Archive for the ‘Player Tributes’ Category

Restaurant Ideas

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Ryan Braun has one. Jeff Suppan has had one for awhile. They’re restaurants and they could turn into a smart business venture for athletes. Here are some restaurant ideas for any Brewers who still want to turn into restauranteurs.

Prince Fielder’s Choice

What is it: Besides a play on words and a play on his choice to go meatless, PFC could be like a meatless Stack’d. Want 3 meatless burgers on top of each other, slathered with sauce, fried onions, lettuce, tomatoes, a meatless bacon (yes, there is such a thing)? It would be at Prince Fielder’s Choice! Want a blooming onion that falls down when you put a picture of Prince on home plate? It’s here too!

Signature Dish: The Grand Slam - 4 meatless sliders, each one topped with meatless bacon, crispy onion strings, and stadium sauce.

Yovani Cilantro

What is it: A southwest bar and grill…where everything can strike out the competition and still hit a home run.

Signature Dish: The Repetoire Combination Platter. It includes dishes that match Yovani’s 4 pitches. The fastball is 3 Spicy Habenero Wings that make your mouth burn. The changeup is some nice, slow grilled tequila shrimp. The slider is a chicken quesadilla with a devastating chiptole-cheese sauce. Finally, the curve is a fish taco with a cheesy tortilla wrapped around the shell.


What is it: Named after the two speed freaks on the team, Escie-Mez is part Chipotle, part Jimmy Johns. You think Jimmy John’s delivery is fast? Sh*t son, you haven’t seen fast until you’ve seen Carlos Gomez or Alcides Escobar running faster than the Jimmy John’s delivery car to deliver your giant burrito.

Signature Dish: The Chicken’s just really good and really fast.

Alterra Coffey

What is it: Alterra has been trying to expand, but they can’t quite afford huge stars to back their Milwaukee-based chain. Enter Todd Coffey, who is known all around baseball for his bullpen sprint and loved by Milwaukee for his dependability. Perfect! The only Alterra Coffey will be in Miller Park.

Signature Dish: It’s always the scones that are good at coffee shops…so good, but so overpriced. When Alterra announces the deal with Todd, they create a new signature blend that packs the excitement of Todd Coffey’s sprint with the boldness of the Ultimate Warrior.

Craigy McCounsell’s

What is it: You may not think that Craig and Casey would make a good restaurant, but did anyone thing Craig would be an NLCS (fixed) MVP? No. Did anyone really think Casey would make the team AND be the opening day starter  a year later? No. So let’s give their restaurant a chance. It may not look good, but it will somehow produce great food

Signature Dish: Well, Craig seems like someone who loves happy meals, so his restaurant is the only one with meals for children.


What is it: Trevor Hoffman is no-nonsense and neither is his restaurant. It is the five-star (snooty) premier restaurant with a top chef that Milwaukee doesn’t have. It would basically be Milwaukee’s Per-Se or Alinea.

Signature Dish: I don’t know. Something with creme fraiche, pesto, risotto, foie gras, with braised duck in a homemade bisque.

A Letter from Ben Sheets’ Ugly Swing

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Hi Brewer fans,

Well, as you know, me and the Sheeter are heading to M.C. Hammer’s old stomping ground. Big ol’ Ben actually made $10 Million from the Moneyball guys! Yeah, I can’t believe it either. Anywho, you may have noticed Benny wasn’t that interested in coming back to Milwaukee. First, you have to be fair, Milwaukee wasn’t that interested in him either, but I’m here to set the record straight. Ben Sheets really wanted to go to the AL. Yep. The teams that kept coming up in rumors we’re mostly AL teams: Rangers, Boston, and Oakland. The Mets and Dodgers were interested and have good pitching stadiums, but we barely listened to them. Would you like to know why he wanted to go to the AL with the DH? It’s because of me! His ugly ass swing!

You see, Benny and I know this might be his last shot to prove he’s an ace. He doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that, which means not using me. You remember me…wild, unruly, scary, horrid, wretched, laughable, etc… You also know that Ben Sheets gets hurt in the most unlikely of ways. I could have really hurt Ben’s arm…elbow…shoulder…head…spine…kneecap…ACL…MCL…hamstring…ankle…and foot. Not to mention, any crazy pitch could end his career (and with the Rockies and Diamondbacks looking at Turnbow, the chance was there). Now Ben doesn’t have to worry about using me or my kid brother, the bunt. This takes out a big, unnecessary risk for Ben’s return to baseball.

