Brewers deserve to be where they are today

I definitely hand it to the Milwaukee Brewers.
They swept my beloved St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, clinched a postseason berth and are now poised to win the one- game, wild-card game against who knows.
Congrats Brewers. You deserve it.
However, hold on folks. The Brewers want more champagne parties.
It's been a rainbow season. The entire Brewers organization, including general manager David Stearns and manager Craig Counsell, have been instrumental in turning the franchise into a "WOW SEASON."
As players, coaches and front office personnel have echoed, there is still work to be done.
Jeremy Jeffress, one of the bullpen stars the entire season, said this: "We're not stopping. The season's not over yet. We're going to go home and play like we're going to win the division."
Lose and done is not in the Brewers vocabulary. They have greater things in mind. No wild-card playoff. They are hungry for the NL Central pennant, although a lot of dominoes must fall in their favor.
The league-leading Cubs are one-half game ahead of the Brewers for first place. But who knows, with more great play, the Brew Crew could be NL Central champions by Sunday night.
Here is the Cubs and Brewers status going into tonight's game.

CUBS (92-66, .582)
* Status: Clinched postseason berth. Lead MIL by a half-game in NL Central; lead ATL by 3 games for No. 1 seed in NL.
* Magic numbers: 4 (to clinch NL Central).
* Key tiebreaker: In the event of a tiebreaker game for the division title, the Cubs would have home-field advantage over the Brewers, by virtue of their 11-8 record vs. Milwaukee in the season series. In the event of a tie for the best record in the NL, the higher seed would be determined by intradivision record, since the Cubs and Braves each won three games apiece in the season series. Atlanta (48-24) would be awarded the higher seed over Chicago (38-34).
* Today's schedule: vs. PIT (7:05 p.m. CT).
* Key series remaining: Friday-Sunday vs. STL.

BREWERS (92-67, .579)
* Status: Clinched postseason berth. Trail Cubs by a half-game in NL Central.
* Elimination number: 4 (for NL Central).
* Key tiebreaker: If the Brewers finish the regular season tied with the Cubs for first place in the NL Central, the Cubs would host a tiebreaker game at Wrigley Field on Monday to determine the division champion, by virtue of Chicago's 11-8 season series record against Milwaukee.

The Brewers play host to the Detroit Tigers in a final three-game series beginning Friday.
An interesting weekend? That's putting it mildly.

Does HE really walk on water?

Will he or will he not play on Sunday? That is the question.
Well, not really. Green Bay's God is a good bet to start against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.
At least that's how Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer referred to Packers MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who injured his left knee and was carted off the field late in the second quarter of last Sunday's opener against the Chicago Bears. Rodgers returned in the second half to rally the Packers from a 20-0 deficit for a 24-23 victory.
In a conference call with Wisconsin media earlier this week, Zimmer said this about Rodgers: “He walks on water, so I’m sure he’s going to play.”
Question: Was that a compliment or a wise crack?
Rodgers is working with the rehab unit this week, even admitting that his injury progress is a day to day thing. However, with or without Rodgers, the Packers face a stiff challenge and could be 1-1 after Sunday's matchup with the Vikes.
Why? Because the Vikings are far superior on defense. Rodgers is far better than the Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, but he certainly won't be 100 percent healthy if he does play. The Packers also have superiority against the Vikings weak offensive line, but it ends there. The Vikings defense reigns supreme.
The Packers also revealed on Wednesday that No. 1 receiver Davante Adams sat out practice with a shoulder injury. Adams says he hurt the shoulder on his touchdown catch. He described it as a minor injury and feels good about being ready for Sunday
A lot has to happen from now to then with Rodgers, Adams and the rest of the Packers squad.

Will Brewers live up to 'Boober's' baseball wisdom?

Coach William" Boober" Parizek, God rest his soul, had two trademark sayings when I played for the La Crosse American Legion baseball team in 1964, the year I graduated from high school, and the year our team finished runner-up in the State Legion Tournament.
I might add that Boober was not only a legend in La Crosse during his baseball and 12-inch fast-pitch softball playing days, he was one helluva American Legion coach. He was also the best baseball historian in La Crosse, no questions asked. If I ever had a question, Boober would get me the answer.
The first advice Boober always told the players on our Legion team was that when a batter walks, "He scores seven out of 10 times."
Boober's other saying was, "In the Major Leagues, win series and you win pennants."
I followed those two pieces of wisdom throughout my playing days and also my watching days. Interestingly, they really do occur more often than not.
The Milwaukee Brewers, my second favorite team after the St. Louis Cardinals, have won six straight series and lead the National League Central. They go for their seventh straight series victory on Sunday when they meet the Chicago White Sox in the final of a three-game set in "Chi-Town."
Boober was my friend and best baseball coach ever. If he were here today, I would nudge him in the side and gently remind him the Brewers had eight walks off White Sox' pitchers on Friday, with not one of them scoring in an 8-3 loss. Sorry, Boober!
However, if the Brewers can continue to win series, they will remain on top of the Central Division at the end of the season. Their only stumbling block is the Chicago Cubs.
I admit the Brewers have overcome the Cardinals' jinx so far this year, having won two of three series. They host the Cards in a four-game series later this month. Then they travel to St. Louis for a three-game set in August and another three games in late September. Time will tell if their series winning streak will continue.
The Brew Crew also has 11 more games against the Cubs.
In honor of Boober's memory, I hope and pray he will be right... again.
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Brewers' playoff hopes begin with Cubs

