By Drew Olson Special to Published Oct 06, 2007 at 5:35 AM

Welcome to the Saturday Scorecard. It's so nice outside that we're heading to Strickland Propane for a fresh tank to fuel some Indian Summer barbecuing.

First, the notes...

Buck shots: The Bucks held their annual media day Friday in St. Francis and the mood was optimistic. That's hardly unusual, given that no team has ever lost a game on media day; but in honor of rookie forward Yi Jianlian, who wears No. 9, we came up with nine reasons to be excited about the Bucks during their 40th anniversary season. Here they are, in random order:

1. The rising tide lifts all boats theory. The exciting surrounding the Brewers' unsuccessful chase for a post-season berth, coupled with the unbeaten starts of the Badgers and Packers, has sparked interest in sports throughout the state. The Bucks should benefit from that.

2. Youth. Other than Samaki Walker, a journeyman center fighting for a backup job, the Bucks don't have a player on their roster over the age of 30. (That will change Thursday, when Desmond Mason hits the big 3-0). "We've got a young team," Mason said. "The guys are calling me ‘Gramps.'" Andrew Bogut, who is rested after taking a summer off from international play, would be a rookie if he had stayed in college for four years.

3. Health.  The Bucks' roster was absolutely ravaged by injuries last year. Bobby Simmons and Charlie Villanueva were hit particularly hard, but you figure that things have to even out in that department.

4. Energee! Our sources tell us the dance troupe had another strong draft this season. The outfit has shown steady improvement in the past few years.

5. Michael Redd. An NBA team can only be as good as its best player. Redd, who was a standout in the FIBA Americas tournament, is brimming with confidence and seems poised to take his place among the league's megastars.

6. Coach K.  Larry Krystkowiak was a hard-nosed, lunch bucket type of player and it certainly seems as though he wants to field a team of players with a similar attitude. Krystkowiak talks a lot about defense and team play. His decision to institute the triangle offense should help the ball move on offense and that could lead to more intensity on the other end.

7. The Yi factor. The addition of Yi will bring the Bucks a lot of international attention. General manager Larry Harris pointed out that on an average night in the U.S., there are 10 million fans watching NBA games. In China, the number is 237 million. The extra attention on Yi could be a distraction, but it also could motivate other players to shine under the spotlight.

8. Mo Show. If the games at the Bradley Center get boring, there is always the "Mo Williams Show," a hilarious scoreboard bit that has been renewed for another year.

9. Few beasts in the East. The Eastern Conference does not look very imposing. Detroit is getting old. Boston has a lot of old stars that could break down. Chicago looks good, but is unproven. Much like the baseball team at Miller Park, the Bucks seem poised to be competitive this year and for the next few years.

Not the same game: We enjoyed watching the American League Division Series Friday night, but definitely miss the managerial maneuvering that takes place without the designated hitter.

Bzzzzz: Did you see all the bugs swarming the players at Jacobs Field? If that continues, the Tribe may have to make a return visit to Miller Park.

Man in blue: Milwaukee native Bruce Froemming is working the Indians-Yankees series. Froemming, who turned 68 last week, is retiring after 50 years as an umpire, including 37 in the major leagues.

"It's been great," Froemming said before a game last weekend at Miller Park. "How many people can say they did a job all their life that they wanted to do? I didn't want to be a racecar driver or anything else. I wanted to be an umpire."

Although he will spend a lot of time golfing, hunting and fishing, Froemming will continue to work with Major League Baseball as an advisor to young umpires in both the major and minor leagues.

"I've always liked working with the young guys," said Froemming.

Bad omen: The Yankees are in a 0-2 hole heading into Game 3 of their series with the Indians. Making matters worse, longtime Yankee Stadium public address announcer Bob Sheppard, who has been the voice of the park since 1951, will miss the games with a bronchial infection. Sheppard is in his 90s. Some day, he'll be gone and the park won't be the same.

Against the odds: The Badgers, ranked fifth in the country, travel to play unranked Illinois and they are the underdog. Do you think coach Bret Bielema and his staff used that tidbit to motivate the troops this week? What the oddsmakers don't realize is that while the Badgers have played down to the level of the competition this season, they also have shown an uncanny knack for making big plays in critical situations.

MVP? Packers quarterback Brett Favre, who will no doubt get a little bit of coverage from the NBC crew Sunday night, is garnering attention as a potential MVP candidate along with Dallas quarterback / Burlington native Tony Romo.

Favre deserves to be in the discussion, but you can make an argument that Charles Woodson and Al Harris are as valuable to Green Bay's defense as Favre is to the offense.

With Will Blackmon sidelined by a broken foot, the Packers are thin in the defensive backfield.

Name game: One our favorite sports notes this week was the item that surfaced will reporters fished for items in public records surrounding financing for the new Yankee Stadium. It turns out that a hotel rooming list became public. The highlight? Derek Jeter checked in under the name "Johnny Drama" from the great HBO show "Entourage."

Tuning up: The Wave is getting ready for its season with games against Orlando (11 a.m.) and Chicago (5 p.m.) today in what is being called the Preseason Classic at the U.S. Cellular Arena.


Drew Olson Special to

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 Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.