So as you can see, Ben meant no ill-will. He honestly enjoyed his time as a Brewer, but you weren’t interested in him and he wasn’t interested in the NL. You can feel free to blame me!

Ben Sheets’ Ugly Swing

The Anti-All-Decade Team

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Ask and you shall receive. Here are the worst players from the past decade. They are divided into four groups:

Little Suckers (top prospects who never panned out and did so in epic fashion), Wad Blowers (players who the Brewers spent a lot of money on…well a lot for the Brewers),Deadline Douchebags (players the Brewers got in trades and then would have preferred not to…not necessarily acquired at the deadline, I just wanted to use the word “douchebag”) and Gone Before Long (players who haven’t been heard of since sucking with the Brewers)

Little Suckers

1) Ben Hendrickson - P - A highly touted pitching prospect who did nothing but help coin the term “AAAA Player”. Telling  stat = 50 runs given up in 58.1 innings

2) Jorge de la Rosa - P - Another pitcher who was supposed to be excellent turned into a head case and barely made a serviceable reliever. He was traded for Tony Graffanino…ouch. Telling stat=6.23 ERA

3) Nick Neugebauer - P  - Nick was drafted out of high school and by 2002 was the 17th ranked prospect in all of MLB and the Brewers top prospect overall. He’s a pitcher, so are you sensing a trend? He was soon out of baseball after surgery in 2002. Telling stat = 2-8

4) Dave Krynzel - OF - Before there was TGJ, there was Dave Krynzel. He was the Brewers first round pick in 2000. He was a speedy outfielder who was projected to be a leadoff hitter. Never happened. Telling Stat = .188 BA.

Wad Blowers

1) Jeffrey Hammonds - OF - 3 Years, 21 Million in 2001 after his All-Star appearance in 2000. Hammonds was often hurt and could barely crack the starting lineup. Telling stat = .248 Batting Average for the Brewers

2) Jose Hernandez - 3B - 3 Years, 10 Million in 2000. He was the default Brewers All-Star in 2002, but that was also the year he was sat down 4 out of the last 5 games so that he wouldn’t break the MLB All-Time Strikeout in a Season Record. Telling stat = Struck out 498 times in 3 years which meant he struck out about once every three at bats.

3) Wes Helms - 3B - 2 Years, 4.5 Million in 2004. Helms was traded for Ray King and had a decent first season in Milwaukee. Problem is that season was 2003 when the Brewers drew the 3rd least amount of people into Miller Park in the NL that season. The fans that did see him knew he was slow, but it seemed that Melvin loved that rocket arm at third. Helms turned into the teams most expensive bench player after signing. Wes Helms wonders why the Brewers fans have such hatred for him and it’s for this reason: he is the exact fact of everything that went wrong with the team; Fat underacheivers who don’t seem to work on getting any better. Telling Stat = 23 HR’s in 2003. 8 HR’s total after signing the contract.

4) Eric Gagne - P - 1 year, 10 million in 2008. Gagne was brought in to be the closer of a team that just lost CoCo Cordero. He had a shaky time in Texas and Boston, but was the All-Time Saves in a Season record holder. By May, he lost his job to Salomon Torres and was the biggest blight on the 2008 season. Telling stat = Blew 41% of Saves.

5) Jeff Suppan - P - 4 Years, 42 Million in 2006. Oh we were so happy when Suppan was our Christmas present in 2006, but Suppan has been getting worse every year since. In fact, it was Jeff Suppan who started the last playoff game for the Brewers and surrendered 5 runs in 3 innings. Telling stat = 1.76 career ERA in Miller Park before signing. 4.29 career ERA in Miller Park now.

6) Bill Hall - IF - 4 year, 24 million in 2007. Man it hurts to put Hall here, because I really like the guy. He was great at short before JJ came around and he was great at third until the Brewers moved him to the outfield. Once he was moved to the outfield and given a big contract, it was game over for all. I guess Bill Hall from 2002-2006 goes into the All-Decade team and the 2007-2009 Bill Hall goes here. Telling Stat = 35 HR in 2006. 35 Total HR for Brewers from 2007-2009.

