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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Packers going dolphin hunting

(This blog post was written by Roberto Ruiz-Maki,,

Aaron Rodgers has led the undefeated Green Bay Packers to a remarkable season thus far.

The Packers are looking to join the Miami Dolphins as the only teams to go undefeated in the regular season and win the super bowl, instead of joining the New England Patriots as the only teams to go 18-1 with 18 consecutive wins.

With the toughest part of the schedule behind them, it seems to be an appropriate time to start seriously discussing the possibility of the Packers going 19-0.

With the Oakland Raiders up next on the schedule there is no real cause for concern this Sunday. Oakland has been playing sloppy football since losing quarterback Jason Campbell and foolishly trading away a first and second round pick for Carson Palmer.

The only real cause for concern is their defense, but one doesn't have to look far to find the last Super Bowl winning team that had a turnover reliant defense: 2010.

Ryan Braun: No longer a hero

(This post was post was written by Roberto Ruiz-Maki,,

I would like to start off the blog post by saying that I am deeply saddened by the newest news that Ryan Braun has tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.

Braun, who was announced as the National League Most Valuable Player just the other day, is the biggest player to ever be caught using PED's.

While players such as Manny Ramirez and Rafael Palmeiro were caught using PED's, they were both at the end of their careers and on their way out of the league. Braun is in his late 20's, in the prime of his career, and is the face of the National League now that Alberto Pujols has moved to Los Angeles.

As a player, Braun was Milwaukee's guy. Braun was the guy who signed a long team friendly contract so that he could stay in Milwaukee until the end of his career. Braun was the guy who owns a restaurant in Milwaukee's third ward.

I would like to talk more about the implications of the positive test, but Braun is appealing the results (and this is definitely my biased opinion and me wanting to believe him, but I actually want to believe that the test was a false positive) and I want to wait until he has a chance to defend himself to the public.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Brewers Approach the Trade Deadline with Some Holes to Fill

(This blog post was written by Scott Maury; this is Scott's first post for Warrior Sports)

The Milwaukee Brewers are a week into the second half of the 2011 MLB season, and there are many questions still to be answered as to where they are headed as they approach the trade deadline. There are still many holes to fill if the Brewers plan on being a playoff caliber team.

The Brewers already filled a hole in their roster with the acquisition of closer Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod). Acquired from the New York Mets, K-Rod is one of the greatest closers in the game. It’s still unclear whether or not he will share closing duties with already established closer John Axford, but it’s safe to say the Brewers have two of the best National League closers on their roster right now, strengthening a crippled and injury bugged bullpen.

What’s still uncertain is what the Brewers plan on doing with the left side of their infield. The once dependable third basemen, Casey McGehee has fallen out of the spotlight and into one of the worst slumps of any player in the Majors. Casey is hitting a miserable .223 average with only 5 home runs and 38 RBI’s. His defense has also worsened, as he already has 13 errors entering the second half, which is high for Casey given he only had 17 total errors last season.

Joining the slumping McGehee is the Brewer’s shortstop in Yuniesky Betancourt. His defense is also crippling the Brewer’s defense, but what’s more pathetic is his offensive numbers. At first glance it doesn’t seem that alarming, with a .243 average, seven homeruns and 34 RBI’s. What’s alarming is his on base percentage and plate discipline. His on-base percentage is almost a National League worst at an atrocious .260 average. In 90 games, Betancourt has only walked nine times, three of those being intentional.

If the Brewers plan on making the playoffs, and being successful, they need to do something about the left side of their infield. The Brewers don’t exactly have depth within the organization, so they will need to make some trades to help their infield. There are some solid defenders out there such as the Houston Astros’ Clint Barmes and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Jamey Carroll. Both are primarily shortstops with little offensive production, with Jamey Carroll being the more consistent hitter out of the two with a good on-base percentage. It seems as if anything would be better than what the Brewers have right now. An upgrade at shortstop would make more sense than an upgrade at third base. If past seasons say anything, Casey would be more likely to break out of his slump and be more helpful in the long run.

It will definitely be interesting to see what moves – if any – the Brewers make as they approach the July 31st trade deadline.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Possible Packers Trades Post Lockout?

(This article was written by Roberto Ruiz, Sports Editor,, twitter@RobertoRuiz33.)

In no way are any of these trade rumors. Now that we have that out of the way, let's have some fun. Trades are in order of ones that Packer fans would love the most, to ones that they may not love so much.

1) Arizona Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald for Quarterback Matt Flynn, Wide Receiver James Jones, Linebacker Nick Barnett or AJ Hawk, and future 2nd and 4th round picks.
Come on now, how awesome would this trade be? The Cardinals are looking for a quarterback and Matt Flynn could be a much cheaper option than Kevin Kolb in the future. James Jones would step into a starting spot with Arizona, and every team can always use more Linebackers. In return, the Packers would get another star receiver to play alongside Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley, and Donald Driver. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, the window for winning will be a few years, and this trade would help keep it open if we were able to resign Fitzgerald. Now, Fitzgerald's contract does end in a year, so we would need some kind of promise to sign an extension from him. On a lesser note, Fitzgerald does have a no-trade clause, so he would need to approve the trade, but I have a feeling that he would love to come and play for Rodgers and the Super Bowl contending Green Bay Packers.

