Last week, Brewers radio broadcaster Cory Provus got an unexpected promotion to lead broadcaster for the Minnesota Twins. As a fan who listens to a great deal of games on the radio, this came as disappointing but understandable news to me. Though the new gig seems to be a great one for Provus, his departure leaves Brewers fans with some questions.
With Provus gone, who will be the person in the booth who fills the airwaves with exaggerated laughter when Bob Uecker goes off on one of his tangents? Who will lend baseball insight and statistical research to pair with Ueck's misjudged home run calls on pop ups during the extended Krisp Kraut ad that is Brewers game coverage? Who will replace Cory Provus?
While the club sifts through resumes for a replacement, I'd like to offer some suggestions for the new (second) voice of the Milwaukee Brewers.
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Are you a grown man who - despite being 43-years old, diabetic, wholly devoid of coordination and flirting with morbid obesity - is still holding onto an outside hope of one day becoming a big league player? Do you perhaps have some type of mental handicap that goes undetected by those around you because you appear to be just another guy to the naked eye? Are you so saddened by the empty shell your life has become that you consider the idea of sharing a hotel room with a like-minded stranger and playing adult baseball scrimmages to be a temporary escape from the hellish monotony you call everyday existence? Do you have NOTHING better to spend $4138.97 of your hard-earned cash on? Are you just plain pathetic?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, the Milwaukee Brewers have just the thing for you! From January 29 to February 5, YOU can be flown to Arizona and embarrassingly pretend to be a Brewers player thanks to Brewers Fantasy Camp. According to a press release, "[The camp] GIVES YOU THE CHANCE TO WORK AS HARD ON THE FIELD AS YOU DO ON THE JOB. (OK. MAYBE HARDER!)"
Whoa! All caps! Color me intrigued.
But if neither my rousing introduction nor the team's promise of charging you thousands of dollars to make you work harder than you do at your job is enough to grab you, just look at some of the other benefits available to you.
Daily hot breakfast at the hotel.
Instant oatmeal probably falls under this category.
Instruction and coaching from Brewers legends including: Jim Gantner, Gorman Thomas, Greg Vaughn, Dale Sveum, Jerry Augustine and Ed Sedar.
Jim Gantner's instruction: "When playing second base, it's important to stay put for 17 straight seasons so fans can be fooled into loving you, despite your marginal talent."
Greg Vaughn's instruction: "Spend your money wisely or you'll have to spend your winters telling dorks to choke up."
Jerry Augustine's instruction: "Haven't ... slept ... in ... so ... long! Please kill me!"
Two games daily, coached by Brewers legends at Maryvale Baseball complex.
Happy hour nightly at hotel.
Daily newsletter with stats and info.
Hmmm... I don't know if I see fantasy baseball campers as the newsletter and stat-enjoying type. But maybe one of these stone cold jocks will take something from the documented integers.
Ultimate fantasy game against the pros on Saturday.
Personally, grounding out to Ed Sedar is like 8th on my bucket list. Number 7 is "Revise bucket list."
Pre-game introductions on the field before a Brewers game at Miller Park.
I can imagine it now...
"And now we'll forgo our National Anthem to, instead, show you a dozen yuppie douche bags who gave us money this off season. Thanks for falling for it, guys! Good sports, good sports. Alright, bring on this Tuesday afternoon Brewers and Nationals game!"
What could be better than making a goat out of a Waukesha-based Human Resources Manager with a glandular disorder whom you met two days earlier because he didn't run out a ground ball? It's just like the real big leaguers do. Then again, if "Slam Manny Parra against a dugout wall" was part of this, I'd consider going.
Free memorabilia and autographs from the pros.
Great as he was in the '70s and '80s, a Gorman Thomas signed batting glove isn't worth the space in your carry on bag, let alone high billing on an advertisement for a fantasy camp.
Professional massage therapist available nightly.
How many happy endings each night would make up for the sad beginnings and disappointing middle provided by each day of camp? There isn't enough Jergens in the world to find out.
So if this opportunity seems enticing enough to at least slightly delay your own suicide by pills, order now! This could be your only chance to get hitting instruction from Greg Vaughn... though I've heard he'll lend a few fielding tips if you buy him Quizno's.
With the offseason just underway, there's not exactly a lot to talk about in regard to the Milwaukee Brewers roster moves. But one of the few transactions made so far was the club's decision to decline Yuniesky Betancourt's $6M club option for 2012, using the $2M the Royals sent with him and Zack Greinke in last winter's trade.
