Excuse our lack of Hot Stove posts during winter meetings and this week's free agent free-for-all. Fortunately (if only to excuse our laziness), nothing really happened with the Brewers. Unless the front office's collective heart and wallet grows three sizes in the coming days, it looks to be a fairly frugal holiday season for Brewers fans.
Best case scenario, Shaun Marcum decides to make up for that whole NLCS thing, and allows the Brewers to sign him to a rich one- or two-year offer. But more likely, Milwaukee will push on with its talented (but green) cast of young hurlers or sign a past-prime hurler to his last payday; someone like Carl Pavano, Kevin Millwood, Derek Lowe or hologram Cory Lidle.
While we fans wait to open our popcorn tin-equivalent gift of various un-sexy Brewers acquisitions, get some holiday shopping done. Better yet, funnel your love of baseball into your shopping and cross some names of fellow fans off your list with some of this stuff. Also note: Vince and I are BOTH celebrating birthdays next week, and we have very expensive taste.
Milwaukee Brewers Man Cave 36" Sign
This sturdy $55 metallic wall sign is the perfect way to let those unfortunate enough to share your company know that, yes, you are a man and, hell yes, they better believe you like the Milwaukee Brewers baseball organization and, finally, if they can't take that... GTFO the Man Cave.
Various Discount Meats From the Klement's Factory Store
Always a Miller Park fixture--from sponsoring the Racing Sausages to being the official encased meat of the stadium, Klement's is an unbeatable idea for that carnivorous Brewers fan... not counting Usinger's, which is ever-so-slightly better, if you ask me. A few blocks down from Klement's factory headquarters in Bay View, a seedy utility closet-sized space at 2650 S. Chase Ave. doubles as a little slice heaven. Here, small details like store decor, sanitation and proper packaging are strewn aside in the name of value. Beyond the usual brats (for less), the outlet store offers beef sticks, summer sausage on the cheap, as well as dirt cheap weird items like ring bologna, head cheese, braunschweiger and ham balls. I don't exactly know what a ham ball is, but for 50 cents, I can't afford not to pop that fucker in my mouth at least once.
Electronic Bay dot com is a great source to obtain the various figurines to help line the mantle of that toy-freak on your X-mas list. Here, there's an array of oversize-headed sports hummels that range from official stadium giveaways to high quality limited edition rarities and terrible, terrible knockoffs.
One search yields a world of results. If you weren't one of the some-40,000 to nab a Derrick Turnbow bobblehead with synthetic "hair," here's your chance. For an extra buck, most sellers will throw in actual Turnblow hair the ex-closer sold so he could pay his gas bill. You can also re-live the saddest epoch of Brewers baseball with a Jeffrey Hammonds bobble that, fittingly, costs too much and does absolutely nothing. For a mere $17.99, this limited edition Ryan Braun bobblehead (right) could be yours. It appears to be limited edition because Goose Gossage's face is painted over Braun's.
Alcohol has many uses: dulling the unrelenting hellscape that is everyday existence AND stocking stuffers! And for fans of MLB's most alcoholic team name which resides in America's drunkest state, the beautiful gift of hooch is always appreciated. Whether it's a four pack of delicious Green Bay-brewed Hinterland Winterland beers to enjoy during spring training telecasts, a bottle of Pewaukee gunt fuel (aka "RumChata") to mix in your morning coffee while you blog about Derrick Turnbow bobbleheads or a bottle of Great Lakes Distillery's Rehorst vodka for your Opening Day bloody Mary's, you literally can't go wrong with the gift of Wisconsin spirits. Unless you're giving it to someone who doesn't drink, at which point you should probably take stock in the type of people you surround yourself with.
Of course I'm partial to Forward Fabrics, as its owner/operator/annoying promoter and all, but there's a wealth of other awesome online outlets offering outside-the-norm products honoring your favorite Wisconsin teams. Obviously, Sconnie has an abundance of great items too, as does Milwaukee Shirt Guys. I also own an embarrassing amount of Wiskullsin products (embarrassing because it's all the panties).
Something for the LAY-DAYS!!!
If I've learned anything from hackneyed '80s stand up comedy, it's that women be shoppin'. So for that penisless Crew fan on your list, spring for a MLB.com gift card so that they can choose from the site's myriad of stupid, useless and ugly items without function that only a woman could enjoy. For Katie - an intentionally distressed denim tote bag with a faded retro Brewers logo. Kaytee would love a beaded gold Brewers bracelet. And if I know Kaityeee, she'll cake the "Pink" of her ironically not pink sweat pants in a thick layer of shit Christmas morning when she happens upon a pair of garish Brewers sequin flip flops.
