The Cheesehead Corner Pub

Packer Problems

This isn’t going to get any better any time soon, folks.

Obviously, ol’ Ted’s decision to run Brett Favre out of Green Bay on a rail swam back to bite him in the backside. After four weeks, Favre leads the NFL in TD passes after lighting up Arizona for six — more in one game with WRs that still probably aren’t on the same page than Aaron Rodgers has in four games. In addition, Brett is 2nd in completion percentage and passer rating.

Meanwhile, Rodgers may be out indefinitely with a dislocated or separated shoulder. There should be an update later today. Not that he’s been any great shakes against real defenses — sorry but the Lions don’t count — Green Bay must trot out one of two QBs without a lick of NFL experience, one of whom we got through the draft in a trade for a defensive tackle that would look pretty good in the middle of a DL that can’t stop the run up the middle.

Problems with the Packers’ offense start around the offensive line. Last year’s OL was deceptively good. Why? Because Favre could read defenses and get the ball out before getting sacked. Rodgers doesn’t read defenses well and holds onto the ball too long (in addition to having “happy feet”). There’s no question in my mind Green Bay beats the Buccaneers with Favre at QB.

The running game has disappeared as well. Why? Because defenses no longer have to scheme to stop Favre. There’s no need to scheme to stop QBs who can’t beat you. I said last year that Favre was the difference between a 4 to 6 win season and the 13 win season the Packers had in 2007. The OL is a mess, and Ryan Grant is turning out to be — to steal a line from Ron Wolf — “a one-year wonder, a fart in the wind.” How much of that is attributable to the absence of Favre, how much to the lousy OL and how much to Grant is debatable.

Mike McCarthy is right. The train has left the station. Unfortunately it’s on its way to a trainwreck. I don’t see a winnable game until maybe Houston on December 7.

September 29, 2008 Posted by | Packers | Leave a comment

Eleven

That is the number of games the Brewers must win to bring the World Series trophy to Milwaukee. The trip will begin in Philadelphia on Wednesday. The bad news is CC The Great won’t be available until Thursday after the short-rest complete game today.

September 28, 2008 Posted by | Brewers, MLB | Leave a comment

2008 NFL Week 4

Let’s hope the byes improve the situation of 22-23-2 ATS and 3-3 O/U.

Green Bay (+1) @ Tampa Bay – Stat of the week; Brian Griese is 3-0 against the Pack.
Minnesota @ Tennessee (-3) – Did I mention I love defenses lately?
Philadelphia (-3) @ Chicago – The Bears are DONE!
Denver @ Kansas City (+10) – Given the lack of defense the Broncos have, it’s too many points.
Cleveland @ Cincinnati (-3.5) – The Game of the Weak.
Houston @ Jacksonville (-7) – The nightmare continues.
Arizona @ NY Jets (-1) – Favre is still indestructible.
San Francisco @ New Orleans (-4.5) – Take Dirty Rice over Rice-A-Roni and take the over-48.
Atlanta (+7) @ Carolina – Once again, too many points to give considering the road team has won the last 5.
Buffalo (-8) @ St. Louis – I didn’t know Trent Green was still in the league.
San Diego (-8) @ Oakland – It’s the same old story, same old song and dance.
Washington @ Dallas (-10.5) – The Injury Discount has been applied.
Baltimore (+6) @ Pittsburgh – I’d be surprised if there were more than 6 points scored. Take the under-34.

September 28, 2008 Posted by | NFL | Leave a comment

Mediocrity returns

It was a painful week. Let’s review.

Dallas 27 (-3) @ Green Bay 16 – Everybody else was leaving the game with injuries.
Tampa Bay 27 (+3) @ Chicago 24 – Grease beats alcohol.
Carolina 10 (+3.5) @ Minnesota 20 – Defense still wins games.
Detroit 13 @ San Francisco 31 (-5) – Let’s review the smashing – San Fran beating the Lion Cubs by over 15 – check. Under 47 total points – check. Bad news – Matt Millen is no more.
Kansas City 14 @ Atlanta 38 (-6.5) – 186 yards rushing; yep, the irresistable force ran over the movable object.
Oakland 23 @ Buffalo 24 (-10-LOSS) – OH SO CLOSE!
Houston 12 @ Tennessee 31 (-5.5) – What rude hosts. I sure hope you took advantage
Cincinnati 23 @ NY Giants 26 (-13-LOSS) – At least the over/unders are back to last year’s form.
Arizona 17 (+3) @ Washington 24 – Some days you’re the dog, some days your the milk bone.
Miami 38 @ New England 13 (-13) – While that may not be the real Dolphins, I believe that’s the real Pats sans Brady.
St. Louis 13 (+10) @ Seattle 37 – Real nice for the Seahawks to show up just as I gave up on them </sarcasm>.
New Orleans 32 @ Denver 34 (-6-LOSS) – Inept playcalling from the Saints was, however, required.
Pittsburgh 6 (+3.5) @ Philadelphia 15 – Unfortunately, I took the wrong D.
Jacksonville 23 (+4.5) @ Indianapolis 21 – Tony Dungy is wondering whether the RCA Dome is still open.
Cleveland 10 @ Baltimore 28 (-3) – NewBrowns fans are chanting, “We Want Quinn!”
NY Jets 29 (+8.5) @ San Diego 48 – I should’ve gave the points.