2) Cincinnati Wide Receiver Chad Ochocinco for Flynn and Jones or future 3rd round pick.
This price may be a bit high for some Packer fans, who think that Green Bay should get more in return for Flynn, but the offers weren't exactly clogging Ted Thompson's voice mailbox before the lockout. Ochocinco is no longer a number one receiver, but he can be a great complement to Jennings. He can run routes over the middle of the field, and take attention away from the deep ball. While Ochocinco may be in the twilight of his career, he likely still has a few more productive years left, which is a lot more than we will get from Jones.

3) Chicago Quarterback Jay Cutler for Flynn.
I know, this is a small reach, but hear me out. Cutler has clearly worn out his welcome in Chicago, and Flynn would be a breath of fresh air, someone that can step in and tell them about the Green Bay offense. Flynn wouldn't be as erratic as Cutler either, so that would be a huge upgrade for Chicago. Packer fans could forever gloat about how we got their starting quarterback for our backup, which just shows how superior Green Bay is. (Obviously this trade was written in jest, there is no way Green Bay wants Cutler.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2011 Milwaukee Bucks Draft Board

(This blog post was written by Mikhail Nenaydykh)

The Milwaukee Bucks are in dire straits.

After a promising playoff run, the Bucks took several leaps backward last year. They finally cleared up some cap space, only to tie it to Drew Gooden, Corey Maggette, and John Salmons. All three were utter failures in the first year of their new deal.

After the season, GM John Hammond was quoted as saying, "[A]nother factor in needing to improve our team, I'd also say we need to become a little more athletic.”

Using athleticism, in addition to the existing holes on the team, the Bucks will have an array of talent available to them when David Stern starts the clock.

It is necessary to eliminate the players that the Bucks would LOVE to have but will be long gone by the time they are up. This list would include Derrick Williams, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Enes Kanter, and Brandon Knight. Unfortunately, Jimmer Fredette should also be eliminated because he denied to workout for the team, and Bob McKinney, Assistant GM for the Bucks, said they would have a hard time picking someone who skipped a workout.

After eliminating these players, their draft board probably looks a lot like this:

#1 Bismack Biyombo
PF/C – Congo
6’9’’ Tall, 7’7’’ Wingspan(!!!)
Player Comparison:
Ben Wallace, Dikembe Mutombo
The athletic Biyombo would excite Skiles, and provide protection for Bogut, as well as solidify the frontcourt. He would be the only prospect ready to consistently contribute.

#2 Jan Vesely
SF/PF– Czech Rep.
6’11’’ Tall, 7’6’’ Wingspan(!)
Player Comparison:
This tough-minded Euro prospect has already produced on the pro-level. His main comparison is to Andrei “AK47” Kirilenko, which would be a great piece for the Bucks.

#3 Alec Burks
SG – Colorado
6’6’’ Tall, 6’10’’ Wingspan
Player Comparison:
Eddie Jones, Demar Derozan
The athletic Burks is the best SG prospect in the draft. Questions linger about his mental toughness and shooting ability, but there is no question the guy can play. Burks would be a very solid pick.

#4 Tristan Thompson
PF – Texas
6’9’’ Tall, 7’2’’ Wingspan
Player Comparison:
Kenyon Martin
Young, athletic big man. He plays with a tenacity that cannot be taught. His length and energy make up for his lack of height, but his offense is still pretty raw.

#5 Klay Thompson
SG – Washington
6’7’’ Tall, 6’9’’ Wingspan
Player Comparison:
Francisco Garcia, Marco Belinelli
This SG prospect is the son of former NBA player Mycal Thompson. Klay is a great shooter and has great size for SG, but is lacking athletically. Good overall game, but is he lottery worthy?

#6 Chris Singleton
SF/PF Florida St.
6’9’’ Tall, 7’1’’ Wingspan
Player Comparison:
Trevor Ariza, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Singleton is a defensive-minded player who would earn playing time with Skiles just for that. He is raw, but has size and length. Shows the athleticism that the Bucks desperately need.

#7 Marcus Morris
SF/PF – Kansas
6’8’’ Tall, 6’10’’ Wingspan
Player Comparison:
Tim Thomas
Marcus Morris is the more talented, more athletic of the Morris twins. He is a tweener, meaning too small for PF, but too slow for SF. But he has nice shooting touch and decent athleticism.

#8 Marshon Brooks
SG - Providence
6’5’’ Tall, 7’1’’ Wingspan
Player Comparison:
Jamal Crawford, Ben Gordon, Eric Gordon
Marshon has really impressed the Bucks, as he has returned to workout with the team several times. He would be a reach at 10, but if the Bucks trade back in the draft, look for them to pick Brooks.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Goodbye Bradley Center, Hello Mega-Plex

(This blog post was written by Mikhail Nenaydykh; this is Mikhail's first blog post and The Warrior is excited to welcome him aboard.)

