Archive for May, 2007

Q & A with Mike from

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

If you’ve been a breathing human with at least some awareness of what’s happening around you within the past month or so, you have probably heard about the popular ingenious Web site centered around the concept of pledging to pee your pants if and when the Milwaukee Brewers make the playoffs. National media has covered it, SI and ESPN writers have made mentions, the quirky gem has been on the lips of many in and around the world of baseball.

As of this instant, exactly 5114 people (myself included) have stepped up the plate and are willing to sacrifice their dignity and their slacks to pee their pants for the Brewers. I was able to speak with Mike, one of the creative minds behind the site, and ask him some questions.

How long have you been a Brewer fan?
Since the day I was born in July of 1982. I was born into a world where the Brewers were #1 and made it to the World Series. Since I was consciously a brewers fan though- they have mostly stunk.

When and why did you establish
The website itself was established on May 7th, 2007 as an opportunity for people to express their love and dreams for the Brewers. The idea came from my older brother two years ago. He was 24 at the time and talking to my then 12 year old brother. Discussing the brewers my brother said, when I was your age they had never been to the playoffs- 12 years later they still haven’t been. I don’t know what I’d do if they made the playoffs- maybe I would pee my pants. No, I will definitely pee my pants

Will you, yourself pee your pants if (when) the Crew qualifies for the playoffs?
Without a doubt.

What’s the most distant pledge you’ve received, anyone from outside the U.S.?
Several from outside the US. A bunch from Iraq that were highlighted on a post-Memorial day post on the website. People from the Netherlands. People have accessed the site literally from around the world. Using Google analytics- there have been people from the Sudan, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia- just about everywhere. Very cool

Do any of the pledges stick out from others? If so, what is the most memorable pledge you’ve gotten, why?
A lot of the pledges are really good. There are some very touching ones where people take it really seriously- which is great to see- people saying their favorite memory or best part is going to the games with their dads or grandparents. It’s nice seeing the good effects of sports. Whenever there’s a bad team- the games become much more about the experience surrounding the game rather than the game or the team itself. Some of the ones from older men and women saying the last time they’ve peed pants get me pretty good just because they’re a little gross- I peed when I sneezed, when I laughed, when I gave birth. All these hilarious ones.

How does it feel to be getting some national media attention?
It feels good. I’m more excited that the brewers fans are excited about it and there’s something for brewers fans TO be excited about. I went to a Mets game and afterwards when JJ Hardy was getting interviewed- I yelled pee your pants. He laughed and acknowledged me. I think that’s pretty cool that the players know about it. I would love for them to pee their pants. It also would be incredibly awesome if I got to run in a sausage race as the polish sausage. I think that would be the best possible thing to come out of this for me. I would guarantee victory.

Should the Brewers force thousands to wet themselves with playoff-caliber play this season, do you plan to continue taking pledges next season?
We’ll see how it goes. It could be an ongoing thing. If all it took for the brewers to make the playoffs was me peeing my pants every year- I think I’d do it and so would thousands of other fans.

Is there any special method you plan to take in wetting yourself or any tips you could offer potential pants-wetters?
Check out the methods page- there’s some great ones from PYPFTB members posted there.

Any plans for a Would you consider it?
The “… Your Pants” franchise is currently a one shot deal- very simple- brewers make the playoffs you pee your pants. That’s it. No escalation clauses. Something really good would have to happen for the packers- a 3-year dynasty with me as a wide receiver for the winning TDS in each super bowl.

Out of Order

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

With Braun coming up, how about a little change to the batting order/line-up?

1. Rickie Weeks, 2B, Right — Despite some struggles at the plate, Weeks’ on-base percentage is still very good and he is among the league leaders in runs scored. That’s what you want your lead-off hitter to do. He’ll get hot at the plate eventually and he’ll fill the lead-off role well and should even provide a little power.

2. Ryan Braun, 3B, Right — It’s a little pressure to put on Braun this early batting him high in the order, but he’s got speed and a great bat. He should fit well at #2.

