.
No word on whether the Simplicity tractors will be in this year's Fish Day parade. My guess is no.
Not going to lie. I don't like that St. Louis is in second. I know they are 7.5 or 8 back, but they are still the defending world champs and can make a run. However, with the news today that they have traded for former 20-game loser Mike Maroth and signed Ohka earlier this week, I realize that maybe I shouldn't worry so much.
Because it's Friday and I really don't feel like working, I've expanded on yesterday's schedule breakdown. Holy Hell!
- The Brewers play 29 more series
- Only 7 of those are against teams with a record of at least 3 games over .500, and two of those are against the garbage Rockies.
- The win/loss record of all remaining teams the Brewers play.....922 - 1086!!!
- That would be a .459 winning percentage, if you're scoring at home.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
So, I guess I am back to talking about the Brewers again.
Last Tuesday, I mentioned to someone that Hall's homer against the Tigers was the biggest hit of the year so far for the Brewers. If the Crew would not have gone on to win 7 of their next 8, this statement would not ring true. One could also say that the 22-hit performance against the Rangers got this team back on track as well. They have hit well since then, with the exception of the no hitter. By all accounts, Verlander was unreal that game and most teams would have been no hit.
The reason I am focusing on Hall's homer is the overall circumstances that surrounded Hall's homer. The Brewers had come off a series in which they lost 2 out of 3 to the worst team in baseball at the time. Their previously lights out closer blew back to back games. Thankfully they won one of those games, but the Saturday night meltdown was of epic proportions. They were no hit the night before. They have managed a complete lack of clutch hits over the past month. I would say that most Brewers' fans viewed this as a lost game. I know I did.
Then Hall just rips one. That ball was nailed. Cordero comes in and gets the save. The Crew has only lost one since and that was a solid effort. The lead is now at 7.5 games. The line up looks solid again with everyone hitting.
Really, who knows if Hall's homer made that big of a difference, but as a fan, that was the played that got me excited about the Brewers again after a month-long malaise.
Some other thoughts:
- All the good Brewers vibes would have been quickly washed away if they would have pissed away Gallardo's debut. Things were going good with the 6-1 lead and that game ended up way too exciting.
- I noticed the Brewers have a stretch of 15 days where they do not play at home beginning on June 28. They have an off day the 28th, road series at Chicago, Pittsburgh and Washington and then the All-Star break, with a day off the Thursday after the break. They celebrate their return home with a Ted Simmons bobble-head, probably my least favorite 82 Brewer.
- I spent way too much time watching various Easterns Motors commercials on YouTube last night. Seriously, those things are hilarious. Especially when everyone is so excited that "their job is their credit." That is probably one of the most ludicrous things I have ever heard. Then again, I do need a new car. Maybe I will look into Easterns.
- Speaking of the Easterns commercials, Clinton Portis is a top notch entertainer.
- Easy Lover!
- So, who are the Brewers' All Stars? Obviously Prince and CoCo. Sheets is looking good. Outside of them, I don't see too many other guys. Hardy? maybe. Elmer Dessens?
- Sorry about the Rod Stewart video. I should have gone with Billy Ocean.
- I really don't care for U.S. Open golf. I want to see guys make an occasional birdie. I don't want to watch and see who will screw up the least. I am not advocating GMO type scores where the winner is at -30-something, but it would be nice to see somebody make a putt of over 10 feet on the back nine on Sunday.
- The Brewers on the soap opera yesterday was corny, but enjoyable. DVR was made for something like that.
- I saw that Jack Taschner pitched for the Giants yesterday. He went to Horlick and was a very good player. He was a year younger than me, but I honestly don't ever remember him pitching. I know he did well at Oshkosh and I am sure that he had some great coaching there. I do know that if I ever have a son, I really hope he is left-handed and can throw in the mid- 80's and develop a good curve.
'Til next time, "Fords, Hondas, Chevys, Beamers, and Mini-Vans"
- KC (29-44)
- Houston (31-41)
- Cubs (32-38)
- Pitt (31-40)
- Washington (30-42)
- Colorado (37-34)
- Arizona (42-31)
- SF (30-41)
- Cinci (28-45)
- St Louis (32-37)
For a grand win/loss total of 322-393! Wow. If we're not 12 games up in the Central on August 1st, something is wrong. By the way, when did the Rockies become good??
