A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Friday, September 01, 2006

Flame Outs!

Ye gods, the USA basketball team lost to Greece in the semi-finals of the FIBA World Championships. So much for Coach K inspiring better team play and more consistent effort from our boys. So much for putting together a team that shoots well, rather than just being able to drive to the hoop, to adjust for the format of international basketball competitions. Team USA shot a pedestrian 32 percent from the 3-point line and a pathetic 59% from the foul line.

Oh, and defense. Coach K was going to get the team to actually play some perimeter defense this time around. Greece shot 63% from the field. Now, part of that is just great shooting, but part of that-- likely a good-sized part-- is poor perimeter defense. It's a lot harder to drill long-range shots with a hand in your face than if you have time to set yourself and have a clear look at the basket. So, we pretty much blew that part of the equation, too.

Very sad.

But not as sad as my Milwaukee Brewers. The Brew Crew is currently mired in a 7 game losing streak, firmly and completely ending any shot at the post-season and probably ensuring that they won't even do as well as last year's 81-81 record. Not coincidentally, the 7 losses have all come on the road. Milwaukee has proven themselves to be one of the worst road teams in the majors this league, with only the woeful Pirates, Royals and Devil Rays sporting a worse road winning perecentage this year.

I have hope that much of the current struggle is do to the complete ineptitude of the offense, which is in large measure do to the loss of not 1, not 2, but 3 starters on the infield plus the loss of slugger Carlos Lee via trade. Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy and Corey Koskie should all be back next year, and Corey Hart and Tony Gwynn, Jr. look like they may be adequate replacements for Lee and slumping right fielder Geoff "I'm not Brett Favre" Jenkins.

Certainly the pitching, particularly the starting pitching, has been very good recently-- showing that if the starting five of Capuano, Sheets, Davis, Bush and Okha can actually all stay healthy for most of a season, the Brewers really will have a rotation that matches up with anybody. And the bullpen has looked much better of late, too.

Oh dear. I've been reduced to this. Sigh. Oh well, here it is then:



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