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Roenicke ready, excited for his new role

Tuesday, Apr, 1 2014

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Radio NetworkWhen the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers announce their opening day roster every year, the names that usually get highlighted are the high draft picks.  Clint Coulter (1st round 2012), Barrett Astin (3rd round 2013), & Taylor Williams (4th round 2013) standout in that category for 2014. 

However, this year was a little different.  The biggest name to jump out at everyone was Lance Roenicke, son of Milwaukee Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke.  And it wasn’t Lance’s name that created the buzz, it was his title of Player/Coach. 

Roenicke was picked by the Brewers in the 25th round of the 2012 MLB draft after wrapping up his College career at UC Santa Barbara.  In two seasons in the minors (Rookie Ball, Low A & High A), he hit .243 with 7 homers and 41-RBI.  If the writing on the wall is true, his playing days may be over as the next phase of his career begins.

Today I had a chance to sit down with Lance and ask him about the new role.  We talked about how it came about, how things will be with his teammates, and how his dad has influenced him.  You can listen to that whole conversation HERE.

As for Wisconsin Manager Matt Erickson, he wasn’t sure how it came about but said “We’re happy to have (Lance).  He played for parts of the last two years.  That decision just happened the last week of spring training.  So he’s our first base coach working with our base runners.”  Erickson also pointed to Lance working with the outfielders.

The Timber Rattlers open the 2014 season Thursday, April 3rd at Fox Cities Stadium against the Peoria Chiefs.

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Radio Network

posted by: The Home Stretch with Justin Hull 4 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


2014 Brewers: Official Prediction

Monday, Mar, 31 2014

2014 promises to be an interesting year for the Milwaukee Brewers.  There are so many different ways to forecast the season which makes putting your finger on things that much more difficult.  Since its opening day, I will give it a whirl.

Prediction: 79-83

I get that I will take (and already have taken) a lot of heat for this but I am not sold.  They “potentially” updated the pitching staff with the Matt Garza signing while Ryan Braun’s return to the line-up after last year’s suspension give the line-up the MVP bat that it needs.  But potential and questions face just about everyone up and down the line-up, starting rotation, & bullpen.  If everything goes well, they could win 88-games and compete for a Wild Card or even the Division.  If nothing goes as plan, like the last couple years, they could be around 70.  I say each of these questions are worth 2-games (no exact science)...

1.) Which Yovani Gallardo shows up?  The team has gone as he has the last few years.
2.) How will Ryan Braun return from suspension?  A great spring speaks to him getting back to normal but that’s spring.  First month will be key for him.
3.) How many starts will Matt Garza make?  The oft injured pitcher got a 4-year deal, despite making only 42-starts the last 2-years.
4.) Jim Henderson?  Yes, he is a question.  What do you get from him.
5.) The rest of the bullpen.  Always a crap shoot.  The most unstable spot of all 30-teams in baseball.
6.) How good is Jean Segura?  All-Star first half followed by a pedestrian 2nd half.  Somewhere in the middle would be good.
7.) How good is Carlos Gomez?  The pre-2013 flashes proved not to be a group of flukes as Gomez was easily the team’s MVP.  Does the beat go on?
8.) Wily Peralta & Marco Estrada?  What will they get from their 4 & 5 starters?
9.) Who’s on first?  Literally, who takes the job.

Enjoy the 2014 season!  I hope the questions are answered!

posted by: The Home Stretch with Justin Hull 4 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Scuba's NASCAR Pick 3: Week 5 Results

Tuesday, Mar, 25 2014

Our NASCAR Pick 3 is off and rolling for 2014!  Scuba’s Bar and Grill in Appleton is on board this season challenging you to beat the experts!

Every Thursday (or Friday), on the Home Stretch, Alex Hayden of MRN Radio & Ben Brust of the Badgers join Justin Hull to talk NASCAR.  At the end the conversation, one listener will be chosen to call in and pick 3 drivers for the Sprint Cup Race that weekend.  After that, our expert panel of Alex, Ben, Justin and Justin’s Dad will pick their 3 for the race.

It’s golf style scoring so the lower the scorer, the better.  You get points for whatever position each of your drivers finish.  If you pick the winning driver, we subtract 5-points from your total.  If the listener beats 3 of 4 or sweeps the panel, it’s a $25 Gift Card to Scuba’s.  If you beat just one, it’s a $10 Gift Card to Scuba’s.

Here are the week 5 results:

1st place: Listener Bill
Matt Kenseth: 4
Tony Stewart: 5
Jimmie Johnson: 24
Total: 33

2nd place: Dad
Dale Jr: 12
Jeff Gordon: 13
Kevin Harvick: 36
Total: 61

3rd place: Alex
Dale Jr: 12
Jimmie Johnson: 24
Joey Lagano: 39
Total: 75

4th place: Justin
DaleJr: 12
Kasey Kahne 41
Ricky Stenhouse Jr: 34
Total: 87

5th place: Ben
Joey Lagano: 39
Jimmie Johnson: 24
Kevin Harvick: 36
Total: 99

Yearly Rankings (total points):
1st – Listeners: 175
2nd – Alex: 194
3rd – Justin: 222
4th - Justin’s Dad: 251
5th – Brust: 283

Race Winner Picks:
Alex Hayden - 2 (Races 2, 3)
Justin’s Dad – 1 (Race 1)
Justin  - 1 (Race 4)
Ben, Listeners – 0

Weekly Winner honors:
Listeners - 2 (Week 4 & 5)
Dad - 1 (Week 1)
Alex - 1 (Week 2)
Justin - 1 (Week 3)
Ben - 0

posted by: The Home Stretch with Justin Hull 4 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Scuba's NASCAR Pick 3: Week 4 Results

Monday, Mar, 17 2014

Our NASCAR Pick 3 is off and rolling for 2014!  Scuba’s Bar and Grill in Appleton is on board this season challenging you to beat the experts!