AAA Nashville - Manny Parra
Parra seems like he's been in the minors forever (which he has) - drafted in 2001, he's struggled with shoulder problems for years. Finally healthy, he made 21 appearances in '06, and made his first start in AAA yesterday after being promoted from AA. Parra took the loss but pitched OK, giving up 2 earned over 6 innings, striking out 6.
AA Huntsville - Will Inman
After dominating at High-A Brevard County, Inman was promoted to AA and has struggled, to say the least, in his first two starts at Huntsville. 0-2, 9.35 ERA, 8 K's in 8 2/3 innings. Jim Powell was comparing Inman to Villanueva on the Brewers broadcast yesterday - they had very similar stats in A ball, and they both are similar pitchers as far as stuff goes. Hopefully he can be as good as Villanueva in the bigs...I'd take that.
A West Virginia - Jeremy Jeffress
Jeffress has made 4 starts at low A West Virginia, and has been relatively impressive, going 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 14 K's in 18 innings. Already significantly better than what Mark Rogers has managed to do so far...
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Unfortunately, these poor souls were unaware of the fact that Bonds typically rests on day games played after night games, due to his balky knees.
"Man, this sucks," said 20-year old college sophomore Jake Reams, who had taped an asterisk on his white T-shirt with black electrical tape. "Now what the hell am I supposed to do?"
Others in Reams' section were equally chagrined, including four dopes with the numbers "7" "5" "6" and an asterisk painted on their chests.
The consensus among the group was that they would quickly switch gears and heckle Benjie Molina, the Giants catcher, every time he came up to bat, "because that's a really stupid name - Benjie?"
- Vs LHB: 83 ABs, .337 Avg, .392 OBP, .518 Slugging
- Vs RHB: 236 ABs, .216 Avg, .304 OBP, .335 Slugging
Hmmm. Odd, but yes, LHB are crushing Zito this year. It's not even close. How do I know this? Saw it on Baseball Tonight about a week ago...they were saying how every team is picking up on this. Miller Park must not get that channel because what does Ned do? Damien Miller and Kevin Munch, both righties, get the start over left handed hitters Ponch Estrada and Glue. Only 1 lefty in the lineup. I sure hope I'm wrong, but this doesnt make much sense to me, or the "experts" on Baseball Tonight. And no, it wasnt Kruk who was saying this.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
We at Chuckie Hacks sit on the "hate" side of the love/hate relationship with Notre Dame. After a brief scan of the schedule, we are pleased to report there is a legitimate chance they could start the season 0-8 going into the Navy game. That would be spectacular!
- Sept. 1 Georgia Tech
- Sept. 8 @ Penn State
- Sept. 15 @ Michigan
- Sept. 22 Michigan State
- Sept. 29 @ Purdue
- Oct. 6 @ UCLA
- Oct. 13 Boston College
- Oct. 20 USC
- Nov. 3 Navy
- Nov. 10 Air Force
- Nov. 17 Duke
- Nov. 24 @ Stanford
Team: Cleveland Indians – American League
Stadium Rank: 4.5 out of 5. The Jake itself was pretty sweet with a few unique features. First, most of the luxury boxes were jammed on the LF side, making for a large number of really good seats in RF. Second, the tall LF wall extends past CF. It’s almost a mini-green monster. And third, the pavilion in LF was great. We stood there for the entire game, leaning up against the railing with LF right below us. It’s a great view. And unlike Cinci, the city’s skyline is visible beyond CF. Cleveland’s skyline is pretty weaksauce, but it was still pretty cool. The only real negative was the concourses. They were tunnel style, so you were unable to see the game while walking around the park.
Atmosphere: 5 out of 5. It was a boisterous crown, instigated by that one guy in CF banging his drums all game. The LF pavilion was a great place to converse, drink, and watch the game all at the same time. It spills outside the park where bands play and people mingle pre game. In talking with people, you could tell the Jake was a popular destination for baseball fans. We met people from Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cinci, and Indy who regularly visit the Jake. I guess a good team + a good ballpark = good times!
