MORE GAIN, MORE PAIN
Frank: The CBS doubleheader game here in New York was Ravens-Steelers, and I was doing family stuff anyway. So I know absolutely nothing about what transpired at Lambeau Field.
Artie: A 31-13 final, a big first quarter, Cleveland never really a threat.
F: And now for the bigger issue. Did any more Packers get...
A: Jermichael Finley, carted off the field on a stretcher with his head immobilized.
F: Oh, man.
A: With about 10 minutes left he made a catch over the middle and a safety nailed him in the head.
F: And was there a flag?
A: Yup, so it wasn’t just my imagination that it was a cheap shot.
F: Could Finley move his arms and legs?
A: You could see him move his right hand as he was wheeled out. Later the team said he had a “neck injury” and “feeling in his extremities.” But hell, so do I, so what does that mean exactly? I guess we’ll know more as the week goes on, but this is not a good thing.
F: Obviously for the possible threat to Finley’s quality of life, but also coming on top of the previous week’s major injury to Randall Cobb...
A: And James Jones didn’t play either because of his leg problem. And Clay Matthews is still out for a while, and Nick Perry, and...
F: It never fails with this team. Even in a relatively easy game they lose another major guy.
A: A guy who’d become even more major with Cobb and Jones out. And who responded by bulling through three or four tacklers to score an amazing touchdown in the first quarter.
F: Well, there was some good news out of the day. The Bears and Lions both lost, so the Packers are back in the NFC North lead at 4-2.
A: And they played a nice, solid game. Aaron Rodgers was his usual self and the youngster Jarrett Boykin stepped up with eight catches for 103 yards and a TD. And the defense played very well.
F: The Packers can do a lot to nail down the division in the next two games, at Minnesota and hosting the Bears.
A: Even if they have to do it without enough guys to fill out a roster.
TIED UP IN ‘NOTS’
F: Each of us has a clear rooting interest in the World Series, even though it’s based on spite. I’m for the team that’s not the Red Sox and you’re for the team that’s not the Cardinals.
A: I always had a soft spot for the Red Sox, going all the way back to the Ted Williams days, because they could never, ever win. I remember the ’67 Series against the Cardinals and how bummed I was. But since the hex was broken and they won a couple of times I’ve gotten tired of ’em. So I lean toward Boston but the whole thing is very unexciting for me.
F: I’m not sure how much I’ll watch for two reasons. One, the games will take all night, with longer commercial breaks adding to the usual excruciating pace of the post-season. And two, if the Red Sox are leading I won’t want to watch.
A: For me it’s like a presidential election where the candidates are Dick Nixon and George W. Bush. If there was a God, the Series would have been Oakland-Pittsburgh. But this is...
F: Not a sign of intelligent design?
A: The Devil’s handiwork!
NO PRINCELY STATS
F: One reason Boston is in the Series is that Milwaukee’s old pal Prince Fielder was a bust for Detroit in the ALCS.
A: The fat guy has been pretty much a bust in every post-season he’s been in.
F: According to baseball-reference.com, Fielder hasn’t had a home run or RBI in his last 18 post-season games. He went 1 for 14 in his first playoff series with the Brewers in ’08 and again in last year’s World Series against the Giants. Overall in 39 post-season games he’s hitting .194 with five homers and 11 RBIs.
A: He’s sure unpopular in the Motor City right now. I was reading a column out of Detroit and boy, the reader comments were something! Same kind of stuff we had here—“If there’s a guy on base, here comes a grounder to second,” and lots of ripping of his defense.
F: And right now the Detroit fans can look forward to seven more years of Prince.
A: At about $24 million a year.
F: This year we know he had some personal turmoil because he’s been going through a divorce.
A: But that only goes so far. What about all the other post-season flops? Hell, Izzy Alcántara could probably do what he’s done in October. Or Yuni Betancourt. And for a lot less money, you betcha.
Frank Clines covered sports for The Milwaukee Journal and the Journal Sentinel. Art Kumbalek has no post-season homers. You can also see their observations at expressmilwaukee.com.