And while declining Yunie's option doesn't necessarily mean he won't be part of the '12 squad, I (like most other Brewer fans with the appropriate number of chromosomes) sure as hell hope it's at least a solid hint he'll be gone for good. Still, even if most of us are ready to be rid of the Cuban pop-up machine, I for one don't wish any ill will against him. I mean, honestly, he made a couple great plays (including the clutch 9th inning force out that saved Game 5 of the NLDS) and was pretty hot at the plate for a while there. Plus, it usually made my friends laugh when I called him "Chocolate Rain"... even if it didn't make much sense.
Even in the light of his probable departure, I wish Betancourt the best in his career. So much so, in fact, that I've taken the time to think of some possible jobs for Yunie B. in 2012. Here are a few of them.
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Figuring one of every six Miller Park Drunk posts of late were either co-written by me or mentioned me, I finally set aside my fear of rejection last Friday and asked Vince, left, if I could be taken in as the second MPDer. Fortunately for me, he complied.
"But who is this 'Maas' author?" you ask with feigned surprise. Before I officially tag myself into this ring of dick jokes, halfassed Photoshops and obscure pop culture references, I thought I'd formally introduce myself and help prepare you for what you'll get from me.
Who am I?
You know, I feel like that's a question to which there's really no true answer (I'm kind of deep!). But if forced to narrow it down to a few bullet points, I'm a Sagittarius. We're known for our lack of astrological knowledge. Beyond that, I'm a Milwaukee-based professional writer... in the absolutely loosest sense of the term. I liken my writing as a living to how Jack Wilson is technically a professional baseball player, except that I've never had the ability to trick a mismanaged organization into overpaying me. My mismanaged organization pays me exactly what I'm worth.
You probably know me from...
Writing those few sentences above this. I sincerely doubt any of you know who I am. Don't get me wrong, it's not because you guys aren't learned and well-versed people. Rather, I am just that unknowable. I'm like the Nearly Every Baseball Blogger Ever of baseball blogging notoriety. However, that's not to say I haven't tried to build my brand. I cut my teeth with the now-defunct Brewers blog Right Field Bleachers. I write over half the Brewers-related content at The Onion-affiliated websites The A.V. Club Milwaukee and The A.V. Club Madison. I contribute content (primarily music and some Brewers stuff, when possible) to Milwaukee Magazine, too. I also (hardly ever) write for Boston-based baseball blog Bugs & Cranks.
What to expect from me.
I've loved the Brewers for roughly 21 of my 26 years. The missing annuals were my first five, when I was either a clueless, drooling piece of shit and/or not aware that anything that wasn't a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or one of my own boogers existed. Still, I think that's a pretty honest and admirable assessment of my Brewers fandom. Thus, I am able to produce obscure names like Jesse Levis, Jody Reed, Turner Ward and Rocky Coppinger to serve as the mortar to bind the bricks that are my contemporary Brewers takes. I sponsored Tim Dillard's Baseball-Reference page waaaaay before it was cool (Estimated date of it being cool to sponsor Tim Dillard's Baseball-Reference page: Never). I'm also certain that I'm one of two people responsible for John Axford using "New Noise" by Refused as his entrance music in save situations. This heavy metal magazine agrees. In short, I care deeply about the Brewers.
Hopefully, I'll be able to help bring well-thought, well-written and funny posts to the site. They'll be in the vein of Vince's humor and writing, except without the pictures of that dog in the lobster costume. I don't know what that's about. I also swear a lot more often and have been known to overuse parenthesis (like, a lot). If this all goes correctly, Miller Park Drunk will be a better site with more updates, Vince will get more visitors/ad revenue, I'll sell more shirts and we'll all get our dicks wet and our pussies (consensually) jammed. I mean that last part figuratively, of course.
And maybe--JUST MAYBE--we'll share a few laughs along the way.
Are you over the Brewers elimination yet? I know I'm not. Last night was the first game 1 of the World Series I didn't watch in my entire life. Seriously, I used to turn off Sesame Street to watch that sh-t. I didn't even gamble on it! I just want to pretend it doesn't even exist. It's a weird feeling being this depressed for this long, but I'll be over it eventually. It's like breaking up with someone really. Only if when you broke up with them you knew you were going to get back together in a year, you could check in on them whenever you wanted, they were going to make changes to make themselves better and that neither of you were going to see anyone else for the whole time you were apart. So, you know, the complete opposite of what every girl who has ever broken up with me does.
Still, it's good to know I am not alone in this. Plenty of other Brewers fans have been feeling this same sense of loss and pain. It's good to be together through this, isn't it? Glad you're here. Couldn't do this without you. What's even better to know is that the Brewers themselves are going through some of the same depression that we are and thanks to my standing as the Milwaukee area, baseball specific TMZ I have the pictures to prove it. As you'll see the funny thing about depression is that no two people handle it the same way and the Brewers are no different. Read the rest of this entry »