3. J.J. Hardy, SS, Right — His power numbers will go down, but it’s hard to argue with his production and he’s proven he’s a major-league hitter.

4. Prince Fielder, 1B, Left — I don’t want to break up the Hardy/Fielder power combo, even if I don’t expect Hardy to keep it up. Fielder is clearly a clean-up candidate and should hit consistently out of the four hole. He’ll also be a left-handed bat to break up the right-hand-dominate top of the order.

5. Bill Hall, CF, Right — He’s been struggling a bit at the plate, but should come around. In the #5 spot, there is less pressure on him than batting clean-up and he breaks up two lefties.

6. Geoff Jenkins, LF, Left — Could bat fifth, but, much like Ned Yost, I like to break up the lefties. He should see a lot of runners on base with the guys in front of him.

7. Corey Hart, RF, Right — Hart has produced offensively at every level and he’ll produce in Milwaukee too. He’s got power and speed, something the average #7 hitter in the NL will not have.

8. Johnny Estrada, C, Switch — Estrada should hit close to .300 and hits from both sides, nice luxuries, especially for a catcher.

9. Pitcher

Bench: Damian Miller, C, Right; Craig Counsell, IF, Left; Tony Graffanino, IF, Right; Gabe Gross, OF, Left; Tony Gwynn, OF, Left; Kevin Mench, OF, Right

First off, I think Hart should start every day. He’s hit everywhere he’s been and he’ll hit for the Brewers too. There are those that are pushing for Gwynn to start in right, but there are two big problems with that. First, Gwynn is a center fielder. He shouldn’t play in right. Second, Hart has better upside in every single category over Gwynn besides defense. Hart should be a much better major-league player. Stunting his growth to play Gwynn in right field every day, out of position, makes no sense. If the Brewers are looking to make Gwynn a full-time player, and he could be a productive top-of-the-order center fielder, they’ll probably have to move Hall to a corner outfield position with Gwynn in center and Hart in the other corner outfield spot. That means, however, that Jenkins would no longer be starting, even in a platoon, most likely. I don’t see it happening until after this season unless Jenkins goes in a total tailspin. I could see Gwynn getting a lot of spot starts to rest players, especially against right-handed pitchers, but I don’t think he should be in the starting line-up at this point unless there is an injury.

I’d like to see Jenkins start almost every day. He’s going to hit right-handed pitchers and when he’s hot, he hits left-handed pitchers too. I’ve just seen so little from Mench that I’d rather take my chances with Jenkins. Plus Gross and Gwynn aren’t better options because they are both lefties too and continuity in the batting order would be a nice change of pace.

I have Estrada hitting eighth, not because his .300 average warrants it, but because I think his aggressive swinging fits perfectly there. With the nearly-automatic out of the pitcher coming up, whoever hits eighth should put the ball in play, especially if there are runners on. Estrada almost always puts the ball in play, whether it’s a hit, a ground out or a fly out. That will put pressure on the defense. No easy Graffanino/Counsell out here anymore.

The power in this line-up is intriguing. With six hitters in a row capable of hitting at least 20 home runs (and Hardy and Fielder pushing that number already), this is a batting order that could produce runs in clusters. Weeks is also capable of coming close to 20 home runs. And there is a good amount of speed too. Weeks and Braun will provide speed at the top of the order and Hall and Hart’s speed is hidden a little deeper. Most importantly, there is no hole in the line-up (aside from the pitcher’s spot). The left-handed or switch-hitting bats are broken up and the speed/power is sprinkled throughout. The bench also has a lot of good options, especially with three left-handed bats, later in the game.

So, there it is. You can thank me later, Yost.

Know Your Brauns

Friday, May 25th, 2007

With the arrival of Ryan J. Braun, here is a picture guide I made for you to clear up any confusion:

Know Your Brauns

P.S. - I know it’s hard to see here (I can’t figure out how to make it bigger but not blurry online), but you can right click on the picture and save as to see it as it was meant to be seen.