Every Thursday (or Friday), on the Home Stretch, Alex Hayden of MRN Radio & Ben Brust of the Badgers join Justin Hull to talk NASCAR.  At the end the conversation, one listener will be chosen to call in and pick 3 drivers for the Sprint Cup Race that weekend.  After that, our expert panel of Alex, Ben, Justin and Justin’s Dad will pick their 3 for the race.

It’s golf style scoring so the lower the scorer, the better.  You get points for whatever position each of your drivers finish.  If you pick the winning driver, we subtract 5-points from your total.  If the listener beats 3 of 4 or sweeps the panel, it’s a $25 Gift Card to Scuba’s.  If you beat just one, it’s a $10 Gift Card to Scuba’s.

Here are the week 4 results:

1st place: Listener Tom
Kyle Busch: 29
Jeff Gordon: 7
Matt Kenseth: 13
Total: 49

tie 2nd place: Alex
Kyle Busch: 29
Jimmie Johnson: 19
Marcus Ambrose: 5
Total: 53

tie-2nd place: Brust
Keslowski: 14
Dale Jr.: 24
Clint Bowyer: 15
Total: 53

4th place: Justin
Kurt Busch: 35
Kyle Busch: 29
Carl Edwards: -5 (winner)
Total: 59

5th place: Dad
Paul Menard: 21
Matt Kenseth: 13
Kevin Harvick: 39
Total: 73

Yearly Rankings (total points):
1st – Alex: 119
2nd – Justin: 135
3rd – Listeners: 142
4th – Brust: 184 
5th - Justin’s Dad: 190

Race Winner Picks:
Alex Hayden - 2 (Races 2, 3)
Justin’s Dad – 1 (Race 1)
Justin  - 1 (Race 4)
Ben, Listeners – 0

Weekly Winner honors:
Dad - 1 (Week 1)
Alex - 1 (Week 2)
Justin - 1 (Week 3)
Listeners - 1 (Week 4)
Ben - 0

posted by: The Home Stretch with Justin Hull 5 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Armchair Ted Thompson

Tuesday, Mar, 11 2014

I like to refer to it as "Madden Syndrome," and this is the time of the year when it consumes most of us.  As NFL free agency opens later today, fans have spent the last couple months compiling their lists of what their teams NEED to do this offseason.

In Green Bay, it HAS to be worse than any other city (probably not, but I like to think so) because Ted Thompson virtually treats free agency like the plague.  Could this year be different?  Maybe?  The sense of urgency seems to be at a recent high by fans as the team has not recaptured the success they had in 2010 when people praised them and their future like the Seahawks are being praised now.

I thought it would be fun do this for the "Fantasy GMs" that are out there.  Monday on my show, I had people call in a make 3-moves for Green Bay; resigning players, trades, and (of course) free agents.  Here is what everyone came up with!

ME (of course I had to play):
1.) Resign Sam Sheilds (I grandfathered this move in becaue I came up with this idea last week, before he was resigned).
2.) Sign ILB Brandon Spikes - bolster a weak position
3.) Sign KR/PR Devin Hester - they want Randall Cobb off the field, he would do that

Rex in Little Chute (email)
1.) Sign a safety (I asked for specific players, didn't get a response)
2.) Resign John Kuhn
3.) Late Free Agency, sign Jared Allen

Cecil (phone)
1.) sign Donte Whitner
2.) Draft well (cop out, didn't want anymore)

Joe in Appleton (phone)
1.) sign Demarcus Ware
2.) sign Jared Allen
3.) sign Chris Clemons

Tony (phone)
1.) sign Lamar Houston (with resigning Pickett)
2.) resign Evan Dietrich-Smith
3.) resign Andrew Quarless

Richie (phone)
1.) resign B.J Raji and move him inside
2.) sign Linval Joesph
3.) sign Chris Clemons
3A.) resign Evan Dietrich-Smith

Scott in Appleton (phone with the assumption Raji resigns)
1.) sign Malcolm Jenkins
2.) resign Mike Neal
3.) sign Garrett Graham

Jim in Neenah (email)
1.) sign Malcom Jenkins or Mike Mitchell
2.) resign Evan Dietrich-Smith
3.) sign Jon Beason
also points to Sheilds move

Kullin in Kimberly (phone)
1.) resign Sam Shields (allowed)
2.) sign T.J Ward
3.) deal for Jimmy Graham

Dennis in Appleton (email)
1.) resign B.J Raji
2.) sign Devin Hester
3.) sign Jared Allen

Chris in Appleton (email)
1.) sign Tyson Jackson
2.) sign Malcom Jenkins
3.) sign Devin Hester

Mark (phone)
1.) resign Sam Sheilds
2.) resign Raji to the one year deal
3.) sign Arthur Jones and Antoine Bethea
So who did well?  We will look back as the season goes on and see who the best "Armchair Ted Thompson" was!

Follow Justin on twitter, like the Home Stretch on Facebook, or email Justin.

posted by: The Home Stretch with Justin Hull 5 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


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