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Green Bay Packers new general manager Brian Gutekunst said all the right things at his first meeting with the media when he was hired and since then at other various events (Senior Bowl, NFL Combine).

Gutekunst said he was going to be aggressive in the free agent market. Being aggressive and ‘doing something’ are two different things. Personally, I think his statements while truthful are going to leave the Packer fans extremely disappointed.

The Packers need some big time talent signed for their defense and at tight end. DT Muhammad Wilkerson is an example of this. He is also meeting with New Orleans, a better team than Green Bay, and Kansas City, a team which will take a step back this year. Hopefully, Wilkerson’s relationship with DC Mike Pettine will be the key.

But if Wilkerson signs with the Packers, he won’t be cheap. And that’s the problem.

Gutekunst can say all he wants about “being aggressive” in free agency, but the Packers – unless they cut or work out pay cuts for people like Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb – don’t have a lot of money to spend once they sign their draft picks.

They desperately need a edge rusher and a cornerback and to find them on the free agent list is easy – signing them is not.

Believe it or not, they are even more desperate for a tight end – and there are good ones in the draft – but there are also some good ones on the free agent list – they won’t be free.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Wilkerson and then on March 14 when the signing period begins.

I just wouldn’t hold my breath.



If the Milwaukee Brewers were to start the season with the current pitching rotation they would not be legitimate contenders. Could they earn a wild card spot? Possibly, but unless something happens to the Chicago Cubs they’re chances of winning the division or advancing in the playoffs are slim and none.

I have mixed emotions on this.


I have been in General Manager Dave Stearns‘ corner. I have agreed with most of his moves because I was smart enough to be familiar with the players in the deal or I trusted his and his staff’s judgment when I wasn’t familiar with the players.

Then when the Brewers made their blockbuster deal for Christian Yelich, who I love, and followed up with the free agent signing of Lorenzo Cain, my attitude changed.

One of the things I like about both players is they get on base and hit for average. I was sick and tired of the home run or nothing mentality and leaving men on base – constantly. It was disgusting and showed how little this lineup knew about hitting.

But with these moves, Stearns is going for it now.

Of course every team in baseball now knows they need to trade an outfielder for a pitcher, so that hurts their bargaining power. Stearns recently told baseball writer Tom Haudricourt that they might not make a move going into spring training and see what happens.

Based on the reports about what some of these starters are asking for – no one – including Clayton Kershaw – is worth $30 million a year – I understand Stearns being unwilling to sign someone even though owner Mark Attanasio is ready to write a check.

I’m also not interested in continuing to strip the farm system to get a pitcher like Chis Archer.

But the fact of the matter is, a rotation of Chase Anderson, Zach Davies, Jhowlys Chacin and take your pick of Brent Suter, Brandon Woodruff, Junior Guerra and Aaron Wilkerson, and you don’t have a real contending rotation. (I don’t even consider Yovani Gallardo a candidate because that would guarantee failure).

No matter when Jimmy Nelson returns, how soon will he be able to regain his awesome form of last season?

One stud pitcher at the top of the lineup and you have a legitimate contender.


Stearns is caught between a rock and a hard place. The free agent pitchers are ridiculously priced and the cost of a good starter in a trade isn’t worth stripping your farm system.

Sure they made Yu Darish (who I don’t like) an offer, but they once made C.C. Sabathia an offer ($100 million) which wasn’t even close to what he signed for, so don’t get too excited over the Darvish offer.

One thing is for sure, this Brewers team will be fun to watch and they will score runs – they might have to some nights in order to win some games.

Just don’t get too excited if this is their rotation come Opening Day. You would be fooling yourself.



