Welcome to Saturday Scorecard, a perfect place to relax while you wait with breathless anticipation for the start of the 2007 ESPY awards telecast.
Trying times: In 2005, Brewers left-hander Chris Capuano posted victories in 18 games and his friend, Derrick Turnbow, recorded saves in 10 of them.
There are several time-honored ways for a major-league starting pitcher to acknowledge a reliever's efforts: the hearty high-five on the field; the appreciative fist bump in the post-game buffet line; and a few more extravagant measures, like a ride to the ballpark or airport and picking up the occasional lunch check.
Two years later, Capuano seems to have found a less conventional and definitely more controversial and stressful method of payback:
He has replaced Turnbow as the team's unofficial lightning rod and fan whipping boy.
This is not to say that the shaggy-haired right-hander is in the clear. Turnbow has pitched well of late, but the next time he coughs up a lead the fans will jeer him like the second coming of Randall Simon and try to run him out of town.
Right now, though, they are too busy booing Capuano.
The treatment is not entirely unjustified. Capuano, who was horrible after the all-star break last year, has been horrendous for the past several weeks, a trend that continued when he gave up five runs, six hits and three walks in three innings during a 10-6 loss to Colorado Friday night at Miller Park.
Over his last nine starts, all of which ended in Milwaukee losses, Capuano is 0-6 with a 7.74 earned run average. In 43 innings over that span, he has allowed a jaw-dropping 59 hits and 23 walks.
"It all comes down to making pitches," Capuano told reporters after the game. "When I'm executing pitches and locating the ball, the results are good. I'm getting ground balls, getting misses, getting outs. It's just that I've been running into some streaks, it seems like every game lately, where the location just isn't there. It's as simple as executing pitches. The more consistently you can do that, the more successful you are."
Brewers manager Ned Yost started Capuano in the post-break opener in part because he wanted to "sharpen up" the lefty by keeping him on his normal, five-day routine. Obviously, that plan didn't work.
While Yost did not indicate a loss of confidence or hint at an imminent change, he did say in his post-game press conference "It's not an endless rope," and "He's going to have to find a way to get himself out of it pretty quick."
For some fans, the time for double-secret probation has passed. Some want Capuano out of the rotation immediately. Others will be placated if they see Yovani Gallardo warm up alongside Capuano in the bullpen before a game against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
There are a couple reasons neither of those is going to happen.
For starters, Capuano has earned a bit of a leash. He was an all-star last season and the 18 victories he posted 2005 represent the highest single-season total by a Brewers pitcher in the last 20 years.
Although his nibbling at the corners of the plate can be frustrating to watch, Capuano has shown enough flashes of success this season to make reasonable people believe he can turn it around.
Isn't the guy getting bludgeoned over the past nine games is the same guy who went 5-0 with a 2.31 ERA in his first seven starts this season? How can anyone be certain that he doesn't have another streak like that in his future?
Capuano looked sharp in the first inning on Friday and was serviceable in the second and third. The fourth was a disaster. Where he once was very good at "damage control," it now appears he's lost the grip on whatever intangibles he used to strand runners on base.
Is that magic knack gone forever? It could be. But, the current sample size is too small for the Brewers to make that determination. The people who are screaming for Capuano (and will be gunning for Jeff Suppan if things don't go well on Sunday) are likely the same people who said that two years ago J.J. Hardy would never be able to turn on an inside fastball, or last year that Rickie Weeks would never be able to field a groundball and postulated in April that Bill Hall would not be able to make the adjustment to playing center field.
In other words, it's too early to panic. The Brewers don't need to worry about what the Cubs or anybody behind them in the Central Division is doing. They need to worry about getting players like Capuano, Suppan, Weeks and even Turnbow ready to contribute for the long haul.
Mo talk: It seems as though point guard Mo Williams is going to stay with the Bucks, once his agent can finalize terms of a deal worth five or six years and about $50 million. While that might seem like a lot of money, fans need to remember the deals signed by injury-plagued Bobby Simmons (5 years, $47 million) and largely unproductive Dan Gadzuric (6 years, $36 million).
The only hope here is that the Bucks, who seemed to have the upper hand in the negotiations based on the money they could offer Williams, weren't bidding against themselves.
The envelope, please: A belated congratulations to Admirals president Jon Greenberg, who won the James C. Hendy Award as the top executive in the American Hockey League.
Crushing news? There will be a press conference next week at U.S. Cellular Arena, presumably to announce a new indoor football league franchise for Milwaukee. It's probably a resurrection of the United Indoor Football League bid that was talked about during the spring. According to Web site, the team will be called the Milwaukee Bonecrushers.
Technologically challenged: Anybody who watched the broadcast of the US Senior Open last week from Whistling Straits had to be struck by the majestic natural beauty of the dunes, pot bunkers, rolling greens and sweeping vistas that made Lake Michigan look like an ocean.
"I don't remember it looking that great during the PGA Championship a few years ago," a friend said. I stifled a laugh while I reminded him that he didn't own a high-definition TV when that tournament aired in August 2004.
Schedule talk: The dates and times haven't been released, but Marquette knows its opponents for the 18-game Big East season. The Golden Eagles will play host to DePaul, Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Providence, Rutgers, Seton Hall and South Florida at the Bradley Center. Six of those nine visitors made post-season appearances last year and four were in the year-end Top 25.
On the road, Marquette will face Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Notre Dame, St. John's, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Villanova and West Virginia.
Image makeover? Burlington native Tony Romo brings something of an All-American image to his role as quarterback of America's team, the Dallas Cowboys.
That could change, though, with more news like this.
According to the Dallas Observer, Carrie Underwood's boyfriend recently jumped onstage at The Palladium Club in Dallas to sing Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" and Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It," with a parody band called Metal Skool.
The newspaper reported that with a crowd of 300 looking on, lead singer Michael Starr screamed "I'm glad this dude makes so much (expletive) money! Because damn, he can snort through a (expletive) of cocaine!"
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.