- Popp’s review of the hot dogs: “Tasted like the bun expired sometime in 2005 and the hot dog had been rotating on that stupid hot dog machine for 5 days....terrible!” Minus .5
- Drew Carey is a liar. And his show sucked. Cleveland didn’t necessarily rock. Minus .5 But…
- …the bar (1 block from park) called “Winking Lizard” did. Great wings and a beer list over 100 long. Add 1.
- The food/beer selection at the park was very unimpressive. Minus .5
- One guy in our group got a batting practice HR ball….Hanner got his fresh 20 oz beer spilled in the process. Add .5
Stadium: 4.5. Atmosphere: 5. Miscellaneous Garbage: Push.
Overall: 9.5 out of 10. Probably my favorite ballpark not named PNC.
Monday, June 18, 2007
People will be screaming, saying why not send Gross down to AAA instead of Gwynn. In fact, that was my first reaction too. However, it has become clear in recent weeks that Gwynn needs more consistent at bats to become a productive player. Gwynn has looked completely lost in his last dozen or so plate appearances. In an unscientific review of his recent at bats, (unscientific mostly because I didn't take the time to look) Gwynn has struck out a lot lately.
It's actually a back-handed compliment to Jr., because they're basically telling Gross "we know you suck, so you're going to continue to suck on our bench while Tony can get some at bats and consistent playing time in the minors." With Hart entrenched in right, there wasn't going to be much playing time for Gwynn. So it makes sense.
Unfortunately, this doesn't change the fact that Gross and Mench are still on the roster...but one thing at a time.
Stadium: Great American Ballpark – Cincinnati, Oh.
Team: Cincinnati Reds, National League
Stadium Rank: 2 out of 5. This may make no sense at all, but I really don’t have a good impression of this place, and I’ve been here twice. Nothing is especially memorable, good or bad. The view of the Ohio River was pleasant, but not spectacular. Same with the entrance, concourses, and beer selection. The worst feature is a huge, black box of a restaurant in center field. This thing sticks out like a clown at a funeral. To make matters worse, they built this ridiculous paddle boat on top of it. Its like some sort of party deck. Must be new this year because I can’t find a picture of it to save my life. Sure, it’s a fine place to take in a game, don’t get me wrong. But now I understand why its never mentioned as one of the new “must-see” ballparks like the ones in Pittsburgh, San Fran, Baltimore, Cleveland…and so on.
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5. Had a charming small-town feel. For whatever reason, it really didn’t feel like I was in a major league ballpark, and I say this as a complement. The ushers actually wipe down your chair when he escorts you to your seat. That was different. Everybody was pleasant…even the heckling was good natured. The seats (and fans) are plastered in red, a nice reprieve from the baseball green puked on most stadiums.
- The beer selection was pretty standard except they brew their own “Red Machine Red” in the stadium. Don’t get it….tastes like watered down Lienies Red. Minus .5
- Rivers + Summer = Bugs. Lots of bugs. Lots of huge bugs. Minus .5
- The bullpens are accessible from the outfield concourses for everyone to see. Heckling ensued. I got half the Rangers bully to turn and look after yelling: “I bet you wish you guys still had Francisco Cordero!!!” Good times. Add 1
- Hanner especially enjoyed the “chill zone” in the OF. You know, one of those continuous mists of water. He could have watched the whole game from that spot. Hanner sweats a lot. Add .5
- Texas (25-42) vs Cincinnati (26-42). Record wise, it was the absolute worst possible game the baseball gods could have given us. Minus .5
- Some guy named M. Belisle gave up 7 earned. That’s always fun. Add .5
Final tallys: Stadium got a 2, Atmosphere a 5 and plus 0.5 for miscellaneous stuff.
Overall: 6.5 out of 10. Not as bad as old Riverfront (I’m guessing), but as good as some other new parks.
Indiana sucks. It’s home of Richard Gatling (of machine gun fame), the city of Gary, and the headquarters of the KKK. Impressive. It’s dubbed “The Crossroads of America.” Too bad their crossroads have pot holes the size of Jenks’ strike zone, and you don’t see sh!t driving on them. There is NOTHING to look at. No hills, valleys, trees…nothing. It’s basically Kansas. Why Johnny Mellencamp has such a boner for the Hoosier state is beyond me.
On to Ohio. Seven United States presidents were born in Ohio. They are: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren G. Harding. Other than Grant, could you pick a group of more useless presidents? Millard Fillmore think's this group is lame.