Milwaukee Brewers General Manager – ‘Dealing’ Dave Stearns as I call him – fired up the MLB Hot Stove League by making a trade with the Miami Marlins for All-Star Outfielder Christian Yelich and then an hour later signed former Brewer Lorenzo Cain as a free agent.
A couple things came to mind with these moves.
In order to get a talent like Yelich – and if you don’t know how good this kid is you don’t follow baseball too closely – they had to trade Lewis Brinson, their top prospect in the deal.
The Brewers have control of Yelich, 26, through the 2021 season with a club option for 2022. He is a career .290 hitter with 59 HR, 293 RBI and 72 stolen bases in 643 games with the Marlins (2013-17).
He batted .282 with 18 HR, 81 RBI and 16 stolen bases in a career-high 156 games last season. He ranked among the National League leaders in runs (T7th, 100), at-bats (8th, 602), hits (9th, 170), doubles (9th, 36) and walks (10th, 80).
Yelich led Major League center fielders last season in fielding percentage (.997) and ranked second in starts (155) and fourth in total chances (372) as he committed just a single error all year. It marked his first full season as a center fielder after winning a Gold Glove Award in left field in 2014 and being named a Gold Glove finalist in both 2015 and 2016.
Nobody wanted to trade Brinson because of all the hype that came with him. But the key is he is still a ‘prospect.’
When I worked for the Brewers I can go back to what will always be considered – ‘The Trade.’
On Dec. 12, 1980, the Brewers acquired catcher Ted Simmons, pitcher Pete Vuckovich and closer Rollie Fingers from St. Louis in exchange for outfielders Sixto Lezcano and David Green and pitchers Lary Sorensen and Dave LaPoint.
Whereas Lezcano, Sorensen and LaPoint were major leaguers, but Cards GM Whitey Herzog told Brewers GM Harry Dalton he wouldn’t make the trade without the great David Green, one of the top ‘prospects’ (there’s that word again) in baseball.
The head of the scouting department and the baseball operations personnel almost came to blows at the winter meetings over including Green in the deal before Dalton stepped in.
Lezcano went on to play 72 games with the Cardinals, San Diego, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Sorensen played with the Cardinals one year, two years with Cleveland, Oakland, Chicago Cubs, Montreal and San Francisco, having one season over .500 (12-11) with the Indians.
LaPoint played with the Cards, Giants, Detroit, Padres, Chicago White Sox, Pittsburg and New York Yankees and won 14 games twice.
Green played six years in the majors, five with Cards and one with the Giants, finishing with a .268 batting average 31 homers and 180 RBIs and had off-the-field problems that cut his career short.
The Brewers got two MVPs (Fingers, Vuke) and an excellent hitting catcher (Simmons) in the deal.
I have nothing but respect for the four prospects Stearns traded and I hope they have good careers.
But I’ll always remember David Green.


For a guy who wanted to be a high school basketball coach, Dave Steinbach put together quite the tennis coaching career.

Steinbach, who has coached boys and girls tennis at Central since 1982, recently informed Don Kurth, the Lancers athletic director, he is stepping down as boys coach.

“The impact Dave Steinbach has had on Brookfield Central is hard to quantify,” Kurth said. “As a  teacher, coach and mentor, Dave has taught and coached thousands of kids spanning five decades, and in 2018, he is as relevant as ever.

“His no cut tennis program has set the standard for all others. We are lucky to have had Dave lead our kids over the course of his career. He is a class act, and his presence in our boys tennis program will be missed.”

Taking a look at the depth of Steinbach’s boys teams’ accomplishments is amazing. He is the only tennis coach in Wisconsin to win 500 matches for boys and 500 matches for girls.

His boys teams compiled a 513-147 (.777) won-lost record, winning 10 Greater Metro Conference championships and four state championships. They were runner-ups six times. They also won 19 sectional titles while finishing second eight times.

On the individual front, he had 61 singles players qualify for state and 60 doubles teams.

Steinbach, who will turn 82 years old this month, explained his decision to step down from coaching the boys program at this time.

“I have to give credit to the parents and the athletes, my assistant coaches (44 over the years) and the administration over the years,” he said. “My coaching successes have been dependent on them.”

“I have many facets in my life. Coaching is the one I controlled the least. If you don’t have good players you don’t win. for example, in one of my other facets, I umpired. Nobody had more control than me. I’ve broken my life down to 10-12 tennis facets and two coaching ones – girls coaching and boys coaching.”

But obviously, Steinbach had something to do with this team’s success.

“Now the fact that we have a big program – that’s me,” he said. “I decided not to cut. So many of these kids have more talent than I had when they were 14 or 15. If someone had told me I couldn’t play tennis, I wouldn’t be where I am today. So I wouldn’t want to do that to anyone else.”

When then athletic director Jack Charlesworth offered Steinbach the tennis coaching position in 1982, Steinbach said he had to have a non-cut program.

“I coached basketball for 17 years and I was forced to cut,” Steinbach recalled. “When Jack Charlesworth asked me to coach the boys tennis team I told me I would do it if I wasn’t forced to cut players.

