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They’re still sweeping the confetti from the Fiserv Forum floor, but the 21st Century pro sports calendar never waits. Key Dates:

2021

July 29: 2021 NBA draft

Aug. 2: Teams can begin negotiating with free agents (3 p.m. PDT)

Aug. 6: Teams can begin signing free agents (9:01 a.m. PDT)

Aug. 8-17: Las Vegas Summer League

Sept. 28: Training camps open

Oct. 19: 2021-22 season opens

2022

Feb. 20: All-Star game (Cleveland)

April 10: End of regular season

April 12-15: Play-in tournament

April 16: Playoffs begin

June 2: NBA Finals start

June 19: NBA Finals Game 7

Whispers of the NBA moving to a Christmas season kick-off annually were unfounded- the 2021 free agency period and draft will be the last late finishes for the NBA, but the 2021-22 season starts up pretty much like the pre-pandemic seasons.

Holiday and Middleton are in Tokyo (Team USA lost to France, with Holiday going 27 min and leading the team with 18 min.). This makes an off-season recovery program problematic for 2 of the 3 major Bucks investments (Middleton played just 7 min). I do not expect these guys to play any preseason action, and I do think they’ll be on minutes restrictions for much of the early season. This gives young players like Jordan Nwora, Donte DiVincenzo, Mamadi Diakite, and Elijah Bryant an opportunity to gain valuable game experience and prepare them for more meaningful action next playoff season. The Bucks desperately need to get these young players capable of playing important minutes because they simply cannot afford to bring Tucker or Teague back. And it’s going to take some massaging to bring Bryn Forbes or fan favorite Bobby Portis back (both have player options).

The Bucks should benefit from continuity if they ultimately are forced to “run it back” considering the roster turnover from a season ago. The only holdovers to see major minutes in the 6/7 man playoff rotation were Giannis, Middleton, Lopez, and Connaughton.

The tax threshold is $140M, and the Bucks have very little they can do to add FAs since they’re already at $143M (https://hoopshype.com/salaries/milwaukee_bucks/). They can offer some $$$ to their guys, but his much do you risk? The Bucks will return the top scoring offense in the NBA in 2021-22, but it still seems like they need better shooting. They were at or near the top in almost every meaningful offensive category in 2020-21, but the playoffs proved that they really need more. Can they get more out of the big 3? Theoretically yes, but with the Olympics, what impact will a shortened off-season have on these guys, who logged more than 40+ min/game most of the playoffs? Will the experience of this Championship prove to be a catalyst for a level-up from both Middleton and Holiday? It could.

Horst has a unique challenge with this roster- they were statistically superior and were able to sidestep a few obstacles to take it all. With no draft assets and limited trade pieces, it may be very difficult to improve this roster with any new blood. The improvements may need to come from within…

Welcome to another edition of Fedya’s “Movies to Tivo” thread, for the week of July 26-August 1, 2021. If you want a break from all the idiocy surrounding Packers personnel and the upcoming start of training camp, this is the place for you! We’ve got a series of interesting movies spanning a good half century and a bunch of genres. As always, all times are in Eastern, unless otherwise mentioned.



According to a search of the site, it’s been almost seven years since I recommended Heat Lightning. It’s going to be on again this week, at 6:00 AM Monday on TCM. Aline MacMahon plays Olga, who runs a service station/motor hotel/diner out in the Mojave between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. She’s there with her kid sister Myra (Ann Dvorak), trying to keep Myra safe from the big world that caused Olga so much heartache back in the day. And that heartache is about to come back in the form of an old boyfriend, George (Preston Foster). He’d like to have Olga back, and he’s brought with him a friend Jeff (Lyle Talbot) who finds about Myra, and boy is Jeff interested in Myra! Meanwhile, there’s a pair of women, Mrs. Tifton (Glenda Farrell) and Mrs. Ashton-Ashley (Ruth Donnelly) who just got their divorces over in Nevada and are on their way back to the big city with their chauffeur (Frank McHugh) and a bunch of jewelry. George and Jeff are crooks, which is part of why Olga left George, and when they find out about the jewelry, naturally they want it, leading to film’s surprising climax.