Framed Photo of Brett Lawrie
Sure, maybe that Marcum for Lawrie trade will go down as a colossal fuck up in Doug Melvin's otherwise-respectable track record of trades. But with this candid pic framed and displayed beside your stupid "Man Cave" sign on your wall, the pain of losing one of baseball's most promising young players will sting a little less.
And, yeah, Lawrie might post 10 straight 20-20 (or 30-30) seasons before all is said and done. But do you really want a guy like this to play for YOUR team? Hmmm... "Yes," you say? I know... me too.
The 2012 season is long gone, but that doesn't mean that we are completely done with it. We still have a little unfinished business to take care of. Specifically:
About that hat... RT @millerparkdrunk biggst surprise has to be Morgan still being a Brewer. If he makes it through August I will eat my hat
— Ryan Haasl (@RH4ever) September 2, 2012
As we all know Nyjer Morgan made it all the way through the season as a Brewer, posting an uninspiring .239/.302/.308 slash line in a lame duck season where he was pretty much extraneous to the roster. It was a shock to me that other teams didn't want him, but at the same time I guess it shouldn't have been. While his 16 RBIs may seem compelling for a team in need of outfield help, this is the same guy who pooped in a Gatorade bottle and threw chewing tobacco at the Cardinals.
Still, I was wrong about Nyjer Morgan's future as a Brewer and I have to hone up to it. I made a promise to my fans and I never let down my fans. I'm man enough to stand behind my words and that's why I'm doing this. That's right...
Today I eat my f'n hat.
Ryan Braun is engaged to Larisa Fraser.
I'll let that sink in for a moment for my female readers.
(flips through a magazine)
(looking at my non-existant watch)
(asking if you're alright in there)
Alright, we good? Good.
Ryan Braun is engaged to Larisa Fraser, his model girlfriend of a couple of years now. We know this because the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel employs numerous who employees who have close personal relationships with Brewers players that give them scoops on everyth- hahahaha. I'm just playing. We know this because one of the Busted Coverage dudes reads her "food and modeling" blog. (Seriously, that's a real thing.) You guys may remember Busted Coverage as the site that replaced Front Row Amy with another girl with looks for a game that wasn't even on TV. Cool, I guess.
Anyways, they broke the story and Ryan Braun is ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED. This is the most devastating news to Wisconsin females since your mom found out Brett Favre was texting to d-pics to another woman. We here at Miller Park Drunk wish Ryan Braun the very best in his engagement and hope that they make each other very happy. I've seen her nipples in pictures and she seems like a great woman, I hope you two are very happy together.
Unfortunately, not everyone in Wisconsin is as happy for the future Mr. and Mrs. Braun-Fraser as we are. There are actually a lot of really sad, really angry people out there that don't wish the best for the happy couple. This is unfortunate, but as a news website and the best Brewers blog in the world it is not our job, but our duty as Americans to take these opinions and report on them. So here are some of the most popular opinions going around the web about the pending Braun-Fraser nuptials. Read the rest of this entry »
Despite what Tyler Maas said the other day, how awesome is it that the season is over? I AM SO HAPPY! No more dreaming of impossible scenarios that won't happen, no more Brewers bullpen doing Brewers bullpen thing, no more Cardinals, no more Barry Zito, no more MLB Betting, no more Prince Fielder used to be a Brewer and no more stupid teams in the stupid World Series. I'm glad it's all over and I am ready to move on to my favorite time of the year: free agency!
The great thing about free agency is that everyone is interesting. Alex Gonzalez is a slightly above average shortstop in the declining phase of his career, but when they signed him last year it felt like they were getting Cal Ripken Jr. (The young bald shortstop version, not the older bald third base version.) Free agency has a way of filling us with hope and making us believe that whatever dude we just signed is going to be the key to our championship season.*
*= Unless that signing is Eric Gagne, Jeff Suppan, Jason Kendall, Doug Davis or any of the other sucky assholes this team has brought in over the past few years.
With the free agent FrEnZy set to begin I thought we should take a look at who the Brewers may or may not get. This isn't meant to be a predictions post because my name is not Doug Melvin, but is instead a handy guide for any Brewers front office staff who might be reading this to gauge our feelings on any potential signings. Last season was the worst (and then briefly the best, but mostly the absolute worst) and I don't want to go through that again. You have to get this one right. Don't mess this one up, guys. No pressure.
Baseball, milwaukee brewers, Off-Base October 30th, 2012
At virtually the longest period of time spanning the Word Series and Opening Day, we're still more than a month from winter meetings and likely even longer from teams making any notable trades or free agent signings. I'm sure it's not hard to find an exact number of days between now and the Miller Park home opener, but I don't want to see it. It's just too depressing.