7) David Riske - P - 3 year, 13 million - I had high hopes for this guy who supposedly helped  Kansas City’s young Zach Greinke. The fact is, he hasn’t been healthy and has been a waste of money. Telling Stat = +2.21 - Difference in ERA for Riske between his time in the AL (3.40) and his time with the Brewers (5.61).

Deadline Douchebags

1) Chad Moeller - C - Part of the Sexson deal, Momo was just a poor hitting catcher but decent defensively. By decent, I mean he could block a Ben Sheets curveball. He will forever live in Milwaukee, though, because of his 2004 cycle.

2) Jose Capellan - P - Traded in the Kolb trade. Kolb was coming off of an All-Star year, but the Brewers traded him for fireballing Jose Capellan. I remember Ned Yost telling the fans how excited he was and how this kid will be an ace. By ace, he meant pain in the ass. Capellan pitched poorly and was rarely, if ever, able to dial it over 94. He whined about his status and was traded away to Detroit.

3) Scott Linebrink - P - Traded for minor league pitchers that the Brewers would like back. Linebrink was brought in to help the Brewers 2007 postseason run. He crushed it. Even though his final line with the Brewers doesn’t seem so bad, I remember the week plus stretch in August where he went 0-3 with a blown save and an 11+ ERA. The Brewers were out of it by September.

Gone Before Long

There are a ton of these guys so I’ll just blurb the rest of the way. Remember that they either were never really seen from again or were on the team for not very long. Or both.

1) Ruben Quevedo - P - I remember when a broadcaster said that they can’t tell the difference between his fastball and his changeup. Ouch. Fits into the Brewers starter with a 5+ ERA club. Quevedo is without a doubt my least favorite/most hated Brewer of all time.

2) Gary Glover - P - Another mediocre starter plugged in to fill gaps. Fits into the Brewers starter with a 5+ ERA club.

3) Wes Obermueller - P - There was a reason everyone loved Wes. I can’t remember what it was because his pitching stats were awful. Fits into the Brewers starter with a 5+ ERA club.

4) Wayne Franklin - P - Gave up the most home runs in a season (before Braden Looper got him off the hook)Fits into the Brewers starter with a 5+ ERA club.

5) Matt Kinney - P - Terrible pitcher during a terrible stretch of Brewers history. Fits into the Brewers starter with a 5+ ERA club.

6) John Vander Wal - OF - Fits into the “He was a starter for the Brewers?” Category.

7) Victor Santos - P - 4-13 season. Ouch.

8) Chris Magruder - OF - Backup outfielder who, in comparison, makes Jody Gerut look awesome.

9) Greg Aquino - P - Was around for 15 games in 2007. Gave up two huge home runs. Boom, outta here.

10) Elmer Dessens - P - We toasted Dos Equis for this pitcher on opening day in 2007, who was sent packing after 12 games.

11) Valerio de los Santos - P - Tyler told me that his 4 names were more than any single season win total he had as a Brewer. Seems about right.

Others that were also bad:

Royce Clayton (SS), Johnny Estrada (C) ( Who Tyler believes is still legging out his last grounder of 2007…haha), Ben Greive (OF), Paul Bako (C), and Henry Blanco (C).

The All-Decade Team

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Happy Holidays everyone! Since we are on the cusp of a new decade, I decided to put out the Milwaukee Brewers All-Decade team! This was quite an up and down decade for the Crew. We saw the end of our beloved Milwaukee County Stadium, but enjoyed the beauty that is Miller Park. We saw the worst of the worst (3 straight years of finishing last in the NL Central including a 100 loss season) and something we hadn’t seen in over 20 years: Playoffs.  We saw managers change (Lopes, Royster, Yost, Sveum, and Macha). We saw fan favorites come and go. We saw the rise of baseball in HD and a rise in Brewers payroll. Yes, it was quite a roller coaster being a Brewer fan in the 00’s. To look back on the decade that was, Here’s my 25-man All-Decade Roster.


C - The list of Brewers’ catchers from this decade reads like a sick joke: Bennett, Estrada, Bako, Moeller. It was hard to pick, but Damian Miller is my catcher of the decade. In ‘05 and ‘06, he was a solid catcher both offensively and defensively and had a lackluster ‘07 because of the amazingly underwhelming Johnny Estrada.

1B - Prince Fielder - It’s only been since ‘06 that the Brewers have had Fielder as their starting first baseman, but he’s only gotten better over time. He’s even had 2 seasons with over 40 HR’s. He’s been the leader of this team and has shown maturity beyond his years. He even improved his defense!

