The View From Wisconsin
Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.
Monday, July 28, 2008
For the want of a decent relay to first base, a game was lost. For the want of a single game, a pennant was lost.
1. The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard was the racing equivalent of which of the following:
- a. Watching a baseball game where both teams do nothing but try to draw walks, steal bases and bunt runners over;
- b. Watching a football game where both teams do nothing but run three times, fail to make the first down then punt;
- c. Watching the neutral zone trap in hockey;
- d. Watching a high school basketball game where there's no shot clock - and one team deliberately stalls to take only one shot per period;
- e. Watching paint dry; or
- f. All of the above.
3. The six names that have been reported for the Oklahoma City "Team Formerly Known As The Supersonics" (Barons, Bisons, Energy, Marshalls, Thunder and Wind) can be adequately described by which of the following?
- a. lame;
- b. unoriginal;
- c. boring;
- d. all sound like names of an old minor league baseball team; or
- e. all of the above
- a. They will have Brett Favre on their sideline as their backup quarterback;
- b. They will face Brett Favre as an opposing quarterback; or
- c. Brett Favre will be nowhere near Green Bay for most (if not all) of the season.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
- Can't win 'em all, but we also can't take advantage of a Cubs loss, either. That series next week is going to be a huge one for the Crew - probably the biggest series in the franchise's history in the National League. At least, of course, until that one the last weekend of the season...
- There's a yellow smart car in the area, and for the second straight time I've seen it parked at the Kinko's up on Capitol. Those things look smaller in person than they do in pictures.
- Someday, McDonald's has to come up with the idea of making their breakfast menu available 24-7. Or, at least, if they decide to keep the Southern Style Chicken Biscuit sandwiches on the menu permanently, provide those 24-7.
- The drama is set to unfold tomorrow: will he or won't he? There's no word that Brett has filed the necessary reinstatement papers to the league offices, so as of this moment, he's still retired. Things could change very quickly, though.
- Milky Way Midnight Dark candy bars will be the death of me, I'm certain.
- Oh, gee, 4chan is experiencing "technical problems" from an apparent DDoS attack? Stunning.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Nope. I'm more concerned about what's really important:
Buffalo Wild Wings is opening in Pewaukee on July 28th.
Everything else is dressing.
Friday, July 18, 2008
- When I found out the final score from Tuesday's All-Star Game, for some odd reason I felt gypped. I'm also now starting to swing back to the idea that maybe instead of "making it count" for the home-field advantage in the World Series, maybe they should just make it mandatory that the starters in each league (except the pitchers) play at least five innings or three at-bats, whichever comes first. And, at least two positions players be required to play at least nine innings, and (except for injury) the starting pitcher must face at least nine batters (if he gets at least one batter out) or six batters (if he does not get anyone out).
- One other little thing: maybe it's time that the interleague play rule about using the DH should be changed - in reverse. Have the pitcher bat in the AL parks, and have the DH bat in the NL parks. Either that or else mandate that the DH be used full-time in interleague play.
- The Home Run Derby is starting to get way too frustrating for me to watch. One guy puts up huge numbers in the first round - and always loses the contest. ALWAYS. What they should consider is this: if a player in the first round hits 20 or more homers to lead all contestants, he should get an automatic bye to the finals. And, if no other player in the first round gets within 10 homers of his total, he gets three extra "outs" in the finals. Also, consider going back to having each round with fewer outs (10 in the first, 8 in the second, 6 in the finals).
- So, Timmy Donaghy is saying he wasn't alone in his "fixing" of games, hm? And what's this? Scott Foster, another NBA ref, got a whole bunch of calls from Donaghy, and surprise, surprise, the records show that there was something fishy going on in high-spread games? Oh, my, doesn't THAT make you want to just go drop a couple thou on courtside tickets? (My bad - that'd get you 400-level seats at most NBA arenas.) The NBA - it's faaaaaan-tastic.
- The Radulov situation gets even stranger every day. He's started in on training camp in Ufa (aside: this place is about the Russian equivalent of Calgary or Boise; it's out in the middle of proverbial nowhere in the middle of mountains - hockey and industry is all they got). The IIHF has handed down suspensions from international play until the contracts can be legally determined - yeah, right. That'll have about as much teeth as UN sanctions. The KHL is claiming that Radulov and five others signed their contracts before the league and the NHL agreed to honor their respective league's existing contracts. That's about the same attitude as, "well, I did it before you said I couldn't, so it's okay." Yeah, sure.
