According to an extremely small sample size of my twitter followers the Bucks aren't quite back, but Brandon Jennings definitely has their attention. Following one player over the rest of the team seems about par for the course for an NBA team so this isn't very surprising. Personally I make no qualms about liking the Bucks now specifically because of this one player so I don't really have a problem with it. He's awesome and it's certainly better than not liking the Bucks at all right? But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that while this sort of behavior is perfectly acceptable for you and me maybe the rest of the Bucks players don't feel the same way. Everyone I talk to says that the past few games at the Bradley Center have been the loudest they have been to in years and it's all because of this one guy. That can't do much for Andrew Bogut's self esteem, right? Then again, what do I know about the Bucks locker room? It's not like I have ever been inside of it, recording their conversations and dictating them on the internet. OR HAVE I. Continue reading →
Bill Simmons is a writer for ESPN that you probably have heard of. He's probably the biggest "celebrity" writer on the internet and is responsible for roughly 1/5 of the posts at Deadspin. Despite influencing roughly every sports blog on the internet and setting a gold standard that anyone who thinks that it's a good idea to write on the internet should try to attain, he is one of the most divisive figures in the sports blogging world. Often accused of being smug, a name dropper and overusing the same references time and time again (I once emailed him begging him to stop with the Battle of the Network Stars references) Simmons is generally un-apologetic over his style. His style is his style. He has his fans (which I count myself as one) and his detractors, but in the end there's not much you can say negatively about him. His "voice of the fan" perspective has become skewered a bit over the years, but it still is a "voice of the fan" because when it comes to baseball, the NFL or gambling on the NFL he doesn't know what he's talking about most of the time (just like a real fan.) However, when it comes to basketball Bill Simmons leaves the "voice of the fan" behind and becomes something wholly different, one of the greatest living basketball writers alive.
Now, I've never been the biggest basketball guy. I think it's a great sport to watch, but there have been one too many times in my lifetime when the officials have clearly affected the outcome of a game and you can't tell me any different that the league didn't influence these decisions. The most egregious example would of course be the Dallas/Miami Finals from a couple of years back. I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way and was completely turned off by this series, but somehow the NBA always finds ways to pull me back in. Whether it's Lebron James or Brandon Jennings, I always find a reason to end up watching some games and a lot of this can probably be attributed to the writing of Bill Simmons. His passion for the game in his columns is infectious and there have been more than a few times I have ended up watching a playoff series because he will not shut up about it (Bulls/Celtics from last season is a great example.) When I found out that Bill Simmons had written a 700 page book about basketball I pre-ordered it right away. I've always enjoyed him as a writer and he is far too serious about the sport of basketball to mess this up. When The Book of Basketball arrived eight days ago I dug right in and I wasn't disappointed. Continue reading →
In case you didn't hear the Brewers recently announced their team awards and the results weren't that surprising. From the JSONLINE:
First baseman Prince Fielder and right-hander Yovani Gallardo were named the Milwaukee Brewers' most valuable player and most valuable pitcher, respectively, for 2009 in balloting conducted by the Milwaukee chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Other award winners were closer Trevor Hoffman as top newcomer, reliever Todd Coffey as unsung hero and veteran infielder Craig Counsell as recipient of the "Good Guy" award.
(Quick tangent: The Milwaukee chapter of the BBWAA? We have ONE daily newspaper here, how many people can be in it? Seriously, is this just Tony W, Tom H and Mike Hunt voting? Is this a joke? I mean, it's not like they allow broadcasters in here and Uecker got a vote. Who are the people voting on this? I can't find one of them on the BBWAA Wikipedia page. It has to just be the guys at the Journal Sentinel, there is nobody else. So why not just say that?)
Anyways, since this is America and it's full of PC crap where everyone gets a trophy and little league games end in a tie these weren't the only awards handed out. In fact, everyone gets an award! Why let anyone feel left out? These are millionaire baseball players that get tons of adulation and hook up with different women every night, we don't want to hurt their feelings! We need to coddle them and what better way to coddle them than by awarding them for things? Seriously, I want an answer.
Luckily, I have sources and they were able to get me the complete list of Brewers awards handed out to the players and I now present them here for you. Continue reading →
The slow news days have begun and due to MLB rules there is only a playoff game once every six days. What do we do? Inspired by our favorite site The Dugout, we've decided to follow our favorite JSOnline writer Anthony Witrado on a quest. A quest to find love, adulation and respect in a cruel world that doesn't understand him or particularly like him. Will he find what he's been seeking? Or will he fail at it, like he's failed at life so many times before? Find out in Witrado's Quest: A Miller Park Drunk Event.
The JSOnline's Brewers season grades are always a lot of fun. In 2008 Gabe Kapler received a better grade than anyone on the offense. In 2007 JJ Hardy, Joe Dillon and Ryan Braun were deemed equal. The thought that goes into these rankings clearly takes at least 5-10 minutes. I have a few sources on the inside of the JSHQ and they were able to give me a few of the grades ahead of their publishing along with some preliminary notes. Not sure if it will be EXACTLY like this on Sunday (or whenever these come out), but I can guarantee it will make the same amount of sense. Hope you enjoy.
Jason Kendall: B- That one time he hit a homerun. Guys loved throwing at him. Also, hit a homerun that other time.
Prince Fielder: C+ If he doesn't tie for RBI lead he is sure B-.Would be higher if team was better. It's his fault for record.
Felipe Lopez: A+++++ If I was GM I'd pay him a million trillion dollars!
JJ Hardy: INCOMPLETE Team is stupid for sending him down.
Alcides Escobar: C+Dazzling defense, but the bat isn't there. Seems like one of the best
Craig Counsell: B- One of the best seasons of his career.
Casey McGehee: C True Rookie of the Year candidate filled the hole at third base adequately.
Rickie Weeks: F- Got hurt. LOPEZZZZZZ!!!!!
Corey Hart: B- Changed his at-bat music later in the season and I really enjoyed it.
Mike Cameron: D He may have been one of the Brewers' best hitters, but he struck out a lot.
Ryan Braun: C- Wasn't as good as I thought he'd be. Would be higher if team did better, it's his fault.
Frank Catalanotto: A One of the lone bright spots.
Jody Gerut: F+
Yovani Gallardo: C- Not enough like CC.
Trevor Hoffman: A+ Best. Free. Agent. Signing. Ever.
Braden Looper: C- Sure, it was the worst season of his career and he led the league in homeruns and earned runs allowed. He had 14 wins! 14!
Jeff Suppan: D+ If he would have pitched better Brewers would have won the World Series.
Manny Parra: Somewhere between B and F.
Dave Bush: D- Bring back Doug Davis.
Mark DiFelice: B Can't imagine where the Brewers would have finished without his 3.66 ERA.
Mitch Stetter: C- His 3.60 ERA was a pleasant surprise.
Claudio Vargas: D- 1.78 ERA with Brewers. Am I supposed to be impressed?
Mike Burns: C Did a good job with what he was asked to do.
Seth McClung: B- "We need to give a good grade to Seth because he's my friend on twitter. -Tom"
Todd Coffey: C+Pitched a lot of games.
The rest: F