“I told him it’s a lifetime sport and if I cut a player he would never play tennis again. So he agreed. The first year we had 32 kids on the team. Kids heard we weren’t going to cut and pretty soon we had 34, then 36. Then the next year I had 45. It just kept getting bigger and bigger. Once year we had 132 kids come out, but we ended with 120 – 12 didn’t finish that year.”

Steinbach points out he is the longest employed Elmbrook employee, having begun teaching at Dixon in 1960. He began coaching at Burleigh Junior High, Brookfield East’s feeder program, in 1965. Since the high schools were three-grades at the time, he coached freshman football, track and basketball.

“My real goal was to coach varsity basketball but (Laverne) Luebsdorf was at Brookfield East and he was going to be there forever and Bill Graf was at Central and he’d be there forever,” Steinbach said. “I was a good freshman (basketball) coach.

“Tennis would be my best option to be a varsity coach. I wanted to see if I could be a good varsity coach. Those two guys (Luebstorf, Graf) were entrenched and there was nothing I could do.”

Steinbach did plenty to keep busy as he also refereed football and basketball too. He also was a referee in a state championship football game.

“I was also game manager in 1982, which is like an assistant athletic director,” he said. “I did it for all the sports.”

Another reason he stepped down from coaching boys in the spring first was the weather.

“We’re leaving for Arizona and California this month,” Steinbach said. “I’ve been cutting certain facets out of my professional life. I stopped teaching tennis at UWM. I stopped officiating the Big Ten 10 years ago. I’m trying to eliminate some of the facets. Playing facets I eliminated a long time ago (he was a state-ranked player tennis in the 35 and 45 age category, but an injury stopped him from competing at 55).

“I’m eventually going to have to get out of coaching, but I didn’t want to do it all in one shot. I don’t want the program to lessen. In March I’m involved in the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament in Palm Springs. We’re always in California from end of February through March then coming back to Wisconsin in April. Well I eliminated that first.”

Other than the Grand Slams, Indian Wells is the biggest tournament in the world.

“I supervise the fitness area for the pros,” Steinbach said. “I get to see all the coaches and their pros to see what they do for their pre and post match fitness. I can bring it back to my team. They think being a good tennis player just happens in the court and not in the weight room.”

Steinbach has won 72 different awards on some level, topped off by winning the United States Professional Tennis Association Award twice (boys and girls). He also won the prestigious ‘Starfish’ Award (boys and girls) presented by the United States Tennis Association.

He was also named to the Brookfield Central Hall of Fame and the Wisconsin Tennis Association Hall of Fame.

Steinbach smiled when asked the difference between coaching boys and girls.

“The first 15 minutes of the practice,” he said. “For the girls it’s social time. You let them talk about what happened in school. Then when it’s tennis time that’s all done with. Otherwise you are going to have them talking when they should be concentrating on tennis. Most schools don’t have girls as good as we have. Brookfield Central girls are very competitive. When boys come out you’ve got to work them right away, they’re so hyped.”

Steinbach also pointed out another difference.

“Girls don’t like challenge matches,” he said. “Boys can play challenge matches and the next day they’re buddies. Girls – if they get beat – hold it. Girls would rather me tell them who they’re playing or what position they’re playing. Boys would rather say ‘let me play him and see if I can beat him or not.'”



I am fed up by the arrogance which is Mark Murphy, Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy.
How many times have I heard McCarthy talk about “We think about Super Bowls in Green Bay.”
But then Murphy talks about making the playoffs 8 years in a row. Who cares, Murph. Green Bay cares about Super Bowls.
People are asking for the heads of Thompson, who feels his job description doesn’t include answering questions from the media, and/or McCarthy.
But that’s not going to happen.
Aaron Rodgers got hurt and everyone is off the hook. Maybe Dom Capers will be sacrificed to quiet the crowd, but don’t expect much more.
It’s time to stop using Rodgers as a crutch. If you lose one player – yes, he is a Hall of Fame player – your season shouldn’t turn into crap.
Brett Hundley is McCarthy’s project – and I thought Mac did the right thing by playing him to see what he has learned. But you won’t see people standing in line to give up a high draft choice for him.
It does look like Thompson made good draft picks in running backs Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. But if you aren’t going to use them because McCarthy wants to throw, throw, throw with Rodgers, obviously people aren’t on the same page.
People say get Rodgers more weapons – yet the ones he has, he doesn’t use.
As for Murphy, he sits on the top of the heap, handles building the neighborhood around Packer Stadium and makes money for the team which they don’t spend on personnel. It would be nice if he made some decisions in the football area. Saying Thompson can be the general manager as long as he wants shows how ignorant/arrogant Murphy is.
Personally I don’t think Murphy-Thompson-McCarthy are in the same book, let alone on the same page. And who suffers? The fans.
I tweeted when Rodgers got hurt that the Packers would win maybe two games the rest of the year. With two games left – vs. Minnesota and at Detroit with Hundley at the helm – they beat my prediction of two wins by one – beating Chicago, Cleveland and Tampa Bay, the latter two in overtime.
People say I’m negative. I think I’m a realist and I don’t see things changing.
And why should the Packers care. People are lined up to get season tickets and will be for years.
Not much to worry about if your names are Murphy, Thompson and McCarthy.