The listings sites suggest that the 1975 version of Rollerball is going to be on Flix at 2:30 PM Monday. (I apologize if it’s the 2002 version instead.) Hollywood predictably gets the future way wrong again, claiming that in 2018, corporations will be running the world and that they will have created a sport called Rollerball that more or less replaces organized religion. James Caan plays Jonathan, one of the more popular and better players on the team from Houston sponsored by the Energy Corporation. After a particularly successful match, one of the Energy bosses, Bartholomew (John Houseman) approaches Jonathan and says the company wants to do a PR piece on him. However, the PR piece is really supposed to be a retirement announcement as the company doesn’t want his services any longer. Jonathan isn’t quite ready to retire yet, so when he discovers what’s going on, he decides to resist. The powers that be come up with a plan to change the game into something even more violent than it already is, so that another team can beat Jonathan and his friends on the Houston team out of the league. No, the Packers don’t have the power to do this to Aaron Rodgers.



Last week I mentioned George Arliss in The Millionaire. This week I’ll mention him in The Man Who Played God, at 6:30 AM Tuesday on TCM. Arliss plays Montgomery Royle, a concert pianist who has a protege in Grace Blair (Bette Davis, only billed third) who thinks she loves him. He tells her wait six months, and if she still loves him, he’ll marry her. Meanwhile, at a command performance for a king, an anarchist tries to kill the king, but the bomb blast only results in Montgomery becoming completely deaf, which won’t do for a concert pianist. So Monty becomes a recluse until he learns to use his ability to read lips to watch the people in the park below his apartment through binoculars and use his wealth to solve their problems anonymously. However, one of those people who has problems is Grace. She’s fallen in love with a nice young man named Harold (Donald Cook) who would be right for her, but she’s afraid of letting Monty know this because she believes he’ll take it as a rejection due to his having gone deaf. It’s a vehicle for Arliss (he did a silent version of the movie a decade before this), but he saw Bette Davis’ talent and championed her, and the rest is history.



A search of the forum doesn’t bring up a mention of the movie Arizona Raiders before. You can see it this week at 10:04 AM Tuesday on StarzEncore Westerns. Audie Murphy plays Clint Stewart, a member of Quantrill’s Raiders in the Civil War. Union Capt. Andrews (Buster Crabbe) captures several of the Raiders, but spares Clint and his friend Willie Martin (Ben Cooper) from death, instead having them sentenced to 20 years’ hard labor instead. Andrews gets restationed to Arizona, and wouldn’t you know it, but those members of Quantrill’s Raiders (well, minus the Jameses and Youngers) who didn’t get captured have also fled to the Arizona territory to keep attacking the Army. The feds have no idea what to do, and Andrews comes up with an interesting proposal for Clint: join up with me and infiltrate the remaining raiders so that we can end their depredations, and will give you your freedom. If that’s not complicated enough, they also have to worry about Indian attacks.



If you want a John Wayne movie based on a true story, you could try Chisum, which will be on TCM at 4:00 AM Wednesday. Wayne plays John Chisum, who migrated west from Texas to the New Mexico territory where, in the 1870s, he owned almost the entirety of Lincoln County, raising cattle to sell for meat to the US government. He’s friends with a British immigrant rancher, Tunstall (Patric Knowles), and both note the arrival of Lawrence Murphy (Forrest Tucker). He buys up a bunch of the businesses and is clearly intending to get more power in the region, by violent means if necessary. Meanwhile, Chisum’s niece Sallie comes from back east for a visit, adding to the tension. As Murphy continues his depredations, getting the legal system on his side much like in last week’s The Spoilers, the ranchers realize they’re going to have to fight back. Luckily, one of Tunstall’s ranch hands is William Bonney (Geoffrey Deuel), better known as Billy the Kid, who really did take part in the Lincoln County War.



