The Packers, The Brewers, The Bucks and the Grocery Store.
The Green Bay Packers hired Mike McCarthy as their head coach. Mac's a guy who's system is to throw it around. A LOT. So what does the GM do? He gets his young QB a bunch of weapons. He shopped for wide receivers like Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Also drafted tight ends like JerMichael Finley, Andrew Quarles and DJ Williams. General Ted Thompson knew what to shop for. (Not exactly the power running game from Lombardi's Packers, eh?) McCarthy's team won the 2011 Superbowl, went 15-1 in 2011 and won the NFC North in 2012 (including a playoff game).
The Milwaukee Brewers hired a manager who loves to run (unlike the Packers head coach). Get em up. Get em on. Get em over. Get em in. Speed is key for Ron Roenicke. So what's the Brewers roster look like? Hitters with SPEED. Nori Aoki, Jean Segura, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun and of course, Carlos Gomez. No, not every one of those players was brought in FOR Roenicke. Some were, while others were kept around. They lead the league in infield hits. Do they hit home runs? Sure do. But the Brewers manager loves to have speed on the base paths, and General Manger Doug Melvin (who has been often criticized for depending on the long ball too much) knows that. Roenicke's team went to the 2011 NLDS.
The Milwaukee Bucks hired a defensive minded coach in Scott Skiles. So what does General Manager John Hammond do? He drafts a run & gun point guard in Brandon Jennings, who doesn't play a lick of defense. Also paired a head coach who has ZERO track record of developing a big man with a budding star at Center in big man Andrew Bogut. And in the middle of last season, Bogut was sent to Golden State for Ekpe Udoh and Monta Ellis-another uptempo guard who's "anti" defense. And OH BY THE WAY, paired a hard headed/old school coach with Stephen Jackson and Cory Maggette...nuff said. Under Skiles, young guys didn't see the floor, except Jennings. Skiles was let go earlier this season and Jim Boylan took over. A trade for JJ Redick, sent one of the recent 1st round picks out of town (Tobias Harris has flourished early in his Orlando career) and didn't help the Bucks get better. The Bucks are currently looking for their 5th head coach in 7 years.
Can you compare football to baseball to basektball? I don't know. But I do know that like a chef, who needs the right groceries to make a great meal, the coach needs the right pieces to run their system. Look at the Golden State Warriors. Oakland, CA is no more of a free agent draw than Milwaukee, WI. But what did they do? Looked at the pieces on the roster and hired a head coach in Mark Jackson to make them work. Imagine Scott Skiles getting hired to slow down Steph Curry. NOPE. Jackson loves to get guards out and running. And they added an NBA ready rookie in North Carolina's Harrison Barnes. After a few growing pains, Curry, Barnes, Klay Thompson and the rest are one of the most exciting, fun to watch, WINNING basketball teams in the NBA. The Bucks should mimic this Golden State model. Get a coach players to fit, or fit a coach to the players you have.
One more thing- it's always nice to have a head coach who can relate to his team. Skiles & this roster? umm...no. Kinda reminds you of one Ken Macha & the Brewers he managed for 2 seasons, doesn't it?
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!
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
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!
As we all await the Green Bay Packers selection tonight at 26 (i'm guessing that goes off at 9:14PM CT) i thought i'd gather all the guesses from the SportsRadio 1250 team. I asked all the guys to give me 2 choices in case their top pick was gone. Gary (of course) gave me 3 names and Chuck only gave me 1. So here we go...
With the 26th pick in the 2013 NFL draft, The Green Bay Packers select...
Chuck Freimund Eddie Lacy RB Alabama
1st choice - Desmond Trufant DB Washington
2nd choice - DJ Fluker OT Alabama
1st choice - Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina (yes, that Marcus Lattimore. If he goes before Saturday, I owe Sparky lunch on Monday)
2nd choice - Who cares? His 1st choice is nuts.
1st choice - Matt Elam SS Florida
2nd choice - Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina (The ONLY reason he's going with Sly, is because Bob McGinn did)
1st choice - Datone Jones DE UCLA
2nd choice - Bjoern Werner DE Florida State
(OK, Matt. Because every all pro DE is from Berlin, Germany)
1st choice - Eric Reid FS LSU
2nd choice - Menelik Watson OT Florida State
3rd choice - Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina
Leroy Butler - 1st choice - Thinks the Packers are trading out.
And so do I...Look for Ted Thompson to get OUT of the 1st round but stay near the top of the 2nd.
Too many things have happened today to just blog about one thing...so here's some quick hitting thoughts on a few for ya. (I’m sure 27 other big stories will happen today too...)
