Category Archives: rants

And how should I begin?

It’s the start of a new season, and I’ll save you all the platitudes about a fresh start and new beginnings and crocuses pushing up through slushy soil. I am once again going to give this thing a go.

A few years ago, I was visiting some friends in Chicago. My friend works for a big Internet company and I told him I sporadically kept a blog about the Brewers.

“Why did you stop posting?” he asked me.
“Well, honestly it fell off once their season fell apart. It’s hard to find something to say about constant disappointment. And it also seemed like a baseball blog was something a 26-year-old guy, who was feeling a little lost, would do.”

I didn’t don’t want to be that guy. But here we are, a few years on, and I still feel a little lost. So I might as well enjoy the wandering.

So, here we go! Here’s to a hot 162 — comin’ at ya.

You’re a man among men, Sully.

Sully Baseball e-mailed this link to his write-up of the “Milwaukee Brewers — All Time Home Grown Team vs. All Time Acquired Team.” It’s an incredible piece, even more so when you consider the site is doing these for every Major League team.

I agree with Sully: he asks how anyone could not root for the homegrown team with Paul Molitor and Robin Yount (I would include Ryan Braun in that sentiment). He asked for my input, but his reasoning is pretty solid on all counts. In a few years, I hope Gallardo is on the all-time homegrown roster. Thanks and congrats, Sully.

Sully said he met Darryl Hamilton a few times while making television appearances, and he was a nice guy. That took me down memory lane.

Warning: BEGIN GIRLY RANT

I know I’m getting deep into “US Weekly” territory here, but does anybody remember when Darryl up and married Shaun Robinson? At the time, he was just about the only offense pop for the Brewers and she was just about the only local television reporter with the talent to make it to the networks, à la Veronica Corningstone.

shaun robinsonIn my memory, they were Milwaukee’s first power couple — and not like Eric Benét and Halle Berry, those two are crazy. Of course, they almost immediately left town, and later got divorced. But for a few short months, I believed people could be famous and successful and happy and in love, and still live in my hometown.

So google says Robinson is on “Access Hollywood” now — who knew? And there was a Page Six item from two years ago came up saying that “JACKSONVILLE Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich, 27, flirting with “Access Hollywood” correspondent Shaun Robinson, 40, at the Pama-sponsored party at the Kentucky Derby.” Sounds sort of wonderful. And she’s been hanging out on red carpets and such, and she’s still… pretty much a fox.

END GIRLY RANT

Keep the Home Fires Burning

p1010001

Saturday was the second year in a row that I had ambitions to go down to the Brewers Artic Tailgate and document the assembled yokels waiting on line for single tickets. But once again, I skipped it because I was secure in the knowledge my season tickets were in the mail, and I was snug in my command post overlooking the valley.

I did, however, breeze by with my comrade Sam to review the troops entrenched along Miller Park. The winter skewed all the sights into a blurry burnt palette, the colors of the embers streaking away from camp fires in a high wind.

And there they were, All Along the Clocktower. Rosy-cheeked stoics sitting in miserable conditions, carrying a modicum of hope for warmer days.

p1010003

p1010009

Yes, there are easier ways. Everyone in town had a lot to say about these dedicated few, and much of it was unkind. I even saw the term “asshats” being bandied about. The Brewers fans who are smug in the knowledge they secured a seat for Opening Day by purchasing a season ticket package, and therefore are mocking these plebeians, would do well to remember each of these unwashed few buying a standing room only spot keeps another Cubs fan from encroaching on their most cherished holiday. Because they will be there. And that could make it miserable.

So I say, to the Arctic Tailgaters, god bless your shivering, gin-soaked souls. For at least one night in the valley, crackles of life could be heard above the howling wind.

p1010007

I woke up to the 5 a.m. news doing a live-remote from the waiting line. The Tailgaters were now inside the Convertible Confines and enjoying hot chocolate and donuts. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Can’t Knock the Hustle

This morning, the perfect song to describe where we now find ourselves bounced into my head. Not surprisingly, it was Jay-Z, baby. jay-z

I’m makin’ short term goals, when the weather folds
Just put away the leathers and put ice on the gold
Chilly with enough bail money to free a big Willy
High stakes, I got more at stake than Philly

Let’s take a look at that:

  1. The Brewers need to make “short term goals, when the weather folds,” i.e. in September, going 1-0 on the day and not worrying about tomorrow until the day after today.
  2. Instead of putting “ice on the gold,” Brewers fans are more likely to “put the gold on ice.” Goldschläger, that is. Swiss cinnamon schnapps. Try saying that three times fast. Better yet, take three shots and try saying that at all.
  3. Thanks to Mark Attanasio and increased ticket and apparel sales, the Brewers have a “enough bail money to free a big Willy” — or at least to sign a free agent.
  4. “High stakes, I got more at stake than Philly.” Fuck yes, you have more at stake than Philly. They’ve been to the playoffs — you haven’t. Their team went last year, yours hasn’t in 26 years. We’re talking about a lifetime here. We’re talking about my lifetime.

Although I want all of Brewers Nation bouncing to this track and drawing inspiration from it, it’s worth noting that it does appear on the album “Reasonable Doubt.”