I may have mentioned Twilight Zone: The Movie ages ago, but I can’t remember when the last time was. At any rate, it’s on StarzEncore Suspense at 11:12 PM Tuesday, so I’ll mention it now. Based on the classic TV show, the movie is an anthology telling four of the sort of stories that Rod Serling gave on the original Twilight Zone, directed by four different name directors of the early 1980s. Well, actually, three of them are updates of classic episodes, but the first is more or less original, “Time Out”. Here, Vic Morrow, who was killed in an accident in the making of the movie, plays a bigot who finds that he’s suddenly turned into the various ethnic groups he hates. Then comes “Kick the Can”, with Scatman Crothers bringing youth to an old-folks home; directed by Steven Spielberg. Third is “It’s a Good Life”, has a teacher (Kathleen Quinlan) entering a family where everybody seems unusually afraid of the little boy. Joe Dante directed. Finally is the classic “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”, directed by George Miller, telling the story of a man (John Lithgow) who insists he sees a gremlin on the wing of the airplane he’s a passenger on – but no one else can seee it.



TCM is spending Thursday morning and afternoon with William Powell, including some of his early movies at Warner Bros before he moved to MGM and played Nick Charles. I mentioned High Pressure (3:30 PM) not too long ago; this week I’ll mention Private Detective 62, at 6:30 AM Thursday, instead. Powell plays Donald Free, an alleged newspaper correspondent in Paris who’s actually spying on France for the US. In order to escape the French, who want to bring him back for questioning, he jumps ship just off the US coast, returning to a country in a depression and unable to get a job. That is until he runs into detective Hogan (Arthur Hohl) again, and starts a partnership. Don has the brains but Hogan has the license, and a complete lack of morals. So when Hogan decides he wants to go for the big money by teaming up with casino owner Bandor, it’s going to cause problems for Don, who by this time is investigating a woman with whom he falls in love. Hogan tries to double-cross everybody.



If you want a movie that has more Oscar-winning stars in it than you can shake a stick at, try The Swarm, which will be on TCM at 4:15 AM Saturday. There’s been some sort of strange attack at a US nuclear base in Texas, with a bunch of people killed; Maj. Baker (Bradford Dillman) and Gen. Slater (Richard Widmark) investigate. A civilian vehicle, a van driven by Dr. Crane (Michael Caine) has trespassed onto the base, but it was an emergency as he and his group was attacked by bees. Those same Africanized killer bees attack a pair of helicopters, and then go on to attack the town of Marysville, seeming to get ever more aggressive and deadly, as even one sting can kill people, although most people get stung multiple times before their hilarious flailing deaths. Another scientist, Dr. Krim (Henry Fonda), tries to find an antivenom for the bee stings before the real danger of the bees reaching Houston comes. Also in the cast are Olivia de Havilland, Fred MacMurray, and Ben Johnson as three Marysville residents in a romantic triangle; Lee Grant as a TV reporter; Katharine Ross as a doctor; and Patty Duke as a waitress.



I didn’t expect to mention Kathleen Quinlan twice this week, but she’s in a movie that recently started showing up in the FXM rotation: Warning Sign, on again this week at 1:20 PM Saturday. At a putative agronomics company in southern Utah, one of the researches in full PPE accidentally picks up a test-tube, and when he and his colleagues stupidly break protocol, the test tube gets broken. It turns out they’re working on some sort of biological warfare weapon which infects all of them, causing a containment incident which guard Joanie Morse (that’s Quinlan) has to deal with from the inside. Dealing with it on the outside are Joanie’s husband Cal (Sam Waterston), the local sheriff, and government cover-up man Major Connolly (Yaphet Kotto). Thankfully, all of the infected scientists have died – until the bodies go missing from the security cameras, and the agent that they inhaled is some sort of psychogenic thing that turns people into homicidal maniacs. Joanie, however, seems immune, which may offer a solution to the problem. It’s amazing how in 35 years we’ve gone from conspiracy theory movies like this to absolute blind obedience to government agents speaking on lab leaks.



Sunday is August 1. For those of you who have been following these posts, you’ll know that means the start of TCM’s annual Summer Under the Stars, in which each day brings 24 hours of the movies of a different star. It kicks off this year with Bette Davis all day Sunday, including Pocketful of Miraclesat 3:45 PM. The last movie directed by Frank Capra, and a remake of his Lady for a Dayfrom 28 years earlier, the movie stars Davis as Apple Annie, an old lady living in the Depression by selling apples and getting markups from Dave the Dude (Glenn Ford), a gangster who sees Annie as a sort of good-luck charm. However, Annie has a daughter Louise (Ann-Margret), who’s been living in Spain and is engaged to a count there. She wants to introduce him to her family, but Annie’s been lying about her background, claiming to be high society. It would kill Annie to have to reveal the lie, so perhaps Dave can do something to help her set up an illusion of actually being a lady? Of course, Dave being a gangster doesn’t exactly know high society.