If anyone happens to find a cell phone on the Ohio Turnpike about 20 miles east of Toledo, please give it to Hanner.
Cincinnati was an enigma. There were bums begging for money about every 15 feet. I did contribute to one guy who’s sign said: “I’m not gonna lie, I need to buy a beer.” That was funny. I hope he had a great Friday night. Speaking of Friday night, the nightlife in Cinci was nonexistent. Because of a smoking ban, everyone told us the place to go was across the bridge. With a “WTF, Kentucky is across the bridge” look on our faces, we decided to make the trek. Wow. Talk about not what you expected. There was a string of bars, clubs, and restaurants’ stretching for blocks. And they were all packed. They all had waiting lines, cover charges, dress codes, and a ridiculous amount of hot chicks. The eye candy was flowing. Again, this is Kentucky!! Not Louisville. Not Lexington. But Newton, Kentucky?? In sheer numbers, we figured State Street in Madison has the most impressive collection of hot chicks in the entire state of Wisconsin. This place was at least twice as good. Who knew? I got drunk.
The top 2 Jeremy quotes from the weekend:
1) Asking a beer vendor in Cinci, who was obviously of Eastern European decent: “So…how are things in Serbia these days?”
2) The toll road in Indiana had exits seemingly every 100 miles. We were hungry, had to pee and wanted to stop. (While punching the steering wheel) “Don’t they have any f#cking exits in this sh!tty state???”
Ballpark Reviews to come. We all came to one general conclusion….the more parks we visit; the less we like Miller Park.
1. Don't no-hit the Brewers. Just isn't a good idea. You might win the game, but you'll probably lose the series.
2. Not only can Chris Berman ruin an episode of Sports Center, a Major League Baseball game, and an NFL highlight....he can also ruin a golf tournament. My god, I wanted to shove peanut butter in my ears so I didn't have to listen to him blather during ESPN's coverage of the U.S. Open. "Ground Control to David Toms?" Come on.
3. Corey Hart should lead off for the Brewers. Every day. No exceptions.
4. If Craig Counsell comes up to bat with a runner on base and it's a double play situation, he'll hit into a double play. He should just stand there with the bat on his shoulder, just to avoid ending the inning.
5. Adam Scott, he of the second round 82, is not ready to win a major championship. Neither is Bubba Watson. Although he's a lot more fun to watch than robo-Scott.
6. Kevin Mench is earning a lot of money to sit on the bench. What did he do to deserve all of this time on the pine? Besides, well, you know...sucking.
7. The NBA season is over. Already? It's only been, what, 11 months since it started?
8. The Royals have gone from scoring 2 runs a game to scoring like 17 runs a game in the last week. Not sure where that came from, but we're sending out KC correspondent Goldy to figure it out.
9. Staining your deck sucks.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Alright gents (and the anonymous hot chick), it’s off to Ohio. We found a sports bar right next to the stadium in Cinci which promotes “$1.00 drafts one hour before game time.” Advantage: ME. I’ve set aside 3 goals to accomplish on the trip:
- Avoid all angry Cincinnati Bengals, specifically Chris Henry
- Heckle Bob Wickman and his giant boiler in Cleveland (the Braves are in town) loud enough he takes note.
- Keep a running tally on everything Hanner eats. This could be especially challenging.
There it is folks, details forthcoming.
Not that I'm rooting for a Capuano injury, but....this could be the beginning of the end of the spot in the rotation currently manned by Dave Bush or Vargas, if either one falters this weekend at Minnesota and Gallardo pitches well against the Giants.
UPDATE: The Brewers have officially called Gallardo up, and placed Capuano on the DL. The plan, according to Yost, is to start Gallardo on Monday against the Giants if they can get through the Twins series without using him in relief. Because of recent heavy workload, Villanueva is not available to pitch in the Twins series.
Ironically, I’m just finishing up a book about the soldiers from said event called “Ghost Soldiers.” It’s a great read. Hope you enjoyed this edition of the “Hacks book of the month club!”
Johnson will be on hand to fire fastballs at gulls between innings of today's game, in an effort to cull the flock.
"Randy was scheduled to pitch a side session today anyway, and you know he was happy to get out of New York," explained Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin, whose team is finishing up a series in the Bronx against the Yankees. "This just made a lot of sense."