-Marquette Jr G/F Vander Blue is going pro. He's the 14th leading scorer in the Big East. 2nd team all Big East. He's a GOOD defender. He's a 76% FT shooter. You MUST BE GREAT AT SOMETHING to make it in the NBA. He's not. Right now he's just a good college player. Good luck, Vander. I do hope that in 3 years he's making HUGE money, is an NBA All Star and proves me wrong...just don't see it.
-Oregon football busted for "Major Violations". I'm shocked. No, not really. The school that's FUNDED BY NIKE?? You can't tell me you didn't see this coming when Chip Kelly left for the Eagles job. He HAD to know it was coming. Those self imposed sanctions? 2 years probation, 3 years of (1) scholarship reduction. Yeah, that'll be enough for the NCAA. pffff. The case goes to the infractions committee later this year.
-Yovani Gallardo arrested for drunk driving. Dumb. HE BLEW A .22! Who let this guy drive? Oh, and if you make $5,000,000 a year, can't you afford a cab? A limo? A helicopter rental? I get that he's human and makes mistakes...but COME ON. You're not the 18 year old that the Brewers drafted in 2004. You're a LEADER on this team. Act like it.
-Boston Marathon Tragedy. I was a WRECK yesterday. Why did this terrible event hit me so hard? I don't know. Maybe because this was the 1st time terrorism hit sports since 2001. Maybe it was the CONSTANT cycle of pics/vids on TV. I'm not sure. But I've never been so shaken up by a news story in my life. I STILL can't even start reading an article or watch a report without welling up. I hate this story.
-Best positive surprise of the Brewers season? Shortstop Jean Segura. NOBODY expected this kid to hit .417-and no, I’m not nuts enough to think he will all year. If he hit .317 I think we'd all be THRILLED. He's been productive at the top AND bottom of the Brewers lineup. Oh, and he's been pretty darn impressive at SS on D too! Looks like a promising piece of the Brew Crew's future!! Thanks to @JasonLoomis99 for the idea!!
It's been an interesting day to say the least...cheers.
A caller on the 1250 Soundoff Line angered me today. Let's just say it struck a nerve. I need more than just 140 characters on Twitter to explain my anger.
Caller: “Downtown Milwaukee is a ‘hole”
Really? This is just flat out wrong. If you think Milwaukee’s downtown area is a “hole”, then you my friend have never been to Detroit. This comes from a guy who’s spent a lot of time in Detroit.
Downtown Milwaukee is tremendous. The people who don’t know what a great place downtown is, either A- grew up in small town, WI and are afraid of the “big city” (BTW- MKE is not a big city, it’s just the biggest in Wisconsin) or B- Think all of downtown is a crime ridden, wasteland. NOT TRUE. Most of these people only come for their 1 Bucks game per year or during Summerfest. Then they high tail it back to the suburbs.
I’m not a fan of the MEGA-Cities, like Chicago, NYC or L.A. I’ve been to all of them and something that big just isn’t for me. That’s part of the reason why I love living in Milwaukee. I’m on the east side, near the Brady street area, in case you were wondering. There’s nothing you can’t get downtown. Great food, Great nightlife, WORLD CLASS entertainment. Professional sports (insert Bucks joke here), museums…and unlike other downtown areas, you can walk around at night and feel safe. (again, see: Detroit) Need mass transportation? No problem. Oh, and parking? um...you ever try to park in Chicago? YOU CAN'T.
Did i mention the summer long run of festivals? How about the lakefront? You can ice skate downtown during the winter, or take a boat/brewery tour during the summer.
Every time a friend or family member comes to visit me, especially for the 1st time, they are literally BLOWN AWAY. I didn’t know what to expect when I moved here in 2007 and I sure didn’t expect to fall in love with this town the way I have. It’s like a small/manageable version of Chicago…which is just perfect for me. There aren’t too many places more fun than downtown Milwaukee during the summer time.
Does it get cold? Sure does. So what? Put a jacket on. Go Bowling. Get to the BC. File into a bar and have your glasses fog up (happens to me all the damn time). Are there “bad” parts of downtown Milwaukee? There sure are. I can say that about any major metropolitan city in America. Figure out where to be/when to be there and you'll be fine.
I wasn’t born here, but I love living in Milwaukee. I’ve been here for over 6 years. There’s so much to love about downtown Milwaukee, it’s ridiculous. Is it perfect? NOPE. Have I had my “issues” when going out? Yep. But looking at the entire body of work? The good TOTALLY outweighs the bad…and it’s not even close.
To quote my co-worker, Matt Regashus: "So for the record - Corey Hart is on the 60 day DL, Chris Narveson and Aramis Ramirez are on the 15, Mat Gamel out for the year, Taylor Green is out, Ryan Braun has had neck spasms, Ron Roenicke was in the hospital this morning with back spasms, Doug Melvin got bit by a scorpion in spring training, and the Italian Sausage was kidnapped. Your 2013 Milwaukee Brewers, ladies and gentleman!"