Las Vegas usually knows what’s going on. On Aaron Rodgers, Las Vegas reportedly thinks it knows what he’ll be doing next week.

Via Bill Huber of SI.com, multiple sports books believe Rodgers will announce his retirement before Wednesday’s initial practice of training camp. Per Huber, Westgate Superbook has “closed all its NFC North markets, including projected wins, playoff odds, divisional odds and weekly lines for the four division teams.”


https://www.jsonline.com

After sweeping the Reds in Cinncy the Brewer lead is back to 7 games. Corbin Burnes throws his best game as a Brewer going into the 9th with a shutout.  A throwing error by Tellez and then a hit that would have been a double play except the Crew was in a shift so nobody to take the throw at 2nd.   Perdomo comes in and gets 2 K to preserve the shutout.   Next up 2 with K C and then 3 with the Chi Sox.   Go Brew Crew GO!!!!!!!

Welcome to another edition of Fedya’s “Movies to Tivo” thread, for the week of July 19-25, 2021. I normally make some snarky comments about sport here, although we actually have some real sports movies this week. There’s also more from TCM Star of the Month Elvis Presley on Thursday in prime time, and a lot of interesting movies on other channels, more than normal in fact. As always, all times are in Eastern, unless otherwise mentioned.



For those of you who want sports other than the Bucks, the Olympics open up this week, with the opening ceremonies on Friday. TCM got the rights to run a lot of the documentary movies made on past Olympics. Some people might remember the name Bud Greenspan, but he only shows up for 16 Days of Glory at 10:15 PM Monday, about the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. If you want some famous names, eight famous directors were tapped to do one segment each on the 1972 Munich Olympics. That film, Visions of Eight, is on at 6:00 PM Monday and includes directors like Miloš Forman and John Schlesinger.



A movie that recently started showing up in the FXM rotation is Berlin Correspondent. It’s got another showing this week, at 4:40 AM Monday. Dana Andrews, very early in his career and sporting a mustache, plays Bill Roberts, an American radio correspondent in Berlin just before the entry of the US into World War II. Nazi intelligence officer Col. Rau (Martin Kosleck) wants to find out who’s getting classified information out of the country and correspondents seem like a a good place to start. Since Bill has been able to evade all the male spies following him, von Rau decides to try using a woman – his girlfriend Karen Hauen (Virginia Gilmore). What neither of them knows is that it’s actually Karen’s father (Erwin Kaiser), a stamp dealer, passing Bill the information. This gets Herr Hauen arrested and sent to an insane asylum to be killed (watch for Sig Ruman as the head of the asylum). When Herr Hauen is sprung, now it’s Bill who’s in trouble. Thankfully, Karen has fallen in love with him by this time and isn’t a loyal Nazi. Pure early war propaganda, but entertaining enough.



TCM is showing a bunch of Natalie Wood movies on Tuesday, concluding with Rebel Without a Cause at 8:00 PM Tuesday. Wood plays Judy, a student in a Los Angeles student who befriends new kid in town Jim Stark (James Dean). Stark has all sorts of teenage problems that cause his parents (Jim Backus and Ann Doran), who can’t figure him out, to movie from one neighborhood to the next as Jim wears out his welcome. Jim also becomes friends with another outcast, Plato (Sal Mineo). Judy, for her part, is the girlfriend of Buzz Gunderson (Corey Allen), at least in Buzz’s mind. With the arrival of Jim, Buzz and his friends are merciless towards him, bullying him and challenging him to tests of courage that ultimately lead to tragedy. Of course, there’s really only one reason to watch the movie:

I think it’s been a while since I’ve mentioned the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby. It’ll be on this week at 4:10 AM Wednesday on 5Star Max. Based on the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald that most of us probably had to read back in high school, the movie tells the story of Nick Carraway (Sam Waterston), a newcomer to the Long Island smart set of the 1920s. He’s the neighbor of the enigmatic and nouveau-riche Jay Gatsby (Robert Redford), and the two become friends as Gatsby begins to trust Nick, who himself gets caught up in the vapid lives of all these rich people.. Gatsby was in love with Daisy (Mia Farrow), but she decided to marry Tom Buchanan (Bruce Dern) instead because he had money and at the time Gatsby hadn’t earned his fortune yet. But Gatsby has still held a flame for Daisy all this time, and since Tom is having an affair with Myrtle Wilson (Karen Black), the wife of the Buchanans’ mechanic George (Scott Wilson), perhaps now would be the time for Daisy to restart a relationship with Gatsby. It all leads up to the tragic climax



There’s a fun double feature coming up on TCM on Wednesday, starting off with Big Hearted Herbert at 5:30 PM. Guy Kibbee plays Herbert Kainess, who runs a factory producing plumbing fixtures in one of those medium-sized Midwestern towns that populated movies in the years before World War II. Having built himself up by hard work, he has an affinity for “just plain folks” and doesn’t particularly care for college types. This is a problem because his son Junior would rather go to college to become an engineer instead of taking over the family business, while his daughter Alice (Patricia Ellis) is engaged to a lawyer Goodrich (Philip Reed). When Dad ruins a dinner in which Alice is introducing the Goodrich parents, mom Elizabeth (Aline MacMahon) decides it’s time to teach Herbert a lesson. When some important business clients are coming over for dinner, Elizabeth plans to show Herbert what “just plain folks” are really like. It’s material that could have been an episode of I Love Lucy 20 years later, but it works thanks to the acting jobs of Kibbee and MacMahon. Note that it’s a 60-minute movie in a 60-minute time slot, so you may want to set the DVR to run a few minute long.



Following at 6:30 PM Wednesday on TCM is The Millionaire. George Arliss plays the millionaire, James Alden, who runs an auto company until he’s told by his doctor that the stress of all the hard work is killing him. He and his wife Laura (Arliss’ real-life wife Florence) move west, whereupon James finds that the boredom is killing him even more than the stress he faced back at the car plant. James’ daughter Barbara (Evalyn Knapp) falls in love with a would-be architect Bill Merrick (David Manners) who is running a service station until he can save up the money to go into business as a architect. But the service station is a bad investment since a new proposed bypass highway is going to put it in a terrible location. Alden decides that he’s goin to take a half-interest in the station under an assumed name and show both Bill and rival Peterson (Noah Beery) how it’s done. Going back into business revitalizes Alden and helps Bill’s pursuit of Barbara along. Watch for a young James Cagney early in his career as an insurance salesman; he’s one of the few actors who isn’t blown off the set by Arliss.



John Wayne won an Oscar for playing Rooster Cogburn in the movie True Grit. He would play the character again, in a movie titled, appropriately enough, Rooster Cogburn. That movie will be on StarzEncore Westerns at 2:00 AM Thursday. Rooster gets stripped of his marshal’s powers, but has a chance to get them back when an Army shipment of explosives gets waylaid in the Oklahoma territory. Rooster, in following the gang that stole the explosives, which is lead by Hawk (Richard Jordan), happens upon Eula Goodnight (Katharine Hepburn), who was with her father trying to Christianize the Indians. Her dad got killed, and when Rooster shows up, Eula decides that she’s going to tag along with Rooster to try to find the men who killed her father. Of course, Rooster isn’t happy about this, but as with Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen, what’s he going to do about a woman as strong-willed as Eula? Indeed, Rooster and Eula wind up going down a river on a raft. Sound familiar?



TCM is running a bunch of Irene Dunne Movies on Thursday. One that I can’t recall the last time I mentioned is This Man Is Mine, at 4:15 PM Thursday. Dunne plays Tony Dunlap, happily married to Jim (Ralph Bellamy) with a young son. Things stay that way until Fran (Constance Cummings) shows up. Fran had apparently been engaged to Jim at one time before jilting him and leaving him to marry Tony. Now she wants to win Jim back, at least for a night just to show that she can. And she does to the point that Tony is willing to file for divorce on the grounds of infidelity and naming Fran as the correspondent. Fran is really hoping to marry wealthy Mort (Sidney Blackmer), so getting named in a divorce case just won’t do. Meanwhile, Fran’s brother Jud (Charles Starrett) is Jim’s best friend, while Jud’s wife Bea (Kay Johnson) is Tony’s best friend. Perhaps Jud and Bea can knock some sense into everybody else. It’s interesting to see Ralph Bellamy be something other than the man who loses out to the romantic male lead.