The Other J.J. is headed to the Bankpark tonight and tomorrow to see if the Crew can get out of Philly with a split. That would be super. He also just mentioned Nas is playing Temple’s homecoming.

Hell yeah, North Philly

Back in the MKE, reppin’ 414

Two of my greatest friends came back to Brew City yesterday and we went to the game, as we are wont to do. These reunions usually bring an “Ocean’s 11” line to my mind:

Basher: It will be nice working with proper villains again.

The morning after such reunions usually bring other lines to mind.

Linus: Are you suicidal?

Rusty: Only in the morning.

Four of us were there for an exciting win with 34,438 other yokels, which after a rowdy Tuesday lead me to the question: “What are all these people doing here?! This is a school night, people!”

The season attendance is at 1,169,829 according to baseball reference. Last year, Miller Park finished with 2,869,144. That’s as much as baseball was drawing when it first came to town. I dug out a bit I wrote following my midday gate crash which was never published:

Miller Park recorded 2.8 million attendees at baseball games last year, and there is a buzz this year within the baseball organization of the possibility of hitting the 3 million mark, according to stadium district director Michael Duckett. The only years Milwaukee professional baseball franchises recorded higher attendance were 1957 and 1982 — years in which the Braves and Brewers, respectively, reached the World Series.
“We’re averaging what used to be our high-water mark,” Duckett said.
The stadium has welcomed nearly 16 million attendees in its sevevn years of operation, he said, averaging around 2.3 million per year. This was despite the Brewers playing slightly worse in the first seven years of Miller Park than the last seven years of Milwaukee County Stadium (0.447 winning percentage, compared to 0.466).
Duckett said the sports magazine Sports Illustrated has conducted fan satisfaction surveys on the stadiums of Major League Baseball for the last three years, and Miller Park has finished first in 2006, fourth in 2007 and second this year.

If you think I’ve been going to a lot of games lately, think about it this way: I personally represent 14 of that 1,169,829 — 0.00001196756 percent!

The Crew is 12-2 in those games, and 3-0 in the last three games. And it’s all because of me.

Twins row

“Look there, ol’ chap,” I said to my friend Dan at last year’s Friday night interleague match-up between Milwaukee and Minnesota. “It appears there’s a bit a of a row between those Brewers fans and that Twins fan.”

Actually, it was more like “Holy shit! That chick is going to throw that Twins fan off the upper deck!”

We were sitting way up in the terrace box level, in section 428 and to our right on the third base line there was a Twins fan rolling on the floor of the front row getting smacked by two Brewers fans. The more he tried to stand, the more he pinned this woman against the railing of the terrace level. She was fat and wearing a huge T-shirt, and the top half of her body kept teetering over the edge.

Suddenly, she started raining overhand blows on the Twins fan’s head.

It continued like that for the entire inning, until they finally chased the Twins fan away. Later, at the bar, we related the story to our cop buddy who sometimes works Brewers games.

“Yeah, and nobody even came to break it up! No cops, no security, no ushers,” we told him.

“Haha, wow. Wait, where were you sitting?” he asked. We told him.

“Oh yeah, there’s no law up there, man,” he said. “You’re up there at the top of the mountain. No one can hear your screams.”

My point is, the Twins are in town this weekend. The Brewers got beat as bad as that Twins fan tonight, 4-0 6-0 9-0 10-2 as of this posting. But we know where they live: in that thar bubble, the Metrodome. When we went to that gopher hole for the Wisconsin game last fall, the place was at least half Badgers.

But the Twinsfans also travel well, and there will be a sizable contingent in the Convertible Confines this weekend. Twinsfans are good in bed, btw.

Broadway Joe will be in town (from Minneapolis) for the game on Sunday. P-house just received word he will be allowed to join Joe at “the U.” Traitors. In honor of this occasion, I watched “Little Big League” with Posh last night. This is the 1994 movie where a little kid inherits the Twins.

It was cool to see a much younger Ken Griffey Jr. (who just hit his 600th home run) and Lou Piniella (who now manages the Cubs) and Randy Johnson (who recently got rocked by the Crewers) starring as themselves in the one-game playoff between the Mariners and the Twins. After tonight’s embarrassing loss, hopefully I’ll have the chance to mutter the same thing the kid’s friend says in the stands after Griffey launches a homer in the movie.

“That’s a shame.”

And I’ll also be hoping against hope that they’ll bring in Jonathan Silverman as a relief pitcher.

Salomón Torres’ all-in-one tool set

Imagine that you’re working on something and you need a hammer, so, you go grab a hammer. But then you need a wrench, you’ve got to get it out of the toolbox. Wait, wait, you actually need a screwdriver, fine, get the damn tool you need. But what if you could have all the tools in one?

No, you don’t have to call within the next 10 minutes. This isn’t paid programming. This is Salomón Torres — an all-in-one tool set — a Swiss Army knife with which to slit your throat. And you’re totally going to love him.

Because he came here for the sausages.

If there were a race for MVP of the Brewers so far, the frontrunners would be the established stars: Ryan Braun and Ben Sheets. But the dark horse — the “Obama,” if you will — would be Salomón Torres…. wait, what?

Continue reading