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
So who are my favorites this week? I'll throw three guys out there to watch (forgetting about Tiger and the gimpy Phil).
Padraig Harrington is coming off a win at his nation's championship, the Irish Open, a few weeks back, and has performed well at the U.S. Open in the past (including last year). He'll try to break a major league drought by Euro players in the majors with a win.
Adam Scott is playing very well lately, and is trying to become the first of the sub-30 year old "young guns" to break through with a major. Now that Geoff Ogilvy just turned 30, nobody younger than 30 has won a major championship. If Scott's shaky putter can come through for him, he has the ball striking ability and length to tackle this course.
Finally, look for a local boy, Steve Stricker, to have a good week. The Madison native has traditionally played well in the Open and is playing his best golf in the last 10 years. Plus, the guy can putt, which is a very handy skill to have at this tournament.
You think the Bucks are hard up to sell tickets? I got this email which promotes "Buy one Season Tix package, get one free." This would be a savings of $2,747, which led to this classic comment by co-worker and loyal Hacks reader A-Train (who is still on pace to not watch a single minute of NBA "action" this year. Only 1 game to go...good job Train!):
You’d have to pay me the $2,747 to actually take time out of my schedule to go to the games.
In an effort to avoid thinking about the Brewers for the remainder of the week, I'll avoid my usual rundown the the past week's Brewers' accomplishments, or lack thereof. Today's leading topic will be:
Thoughts From an ex-Cubs Fan
Hi, my name is Ben and I used to be a Cubs fan. For the first 26 or so years of my life, I liked the Cubs. Now, I would use the term strong dislike. I know many people hate the Cubs like they hate the Bears and Vikings and Iowa. I hate the Cubs like I hate the Lions.
Anyhow, growing up in Racine, I found it perfectly acceptable to root for the Cubs, which, I guess is somewhat strange since I hate the Bulls, Bears and Sox. The Brewers were in the World Series when I was 5. I remember the games being on tv in front of me, but I don't remember what happened. The Brewers have always been my team. Even through the crap years, they were my team, but it was hard to get juiced about a team that you knew had no shot a week into the season. Plus, the Brewers were in the A.L., so it was fine for me to have an N.L. team.
It was the '84 Cubs that got me hooked on them. That summer I was 6 (turned 7 end of July) and can vividly remember watching games on WGN in the afternoon. My dad was a machinist and got done with work at 3. He would get home in time to watch the last few innings with me and usually watch Lee Smith nail down another save. Heck, I even remember when the games came on the air, WGN played Van Halen's "Jump". Also, the excitement of seeing if they could finish the 2:20 starts on Fridays before it got too dark. Well, we all know the Cubs blew the series against the Padres, but I had fun watching baseball all summer long with my Dad.
Now, growing up, I probably went to about 20 Brewers games a year and 5 Cubs games. I always found it to be more of a rush stepping off the train to go to a Cubs game than parking behind the big Coke ad on the back of the scoreboard at County. As the Brewers began resembling a AA team, the Cubs at least made the playoffs every few years. I subscribed to Vineline. Even went to the Cubs Convention one year. Outside of Yount, Mark Grace was my favorite player. Even when the Brewers moved to the N.L., I still liked the Cubs because the Brewers were trotting out players who didn't belong in the bigs.
What happened? Well, the rise of the Brewers to an acceptable major league team that had a glimmer of hope to make the playoffs was the big push in limiting my Cub fandom. However, the final straw was the 2003 playoffs. By this point, everyone and their mother seemed to be a Cubs fan. You had meatheads who probably never picked up a baseball in their life claiming to be the worlds biggest Cubs fan. Chicks were wearing pink Cubs' hats. Don't get me wrong, I love the ladies, but wearing a pink had with you teams logo on it is saying, "I have no clue what is going on here, but following the team is a cool thing to do, so I'm in". These people were grade A ass holes and it was pretty annoying.
