The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Nice and wet around here today. Woke up this afternoon to some rather nasty thunderstorms and a brief power outage. Glad I don't have to go anywhere for a while.

Did some updating of my card lists, and that Whitey Ford Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Autographed card is still my MVC (Most Valuable Card) at $150. My MVC on the hockey side I may keep for a while - a Steve Yzerman Upper Deck Jersey card, currently valued at $30. Once he gets elected to the HHOF in 2009/2010, it may be worth more along the lines of Whitey's card.

Things I really do not get department: Upper Deck has listed on their website that many, if not all, of the cards numbered 501-670 in their 2005-06 Parkhurst hockey set are "1:1" - meaning that you are supposedly likely to get one of these cards per pack. I'm pretty sure I've railed before about "short-prints" of sports card products, in an effort to drive up value and scarcity. I'm just asking if it's too much to want to be able to complete a regular card set by buying packs/multi-packs/cello-packs?

Have we officially established that Turnbow and the Brewers bullpen are officially kaput? D-Blownsave has done that four times in July, going 0-4 with a 27.00 ERA and 3.857 WHIP ratio. 14 runs, 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings in nine apperances. Good night, see you in April.

Packer training camp is underway in Green Bay, as is the EAA Air Adventure/Convention in Oskhosh. This means, of course, that you travel north on US 41 at your own risk beyond Fond du Lac.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Vacation Thoughts

A week off from the state of Wisconsin's grind, and here I stand:

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday morning

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Scott Walker Traded to Carolina

Scott Walker, the Nashville Predators' all-time leading scorer, was traded today to the Carolina Hurricanes for center Josef Vasicek.

I've made some jokes about the "pink stick" and everything, but this trade just floors me.

Scott was the last of the "original" Predators players - the ones who were on the ice when Nashville played game number one in the NHL on October 10, 1998.

This trade is right up there with the Dunham trade, the Fitzgerald trade, and the Ronning trade as ones that we never saw coming.

Well, actually, we kinda knew it might happen - but didn't expect it to happen now.

This is going to take a while to process.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


A word of notice before you read this: I was at the dreaded 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee. With that revelation (and that I also read Paul White's article in last week's USAToday Sports Weekly), here's my ten suggestions as to how they can improve this game.

1. Dump the "It Counts" schtick. The AL hasn't benefited more than usual because of their success in the All-Star Game. Keep the mandate that there needs to be a winner in the game, but that home field in game seven of the World Series aren't the stakes. Home field in the WS, by the way, should go to the team with the best record of the league champions – not the team whose All-Star Squad won the midsummer classic. And no, I'm not bitter because I'm in a National League city. Really.

2. Switch the format to USA against the World. It's already the method used in the Futures Game; since we've already decided not to play for home field in the World Series, why not play up the World Baseball Classic angle? And, as an added bonus, during years where the WBC is played, have the WBC championship game be played instead of the Futures Game – the night before the All-Star Game.

3. Get the rotation of teams/cities hosting the game tightened up. There's quite a few teams and cities that have yet to host the game; let them take their turn at hosting the showcase event. Phoenix, Miami, Tampa, the Mets and the Twins should get one of the next six to eight games.

4. Give the players a choice in who plays. In the last week of voting, the MLBPA circulates ballots and has the players vote – online or otherwise. If the players' selections for the teams matches the fans, great. If they don't, both players are named to the team. Let the players choose one starter and one closer for the team as well.

5. Use the DH, regardless of the venue. Call this the "Travis Hafner" rule if you will, but truth be told: in an All-Star Game, you don't want to see the pitcher batting. The AL has the designated hitter as a position; let that "position" get elected to the game and allow the NL manager to use any one of his non-starters to play DH.

6. Forget the "each team needs a rep" rule – except the host team. As much as this rule aids in the sales of All-Star Game merchandise, it doesn't do anything for the managers who are trying to win a ballgame. Realistically: would it be better to have a guy like Travis Hafner, who's playing lights-out as the Indians DH, or Mark Redman of the Royals – who has a whopping 5.35 ERA with a 6-4 record? The only part of this rule that should remain intact is the home team; the home crowd needs someone to cheer on, regardless of how few players may be deserving from their squad.

7. Tighten up the rosters – you don't need 35-36 guys on the team. Since we've guaranteed that only the best of the best will be there, you don't need to have 35 players on the squad. Cut it back to 30, maybe 32 if there are injuries.

8. Allow for two position players to return to the game after the eighth inning. One spot can be reserved for the catcher, while the other can be for a PH or DH. Imagine that it's late in the game, and a team is ahead in the game by a couple of runs. All of a sudden, in a Kirk-Gibson-like manner, the big star who was already pulled from the game earlier comes back to pinch hit. Boom, game winning homer, we all go home happy.

9. Extend the All-Star Break by a day. Play the game on Wednesday evening, and allow the Futures Game to have its own full day on its own (Monday night), followed by the Home Run Derby. The Celebrity Softball game can be put in the Futures Game slot on Sunday afternoon. Don't schedule any games on Thursday, and mandate that no game can begin earlier than 5:00 PM local time on Friday night.

10. Make sure the Home Run Derby has the home run hitters. Have the four leaders in HR in each league – whether or not they are All-Stars or not – appear in the HR Derby. Then, include the player with the next highest HR total from each league that is on the AS roster in the competition.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Joys of Home Ownership

I love finding out things I never knew about my place... though I could do without the methods of discovery.

The Village of Pewaukee sent one of their meter guys out to put a new water meter in my condo unit. I had no idea where the meter was, but the guy said it's usually right by the water shutoff valve.

That put an "uh oh" on my lips. The water main shutoff is hidden up and behind a panel in my basement - one that is nailed shut on the wall.

I discovered that this framed section of the paneling in the basement was for just that specific purpose - to allow access to the meter and water main valves.

Unfortunately, that meant having to take the "framed" pieces off of the wall to allow the panel to slide out. And, as is typical when you're de-constructing things, something ends up breaking. That's exactly what happened to the lower piece of the frame. It snapped right in two as we were prying it off the wall.

The new meter is in and everything's okay (for now). I'm going to see if perhaps somewhere down the road I could just make a door where the panel is currently located, so it could just be opened and shut as needed.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


We got 'im.

Jason Arnott, the guy who scored the Cup-winning goal for New Jersey in 2000, is now a member of the Nashville Predators.

Pardon me while I mop up all this drool over thinking of a line of Sullivan, Arnott and Kariya...