2B - Ron Belliard - We started off the decade with Belliard at second. He hit alright, but was great at the double play. He was part of turning 129 double plays in 2000.

3B -Ryan Braun - I don’t care how bad his defense was. I don’t care that he’s an outfielder more than a third baseman. He was the best third baseman the Brewers have and I’m putting him here dammit. What else can you say about Ryan Braun? He’s a stud. He does it all. He hits for power and average. He’s the Hebrew Hammer. He likes really ugly MMA shirts. He’s cocky, but says the right things almost all the time. The best thing you can say about him: He’ll be a Brewer far into this next decade!

SS - JJ Hardy - This JJ brought all the ladies to the yard, but behind his female appeal was a great defensive shortstop with a lot of pop in his bat. He made the All-Star team in 2007. His fire continued in 2008 with over 20 home runs again (which is great for a shortstop).

OF - Carlos Lee - We put up with his lazy outfield because you could count on 100 RBI’s. Before Prince was ready for Prime Time, there was Carlos Lee. Even though the Crew only had him for 1 3/4 years, he delivered over 60 home runs and almost 200 RBI’s.

OF - Geoff Jenkins - Roaming the outfield until 2007, Geoff hit 182 home runs and 71 Outfield Assists for the Brewers this decade. Jenks was also voted into the All-Star game in 2004 by the Brewers fans! He ended up having a stellar year that year hitting .296 with 28 HR’s.

OF - Scott Podsednik - Milwaukee’s ROY runner up was the beginning of the resurgence of interest in the Brewers. While he really only had one good year with the Brewers (and only two overall), he set a Brewers record for most SB’s in a year.


1B - Richie Sexson - While I have never been the biggest fan of Sexson because he would choke under pressure, his numbers as a Brewer don’t lie. He hit 133 home runs in a Brewer, including two seasons with 45 (2001 and 2003). He was  a two time All-Star and was involved in an amazing trade for the Brewers.

1B - Lyle Overbay - OK, so I have three first basemen. The Big O was a doubles machine after coming over in the Sexson trade and bridged the gap perfectly between Sexson and Fielder.

OF - Brady Clark - Most people laugh about Brady, but he was a solid member of the Brewers outfield for 4 years this decade. He hit an average of .283 and was a big part of 2005’s .500 year (which people forget was a big deal at the time)

INF - Mark Loretta - Mark had a really strong run in Milwaukee to start his career. And while most of his career was played in the previous decade, he still played for 2 3/4 of this one. Always one you could count on to get on base,  Mark never had more than 60 strikeouts in a season.

OF - Corey Hart - Hart made his debut in 2004, but didn’t recieve the role of everyday starter until 2007. His speed and his bat make him a dynamic player even though his head has gotten in the way.

C - I guess you need two catchers on a 25 man roster so I pick Jason Kendall. I know there are a lot of fans who hate Kendall (such a strong feeling), but many of those fans don’t remember most of the catchers from this past decade. We didn’t have a Surhoff or a Nilsson. And I wouldn’t mind having a Jason Kendall who busts his ass every day on my team….problem is if this was real, he wouldn’t let me put him on the bench.


SP - Ben Sheets - Ben’s entire MLB career started in 2001 even though it seems like he’s been around for longer. In 2004, he was a finalist for the Cy Young and threw over 1200 K’s this decade. I won’t ever forget the day Jared and I saw Sheeter the night after he threw 18 K’s at a Bucks game (Jenkins had front row and Sheeter was sitting 8 rows back by us). He’s Milwaukee’s first legit ace since Higuera and I’d like to see him back in Brewer Blue.

SP - Doug Davis -Doug Davis isn’t flashy. He isn’t dominant. He isn’t fan friendly. He’s just there. And for 3+ years, he was the team’s dependable workhorse. Doug is the reason most Brewer fans check quality starts because 70% of his 2004 starts were quality, although he just won half.

SP - Chris Capuano - Yet another part of the Richie Sexson trade, Cappie was an All-Star in 2005. What people remember most about Capuano was his insane pick-off move which prompted umpires re-check their rule books about balks. He’s the final part of the MM3 (See Kolb)

SP - Yovani Gallardo - This young star in the making was better than expected in ‘09.  He also was helpful down the playoff stretch in ‘08 (even though a freak accident derailed almost all of that season). I’m excited to see how Yo matures in this next decade.