7-9 ATS and 2-0 O/U puts me at a suckitude 22-23-2 ATS and 3-3 O/U. No wonder why I didn’t post much this past week.

September 28, 2008 Posted by | NFL | Leave a comment

Monumental Badger Collapse

Wow.

Where do you begin?

Wisconsin blew — and I mean blew — a 19-0 halftime lead and was unmasked as just another mediocre college football team, losing 27-25 to a lousy Michigan team at Ann Arbor.

Just how much longer is the Boy Genius — Bret Bielema — going to be able to live off an unexpected 11-1 season and a bowl victory in his first season playing with Barry Alvarez’s players? Last year was a drop-off, particularly at the QB position. This year, the QB position is even worse, and I didn’t think it could get any worse than Tyler Donovan. Compared to Donovan and Allen Evridge, the pedestrian QBs recruited by Alvarez during his tenure look like Brett Favre or Peyton Manning by comparison.

The Badgers didn’t get a first down in the second half until they were down by eight in the fourth quarter. Three-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out … oops, INT and Pick-Six just to break the pattern. UM put eight men in the box and exposed UW as not even a one-dimensional offense.

Thoroughly outplayed and especially outcoached. Forcing five turnovers and unable to produce points. This game should have been over by halftime. There is no reason for a stumbling, bumbling, fumbling team who coughs up the ball five times in the first half to even be in the game other than UW’s flat-out incompetence on the field and especially on the sideline.

Coming up in order, the Badgers play:

  • Ohio State at home
  • Penn State at home
  • at Iowa
  • Illinois at home
  • at Michigan State

I can easily see this team being 1-5 or 0-6 in the Big Ten after that stretch with only Minnesota and Indiana remaining.

What the heck. We still have Cal Poly Wanna Cracker left.

I have been a skeptic about the Boy Genius from Day One. When King Barry was allowed to pick his own successor, that should have been a warning sign. Hardly ever does anyone pick a successor that will overshadow his own accomplishments. Ron Wolf was a prime example, picking the incompetent Mike Sherman as his successor as GM of the Packers.

Frankly I’d like to see the Boy Genius fired and an honest search conducted for a quality coach/recruiter for an elite D-1 program. Recruiter, you say? Bielema’s recruiting wasn’t even rated in the top half of the Big Ten this year. Even Minnesota, coming off a 1-11 season and losses to two I-AA programs had a better recruiting class.

UW fans deserve better than this schlop.

September 27, 2008 Posted by | Badgers | Leave a comment

Two!!

With the Brewers’ 5-1 win over the Cubs and the Marlins’ 6-1 win over the Mets, the magic number to the playoffs is now two. HOORAY BEER!

Tomorrow, it’s Ben Sheets against Ted Lilly in a Fox regional Game of the Week in glorious 720p HDTV (going out along with the perennial Yankees-Red Sox, Royals-Twins, and Nationals-Phillies matchups; sorry ESK, even with a likely rainout in Boston and possible rainout in Philadelphia, I doubt you’ll get the Crew) at 2:55 pm. The good news is the Brewers have rocked Lilly this year (1.22 WHIP, .892 OPS, 4.82 ERA). The not-so-good is Sheets got rocked even worse in his sole home start against the Cubs, something not experienced in his road starts against them.

Meanwhile, Johan Santana will be going on 3 days’ rest against the Marlins’ ace, Ricky Nolasco at 12:10 pm. MLB.com notes that the last time Santana went on short rest, he gave up a run in 5 innings against the Yankees in the 2005 ALDS. That is, of course, assuming they get the game in; there is a 90% chance of rain in New York tomorrow, and they’re talking buckets’ worth.

September 26, 2008 Posted by | Brewers, MLB | Leave a comment

Sabathia Considering Brewers in ’09?

