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Real Pressure

by Tom King

Thousands of young baseball players are plying their trade in minor leagues all over the country. Hundreds more toil away in college or independent leagues. All are aiming at the same target. Moving up the professional ladder with an eventual shot at the big leagues. The pressure is constant...the travel is brutal...the pay is low...and it would be easy to become depressed if you were struggling in your quest. Now how about adding the fact that your young child is fighting for his life and in need of an organ transplant. That's whats facing Brewer minor leaguer Jorge Lopez. Lopez is a highly rated prospect pitching for the Class A Brevard County Manatees in the Brewers minor league system. He's so good he was invited to the All-Star Futures game in Minneapolis earlier this month. He's 8-6 this season with a 4.20 ERA. And he's doing it all while dealing with the illness of his 13 month old son Mikael. The child has been ill since birth and needs an intestinal transplant. No donor has been found yet. He also has developed an auto-immune disease. The child is in Miami, about three hours south of where his dad plays. His teammates have put together a charity golf tournament for next month to help the 21 year old with his sons medical bills. So remember, when you watch pro athletes go about their business and think about how glorious their lives must be...they face the same trials and tribulations as anybody else...and that Jorge Lopez would probably trade it all right now for a healthy child.

A good start by Yovanni Gallardo got the Brewers a much needed win yesterday in against the Rays. I don't think anyone considers Gallardo the team's ace anymore but its nice when he pitches like it once in awhile. It's an off day today before heading into a three game weekend series at St. Louis.

The Woodchucks dropped a pair yesterday to Green Bay. Those were games that the team really needed in their playoff chase as they head into the next four games with Lakeshore and Kenosha. The Chinooks are in town tonight and I'll be in the booth with Sean Kellerman at 6:50 on Foxsports Radio AM1390 & FM 93.9.

The Green Bay Packers have extended the contract of GM Ted Thompson. No details were released but its no surprise that it happened. Packer president Mark Murphy is a big Thompson fan and despite some draft misses along the way and the Favre controversy, Thompson has had a pretty good run. He's 61 years old and said he looks forward to the continuing challenge.

Songs Of The Day (from my I-pod)

Ninety Nine & A Half Won't Do-Wilson Pickett (1966) not one of his bigger hits...but it's worth a listen just for the gut-bucket groove of the Stax/Volt backing band

No Better Than This-John Mellencamp (2010) title track from Mellencamp's excellent roots-rock album that was recorded by T-Bone Burnett at various historical sites around the south. He recorded with a very raw sound at places like Sun Studios in Memphis, The First African Baptist Church in Savannah Georgia and the same room at the SheratonGunter Hotel in San Antonio where Robert Johnson recorded his blues classics. Mellencamp and his band recorded with a 1955 Ampex portable recording machine and one microphone requiring all the musicians to gather around. I can't emphasize enough how real this sounds. If you're tired of the overproduced, artificial sounds of current music...check this out and remember when music was produced by musicians and not machines.