Ok...i know it's just 1 month...but here's my WAY TOO EARLY/optomistic All Star Game predictions for the Milwaukee Brewers...prepare to read the phrase "keep it up" a LOT.
(NOTE - these numbers/statistics are accurate as I type this on 4/30/13)
1- Jean Segura - .371BA & .423OBP and playing a GREAT SS. Seriously...he's looking like a star in the making.
2- Ryan Braun - no, he's not hitting for a high BA, but his 7HR are 6th in the NL & 21 RBI rank him 5th. Plus, he's been there the last 5 years. ASG reputation helps.
3- Carlo Gomez - GO GO is making a believer out of everyone. .360Ba (3rd in the NL) .409OBP (9th in the NL) and i hear he can play pretty good D. "Team Go Go" is becoming a full roster.
4- Jim Henderson - Ever since Ron Roenicke pull the plug on John Axford, Jim Henderson has been the MAN in the closers role. He's got 6 saves in 6 tries. He's allowed 1ER in 11GP. Keep it up and he could be on his way to the ASG.
5- Kyle Lohse - i know...this one's a stretch. But if his 2.53ERA keeps up......could the Brewers just get him some runs?? a few wins maybe??
6- Yuniesky Betencourt - Now I may REALLY be reaching here...but you gotta admit it- he's raising eyebrows out there. He's got 6 home runs in limited playing time (7th in the NL) and...oh, and his 21 RBI ties him for 4th in the NL with, um....Ryan Braun.
This will all most likely change, and Milwaukee won't send 6 guys to the All Star game. But it's fun to think that despite the 2-8 start, the Brewers have a LOT of nice pieces and a lot of candidates for the mid summer classic. VOTE BREWERS!
Realistic prediction: Segura, Braun represent the Brewers...but i hope there's more!
The journey has been filled with LOTS of up's and down's but either way I'm working harder than ever before thanks to USBC Coaches Dwight Albrecht and Phil Brylow. I even have a personal trainer in my corner. Former PBA Champ and fitness guru Johnny DiSantis has been training me with bowling specific workouts and let me tell you... IT'S WORKING!
Now that the Brewers first month of the season is over, the "Digging Is Done"! After the 2-8 start, the Crew has dug themselves out of a hole and into a competitive situation. Certainly rattling off 9 victories in a row has helped, but the season has settled in, and the Brewers can move on from here. Starting pitching and the bullpen has stabilized, and now it's time to work on the offense. Injuries to both Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez have hurt, but couple that with slow starts by Weeks, Lucroy and Braun and you find yourself in an unfavorable position.
Think about the line-up when healthy:
THIS line-up is scary for opposing pitchers. The crew needs to tread water until then, but the offense as is, CAN be better. Looks like a fun and competitive season is about to heat up. Smile Milwaukee, the World Will Smile Back!
Normally these blogs are sports related but I’ve decided to use it for another purpose and that’s to promote a very worthy effort in CPS3. It’s the third Cancer Prevention Study that the American Cancer Society has put together, the first linked smoking to cancer, the second linked it to obesity, and who knows what the third one will find out. I’m asking you to take about 45 minutes out of your busy day between now and May 10th and go to one of the designated locations in your area and volunteer to be a part of the CPS3. During the time you are there you will fill out a questionnaire and donate a small sample of blood. The only thing required is that you are between the ages of 30 and 65. Men are really needed at this time as the turnout to this point as been mostly women. I will be participating in the survey and hopefully you will be too. To find out the location in your area simply go to www.CPS3SEwisconsin.org
Cancer has really affected my family as I’ve lost a cousin in her mid twenties, a couple of friends in their mid thirties, and my father has also suffered from different forms of cancer throughout his life. I’m asking you to participate in CPS3, so one day we can find a cure to this deadly disease that has taken so many innocent lives. Thanks.
Throughout the NBA offseason, I will be keeping tabs on the arrivals and departures of the Milwaukee Bucks. Obviously, there is much to be anticipated for the organization. The questions is - who will be with this team come the Fall? While most Bucks fans want to blow it up and rebuild, it appears the organization will blow it up, but instead, add better talent with the extra money they'll have. My gut feeling is more than 50% of the players and coaching staff will be ousted. Once moves are made, I will put black 'X's over the departing team members. Quite honestly, anybody could be removed (and in a perfect world, maybe Herb Kohl will oust himself!) From Center Larry Sanders to Equipment Manager Jay Namoc, nobody is safe.
I'm a big fan of the reality TV Show "Survivor". Instead of calling this 'The tribe has spoken', this reality game will be "The Bucks have spoken."
Who makes the cut? That's your choice...
Here are my predictions...I don't care how many years are left on some of the contracts. John Hammond has a history of dumping bad contracts...and also adding bad contracts...
Ekpe Udoh surprise: Ersan Ilyasova via trade
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute sleeper: Gustavo Ayon
Jim Boylan WILL NOT return. For the rest of the coaching staff, I don't know where to begin...