With the girls and boys basketball seasons underway, here are a few observations, some based on games I saw, others I what I have talked with coaches about or read about.


Sophomore Anna Mortag, who stepped up her game last year when Brookfield Central lost Claire Haynes to a back injury, has continued her performance and has taken over the top spot in the Lancers program.

The Lancers will be a work in progress this season, as Mortag has an inexperienced supporting class for the most part. She is averaging 19 points and 7 rebounds in Central’s 0-3 start (Franklin comes to town on Dec. 3). They meet Brookfield East on Friday.

Junior guard Emma Ticcioni averages 8 points and 7 rebounds a game and senior guard Jenny Cape averages 5 rebounds and does a good job team running the show.

Freshman guard C.J. Romero stands only 5-1, but she averages 3 points, 3 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game.  Against Germantown, she lead the team with 9 rebounds.

If the Lancers are going to get better, they need to shoot better, rebound better and play better defense or coach Mallory Liebl will have gray hair before the season is over.

For the first time since covering Liebl, I saw the mild-mannered coach yell at her team during a timeout and then slam her clipboard to the ground afterward.

It will be interesting to see what they do against Brookfield East on Friday.


Junior Gage Malensek (16.5 points) and senior Andres Peralta-Werns (15.5 points, 5 rebounds) led the Lancers in their 1-1 start. Junior Cole Nau (10.0 points, 3 assists) and freshman David Joplin (5.5 points, 5.0 rebounds) have also chipped in.

The Lancers host Brookfield East on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Look for my feature on Peralta-Werns on Dec. 14 on


Port Washington nipped New Berlin West, 59-58, in overtime on Saturday afternoon at West, as senior guard Joe Robey stood out with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3 steals.

Sophomore Desmond Polk had 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 assists and senior Tyler Torosian had 13 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists.

Coach Brandon Mattox should have a fun team to watch this year.



Here are some random thoughts on the prep season as some teams have already started the post-season.

I saw my first prep football game of the fall Friday – I have been rehabbing my left leg and can’t get around too well – and it was a doozie, as two-time defending champion Brookfield Central beat Brookfield East at East, 22-14.

The win left Central unbeaten (6-0) and dropped East (5-1) into second place with two games left.

Both Central and East fans packed the place and you had to walk blocks to find a parking spot. The place was rockin’.

Central has won the last two conference titles while East has won the last two post-season meetings.

In the next two weeks, the Lancers host Sussex Hamilton and travel to Menomonee Falls while the Spartans are at Germantown and host West Allis Hale.

Good luck to BC Coach Jed Kennedy & BE coach Ben Farley the rest of the way.



GIRLS GOLF – Has already started with the regional this week (Sept. 27-28) and the sectional Oct. 3. The state tournament is at University Ridge in Madison on Oct. 9-10.

GIRLS TENNIS – The Subsectional is Monday, Oct. 2 or Tuesday, Oct. 3 and the Sectionals are Wednesday, Oct. 4 or Thursday, Oct. 5. The State Individual Tournament – is Thursday, Oct. 12, Friday, Oct. 13, and Saturday, Oct. 14 at Nielsen Stadium in Madison. The Girls State Tennis Team Championships are Friday, Oct. 20, and Saturday, Oct. 21 at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.

BOYS/GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY – The Sectional is Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21, while State is Saturday, Oct. 28, at Ridges Golf Course at Wisconsin Rapids.

BOYS SOCCER – Regional begins Tuesday, Oct. 17, Thursday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, October 21. Sectional follows on Thursday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 28.