Yep...that about sums up 1/2 of the Brewers problems this year. The other? The "rebuilt" bullpen. So far, it sure looks a hell of a lot like the bullpen that NEEDED to get rebuilt from 2012. Let's take a look at some VERY EARLY numbers...and grades...
The Free Agents:
Mike Gonzalez- Given up 5 hits in 2 innings (4 games). Allowed 3 ER and as i type this, just gave up the game tying (uninherited) run in Chicago. He's struk out 3 and walked 3. His WHIP is 4. Early grade: F.
Burke Badenhop: Good early...bad lately...in 3.1IP, he's allowed 3ER, 5H and allowed 1 HR. 4K's to 1BB is nice. His WHIP is 1.80, also not AWFUL. Early Grade: D
Tom Gorzelanny: Best of the FA's. Pitched in 5 games, allowed just 1H and 1ER. Struck out 4, walked 3. WHIP is .92. Early Grade: B
New youngster Alfredo Figaro was an early leader for cult hero of the team until the magic wore off in the 2nd game of the AZ series. Still, his numbers have been good in his few app's. 6IP 7H 1ER 6K 1BB 1.33WHIP. Early grade: B+
Brandon Kintzler: 5H 2ER 3K 0BB 1.67WHIP....good, but i can't get the 3 straight hits he gave up to the cubs in game 1 of the series out of my head. Early grade: B-
Jim Henderson: Your new closer. Yet to allow an earned run. 4IP 6k 0BB. Again...ZERO WALKS. .75WHIP. Early grade: A.
John Axford: Awful. He's lost it. Early grade: F.
Watching the starters lately, I have SOME faith in them...but this "rebuilt" bullpen better figure something out...or 2013 is gonna look a LOT like 2012.
Happy Sweet Sixteen! How's your bracket look?? I've got 10 of these 16 in mine... Time for my S16 Day 1 picks!
3Marquette vs 2Miami
Can "The U" keep rolling? As long as their PG Shane Larkin keeps playing at an "ACC POY" level, they sure can. But, will he handle the pressure of the Golden Eagles? Also, how will the loss of C Reggie Johnson affect Miami in the middle? Gonna be interesting considering MU is one of the best rebounding teams in the tourney.
Prediction: Vander Blue carries to the Elite 8 Marquette 65 The U 58
6Arizona vs 2ohio state
I almost got my "Iowa State to the S16" pick right (stupid Aaron Craft-aren't you sick of him too?) Oh well...this should be a great matchup. osu's Craft vs AZ's Mark Lyons. Deshaun Thomas VS Solomon Hill
Prediction: I'll take the upset here: Zona 71 suckeyes 65
4Syracuse vs 1Indiana
IU has looked "good" so far...The Cuse has looked "Great" (minus that whole 12 minutes with out a basket thing vs Cal)...Will the SU zone frustrate IU or will Victor Oladipo & Jordan Hulls shoot over the top & get Tom Crean to the E8? Buzz vs Tom Crean would be fun, but....
Prediction: I'll take the SU size/physicality: Syracuse 70 Tan Tom 65
13La Salle 9Wichita St
According to my bracket, this was supposed to be Wisconsin vs Gonzaga. So i guess i was way off...I LOVE the athleticism of both teams. WSU is a really fun team to watch. Great guard play. I won't lie: I don't know a lot about these two...who does?? Plus "Shockers" = cooler than "Explorers"
Prediction: This isn't VCU from 2 years ago. WSU 71 Lasally 67
Green Bay General Manager Ted Thompson must be a heck of a gambler. Packers fans, you better hope he's Chris Moneymaker + Phil Ivey + the guy from Rounders. So far, he's let WR Greg Jennings, DB Charles Woodson and WR Donald Driver go. Yes, only 85 REALLY hurts. He allowed the Falcons to steal RB Steven Jackson for a few extra pennies (a position of NEED) And what has he done? Signed LBs Brad Jones & Robert Francois and brought in a backup K who couldn't make the 49ers last year.
The Packers are really banking on young players (again) to step up like they did in 2010...2011...2012.... I have no idea what's going to happen in the draft (nobody does with TT) but Teddy T's most recent draft picks MUST STAY HEALTHY this year if they hope to get back to the NFC title game and beyond. Right now you can't depend Nick Perry & Jerel Worthy to give you 16 games next year and even if they do, how good are they? I don't even know what their time schedule is at this point.
Everybody in the NFC North is making moves..well, everybody but Green Bay. We'll have to see how that turns out...We should all still subscribe to "in ted we trust" ...but for how long?