It's going to be one hell of a ride, Bucks fans!
Stay tuned throughout the offseason to see whose imaginary torch will be snuffed!
With the 61st pick in the 2013 NFL draft...the 13 time world champion Green Bay Packers select...Eddie Lacy RB Alabama
Well, there you go, Packers fans. GM Ted Thompson FINALLY spends a high pick on an running back. And they got a guy who many think is the best RB in the draft...or the or the 6th best. I'm SHOCKED. Honestly. Some wanted this guy at 26!
Now...what does he bring?
Good size for a running back - 5-10, 220 pounds
Not a burner. runs a 4.5-4.6 40
Had a GREAT OL at Alabama. 2 1st round picks this year
He was productive for the BCS champs last year, IN THE SEC: 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns
Ted traded out of pick 55, down to 61 (picked up a 7th rounder) to get a running back. If Lacy is the guy Packers fans HOPE he is, he should use his draft free fall to motivate him. He'll also get EVERY chance to get the ball from the 1st day.
Obviously this was a position of need for the Packers and I'm impressed Thompson pulled the trigger. Lacy can't try to run over everyone like he did in college. A physical runner in the NCAA? Yes. Can he be that guy at his size in the NFL? Doubt it. He's not a "shifty" guy. Scouts say he's not the best pass protector. That could hurt. Gonna have to improve there if he wants to stay on the field on 3rd downs, but then again, that's what Alex Green & DuJuan Harris are for.
Gonna be a very interesting selection to look back on in 3 years. 1st reaction? I like it.
You can follow Eddie Lacy on Twitter at @Lil_Eazy_Ana_42
People have been asking me about the Packers first round pick Datone Jones on twitter. I thought I would give you my opinion here in a blog. Good pick for the Packers - seems like Ted Thompson finally picked a defensive lineman that fits the Dom Capers 3/4 system. Fast and quick, can play up and down the defensive line. Red flag for me is the broken foot a couple of years ago. The packers want him to add some weight which is never a good thing when you have foot problems. Played at about 285 but at personal workout weighed in about 277. Overall though I think it is a pick the Packer needed to make with Jeral Worthy out, an aging Ryan Picket, and BJ Raji in a contract year. In Ted We Trust. I would like to hear your thoughts today here or on The Big Show!
Wow, it’s about time a prominent writer addresses an issue I’ve been stressing for the last year!
Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s be honest. The NBA system sucks. How can anybody, especially in this city, believe that the Milwaukee Bucks are treated fairly by David Stern and company? A simple luxury tax is a slap in the face to the big shot organizations in the biggest cities. There needs to be a level playing field, and while David Stern can run his mouth all day that the NBA is fair, the fact of the matter is…it isn’t.
Author Howard Bryant wrote a recent column in ESPN The Magazine about the flaws of the NBA system, and why the two-month long NBA playoffs are the biggest joke in sports. He believes that Stern needs to take a page out of the English Premier League. I wrote a blog several months ago about college football revamping its system through the European soccer format.
Bryant writes that the 30-team NBA could be split into a Championship League (the lower league) and a Premier League (the top league). While he doesn’t say how many teams would go into each league, personally, I wouldn’t split it in half. I’d say at least 12-14 teams would qualify in the Premier League, that is, the best of the best – Heat, Spurs, Clippers, Lakers, etc. While the other 16-18 teams play in the Championship League – Bucks, Wizards, Pistons, Cavs, etc. Based on how the English soccer system works, no team in the Premier League is scheduled to play a team from the Championship league during the regular season. However, in England, teams from the two leagues may clash in other national tournaments, or cups, during that season: The Capital One Cup and The English FA Cup.
Before going further, just so I don’t confuse people, let’s change the lower-league “Championship League” name to the NBA Futures League. Much better.
Now, if you’re a franchise like the Milwaukee Bucks, your goal for the season, if placed in the Futures League, is to either win the league by season’s end or finish in the top three of the league. If the Bucks pull off one of those two scenarios, then next season, they will be promoted to the NBA Premier League. Let’s say during that next season the Bucks struggle and finish in the bottom three of the standings in the Premier League, then the Bucks would be relegated back to the Futures League. Theoretically, if the Heat had a horrible season in the Premier League and finished in the bottom three, LeBron and his boys would be playing with the leftovers of the NBA next season. SportsCenter would be all over that!
Bryant goes on to say that only the teams in the Premier League would have the opportunity to compete for an NBA Championship. Bryant writes, “The length of the season could remain the same, but only the upper-division teams would be eligible to compete for an NBA Championship. Suddenly, every game would mean something.” It sure would, Howard. Once again, Bryant does not go into depth on how a playoff system, if any, would fit into achieving an NBA Title. Here’s what I suggest…
By the end of the season, the top eight teams in the NBA Premier League would clinch a playoff berth. The first and second rounds would be three-game series with the higher seed getting home-court advantage. The final round would become a five game series. I’m OK with a longer series for the NBA Trophy, but I’ve always loathed that anything more than five games is too excessive for any fan. (Only exception – The World Series). First team to three wins gets the NBA Trophy.