So how are fans supposed to bide their time during this bleak, baseball-less period? Do we take up a new hobby, such as canning homemade preserves or banging strangers at swinger's gatherings while dressed up as Huckleberry Hound? Neither sounds all that appealing... even if I found a gently used Huckleberry Hound costume in my price range. Maybe this is the perfect time to start watching New Girl. Then again, I'm probably way behind in the plot. At this point, they probably just call it "Girl" or something. Do we feign interest in the Bucks for a while? Perhaps this is a prime opportunity to better our lives... you know, get back to the gym, read a book not written by R.L Stine for once, apply for somewhat-less soul-crushing jobs, finally determine the reason that "check engine" light has been illuminating your dashboard since April--things like that.
Then again, with the new #GuessBrew promotion, this usually rough stint of boredom, soul searching and all-around trouser flaccidity can be better weathered than it used to be. In previous seasons, fans would have to wait until winter (sometimes even after New Year's Day!) to get information on forthcoming Brewers promotions. And even then, some of us didn't have Internet on our phone, so we'd need to look that shit up on our home or office computers like a bunch of cave-dwelling chumps. Infants had a crazy low life expectancy; the term "Honey Boo Boo" was only used in situations in which someone made a mistake that involved honey, and Walter White had only killed MAYBE two people on Breaking Bad. It's fucked up even thinking how we survived back then.
Now Brewers fans have some help riding out the darkest epoch of baseball's departure by getting daily updates on which Milwaukee players, personnel and additional periphery figures will be honored as one of the team's 10 all-fan bobblehead giveaways in 2013.
Though I gave all my bobblehead dolls away to other fans when I was old enough to grow pubes (18 months ago), I still like to keep up to date on upcoming promotions. Plus, anything Brewers-related that's not about Ryan Braun being jobbed on the MVP vote or Nori Aoki losing rookie of the year to some Mormon kid who paints his face for attention is welcome news to me. Monday, the team announced that Aoki would be the first bobblehead honoree in 2013. Still, nine more announcements are scheduled between now and November 9. I have no insight into the Brewers social media team's inner workings (aside from assuming Sophia Minnaert probably has no interest in getting coffee with me sometime), but I can still weigh in on some possibilities/likely choices, some outliers, as well as a few of the Crew who I feel should or should not get such an honor bestowed upon them. Here are some (faint) possibilities.
• Ken Macha - Though Ron Roenicke is a more obvious/likely choice to get bobbled, I'd much rather own a throwback to Milwaukee's most vanilla two seasons ever. Complete with a pull string, the doll could liven up any mancave with such famous Macha sayings as "Uhhhh..." and "[clears throat]."
• Ed Sedar - While Doug Melvin assembles the team and Roenicke runs it, it's of little doubt that Sedar is the runaway favorite for both players and fans, giving our hearts the green light no matter the count.
• Stan Kyles - The bobblehead's box could transform into a makeshift garbage can to unfairly dispose of the figurine in at first sign of trouble.
• Jeff Cirillo - He was past his prime once the advent of bobblehead popularity hit MLB in full force. Nobody (except people who watched him try to work as an analyst) has a bad word to say about 'Rillo.
• Kevin Seitzer - Former requisite Brewers All-Star and eventual centerpiece in a trade that brought none other than Jeromy Burnitz to town. Who wouldn't want to remember some of Milwaukee baseball's shittiest years with a relic of one of the team's least shitty players of the time? That's rhetorical, dicks!
• Jeromy Burnitz/Richie Sexson - See above self-loathing.
• Sixto Lezcano - If the already-deteriorating Lezcano doll is brought to the guest relations desk at New Busch Stadium, it can be exchanged for way better bobbleheads of Rollie Fingers, Ted Simmons and Pete Vuckovich.
• Gary Sheffield - With a local shooting range as the logical sponsor.
• Ray King - Doubles as a gumball machine.
• Brooks Kieschnick - God, that would be awesome.
• Carlos Gomez - Because he is awesome and I like him.
• Josh Hamilton - Constructed vaguely enough to pass for Jim Henderson when Hamilton inevitably signs elsewhere.
• Jean Segura - Joke not found. This will probably happen.
• Manny Parra - Well, actually, just an empty box that holds only the crushed hopes that the Manny Parra you were expecting would be somewhere inside.
• Yoshi, Aoki's interpreter.
• Mark Attanasio's wife - For... uhhh, personal use. DON'T JUDGE ME!!!
• The Happy Youngster - Obviously, depicted in his natural state of shoving a terminally ill toddler to the ground so he can scoop up a Jamey Carroll BP ball on the third bounce.
• Bernie Brewer and T.C. Bear open-mouth kissing with the Mississippi River between their feet. Beautiful image, isn't it?
• "E.H." - A maple breakfast sausage that's basically just an insensitive depiction of a stereotypical Canadian, the latest in a line of off-base Klement's racing sausage mascots.
• Ichiro Jones