SP - C.C. Sabathia - Sure he grabbed the cash and left, but before he did, he gave Milwaukee a hero they have not seen in a long time. C.C. delivered the team the playoffs and for that, he will never be forgotten. We were able to see what C.C. would have been like in the playoffs had he not been used up, but most people would agree that the Brewers would have never gotten to the playoffs had he been used more sparingly.

RP - Dan Kolb - There are a group of pitchers I like to call the Mike Maddux Three. These pitchers had their highest levels of success under his tutelage and most came out of nowhere to become All-Stars, then fizzle away. The first of those three is Dan Kolb. Dan was all sorts of mediocre until in 2003 when he had an ERA of 1.99 and saved 21 games. The next year he saved 39 and became an All-Star. The following year, he was traded for Jose Capellan which was a move that benefited NO ONE.

RP -Derrick Turnbow - Turnbow is another member of the MM3. A fireballer picked off of waivers, Turnbow was known as the “Wild Thing”. He had wild hair and a wild streak, but his fastball could touch three digits. This streak caught up with him, but not before he was named to the All-Star game. Sadly, his bobblehead ended his career.

RP - Francisco Cordero - Another in the streak of Brewers All-Star Relievers, Cordero was a name on the Carlos Lee trade that quickly became so valuable, people forgot how bad Kevin Mench was. CoCo came in to Click, Click, Boom and saved 44 games with a 2.98 ERA. He was lost to Cincinatti because they offered him a couple extra million the following year.

RP - Brian Shouse - Lefty specialists are in high demand nowadays and the Brewers had a great one in Brian Shouse. When he was picked up, most people said “Who?”, but this lefty had 2+ strong years in Milwaukee and had a cult following.

RP - Trevor Hoffman - OK, so he only had one year in Milwaukee, but you would agree it was a great one, right? He exceeded expectations and was a highlight in a disappointing ‘09 effort. Plus he was the capper on a decade that saw 6 Brewers pitchers become All-Stars.

RP - I have one more reliever spot and it’s hard to give it to just one person because there were so many players that were similar. They weren’t great, but they were who the Brewers had so my last reliever is Matts DeSkanick. That’s right. A hybrid of Matt Wise, Mike DeJean, Curtis Leskanic, and Brooks Kieschnick. They were all middle of the road relievers, but were necessary or had a small following of fans at the time. (If Jared or Tyler could make a photoshop of this, that would be awesome)

Manager - Ned Yost - Love him or hate him, he’s the man that took the Brewers from awful to competitive.

There you have it! Feel free to post your own! I know we’re all looking forward to another up and down decade of Brewer baseball. I hoped to do a Brewer of the Decade Vote in lieu of a fan favorite vote, but we’ll see if the site is around long enough for that.

Dave Bush Will Hit You, Steal Your Heart

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

The NL has been forced to adjust to Bush's style of play.

As indicated by the way we’re churning out posts here lately, there’s really not much to be excited about in the way of Brewers baseball right now. The Pirates sweep was sweet, I found someone to take my Jeff Suppan bobblehead (for free), and J.J. Hardy miraculously hasn’t been diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome during any of his sad sack, why me?-type interviews since he returned to the majors - but, all in all, it’s been a rough stretch with little to be happy about.

Until the 2nd inning of last night’s game.

That’s when Dave Bush, etched his name into Milwaukee baseball record books and further into my heart with his 50th hit batter as a Brewer (and 69th total). His plunking of Cards pitcher Chris Carpenter, who strangely wasn’t reduced to dust/put on 60-day DL after being hit, overtook Jamey Wright’s previous team HBP record of 49. Bush then went on to hit Brenden Ryan in the 3rd to push his record to 51 doinks.

According to Plunk Everyone, nobody in the Majors has hit more batters than Bush since he joined the Brewers in 2006. I think this accomplishment hammers home two points:

1. Dave Bush is a hard-nosed son of a bitch bastard who would rather hit you a dozen times than give you the inside of his plate once. 

2. I love Dave Bush.

Like that old saying goes, “If you’re going to be the best at something, it might as well involve striking people with small, hard objects.”

Congrats, Dave. May your record grow for years to come - one bruise at a time.

