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Bucks Bucks are just beginning to wind down the pre-draft workout formalities before they pull the trigger on a player they hope will be a building block (if not cornerstone) in the future of this franchise in a couple of weeks. Brew Hoop has the skinny on how last weeks workouts went. I'm still sold on the suggestion of Alabama's Richard Hendrix, but I am beginning to be more and more intrigued by Kevin Love. I guess it's all the good things I'm hearing about him: high basketball IQ, has trimmed down since the season and revealed some explosiveness. If he's still there it would be hard to justify passing him up, Bucks Diary agrees. Hammonds has been quoted as saying the Bucks would be pleased if any of the guys in last week's workout (Joe Alexander, Donte Green, Anthony Randolph) were still available at the 8th spot as if that would be great luck, but buzz on the street is that at least two of those guys should be available. Could Hammonds be using his best poker face to mask his tell on the player the Bucks really want?
So if you are a Bucks fan (or maybe a Cavs fan) we have been discussing for weeks the rumors and possibilities of Mike Redd going over to Cleveland in a trade. Still no definite news on that but there has been report of another interesting trade scenario. ESPN's Chad Ford has reported on the rumor that Golden State is still trying to pry Yi out of our grasp and are willing to give up Brandan Wright and a first round pick to do so. This is probably not a good idea in the long run for the Bucks for a variety of reasons ; some of which are that if Redd does get traded Yi will become by default the main face of the franchise and possibly the most talented player, and Kohl is still looking for someone to sell the team to (who will keep it in Milwaukee) it certainly would look more attractive if it had a readily marketable face, and the team needs the extra influx of Chinese cashflow Yi brings. Plus if Yi blew up on the West Coast our fan base would not be able to handle another Dirk for Tractor Traylor type of bungle. (Ok maybe just I couldn't handle it).
Brewers.C+ MLB draft was last week and the Crew's first pick was Brett Lawrie, a native Canadian who is supposed to be the best prospect from up north since Larry Walker. I haven't seen any draft grades but from reading around it looks like they were able to load up on some good talented prospects, including the son of Lenny Dykstra. Brewer's bloggers are right, they do have a strange penchant for picking up offspring of former big leaguers. At least they are picking the right players like Tony Gwynn and Cecil Fielder and not say Dale Sveum's kid. Brewer's Nation has a good listing of the picks and how they project, while Chuckie Hacks has some slightly more humorous anecdotes on the the picks and the MJS Brewers blog offers a little more insight on the Brewers decision making process. Latest new trade rumor is the Crew is interested in swapping Rickie Weeks for the Orioles Brian Roberts. From what I've read Roberts is just as if not slightly more skilled than Weeks so except for the contract considerations (Roberts will be a free agent after the season, Weeks is signed for like the next 3-4 years) it seems like a good trade (AGM guys correct me if I'm wrong). Weeks I can stand to see go. While he is talented I'd say he's not indispensable, especially if we can somehow wrangle some pitching talent in the deal.
Brewer's GM Doug Melvin has an idea that will revolutionize pitching. . . if nobody denounces it as crazy and idiotic. It is simply put to reverse the current conventional pitching strategies. You want your best pitcher available to be pitching the most important innings right? So start them later. Let a middle 'reliever' start the first few innings then hand the ball to your ace in say the 4th when the outcome of the game is really starting to be decided. Makes sense to me. When I read this the analogy that immediately came to mind was how ESPN's TMQ has been admonishing NFL and college football coaches for years for not going for it more in 4th down situations rather than automatically punting (because the average NFL play yields about 4 yards). This could be the same kind of right-in-front-of-your-face common sense, Doug Melvin could become the Bill Belichick of the MLB. OK, I'm reaching but you get the idea. And I hope they give this serious consideration before some other team hears about it, tries it, and has some success and then tries to act like they came up with it because people are barely aware that we have a baseball team.
And as always a lot of Brewers fans think Ned Yost is an idiot.
Packers. Not a whole lot of fresh news circulating in the days before training camp. Some Packer sites are reporting that the Pack has cut ties with T Joe Toledo who they picked up in a trade last year (though I have not seen this among the Transactions listed on their official site). I always like his name though it's apparent that he was not a standout on the field, when he touched it.
Remember Abdul Hodge? Drafted same year as A.J. Hawk, played next to Hawk at OSU? Well seems like he is making good progress coming back after battling injuries in both of his knees. Back when they were both still at Ohio State there used to be speculation that Hodge would turn out to be just as good a pro, if not better, than Hawk. And he showed some flashes of that here before he caught the injury bug. I hope he can get back on that track now that it seems the major injuries are behind him.
Remember Deshawn Wynn? The rookie running back out of Florida who tantalized Packer fans with an inconsistent smattering of big plays before he too caught the injury bug? Well he's on the recovery road also and reportedly has had a very good showing at the mini-camps thus far. But the biggest barrier to Deshawn's return to the field and playing time will most likely be mental, not physical. According to his coaches Wynn's biggest obstacles are his immaturity coupled with his inconsistent work ethic. He got a rep for being content to make a few big flashy plays and taking it easy the rest of the game. Lack of consistent effort will get you nowhere in this league.
University of Wisconsin. Shots out to the UW Mens Rowing team who just won the 2008 National Championship!!