The Prospect(s) of a Brewer’s Trade: A Tyler Take

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Maybe you saw it on ESPN’s bottom line, while sitting in your boxers hearing the drones of Baseball Tonight exalting Roger Clemens or dancing around the name Barry Bonds. You might have read it in the local sports pages over coffee or cereal or maybe, just maybe you read it right here on the RFB blog.

Regardless of how the news was conveyed to you, with the Ryan Braun call-up, the future is now. The future is even more now right now than has ever been now before now…and the future was pretty now before now, if you ask me (if you can makes sense of that, congrats!).

This poses a pretty difficult question, which the seething media is already asking before Mr. Braun even takes his first big league swing. Should the Brewers with their NL Central lead and airplane hangar full of promising young talent mortgage (or at least sublet) their future for the sake of acquiring a nice name to fill an aparent “gap?” Or should we bank on years of scouting, excellent drafting, remarkable trading and wonderful prospect play and go forth this season with this roster and potentially preserve our prospect pool and a possible dynasty for seasons to come.

As attractive as a sexy name, big time stats accured during the Clinton administration by some big name, and his 2-3 months of marketability for shirt-jersey sales may be, I say we forge on and use these tools we’ve locked in our Nashville and Hunstville toolchests and go all in, trying to both win now and maintain a sunny, equally promising future.

Sure, with such a young team, many of which shared a minor league roster spot with current minor leaguers, there is a bit of drop off in some areas of our minor league talent pool. But primarily, when I look at the minor league rosters, even some of the A ball stats…I’m excited for the next time the future is now, which if these names stay in order, won’t be too long.

In short, as easy as it would be to write off a Braun, Gallardo, Inman, even a Parra, Palmisamo or Rottino as a (some) minor leaguer(s) tossed a non-contender’s way in favor of an aging name to satisfy the media’s hunger for notoriety, that would just give that non-contender a piece of our future, damage our chemistry, and kill chances of winning for some time to come, after we as an organization have lobored and suffered and built so extensively to get to this point, with these opportunities.

But hey, it worked when we gave Jorge De la Rosa and all his potential (however unproven in the bigs at the point of the trade) to the Royals for Tony Graffanino. I’m the biggest Graffy supporter, but c’mon.

If we have to appease the media, impatient and/or fairweather fans, then I think the Crew should more seriously consider dealing an older name in our outfield…like a Kevin Mench or if anyone will bite, experienced Infielder Craig Counsell to further enrich our minor league prospects. I don’t want to trade Jenks (though I have no doubt he will sign elsewhere next season) and though it may be an unpopular opinion, I think Turnbow is essential to our method of winning.

So as Braun takes his first big league cuts, whether it’s tonight, tomorrow or next week, I want to look at him and know I’ll be cheering for him for years to come and that for seasons upon seasons, he’ll be wearing the uniform i’ve loved since I was a boy and that the present is promising and the future is bright.


Thursday, May 24th, 2007

Ryan Braun

The Journal-Sentinel has reported Milwaukee Brewers third base prospect Ryan Braun has been called up: Brewers summon Braun

A Couple Tips for the Y&R Four

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Many of you have probably heard about the Brewers goin’ Hollywood…er…daytime Soap Hollywood. If not look here .

With the Brewers going on the Young and the Restless, Here’s a couple tips I have for the guys:

Bill Hall - As the only one from the group with “acting” experience (see Time Warner Commercials), I must ask that you do not try and give the other guys tips. Those commercials are awkward, so awkward I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. The best thing is you possibly can’t get embarrassed and your cheesyness will translate perfectly into this soap opera gig.

Chris Capuano - You probably have the best acting skills of the group. Why do I say that? Well it’s because your pickoff move could basically be deemed as acting. And it’s good. So good, that people still refer to your move as one of the best in the majors. Since you graduated from Duke, you’re probably the smartest person to ever be on the show too. That’s something to put in your bio.