[h/t Brew Crew Ball]

Requiem for a Vinny: An Epilogue to Greatness

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Birth of Vinny

Last week’s acquisition of Claudio Vargas was one met with a collective mouth fart from the Brewers faithful. That trade alone signaled the conclusion of Milwaukee’s pursuit of a top of the rotation pitcher and, to some, the front office’s surrender of the 2009 season. But to one fan, Friday’s Vargas for Vinny Rottino trade signified something entirely different – the end of an era.

I’ve made no secret of my, at times strange, but entirely heterosexual adoration of the Racine native on this site. Sure, I knew a 29-year-old career .208 hitter who proved himself equally ineffective at eight positions was no hero, but he was someone to pull for. For residents of a state that considers actions like breathing deeply and standing for short periods of time to be sports, the hometown kid turned 2004 Brewers minor leaguer of the year was a figure to look up to, a man to unfairly pressure our unborn sons into one day becoming, a less talented Eric Hinske.

I’d been heavily drinking the tart and unforgiving ambrosia of Rottino backing since 2006. For me, it’s been an interesting experience harboring an unhealthy interest in the career of a marginal semi-pro athlete, one wrought in its ups like his first Major League hit and the downs like his demotion to Huntsville earlier this season. But more than anything, the steady middle of lingering in Nashville, waiting tirelessly for the next promised opportunity to be delivered, and ultimately being passed over once again.

In hearing of the news of his trade, I launched into the seven stages of grief. I can only now bring myself to reveal my thoughts on that fateful day.

Stage 1: Shock and Denial
Rottino!?! No… no, that couldn’t be right. I’m sure Anthony Witrado had something to do with this report. Yeah, that’s it. Witrado.

Stage 2: Pain and Guilt
Oh Christ, the ticker is right. This hurts so much! Not only do I have to deal with the new fact Claudio Vargas is one of Milwaukee’s better pitchers now, that choad coming to town means Vinny will never be a full-time Brewers player. I should have cherished his time here. I was too busy paying off crippling student loan debt and having regular social interaction to purchase a DVR and subsequently save each of his 24 sporadic at bats… and now he’s gone. 

Stage 3: Anger and Bargaining
Seriously, Doug? You finna play me like that?!? Oh never mind, I forgot Vargas was totally awesome the last time he was a Brewer. Wasn’t Johnny Estrada part of your last trade involving Vargas coming to MKE? He was cool too. Hustled, didn’t look legally dead behind the plate… great move. Doug Davis and Dana Eveland were so worth that prize package.

Why me? Is it not enough that I bear a slight resemblance to a less hot “Booger” from Revenge of the Nerds and have larger than average lips? Haven’t I been through enough? If Rottino comes back to Milwaukee, I promise I’ll never attempt to organize a stupid photo contest only two people participate in. I SWEAR IT!

Stage 4: “Depression”, Reflection, Loneliness
People don’t seem to care about this as much as I do. Some people are even making jokes about the trade. I agree, the Vargas part is really funny… but I still miss Vinny. Man, I really used to like the guy. Shit, I even personalized a Rottino shirt jersey once. Sure, it was using a gift certificate, I didn’t want anything else and I mostly did it to be funny, but there was something about that shirt that just felt right; perhaps it was the 10% Rayon blend, but maybe it was the name on the back - though it probably was the 10% Rayon blend.

Stage 5: The Upward Turn
Wait a second, Vinny was languishing in double-A and posting a sub-.250 AVG there before the trade. Maybe he’s not the answer. Actually, I won’t ponder this right now. I just remembered Internet porn, binge drinking and Thai food still exist. No time to cry.

Stage 6: Reconstruction and Working Through
Maybe I don’t need to maintain a semi-serious admiration for a fledgling aged prospect. He had some good moments in the Brewers system, the fact he worked his way up from unsigned free agent to three-time September call-up proves that. Maybe I could start looking for another longshot player to base my pathetic existence around. Maybe I’ll cut up a Rottino card and use it to make soap. Out of respect.

Better times

Stage 7: Acceptance and Hope
I’m now at peace. Vinny wasn’t in the Brewers’ long-term plans (apart from previous six-year dickaround in the minors). The fact he was traded one for one to nab a player who will serve Milwaukee on the big league level is a pretty nice parting shot - even if that  player kind of sucks turds. Though technically a Dodger, Vinny Rottino will always remain a Brewer - especially when he accepts a minor league coaching job in the Brewers system within the next two seasons. I hope that happens. 