- Dear Darrell Bevell: Next time you talk to a living legend from Mississippi, keep your mouth shut. Signed, a fellow UW System Alumnus.
- Getting a mosquito bite on your leg is always a bummer. However, somehow I got three bites, all within a small area on the back of my right calf. And no amound of hydrocortisone cream or Benadryl spray seems to be helping. The problem isn't that it's itching; the problem is that the damn thing must have tapped into a muscle or something.
- Least thrilling news item of the week: the National Weather Service issued a (wait for it) flash flood watch for Waukesha County on Wednesday night. No, it didn't end up raining that bad or that long, but still - people are jumpy around here when the skies start to darken.
- Last thing regarding the "this time it counts" deal: How about, instead, if the World Series home-field advantage goes to the league that has the better overall record in interleague play (including the All-Star Game)? Or, better still, give home field advantage to - wait for it - the team with the best record. I know, such a radical idea. You wonder why no one's ever thought of it before.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
2008 MID-SEASON STANDARDIZED RUNS ALL-STARS
AMERICAN LEAGUE (SR Factor: 1.0294)
CA – Joe Mauer, MIN (85 gp, 55.4 SR); A.J. Pierzynski, CHW (78 gp, 42.3 SR)
1B – Justin Morneau, MIN (95 gp, 70.8 SR); Kevin Youkilis, BOS (88 gp, 66.7 SR)
2B – Ian Kinsler, TEX (93 gp, 88.7 SR); Brian Roberts, BAL (91 gp, 68.1 SR)
3B – Alex Rodriguez, NYY (75 gp, SR); Evan Longoria, TAM (84 gp, 54.1 SR)
SS – Matt Young, TEX (91 gp, 57.9 SR); Jhonny Peralta, CLE (87 gp, 49.1 SR)
LF – Carlos Quentin, CHW (91 gp, 64.8 SR); Manny Ramirez, BOS (90 gp, 64.5 SR)
CF – Josh Hamilton, TEX (93 gp, 75.5 SR); Grady Sizemore (91 gp, 74.7 SR)
RF – Nick Markakis, BAL (92 gp, 68.8 SR); Jermaine Dye, CHW (89 gp, 67.8 SR)
DH – Milton Bradley, TEX (80 gp, 70.5 SR); Aubrey Huff, BAL (90 gp, 62.4 SR)
Reserves: 2B – Dustin Pedroia, BOS (95 GP, 64.6 SR); RF – J.D. Drew, BOS (81 gp, 62.4 SR)
NATIONAL LEAGUE (SR Factor: 1.0469)
CA – Brian McCann, ATL (89 gp, 64.7 SR); Gevonni Soto, CHC (88 gp, 58.2 SR).
1B – Lance Berkman, HOU (93 gp, 95.3 SR); Albert Pujols, STL (93 gp, 78.0 SR)
2B – Chase Utley, PHI (94 gp, 77.4 SR); Dan Uggla, FLA (81 gp, 65.5 SR)
3B – Chipper Jones, ATL (83 gp, 83.0 SR); David Wright, NYM (94 gp, 67.4 SR)
SS – Hanley Ramirez, FLA (93 gp, 82.1 SR); Jose Reyes, NYM (93 gp, 71.5 SR)
LF – Matt Holliday, COL (79 gp, 71.5 SR); Pat Burrell, PHI (94 gp, 69.5 SR)
CF – Nate McLouth, PIT (90 gp, 69.3 SR); Carlos Beltran, NYM (94 gp, 61.2 SR)
RF – Ryan Ludwick, STL (87 gp, 62.6 SR); Corey Hart, MIL (93 gp, 58.0 SR)
Reserves: 1B – Derek Lee, CHC (94 gp, 69.6 SR); LF – Jason Bay, PIT (92 gp, 68.0 SR); LF – Carlos Lee, HOU (94 gp, 66.3 SR); 3B – Aramis Ramirez, CHC (88 gp, 61.9 SR)
For a brief summary of the Standardized Runs formula, go here.