The State Tournament is Thursday, Nov. 2, Friday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4 at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL – Regional is Thursday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sectional is Thursday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 28. The State Tournament is Thursday, Nov. 2, Friday, Nov. 3 and Saturday, Nov. 4 at Resch Center in Green Bay.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL – Regional begins – Friday, Oct. 27 and Sectional is Tuesday, Oct. 31 and Thursday, Nov. 2. The State Tournament is Friday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 11 at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

GIRLS SWIMMING & DIVING Sectionals are Friday, Nov. 3 (Diving) and Saturday, Nov. 4 (Swimming). The State Meet is Friday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 11 at the  Natatorium at UW-Madison.



For the first time in 15 years, I won’t be covering prep sports this season. I learned this about a one and a half months ago.

When Gannett purchased the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – thus NOW Newspapers – they turned the web sites and the Journal Sentinel sports pages into USA TODAY II. For example, their MLB page shows scores which are 2 days old because of earlier deadlines.

Then they fired some outstanding sports reporters and photographers at NOW.  At first I was told it wouldn’t affect free-lancers and about a month and a half ago I received an email that said Gannett canned the free-lance budget. They seem to think ‘No one cares about prep sports.’  They compared the website ‘clicks’ on the Packers, Brewers, Bucks and Badgers to prep sports. Now they took away TMJ Prep Editor Mark Stewarts’ prep free-lance budget.

The bottom line is just that – the bottom line. Quality is no longer the most important thing.  For example, they’re delivery service is worst than ever. I am 68 years old. I love the internet, but I still like my morning paper with my coffee. I went on vacation and when I returned my paper started up 10 days  later than it was supposed to. I couldn’t get through on the phone and I emailed a generic website (heard back a week later).  All I wanted was the paper I paid for already.

I want my paper, so every day I went to the gas station and bought one. They continue to miss me on some Saturday’s, so when I call, they deliver the Saturday paper with the Sunday paper. They seem to miss the point that I don’t want Saturday’s news on Sunday. I want credit.

When I retired June 30, 2016 I subscribed to the Waukesha Freeman, which does a good job covering prep sports, focusing on the Waukesha Schools, but also covering the other county schools.

If you’re reading this, you know I started a website called and I did it for one reason – I wanted to write feature stories about some of the top prep kids and tell their stories. Last year I started on Aug. 18 – my birthday – and wrote 51 stories about athletes from Brookfield, Wauwatosa and New Berlin.  I do this because these kids keep me young and every kid I met were great people as well as good kids.

So you might not see me covering a prep game, but I will be continuing my web site and will attend games when available.

After-all I am one of those people who still enjoy prep sports.



It was with mixed emotions I watched the trading deadline come to an end with the Milwaukee Brewers basically standing pat and not improving their sinking ship.

The addition of Anthony Swarzak and Jeremy Jeffress can’t hurt an overworked and not too talented bullpen (Jacob Barnes, Oliver Drake, Jared Hughes, Carlos Torres).  Paolo Espino and Wei-Chung Wang haven’t pitched enough to be considered yet.

That leaves you with Corey Knebel and Josh Hader as the closest to ‘sure things.’

Jimmy Nelson and two starting pitchers who don’t look like they’re old enough to shave (Zach Davies, Brent Suter) will hopefully be joined by Chase Anderson and Matt Garza off the disabled list soon. They won’t get you to the playoffs, but they will get you through the season.

Hopefully as they fall out of it, some of the minor league hurlers (Brandon Woodruff) will get an opportunity because Stearns is obviously looking to the future.

How good is the Brewers farm system? Obviously very good because many of the trades that didn’t happen were because other teams wanted their top prospects. Hopefully Stearns’ patience will pay off.


I have been called negative because I have said all along that this team was not good enough to win the Central Division. Who cares if they are in first place June 1 or at the All-Star break, it’s where they’re at Oct. 1 that counts.

Sonny Gray was not going to get this team to the World Series and you have to be pretty stupid to think so. I think Stearns and his people have done a fine job since the Brewers are probably one and a half to two years ahead of schedule.

But the bottom line has more to do with the Chicago Cubs, the defending World Champions, than with the Brewers.

The Cubs weren’t playing up to their potential – they proved what they can do last year – and when they did they passed the Brewers. They simply have more talent.

But the other thing was the Cubs are playing to win the World Series – not the division – so they could afford to give up top talent and they did and got Jose Quintana and Justin Wilson, two players the Brewers probably coveted.