It’s been quite some time since I mentioned The Brady Bunch Movie. You can see it this week at 10:32 AM Friday on 5Star Max. As you’ll recall from the TV show, the Bradys were a very square blended family in the rapidly-changing social mores of the early 1970s. Now it’s the mid-90s, and the Bradys, the same ages they were on the TV show, have the same square moral values they did circa 1970, which makes them even more out of place. Dad Mike (Gary Cole) is still an architect, only not so successful since all the buildings he designs look too much like the Brady house. Meanwhile, their evil neighbors the Dittmeyers are trying to get everybody in the neighborhood to sell out to property developers, with the Bradys being the last holdouts, so the Dittmeyers try to intercept the Bradys’ tax bills. When the Bradys find out what’s happened, the kids decide they’re going to try to raise the money by entering a talent competition. That’s reminiscent of the plot of one of the old TV show, and in fact, the plot of the movie is less important than references to the old show and jokes about how out of place the Bradys are in the 1990s. That, and cameos from some of the TV show actors.



For those of you who like silent movies, we’ve got one not in TCM’s Silent Sunday Nights slot: The Adventures of Prince Achmed, at 8:00 AM Friday on TCM. Described in the opening titles as a “silhouette film”, director Lotte Reiniger uses elaborate cutouts and stop-motion photography to tell the story of Achmed, prince of a medieval Arabian monarchy. He’s given a magical flying horse by a sorcerer who wants to be rid of Achmed and get at Achmed’s sister. Achmed is able to control the hors and fly to the island of Wak-Wak, where he meets a beautiful princess Pari Banu and falls in love with her. But the sorcerer returns and kidnaps Pari Banu to China, selling her into slavery and forcing Achmed to find both her, and Aladdin’s magic lamp, to be able to defeat the sorcerer and return to his home country and take his rightful place on the throne. The animation is stunning, setting the cutouts against tinted backgrounds.



If you want an excellent, more recent movie, you can try watching Glengarry Glen Ross, which will be on Showtime Showcase at 2:15 PM Sunday. A Brooklyn real estate office is failing, so office manager Williamson (Kevin Spacey) brings in a man from corporate, Blake (Alec Baldwin) to try to increase sales. The result is a contest: the salesman in the office who makes the most sales over the next month will get a car, while the one who makes the least will be summarily fired. Williamson has some good leads in his filing cabinet, but that’s locked and those leads aren’t being given out, with the salesmen getting crappy leads instead. Among the salesmen are Levene (Jack Lemmon), who probably ought to retire, but he still thinks he can make one more big sale. Roma (Al Pacino) is the younger hot shot, while Moss (Ed Harris) and Aaronow (Alan Arkin) round out the office. All four get increasingly desperate as they know they’re up against one another and Williamson and Blake won’t show them any mercy. Just remember, ABC: Always be closing!

I didn't see this mentioned anywhere else, so here's the news story.  National revenue (I assume mostly from the TV deals) is up, but local revenue from ticket sales and the Titletown district was way down thanks to the government-imposed shutdowns.

Depending on the point of view of the reporter, either the Packers suffered their first operating loss in 20 years, or it's OK because they have a lot of money and the investment fund made up for it.  Since they're the only team that has to release a report thanks to the Packers' unique ownership model, it offers one of the few looks into how teams around the league might be doing.

The Packers' own press release didn't have a link to the actual report, either.

Softball uniforms. Rob Manfred is a travesty.

With the 15th pick the Brewers selected Sal Frelick, a center fielder from Boston College.  He has also played some infield.

Not a power guy, only 6 HR this past season. But he did hit .359 with only 28 K in in 195 AB.  Only grounded into 2 DP. 

https://bceagles.com/sports/ba...er/sal-frelick/13621

Brewers also have the 33rd pick and the 51st pick.

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