On top of the good news of Ryan Braun’s walk-off grand slam to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at Miller Park, Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times reports that C.C. Sabathia is considering re-signing with the Brewers after the season.

Contrary to wide-spread opinion, it isn’t a lock that CC Sabathia will be wearing a uniform other than the Milwaukee Brewers’ next season.

At least, that’s the opinion of Scott Parker and he should know. After all, Parker is one of Sabathia’s agents.

While reports and rumors are running rampant that Sabathia’s days with the Brewers are numbered, Parker isn’t buying into it.

What’s more, he totally dismissed the scuttlebutt Sabathia has already made up his mind to bolt Milwaukee after the season.

‘That’s totally untrue,’’ Parker told me in a lengthy telephone interview Wednesday.

Parker added Sabathia virtually loves everything about being a Brewer.

“He enjoys it there,’’ Parker said. “He likes Milwaukee. He thinks the Brewers have a great clubhouse. He really enjoys playing for them.

“So, of course, he’s interesting re-signing with the Brewers.’’

Of course, the Brewers would have to show C.C. the money, but at least he hasn’t written Milwaukee off. It’s time for Mark Attanasio to open the checkbook. Look at what not re-signing Francisco Cordero cost them this year. if Cordero were still here, that wild card spot would be a lock right now, considering all the blown saves from the bullpen.

Says Woelfel:

The Brewers have financial wherewithal and flexibility to get it done. They can start by not re-signing both Ben Sheets ($12 million), Eric Gagne ($10 million) and Chris Capuano ($3.75M). That’s almost $26M right there.

There isn’t any question Sabathia would be worth it, too. He’s unequivocally a franchise pitcher.

Since coming to the Brewers, he has posted a 10-2 record with a glittering 1.78 ERA. He has an off-the-charts 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

And, at 28, he’s in the prime of his career.

If the Brewers want to remain a playoff-caliber team, and challenge for the World Series, it’s absolutely imperative for the Brewers to keep Sabathia in the fold.

September 25, 2008 Posted by | Brewers | Leave a comment

Open Thread of Wild Card Lead At Stake

The Brewers go for the lead in the NL Wild  Card race with a 7 p.m. game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Milwaukee is going for the series sweep, having won the opener on Prince Fielder’s walk-off, two-run homer and last night behind C.C. Sabathia.

Tonight, Yovani Gallardo makes his return to the mound after suffering a knee injury May 1 in Chicago. I;ll settle for five solid innings. You really wonder what this season would have held if Gallardo hadn’t gottten injured. Plus all the Yostings … oh well.

Here is tonight’s lineup:

CF Mike Cameron
3B Bill Hall
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Corey Hart
2B Rickie Weeks
C Jason Kendall
RHP Yovani Gallardo

Oh, and Go Cubs Go! Beat those Amazin’ Mets again!

September 25, 2008 Posted by | Brewers | Leave a comment

Gagne to give away 5,000 tickets to tonight’s game

I just caught this on JSOnline’s DayWatch from Don Walker…

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Eric Gagne bought 5,000 tickets to tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and plans to give them away.

“Tonight we’ll be playing one of the most important games in franchise history, and I can think of no better way to thank the fans than giving families an opportunity to pack Miller Park,” Gagne said in a statement released by the team. “No matter what happens over these next four games, I want everyone to know that I think the world of Brewers fans. Three million times they have walked through the gates this year and none of us on the field takes their support for granted. We’re going to have some fun out here, and I know that the atmosphere will be electric.”

Beginning at 3:30 p.m., fans can go to Brewers.com to request up to four tickets. Click on the “Gagne Giveaway” graphic to go to the ticket request page and enter Gagne as the password when prompted.

Fans requesting the complimentary tickets will be subject to a one-time $2 fee for printing their ticket order at home, or a $4 per order fee for picking at Miller Park will call.

Tickets are first come, first served.

Hooray Gagne!

September 25, 2008 Posted by | Brewers | Leave a comment

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to become Brewers’ low-A-ball affiliate

(H/T – Crainer in the comments)

The Milwaukee Brewers will announce that they have reached a multi-year player development deal with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in suburban Appleton at the Timber Rattlers’ home, Time Warner Cable Field in suburban Appleton tomorrow at 11 am. This will replace the West Virginia Power in the Brewers’ minor-league lineup.

The Timber Rattlers have been affiliated with the Seattle Mariners since 1993, back when they were known as the Appleton Foxes. The franchise has existed since 1958, and has previously been affiliated with the Washington Senators (1958-1959), Chicago White Sox (1960-1986), Kansas City Royals (1987-1992).

September 22, 2008 Posted by | Brewers | Leave a comment