Jeff Suppan - As the oldest in the group, you may feel camera shy. Don’t. There’s some guy on that show named Victor and I’m guessing he’s at least 120 years old since I’ve seen his mug looking at me from the supermarket magazines since I can remember.

J.J. Hardy - Get ready to go from Sports Heartthrob to Soap Heartthrob. I hope one of the characters leaves her current fiance, who cheated on her anyway with the babysitter in front of the kids while she was in the hospital, to win the love of J.J. She comes to a game wearing a shirt that says “Future Mrs. Hardy”. When she gets to the game, she realizes that almost every woman in the stadium has a similar shirt. She is saddened but becomes heartbroken, just like all the other “F.M.H.’s”, when she realizes he’s in a long term relationship. She plots to kill that girl and steal J.J. for herself…Dun Dun Duuuuuun. What a cliffhanger. I could write one of those shows.

Good luck, Break a leg (except for you J.J.), and don’t forget you have a division lead to keep…

A Sad Tale of Poetic Justice

Friday, May 18th, 2007

As I was watching some doofus named Boof K 11 Brewers, I thought back to the games that a bunch of RFB’ers went to see in Minnesota. Twas a great time, except for the outcome of the games. I believe Liriano K’ed over 10 Brewers one day as well. While in Twinkie City, we would heckle the players and fans for fun. We would say Torii was a future yankee, we would say you needed a female name to play for the Twins (Torii, Shannon, etc…), and we would say that they should have never let Corey Koskie go….

Well, now the Twins are saying the same thing to us…about Jeff Cirillo. And I am saying the exact same thing the Twins fans said last year: “We didn’t want to let him go”. If Gabe Gross is right about God watching baseball, then it appears he has a sense of humor.

A couple ramblings:
Am I the only one who sees the resemblance?

Watching Counsell make a nice play on a chopper right off of the line and fire as hard as he could to first and not getting close to getting the runner out reminded me again that this guy is a SS.

As much as we rip on the Twins and their fans, they are pretty smart, especially for being in such close proximity to Vikings fans (there is a difference). Plus they have taken their small market team to the playoffs. That said, some things overheard said by Twins fans:
“Man, Tony Gwynn looks small now.”
“Prince Fielder is so overrated. He’s slower than David Ortiz.”

Here’s hoping the rest of the series goes better…


Friday, May 18th, 2007

Nothing has been more annoying this week then the Brewer “fans” that have been talking about how they are ready to jump off the Brewers bandwagon no more than two weeks after they jumped on. People have to realize that this is baseball. This is not the NFL in which the season consists of 16 regular season games. There are 162 games to be played this year. Brewer fans are so used to the Brewers playing badly that when they hit a slump they are ready to give up on this team. BUT…this team is not like Brewers’ teams of the past. They are a solid team with powering offense and solid (to say the least) pitching. They are, however, still a very young team. Young teams are going to have these stretches. I realize this, and so should everyone else.

That being said. I AM frustrated with the play tonight. I can handle losing to the Mets and even the Phillies because they are arguably better teams, but it was tough watching the Brewers struggle so badly tonight against Minnesota. The Twins came into this game cold and they made the Brewers look foolish. The Twins have the lowest home run total in the AL, but they came in and scored six runs on homers tonight. Boof Bonser struck out a dozen or so Brewer batters and only gave up three hits. This is frustrating to me and I’m sure most Brewer fans.

Ok ok. I’m done with negetives. I have a ton of faith in this team and I still know they are going to be just fine this year, but we need this series. So here is to taking the next two games from the Twins. Hopefully the hitters can settle down and start seeing the ball again and Bush/Vargas mow down the Twins hitters. Look for the Right Field Bleachers flag in the general parking lot Saturday night and Sunday. Please stop by, have a drink, and get some free “I Beer Milwaukee” stickers. Go Crew!