The problem with the Milwaukee Bucks is that they are majorly mismanaged and in great disarray. According to Forbes, they have ranked dead last in the NBA in terms of value for two years running. Ironically, they saw annual growth during both years.
Without a major adjustment, the Bucks franchise could eventually either become bankrupt or have to change host-cities, costing Milwaukee and the fans. There have been several cases of teams moving of late; most recently, the Seattle SuperSonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder, and before that, the Charlotte Hornets changed to the New Orleans Hornets.
This is especially an issue because of the current labor dispute between the NBA and the Players Union. As with the NFL, and soon the MLB, the two sides are negotiating millions, and one possibility being discussed is teams being disbanded and their players auctioned off to the rest of the NBA. The entire league is suffering from the economy’s slide. This would make sense because under the current system, the NBA has to pay for the teams that don't make money, so cutting these teams would mean more money to invest in other opportunities, like moving teams abroad.
The thing that would keep the Bucks in Milwaukee would be to make the team more valuable. The way to do this is by making the team consistently better every year, and by gaining support from the county, like the Brewers did with Miller Park. The team needs a new venue, and so does the city.
The major problem with the Bucks’ situation is the Bradley Center. Under the terms of their lease, the Bucks are owed $8.5 million by the Bradley Center LLC, which is to be paid out over the next several years. Also, the venue is among the oldest in the NBA, and breaks down consistently. As recently as 2009, the Bradley Center asked for a bailout from then Governor Jim Doyle. He included a provision for five million dollars, but the pavilion’s group still needed $18 million in renovations.
In comparison, the Brewers pay $900,000 to the owners of Miller Park, but make money off of tickets and merchandise. This approach has worked very well recently for the Crew, as their attendance has followed their increasingly maturing performance. Also, what has helped the team add talent, fans, and exposure was the development of Miller Park. Although the stadium cost the county approximately $392 million, it was worth every penny.
In agreement with former Senator Herb Kohl, the city needs to pay for a new mega pavilion. But if they do it, they would have to go all out. Such an investment would help the city’s national exposure grow exponentially. Such a venue could be similar to the famous Calatrava Art Museum. In fact, why not hire Calatrava to design the pavilion? With an already established connection and familiarity with the city, the agreement would not be difficult to arrange.
Making another major landmark that also attracts major media stars would further put Milwaukee on the map, attracting the bright minds of America to our city. Instead of bubbling ourselves out from the rest of the nation, the state needs to branch out and invite people to come in. And from the Bucks’ perspective, the team would be able to attract more fans and better talent to the team, similar to how the Brewers did. With a great pavilion to play in, players are more comfortable and would be more open to coming and playing for our team (as attracting talent has been an issue in recent years).
Yes this would cost that state a lot of money, but the fastest way to remove debt is to find major money making opportunities. By creating such a mega-plex, the long term investment would have a high percentage revenue yield. And the fans would keep getting to watch the basketball franchise that they grew up on.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jerk Know-It-All

(Article Written by Roberto Ruiz,, twitter @RobertoRuiz33)

This article is a direct response to the recent annual ranking of the four major leagues in North America done by ESPN The Magazine.

(Give me the voice of your version of a stereotypical sports fan jerk who acts like he knows everything but really knows nothing.)

The Green Bay Packers are the best franchise in North America. Really? What is the rationale for this decision? Can your average American even name another thing associated with Green Bay other than the Packers? What about that Brett Favre guy? Oh wait. Well what about Vince Lombardi? Never mind. Green Bay is part of the cheese state right?

Who in their right mind would rank a team from little Green Bay over a team from New York City? I mean come on, New York city is THE place to be, right? The New York Yankees have to be the better franchise, especially if you take into account the championships won. Championships should be one of the top categories, right? Forget the fact that the Yankees have only won one World Series in the last ten years despite having the highest payroll every year. Teams shouldn't be respectful and fun loving like the Packers, the best franchises should be made up of the selfish money-grabbing jerks who expect you to give up your table for them, not the guys who will give their table up for you.

Fine, so a big team like the Yankees shouldn't be the best franchise. What about a team like the Miami Heat? They are supposed to win the next six NBA championships; that should put them in prime position for the best franchise. As good as the Packers were last season there is no way that they will win the next six championships. Besides, the fans of the team shouldn't hang outside of the stadium for hours in sub-zero temperatures just to see their team (all the while overjoyed that they are able to wait outside in sub-zero temperatures so that they can witness the most storied franchise in the NFL). Fans should instead show up sometime between the start of the game and halftime, because nothing good ever happens until the second half of games anyways.

Okay so maybe that wasn't the best example. Surely the Chicago Bears are the top franchise of all sports. They don't have a ludicrously high payroll, nor do their fans show up late to games. People are Bears fans their entire lives, and they haven't won as many championships as the Packers have, so that has to be good for something right? Sure, they haven't won a championship since 1985, but they were in the NFC championship game last year!

Let's be honest. This seems kind of like an obvious choice to me. The Packers have the best ownership, the best fans, the best stadium, and the best history. On top of all of that, they are winning, per the usual.

I guess my only real problem with this ranking was that the Tampa Bay Lightning was the second ranked franchise. I am shocked, truly.