Packers. Packer Pundit has a good run down of the draftees official bios. I think the pick that will produce the most, meaning become a starter, the quickest (obviously besides Jordy Nelson) is TE Jermichael Finley. The official bio likens him to Ram's tight end Randy McMichael, but from the description I'm reminded of Keith Jackson, one of the historically great tight ends who helped to redefine the position when he played and ended his career with the Packers (and a SB ring). I think Jackson was probably more refined in the passing game than Finley when he came out of Oklahoma but was never particularly noted for his blocking ability, it was something he developed. I see the same potential in Finley, maybe not perennial Pro Bowler but at least a very dependable Ed West kind of guy (but way more athletic). Speaking of former Packers, it looks like Bubba Franks has been reborn with the Jetsss a-ha ha ha ha huh ha ha ha. Sorry I'm just wondering how long before Bubba gets one of those nagging injuries that always seems to plauge him and doesn't live up to the expectations he is generating this summer. I imagine Jets fans will be real sympathetic to that. In some news that has a local and league angle it looks like the Rams will be holding their training camp in suburban Milwaukee. Ram's fans don't worry about any of your players getting in trouble during camp. Milwaukee is not Green Bay-slow but compared to St. Louis. . . yeah relax.
Brewers. D D for dismal. The Crew just finished getting swept by the defending champs in a sorry weekend that was summed up succinctly by Ryan Braun. And I thought maybe they were turning a corner with the series win against the Cards. As of this posting Crew is dead last in the NL central. They have definitely lost the edge they played with most of last year. Most of the blame is piling up on Yost and while that might be justified or not, the fact is he might be in danger of totally losing the clubhouse soon (if he hasn't already). Like I said last week I don't think it's time to pull the plug on him just yet. But if the team stops responding to him there's no other choice.
Ryan Braun just signed a huge (for the Brewers) $45 million contract that will keep him in Milwaukee for some time. I know a lot of bloggers have been saying lately that we should be trading Braun and Fielder for the sake of long term financial flexibility, but I like this move. C'mon let's keep these guys together to see what they can do, if it doesn't work out screw it we're used to losing anyway.
Lots of pitching changes. Gagne took a couple nights off as closer to clear his head or recharge or whatever, got jealous when Mota got his first career save, came back and actually looked recharged against the Dodgers. Who knows maybe that's the only thing that drives him, he wants to be acknowledged as 'the man'. David Riske hit the DL with an elbow injury and Mark DeFelice is called up to take his spot. DeFelice is 31 years old and has been in the minors 11 years without a call-up so any type of success on his part would be a 'The Rookie' type scenario. Wild ball throwing Mitch Stetter has been optioned to Nashville to make room for Zach Jackson who will probably assume the bullpen role.
SI.com had a good article by a reporter who accompanied the team on a nine game road trip and best wishes to the Brewers PA announcer who recently suffered a heart attack.
Bucks. Watching the Eastern Conference Celtics - Cavs series almost distracts me from the train wreck that was Milwaukee's season. Fan optimism is on the rise with the new hires at GM and head coach(The Bob Boozer Jinx has a nice retrospect of new assistant Jim Boylan who was a member of Marquette's '77 NCAA championship squad) , but Bucks Diary doesn't like what GM John Hammonds has had to say so far about the state of the Bucks. I agree the bigger problem with the Bucks is their roster that was slapped together apparently based on the plan of just gathering a bunch of talented players as opposed to underachievement. But I think Hammonds is just being diplomatic about the whole roster situation for now. Hopefully the Bucks will be Trades-R-Us this season. Everything but Yi and Bogut must go!!
Former Bucks head coach and Milwaukee native Terry Porter is looking good for the opening in Phoenix. I really wish Harris had not fired him so unexpectedly after 2 years in the post just when it looked like he had molded the team into how he wanted them to play, tough defensively smart offensively. The Bucks might have actually been back to perennial playoff appearances again. If the Suns pull the trigger they will get a hell of a good coach.