Goodbye Vinny and best of luck, until you return.

Where’s Cameron? THERE HE IS!

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Mike Cameron, who took a 3 for 41 slump into the late frames of Tuesday’s 7-5 Brewers win, had been buried in the worst slump of his (what I estimate to be) 62-year career. Between sucking at the plate and being benched for sucking at the plate, Cameron went missing for pretty much all of last week and the beginning of this week too.

But alas, he’s found his swing and his name can again be seen with whole numbers in the hit column of a box score. Cameron finally halted his shitstreak when he clubbed a RBI triple in the top of the 8th. He added a single in the 9th.

Welcome back, Cameron. We’ve missed you.


Friday, April 24th, 2009

CG, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K

Happy Birthday, Burnitz

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Though to most it doesn’t trump the importance of tax day or the significance of the 62nd anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, this April 15 is special for yet another reason. Today is Jeromy Burnitz’s birthday.

Burnitz (pictured above portraying down-on-his-luck bowler Roy Munson in the 1996 movie “Kingpin”) turned 40 today. His career ended in 2006 and he hadn’t suited up as a Brewer since 2001, but he’ll always be one of my favorite players. He was one of the few bright spots to some otherwise abysmal Brewers teams of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. To those too young or too new to the bandwagon to remember Burnitz’s time in Milwaukee, here are some highlights from his 6 seasons (more like 5 full seasons, plus 23 games) as a Brewer:

• 165 homers
• 714 hits
• 525 RBI
• 4 consecutive seasons with over 30 HR
• 3 seasons with over 100 RBI
• All-star in 1999

You’d be right in saying he wasn’t exactly incredible, but for a while there, he was the best Brewer fans had to cheer for. So I think that warrants best 40th birthday wishes.

- Baseball-Reference helped (a little) with the stats.

Any Which Way But Mieske: Some Guy Turns 41 Today

Friday, February 13th, 2009

What's this strange wooden device?

Beside being the day before Valentine’s day, one day closer to the ever-sweet end of the world the Myans predicted for 2012, and a one of three Friday the 13ths slated to take place in 2009 (could be fewer if the Myans misplaced a decimal) - today is also the 41st anniversary of former Brewers OF Matt Mieske’s birth.

You may be wondering things like “Why should I care?” or “Where are you going with this?!?” and maybe even “Who is Matt Mieske?”

The answers to those first two questions are, of course, 1. You probably shouldn’t, 2. I’m not quite sure. But I feel question three deserves a slightly more detailed answer.

Matt Mieske is my most hated Milwaukee Brewer.

To clarify, I don’t hate Matt Mieske the man. I actually met him when I was nine and he seemed quite nice. He signed a ball which I’ve since neglected and let the sun damage. The Wolff family, who sponsor his Baseball-Reference page, seem quite fond of him too. Both Matt and I managed to escape the shackles of our native Michigan to go on to better things (Wisconsin residence), and his perma 5 o’clock shaddow is pretty boss too.

He never burned any bridges in leaving a la Gary Sheffield, or swindled the Crew out of millions for his shoddy services in the Hammonds or Suppan sense. And despite putting up career numbers Ryan Braun could overtake in two seasons’ time, Mieske suited up for five big league teams over eight seasons, was drafted, signed and even traded for.

Yet I hate Matt Mieske the baseball player because he embodies an era and an organizational mentality that found it acceptable to employ a Matt Mieske-type player to start in a Major League outfield - one of nine cheap interchangable has beens or never weres almost blindly fielded. To me he represents the darkest hour of a franchise that hasn’t seen much light in its 39 years of life, a creature Milwaukee has grappled with for years and is just starting to overtake. Your Matt Mieske might go by another name, but I hope my sentiment is found.

But despite this unfair piling a lifetime’s losses on one man, the unjust hatred of Matthew Todd Mieske, I don’t want to forget him. The cost-cutting, cellar-dwelling, bats and diamond logo Brewers, and this name that encases it - their memory makes Milwaukee’s current good fortune even sweeter. For that, I appreciate the losing years, and the hacks that conveyed them.

So happy birthday, Matt. I hope you have many more - if only to bring me an increasingly distant reminder of sorrow to further enrich better times.

Insomniac Ink