Talk of the curse was annoying as well. Maybe you lost because Dusty was a horrible manager. Maybe if Alex Gonzalez can field an easy grounder, you don't lose. Maybe if Mark Prior and Kerry Wood were not little bitches, you would have had a nice run here. Plus, the players on the Cubs are generally unlikeable. Derek Lee is great. Would love to cheer for him as a Brewer. But even he wasn't on that 2003 team. Sosa will always be a douche. Alou pisses on his hands, Ramirez seems like an uninterested prick. Wood and Prior are little bitches. Zambrano is a nut job. Couldn't cheer for the players on the 2003 team can't cheer for the playes on the 2007 team.
Will I ever go back to liking the Cubs. No. If they win the World Series at some point in my lifetime will I be happy. Probably not, but I think somewhere inside of me, there may be a little bit of joy, not for the Cubs or their fans, but for the joy I felt watching that '84 Cubs team everyday with my Dad.
Some other thoughts:
- Boy, are the White Sox bad this year. That line-up is just wretched. Throw in Konerko's woes and it is down-right brutal.
- I have not watched a single minute of the NBA finals yet. This isn't some boycott of the Finals, just the pure fact that I don't give a rats ass.
- I could probably listen to the White Stripe's Icky Thuimp 26 times in any given day.
- I see CNNSI.com has a mock draft up and shoes the Bucks taking Noah. Ugh. He would instantly overtake Mench as my least favorite player on my favorite teams. KGB is also on that list.
- Having been without cable or HD TV for the past 5 months, I am finally catching up on the latest season of Entourage. Can't say I love the show, but it is one of the 2 shows I watch with any regularity. I think that part of the draw is that for a few breaks here and there, that could be some of us hanging in Dudy's crew. Anyhow, the couple episodes I have seen from the most recent run leads me to believe that the show is now catering to a more female audience. Starting to make the show borderline unwatchable. Started going downhill with the whole Mandy Moore arc.
- Hunt keeps bringing up the plight of the Bradley Center in his gibberish that he writes for the JS. Recently he stated that there is no way public financing will be used for a new arena in Milwaukee. While I don't disagree with this claim. I find it odd that no one ever brings up how the Bradley Center was given to the City of Milwaukee by the Pettits. They gave all the money for construction of the BC. I am sure the city had to pay for streets and utilities and crap like that, but the Citizens of Milwaukee have not had to pay for a new arena since the MECCA was built. I feel this should be mentioned more often.
- "She's an easy lover, she'll get a hold on you believe it"
- I have not purchased a video game in ages, but I find myself interested in purchasing NCAA 08 college football.
Til next time, "Dear Governor Axtell. I've heard that you will give 200 dollars for my head. Perhaps we should meet and talk. I am at the Juarez village at the border. Send 3 men, and instruct them not to shoot, as I am unarmed. In short, Sir; I surrender. Your obedient servant William H. Bonney. PS: I changed my mind. Kiss my ass."
Besides looking like a tranny, dancing/pounding his chest like an idiot, and not being able to shoot outside of 5 feet, here’s another reason not to like Joakim Noah: He declined to work out for the Bucks.
Another member of the Gators' national championship squad, 6-11 power forward Joakim Noah, has elected not to work out with the Bucks. Noah already has gone through workouts for Chicago, Charlotte, Minnesota and Boston, and he has workouts scheduled with Memphis, Sacramento and Atlanta.
"He and his agent made a decision it wasn't a workout they wanted to do," Babcock said. "We would have liked him to work out, but everybody has their views on each situation."
That’s actually fine by me. If the Bucks take Noah or the Chinese guy, I will personally egg Larry Harris' house. Or not.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
"The dog is going to be a reflection of the owner," said Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter, who has owned a pit bull and bull mastiff. "You grab a mutt off the street and you teach that mutt to be mean, then that mutt is going to be mean. ... I don't too much care for a passive dog."
Last September, while Porter was playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, his dogs got out of the yard of his Pennsylvania home and mauled a neighbor's miniature horse, killing it. Porter was cited by police and later apologized to his neighbor.
In 1994, one of the pit bulls owned by NBA star Latrell Sprewell bit an ear off one of his daughters, who was 4 at the time."
"Not a myth," Alan Trammell asserted. "It really happened."
Prince Fielder was only a boy -- albeit a "terrifically big" boy, in Harwell's words -- when he stepped to the plate at Tiger Stadium and swatted a baseball the way his father, Cecil, so often did.