CY YOUNG POINT LEADERS
Cliff Lee, CLE (18 gp, 30.7 CYP)
Daisuke Matsuzaka, BOS (16 gp, 21.0 CYP)
Justin Duchscherer, OAK (16 gp, 18.7 CYP)
Ervin Santana, ANA (19 gp 18.3 CYP)
Joe Saunders, ANA (18 gp, 17.3 CYP)
Mariano Rivera, NYY (38 gp, 16.6 CYP)
J.P. Howell, TAM (35 gp, 11.9 CYP)
Ron Mahay KAN (40 gp, 11.4 CYP)
Edinson Volquez, CIN (20 gp, 24.0 CYP)
Tim Lincecum, SFG (20 gp, 23.5 CYP)
Brandon Webb, ARI (20 gp, 20.5 CYP)
Kyle Lohse, STL (20 gp, 18.8 CYP)
Ben Sheets, MIL (18 gp, 18.1 CYP)
Brad Lidge, PHI (40 gp, 14.8 CYP)
Francisco Cordero, CIN (43 gp, 10.5 CYP)
Kerry Wood, CHC (44 gp, 8.8 CYP)
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Has this crappy economy really done this to us, where you have things like Alexander Radulov signing an essentially illegal contract with a Russian hockey club - while still under contract with the Nashville Predators?
Are we all that much of a pain in the posterior that Brett Favre - because the Packers want to move on and not deal with his "am I retiring?" crap again - is asking to be released from his contract so he can play elsewhere?
And why can't we find enough people who want to come in to work on a weekend in July? (Okay, scratch that last one - this is, after all, the season of festivals and parties in Wisconsin.)
I think this world is getting to the point of just saying "bleep you" to everyone and anyone. It's sad, really.
Friday, July 11, 2008
That's all that it takes to get an internet rumor started: one source.
And if that one source is a world away, and in a language not easily translated, and no other source is anywhere near that source...
You end up with this.
Yeah. Nice. Right after everyone was touting how the NHL and the KHL (Russian Continental Hockey League) had come to an "agreement" to respect the contracts of the other league's players.
YOU'RE STILL UNDER CONTRACT TO THE PREDATORS.
And unlike your friend Evgeni Malkin, you can't just tell them "I quit" and give two week's notice.
This is not Russia.
Friday, July 04, 2008
BRETT FAVRE IS NOT COMING BACK TO THE GREEN BAY PACKERS.
The Packers as an organization are not dumb. They aren't going to be held hostage by the wishful thinking of a few close compatriots and hangers-on of the former quarterback. Brett told them he was retiring, and that's what they've done their planning for 2008 believing was the case.
If Brett wants to do a Namath/Unitas/Montana routine and try to come back with another team (hello, Atlanta?) - hey, more power to him.
But no, the first snap under center of the regular season for the Pack will be done with Aaron Rogers - not with Favre.
On to other things:
- Who'da thunkit that the Yankees and Red Sox would be playing on the Fourth of July - and neither one would be in first place? If you'd have told anyone - ANYONE - that the Tampa Bay Rays would be in first place in the AL East on July 4, you'd have been laughed off to the insane asylum.
- Lance Berkman is having one of those years for the Astros. He's on a projected pace to for a Standardized Runs total of 174.76. That'd put him in the top 70 all-time single season totals, and in the top 50 among players since 1901. Any time you're doing something that only 50 players have done over 100 years' time, you're doing something special.
- Disturbing thought of the week: Back in 2003, Amy Grant released her 19th album, entitled Simple Things. It was her first major release after remarrying Vince Gill, and was pretty much panned as a commercial success. However, it's a small note about one of the songs that makes the list this week: on the song "Eye To Eye", Amy's vocals are "echoed" by a techno-style warble, in the style of Cher's "Life After Love". The vocals aren't hers, though; they're that of an aspiring young gospel music singer named Katy Hudson. She had just released her own self-titled album back in 2001 (where it got lost, a month after the September 11 attacks), and she was singing backup on this song. You'll notice in that Amazon link that some customers suggest another album - One of the Boys, by Katy Perry.
Guess what? The two are one and the same.
(pause) Think about that for a moment... then vow to put away the cherry Chapstick.