Bryant and I both agree that these seven game playoff series (particularly the first round) are unnecessary and a big waste of time. No playoff system should last two-months long. In fact, Bryant worked the numbers and said that the NBA Playoffs is 20% of the length of an NBA regular season!
Now, Bryant does say that the 82-game regular season would remain the same for both leagues. You could leave it that way, but in my opinion, I would scale that back. If there’s a maximum of 14 teams in the NBA Premier League, every team should play each other four times. That’s 13 opponents multiple by four meetings, which equals 52 regular season games. That number would be slightly greater in the NBA Futures league, though, since the other 16 teams would play down there. (If my math serves me correctly, that’s 60 regular season games). Now, if you split the leagues in half 15-15, both leagues would total 56 regular season games. I understand the NBA could lose significant revenue if you reduce the number of regular season games, so yes, there is one disadvantage there. However, if it’s a popular season, attendance would surely rise.
This is also assuming that the NBA eliminates eastern and western conferences and regional divisions within those conferences. Bryant encourages this idea of eliminating both in order to make it more exciting. I agree as well.
However, there’s one area that Howard Bryant does not mention - How would the NBA work?
This is what I propose – only the teams playing in the NBA Futures League are eligible for the draft. That’s right! Teams like the Heat, Clippers, Spurs, etc, are not allowed to participate in the NBA Draft because they are settled in the Premier League. This gives teams in the lower-level league an advantage to improve their team and level the playing field, so their chances of getting to the Premier League increase for next season. There would be a lottery style draft like before, with the worse records getting better odds of landing the number one pick. Instead of two rounds, there would be three. Teams in the lower-level can restock with younger talent, since it’s nearly impossible to land a superstar free agent during the offseason.
And since we know the majority of the teams in the Premier League will go over the salary cap anyway, they can improve their team through free agent signings or trades during the offseason. If a team from the Premier League wants to venture into the draft, they can do it via trade. A team from the Premier League can trade a player for a draft pick with a team from the Futures League. In addition, during the regular season, with a mandated trade deadline, teams from both leagues can make trades with anybody. The Heat in the Premier League, for example, could make a trade with the Bucks of the Futures League.
Once the draft has closed, undrafted free agents can now sign with any team, including those franchises apart of the Premier League (sorry, guys, you get the crumbs).
One question you might be asking yourself, though, is what about the relegated and promoted teams? Who gets in the draft and who doesn’t? Simple. Teams promoted from the NBA Futures League to the NBA Premier League going into next season miss out on the upcoming draft. However, teams relegated from the Premier League down to the Futures League get thrown into the lottery. Although you’ve been kicked out, your franchise has the luxury to rebuild your team through the draft.
Do I make myself clear?
If you can find a loophole in this proposed system from either myself or from Howard Bryant, I’d like to hear it. Bryant has a serious point. And so do I. The question is, do you? Is the NBA fair? Do you like the system David Stern has in place? Do you like the two-month long playoffs, especially when you know the Milwaukee Bucks don’t stand a snowball’s chance?
We waited all night and around 10pm, NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell came to the podium and announced the Green Bay Packers chose Datone Jones, a Defensive End from UCLA. (pronounced DAY-tone)
At 1st glance, I like the pick.
-He's got good size 6'4" 283 lbs. May add a little weight, but not much.
-He's acutally PLAYED in a 3-4 scheme. No trying to convert him.
-FINALLY a solid replacement for Cullen Jenkins. They've needed this.
-Look at the DL now: Jones, Raji, Worthy. Could be nice!
I remember draft day like it was yesterday. Some scout from the Dallas Cowboys came in town the night before and took me and my then girlfriend, soon to be wife, Cathy out to dinner. The next day he wanted to come over and watch the draft with me. I then asked him "are the Cowboys planning on drafting me?" He said no but I was on their list as one of there top free agents and he wanted to sign me immediately after the draft. Back then the draft was 12 rounds. So I settled in, he bought food and drinks, and I thought it was cool that I didn't have to spend any money. Well by the 6th round I asked this guy "why don't you guys just draft me?". He said I would be cheaper as a free agent. Well the Packers called in the 7th round, and Lee Remel told me that the Packers were about to draft me. He then asked me if was I alone, so I told him some guy is here from the Cowboys. Lee asked to speak to him, the guy got off the phone and just left without saying bye. Well the next voice I heard on the phone was Forrest Gregg. He said "Gary are you happy to be Packer?" Of course I said I was happy! I was just happy to get drafted by anybody. My best friend and roommate Ken Stills went to the Packers in the 8th round, and former Badger teammate Randy Wright was already a Packer. I thought it was a great fit for me. Stills and I drove up to Green Bay the following week for rookie minicamp where we met the rest of out draft class - Ken Ruettgers , Rich Moran, Brian Noble and "always open "Walter Stanley.