Turnblown Out of Proportion: The Life of a Reliever

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Every week a garbage truck comes to my apartment complex to empty the dumpsters. Sometimes it shows up in the middle of the afternoon and swiftly removes the waste, bothering nobody. But usually, it announces its presence with the loud, unexpected crashes of metal on metal and the reving of its giant engine at 8 a.m.

Few are left happy, but people would much rather have those 8 a.m. wake ups than a parking lot full of smelly garbage. This is not unlike the life of Derrick Turnbow.

As a former closer, now setup man… an undeniably situational relief pitcher, Turnbow is obviously called upon in high pressure situations when one to three pivitol outs are needed and the opposition is within a few runs. Usually, Turnbow, hell any reliever not named Jorge Julio gets thouse outs and quietly assists his team in claiming a victory…but sometimes balls can’t find the zone, hits are surrendered and no-namers belt game-winning homers.

Last night, the Crew was losing when Turnbow initally called on to pitch. Sveum could put someone else in, but he didn’t and I thought that was a great move. Dale showed Derrick he still had trust from the coaching staff, despite his rough outing one night prior. Turnbow made good on Sveum’s trust and worked out of a pretty big jam in the eigth, which allowed Estrada’s ninth inning solo shot to tie it.

Alas, the greatest part of any pressure cooked reliver is his ability to sit upon a cross and take the lumps of a loss that the entire team earned. Sure, in essence, Turnbow’s pitching cost the Brewers the game these past two nights, but if you look at last night’s box score, I think the mere five overall hits, the seven strikeouts (mostly looking) and the ten left on base stole a victory from the Crew just as much as the one misplaced Turnbow pitch.

For my money, there is no other setup man i’d want in my bullpen or in that situation. As an All-Star calibur hurler on a great young team, he is expected to perform at a Godly level of perfection. It’s his job… but realize he’s also allotted a few bad days of work in a long, higher pressure season. Up to this point in the season, he has been incredible, cementing wins alongside Cordero. DT has my confidence, and I assure you, he will be throwing gas in no time, all the while letting games like these last two motivate him in doing so.

What Ever Happened to…?!?!

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Despite the Brewers’ tremendously impressive start to this young season, I can’t help but harken back to the days of old. No I’m not talking ‘82… I’m sure you hear about 1982 from enough people these days. I’m talking about the seasons… spanning roughly from 1993-2002 that were so horrible and heart-wrenching that the woeful Brewer play of then makes these recent winning ways of now that much sweeter.

After celebrating the most recent CoCo save, the latest Jenkins baseball-touchdown (aka homer) and Graffanino empty 1-4 I lay in bed and wonder what my former Brewer idols are up to these days. We all see Vina and E.Y. on Baseball Tonight, but that’s too easy. Instead, I think things like, “What does Eric Plunk do for fun?” or “I wonder if Troy O’Leary is happy.” Which leads me to the latest RFB off-day feature…What Ever Happened to_____?, in which I will tirelessly scour the land to find out what a former Brewer is doing now and I won’t quit until I find out… or I’ll just guess.

So without futher delay… What Ever Happened to Bob Hamelin?

Bob Hamelin

Robert James (Bob) Hamelin III was initially drafted in the 2nd round of the 1988 draft by the Royals. As a Royal in 1994, he won the AL Rookie of the Year over such hacks as Jim Edmonds and Manny Ramirez. He spent his one and only season with the Brewers in 1998. It was a quiet year for him. He spent most of it on the bench, with an occasional pinch hit appearance. 1998 was also Bob’s last year in baseball as the Brewers cut him in November of the same year. He ended his career with 67 homers and a .246 lifetime average.

So what happened to him? Psssh, I have no idea. My guess is that he probably lives a modest life out West, telling ladies he was the Rookie of the Year, looking for ways to spend his $1,370,000 career earnings and pinch hitting himself against right-handed relievers in Nintendo 64’s “Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey, Jr.” Bob, if you read this… tell us what you and your career .990 fielding percentage are up to these days!!!

Insomniac Ink