Prince bats left-handed, Cecil right-handed, but the result was the same. Prince pulled the ball down the rightfield line, and it landed in the lower deck.
"Our mouths dropped," Trammell said in a telephone interview Monday. "You don't expect a 12-year-old to hit the ball out of a major league ballpark.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Why is Johnny Estrada batting fifth in front of Jenkins and Hall? If you think about it, after Prince Fielder bats, ideally, the bases should be empty and ready for the Brewers to create another scoring opportunity. Therefore, you'd like to have another leadoff-type hitter. Someone who can get on base with speed. Estrada can get on base, but is so slow. Why not put Braun in the five-spot? J.J. Hardy should be hitting third. Rickie Weeks/Gywnn second. I love Hart leading off. Yost -- the lineup is broken. Its not going to fix itself. Fix it!-- [Name redacted to protect the questioner from scorn and ridicule]
How I would have answered the question:
You, sir, are a moron.
The first twelve words of your question would make a coherent thought. You should have stopped there. Unfortunately for you, you soldiered on, and the final 87 words prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you sport a central nervous system that operates haphazardly at best. Seriously - a second leadoff hitter in the 5 hole? Really? Because Prince is going to clear the bases every time he bats? Goodness.
How Adam McCalvy answered the question:
"Yost was pressed on the Estrada issue last week, and his short answer is that he likes a contact hitter in the five-hole, and he feels Estrada fits the bill. Your call for a "leadoff-type" in the five-hole is an interesting thought, but look around the Majors and show me how many teams follow that philosophy. In the eight-hole, maybe, but not the five."
I guess Adam has to be nice to his readers. Hopefully our valiant questioner isn't a reader of Chucky Hacks. If so, I'm sorry if I offended you. Actually....no I'm not.
Apparently, Ichiro is not a big fan of Cleveland:
"To tell the truth, I'm not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to. If I ever saw myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland, I'd punch myself in the face, because I'm lying."
Alrighty then. I guess his next free agent signing won’t be with the Tribe. Was he around to see the Cuyahoga River catch fire in the 60s or something?
This is especially good times seeing as how I get to see first hand if his comments have any merit. Six dudes (myself included) are jumping in a minivan and taking a roadie to Cincinnati on Friday and Cleveland on Saturday. Ballpark reviews and other trip highlights will be recapped next week. I'm giddy.
- The Brewers pound out 22 hits in a much needed win last night. Was Counsinino really 7-12? Good job guys, you still suck. Dave Bush is dead to me. Good to see Jenks and Estrada make some noise for the first time in a while. The youngsters are playing well, we NEED the veterans to step it up, and they did yesterday.
- How about the split squad lineup on Saturday? Gross, Miller, Counsinino? I realize Billy, JJ, and Estrada need days off, but isn't today an off day?
- 27-15? That would be the interleague bomb dropped by the AL this weekend on the NL. Not that this is news to anyone, but the AL is the far superior league.
- If these NBA finals are watched by more than about 63 people, I’ll be surprised.
- Finally, some stats and optimism by loyal reader Dan Lorum:
Just for fun, I put together some projected stats based on games played, games remaining in season and current stats.
Ryan Braun: 28 HR, 35 2b, 70 RBI, 140 hits: Look familiar to Prince's rookie year?
Prince Fielder: 59 HR, 40 2b, 130 RBI, 190-200 hits and .295 BA: MVP if Brewers make playoffs?
J.J. Hardy: 40 HR, 30 2B, 117 RBI: Not to bad but he won't keep this pace, Prince will and so will Braun.
The Glue: 28 HR, 22 2b, 77 RBI.
Bill Hall: 16 HR, 35 2b, 64 RBI, 130 K's: Last years Brewer MVP.
Go Brewer's. Keep hope alive. We have been in first place for the majority of the year. We are still 5.5 up on the Cards and 6 games up on the Chubs. We are in first place and we have a home stand coming up where we can get hot again. Live this thing up as much as you can because it could be a long time until we experience this again. This is exciting and we have to stick with the Crew threw the good and the bad (even if Yost is a jag) and if you put everything in perspective right now, it really is not all that bad. Stick with it Brewer Fans. We Are Going To Win The Central Division!!!!!!!!!!! Continue to watch this team every night and give it your all. I know I am even though it could cost me my marriage.