You can dream about catching the Cubs but that’s not going to happen. The Brewers need to worry more about St. Louis and Pittsburgh than they do the Cubs.

The Brewers need to get back to playing good baseball, finish second and win over 81 games. Now that would be a good – no make it a great – season.




If the Milwaukee Brewers are to continue to battle for a Central Division title – ‘if’ being the key word here – it is going to be a roller-coaster season.

One of the major reasons with the Brewers being in first place is a World Series hangover by the team 90 miles south. The Cubs are starting to wake up and anyone who thinks the Brewers match up with their talent, please stop reading right here.

I picked the Brewers to win 78 games. The fact that they have won 32 games on June 9 is amazing. The bottom line is this. They will have to win the division to make the playoffs, because there are too many good teams in the Eastern and especially Western Divisions to win a wild card spot.

In every area, the Brewers are having a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde season. Let’s take a look.

HITTING — David Stearns has done well with the offense. Corners Eric Thames and Travis Shaw and catchers Jett Bandy/Manny Pina have excelled. When healthy – which is not often – Ryan Braun is still one of the better hitters around – and it looks like Domingo Santana is coming into this own.

SS Orlando Arcia is holding down the fort on defense and I don’t expect him to be more than a .250 hitter this year. But the improvement is there.

That leaves Jonathan Villar at 2B and Keon Broxton in CF with disappointing seasons so far. Eric Sogard has been ridiculous in a good way filling in all over as has the always reliable Hernan Perez. Jesus Aguilar at 1B, who has struggled defensively lately, but not enough to be worried, has been a key bat.

The Brewers fast starts have been talked about a lot, but they have a tendency to shut off the offense down the stretch, especially with RISP.

MY THOUGHTS — It’s not a perfect world, but this offense is fun to watch, knowing there are reinforcements around the corner.

STARTING PITCHING — As of June 9, the jury is still out on this staff. I like Junior Guerra and Zach Davies – but as fourth/fifth starters on a decent team (not a title team). I feel this is it for Jimmy Nelson. Hopefully he feels the same way. He is really up and down, pitching well lately.

Matt Garza when healthy – like Braun, not healthy enough – has changed his way of pitching (adjusting from power to change of pace and control). I admire him for being able to do it and hope it lasts. Most importantly if he can’t be traded, he’s gone after this year.

Then there is Chase Anderson, who is going for Teddy Higuera’s team consecutive shutout record. He started strong, slumped badly and now he’s like “Who is this guy?” Man has been fantastic lately.

MY THOUGHTS — Sorry people. But there is no way I can see this rotation line up in a playoff series and be successful.

BULLPEN — Oh my goodness, I feel bad for Craig Counsell. Corey Knebel is the only one of eight relievers I have any confidence in. Jacob Barnes is the next best hurler, but there is a gap between him and Knebel.

Now the tough question. Please raise your hand if you feel brimming with confidence when Oliver Drake, Jared Hughes, Wily Peralta, Neftali Perez, Rob Scahill or Carlos Torres enters the game – no matter what the score.

I’m sure not too many hands went up.

MY THOUGHTS — No matter what the house line is about some of their righthanders can get lefties out – they have trouble getting right-handed hitters out. Somewhere they need a lefthander.

You can get one like Brad Hand of San Diego, who is rumored to be on the market, although the Padres would sooner trade closer Brandon Maurer, but Hand would cost an arm and a leg. Lefthanders are hard to find and expensive.

Or you can look to within. If you are limiting Josh Hader’s innings now to 2 innings an outing at Colorado Springs to save his arm, let him do that in the big leagues and keep an eye on him.

I remember when I worked with the Brewers. Dan Plesac was coming off a 12-5, 4.97 ERA season at Double A El Paso. Manager George saw him in his first spring training and was impressed by his stuff. Bambi said let’s use him in the bullpen and keep an eye on him instead of sending him out and Plesac never went back to the minors again.

I see a possibility of doing this with Hader.

BOTTOM LINE — I have said ‘enjoy the moment’ because I don’t feel the Brewers are going to make the playoffs. I have hardly missed a game. I do get upset because I care. When they mess up big time like walking the opposing pitcher on 4 pitches – or to strike out on a pitch a foot outside the strike zone – I go nuts on Twitter.

I hope Stearns sticks to his guns and doesn’t trade a good prospect if the Brewers are close. If he trades the farm to improve this team I would be disappointed.

The Brewers are ahead of schedule, which means the plan is working. Stick to it.






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