Your brackets are trashed and you don’t even have a local team to root for. Your numbers didn’t come up in Mega Millions and the weather still sucks. Yup, times are tough all around but hey, Opening Day at Miller Park is a little more than a week away.
And thus, we segue into this week’s notes...
Maryvale M*A*S*H: The Brewers roster Thursday when they open the season at Cincinnati will look different than most imagined when camp opened in February.
The most notable absence, of course, will be on the pitcher’s mound, where Zack Greinke was expected to make his Brewers debut. Thanks to a fractured rib suffered prior to camp in a pickup basketball game, Greinke will open the season on the disabled list. So will relievers LaTroy Hawkins and Manny Parra. Shaun Marcum created a bigger scare when he left a Cactus League start with shoulder stiffness.
Each of the nine presumed starting position players has missed time during camp with an injury or ailment at one point or another. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and right-fielder Corey Hart will probably miss the season opener Thursday in Cincinnati because of their injuries. But more than any other player, Greinke’s injury has Brewers Nation -- a group not exactly known for patience -- chewing its collective fingernails.
Heading into camp, expectations and excitement were high surrounding the Brewers. Few would have expected general manager Doug Melvin to be looking for pitching help five days before the season begins. That's the way it goes, though, in baseball -- stuff happens and you have to deal with it.
Fortunately, the Brewers won't be short-handed very long. Greinke, who played catch last week, won't be ready for the opener and will likely miss his first few starts. Lucroy should be ready to start swinging soon and Hart shouldn't be far behind.
Greinke, speaking to MLB.com Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy, may have summed up the situation the best:
"The team is definitely still really good," Greinke said. "Every team deals with injuries. It's one thing if you're missing half your team, but we're only missing one starter and one or two position players, and all three injuries are short-term. It's not anything ridiculous.
"If your team can't get over that, then it's your own fault. So, we should be fine."
Gomez is still "the man" ... again: Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke sat down with center fielder Carlos Gomez Sunday to tell him he was still the starter despite the team's acquisition of Nyjer Morgan from Washington.
Surely, Gomez realizes this is his last chance with Milwaukee. He played himself out of the lineup a year ago but came to camp ready to work. He's shown improvement (.339 AVG, .351 OBP, 11 SB) but should he fail, Morgan will provide adequate backup.
Buzz, MU working on deal: Not long after Marquette’s 81-63 loss to North Carolina, work began on restructuring head coach Buzz Williams’ contract. Considered the front-runner to fill the opening at Oklahoma, it appears that Williams, 69-37 in three years at Marquette, will be staying put. Jeff Goodman of FOXSports.com reported Sunday that Williams is close to signing a new contract that will pay him more than $2 million per year. According to Goodman’s report, an announcement could come before the Final Four gets underway next weekend.
Extending Williams’ contract is the right move for Marquette. He's done a good job keeping the program competitive in the Big East Conference. He's a gifted recruiter and the run to the Sweet 16 -- and the interest from other schools -- shows that Williams has the program on the right track.
Damning indictment: In the Bucks’ hard-fought loss to the Bulls Saturday night, head coach Scott Skiles went just eight deep. His starting five of Andrew Bogut, Brandon Jennings, Carlos Delfino, John Salmons and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute played the bulk of the minutes with Larry Sanders, Keyon Dooling and Jon Brockman combining for just under 28 minutes of action (and scoring just seven points).
Michael Redd and Drew Gooden were both active, but did not play. Nor did Corey Maggette, who has seen just two minutes of action in the last five games.
If the Bucks (29-43) are going to make a playoff push, it’s going to be with the starting five. Either Skiles has no confidence in his bench or doesn’t have the players he wants. Either way, it’s not a good situation for a team that has been very disappointing this season.
Larry King Lounge: Congratulations to the Milwaukee Wave, which won the MISL Championship Friday with an 11-8 victory over Baltimore … What was more surprising: that Johnny Jolly got arrested again, or that it took this long? … Scorecard appreciates Gus Johnson's excitement and energy, but prefers Verne Lundquist ... The way Bulls fans took over the Bradley Center Saturday night was absolutely embarrassing ... The Brewers will unveil their new scoreboard Monday afternoon ... The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Brewers’ Class A affiliate, are giving away one of the coolest bobbleheads of the season on opening day. The T-Rats’ giveaway features prospect Scooter Gennett taking a swing at a snowman. Get your tickets now. ... Milwaukee, please welcome Tony Plush.