Let's get serious for a few minutes.
The Milwaukee Brewers are in a precarious position entering their remaining schedule.
Let's be real. The Brewers aren't going to win their division. The Cubs are way too good.
Second, the Brewers only chance is to get a wild-card playoff spot and that's not a given either, although they are on top of the wild-card standings this morning.
Give credit to general manager David Stearns. He appears to have pushed all the right buttons to put the Brewers in a playoff push. But, is it enough?
The Brewers face a critical three-game homestand against the Cubs beginning today. They must win at least two games, not one, but at least two!
Then it's the Giants at home for another three games before the Brewers go to Chi-town for three games against the Cubbies. Then it's a return to Miller Park for a three-game stand again the Pirates and another three against the Reds. The Brewers then take to the road to Pittsburgh for three games and three more at St. Louis before closing out the season with three games at home against the Tigers.
By no imagination, is it an easy task.
I've said all year the Brewers "play up" to their competition, but also "play down" to their competition. With 12 of its 24 remaining games against opponents with poor records, it's time for Milwaukee to show it truly belongs in the postseason. The Brewers must continue to win series against the best teams, but also add at least one three-game sweep against the sub-par teams.
What do you think?

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National walleye championship heads upriver to God's Country

So, we're getting some new visitors to La Crosse next week.
In case you haven't heard, the Cabela’s National Team Championship is moving from the Quad Cities area to Pools 7, 8 and 9 of the Mississippi River right here in God's Country, La Crosse.
The event is scheduled May 17-19. That's great news as far as the expected local economic impact of about a half million bucks. It's good for anglers, their followers and local fishing fans alike. La Crosse is a great place to work, live and play.
A press release from The Walleye Federation earlier today said the event was moved to La Crosse because of flooding and damage from a barge to Lock and Dam 11 near Dubuque, IA.
“For more than a year, river anglers from across North America have been planning to visit the Quad Cities area for the NTC’s first trip to the Mississippi River, but Mother Nature had other ideas, and due to forecast flooding we are forced to move the event to a different site along the river,” said Robert Cartlidge, president and CEO of The Walleye Federation, which organizes the event.
“We exhausted all safe possibilities to keep the event in the Quad Cities as announced,” Cartlidge added. “Unfortunately, water conditions there just would not support that goal. I want to thank the Quad Cities for all of their support on this decision to move.  They have been great to work with throughout the planning and relocation process, and we will try to go back there for an event someday.”
Cartlidge also acknowledged the support of Cabela’s NTC anglers, many of whom had spent months planning their Quad Cities visit. “We thank everyone who has been patient throughout this transition and the flooding issues,” he said. “Last-minute changes are something that no one likes, least of all us, but the relocated NTC has quickly taken shape into a fine championship event, thanks to the hard work of our staff. I am very proud of them to put all this together almost overnight.”
As a result of the move, Explore La Crosse is now hosting the  national championship.
The Cabela’s NTC draws hundreds of two-person teams from the U.S. and Canada, who qualified for the event through local TWF-sanctioned competitions.
This year’s NTC field features 200 teams competing for a minimum of $250,000 in cash and prizes, plus 50 custom Cabela’s All-American rings, trophies, travel stipends, plaques and more. First prize is $25,000 in cash plus a brand-new Mercury-powered Ranger boat. A second Ranger-Mercury combo will be awarded through the Ranger Cup contingency, meaning the victors could take home more than $165,000 in cash and prizes.
The entire field competes the first two days. Each team is allowed to bring their best five fish to the scale each day. Only the top 25 teams advance to the final round on Saturday.
Take-offs and weigh-ins are at Veterans Freedom Park located on the west side of Clinton Street on French Island.
Take-offs begin at 7 a.m., with weigh-ins at 3:30 p.m., each day.
The weigh-ins are being streamed live online at The action will also be filmed for national television airing on NBC Sports’ “Americana Outdoors” and the Pursuit Channel. Dates and airtimes will be announced at
Dale Radcliffe, director of the TWF-sanctioned circuit Mighty Miss Walleye Series, assures anglers the move will not affect their ability to enjoy world-class fishing.
“This section of the Mississippi has an excellent walleye fishery ranging from Lake Onalaska on Pool 7 to the vast channels and winding backwaters of Pools 8 and 9,” he said. “The river has several strong year-classes of walleyes and sauger, with many fish in the 20-inch-plus class and some occasional bruisers over 10 pounds. Typical May weights are in excess of 20 pounds for a four-fish limit on our circuit.”
Water levels in La Crosse are receding quickly, but additional rain predicted this weekend could slow the daily declines.
“Things are slightly delayed about two weeks in the walleye world here right now.” Radcliffe said. “The spawn wrapped up in the last week, so many female walleyes will be just coming out of a recovery period and be ready to put the feedbag on. The event dates should be perfectly timed to this part of the year where an expected 4- to 5-pound average will be the norm to cash a check.”
Sponsors include Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Ranger Boats, Pepsi, Geico. Mercury, Explore La Crosse and TWF. For details, visit, or contact Jeremiah Burish at Explore La Crosse at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 608-782-2250.