19
Jul 12

Making sense of John Axford

JOHN AXFORD IS THE WORST PITCHER EVER AND I HATE HIM AND IF IT WASN'T FOR HIM AND HIS STUPID BLOWN SAVES WE WOULD PROBABLY BE IN FIRST PLACE AND BE BIG TIME BUYERS AT THE TRADE DEADLINE LIKE WE'D PROBABLY GET PRINCE BACK AND COLE HAMELS AND PAUL MOLITOR AND JESUS AND BATMAN AND A NEW MANAGER WHO COULD PROBABLY JUST BE BATMANS BUTLER ALFRED BECAUSE HE SEEMS REALLY SMART. MAN CAN YOU GUYS BELIEVE THAT ROBIN DIED IN DARK KNIGHT RISES? ANYWAYS IF IT WASNT FOR STUPID AXFORD PULLING A derrick turnbow THEN WE'D PROBABLY HAVE ALL THOSE GUYS AND JOSH HAMILTON TOO AND THEN WIN LIKE A MILLION WORLD SERIES. WE COULD HAVE LIKE REALLY COOL COMMERCIALS WITH AARON RODGERS AND RYAN BRAUN BEING LIKE YO CHECK OUT MY RING DUDE, NO YOU CHECK OUT MY RING DUDE LOL. THE POINT IS I HATE JOHN AXFORD AND HIS STUPID MUSTACHE AND I HOPE HE FALLS OFF A BRIDGE INTO A MILLION GALLONS OF WATER THAT IS ON FIRE AND IT BURNS HIS HAIR OFF BECAUSE HE NEEDS TO CUT IT OFF ANYWAYS BECAUSE IT ANNOYS ME WHEN HE IS ON TV BLOWING A SAVE AND I DON'T WANT TO SEE HIM PITCH EVER EVER AGAIN.

HE WAS COOL LAST YEAR THO.

I don't know maybe I'm just defensive about people who overreact to things, but that's how everyone sounds to me when they talk about John Axford. Crazy, irrational, stupid; basically like any girl who has ever dated me for over three months.

Not that a lot of the vitriol towards John Axford is undeserved. He hasn't really done his job all that well this season. He's had trouble locating his pitches which leads to walks and bad counts which lead to big homeruns. It's not been a real fun time to be John Axford this season and he knows it, just like you know that watching John Axford has not been very fun. But has he really been that bad? Continue reading →


12
Jul 12

Get To Know Jeff Bianchi

Close enough.

According to pretty much everybody, Milwaukee's first nine games after the All-Star break are the most vital games ever, making the previous 85 Brewers contests all but meaningless. People are saying this because 1. Such statements cause reaction and panic, which creates more page views, and 2. It's sort of true.

The Crew resumes its schedule with consecutive three-game sets against division rivals (and teams with better records) Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Cincinnati. Perfection is a must. Anything less only gives Milwaukee 68 games to make up ground (IMPOSSIBLE!). Sensing the urgency, the Brewers front office made some serious noise (the noise of filling out basic paperwork) with some All-Star break moves.

Tim Dillard. DEMOTED!!! Tyler Thornburg. Wake up, bitch, you're a Brewer again! Taylor Green. Go back to Nashville and reconsider your choice in at-bat music! And, finally, Jeff Bianchi... welcome to Milwaukee.

By my count, the Brewers have put a "6" beside five names on lineup cards this season: Cesar Izturis (33 games), Cody Ransom (32, though some of those are from when he was with the Dbacks and I'm too lazy to figure that shit out), Alex Gonzalez (24), Edwin Maysonet (18) and Brooks Conrad (1). Bianchi's arrival signals a sixth shortstop in Milwaukee's future. If and when (and, let's be serious, if) that time comes, it will also be the inaugural big league appearance of the 25-year-old minor league journeyman. So, what the fuck, let's learn some shit about this dude.

Name: Jeffrey Something Bianachi.

Pronounced: Hopefully not. That means he's in the game.

D.O.B.: Does it matter? I just said he's 25. Could revealing his birthday is in October somehow reduce his value more? "Libras can't pick up curveballs."

How acquired: The team expressed remote interest to his agent. The rest kind of worked itself out.

Bio: Amazingly, was taken in round two (50th overall) by the Kansas City Royals in the 2005 MLB Draft, ahead of a plethora of more successful second rounders such as Travis Wood, Nolan Reimold, Kevin Slowey, Yunel Escobar, Chase Headley, Nick Hundley and Tom Italiano... who isn't successful but has a funny name nonetheless. Bianchi was also nabbed 65 picks before Milwaukee took Mat Gamel, who shares a Twitter account with his wife.

Anyway, Bianchi got hurt a bunch--including a torn laburm in 2006 and missing all of 2010 due to the oh-so-rare shortstop Tommy John. He was released by KC, picked up by the Cubs (obligatory "boo" for some reason), released again, picked up by the Brewers, all Milwaukee's backup middle infielders were bit by an outbreak monkey, and here we are... present day 'Merica.

Bats: At an acceptable level for a man who, to this point, has been facing pitchers oftentimes as young as five years his junior. Basically an average in the low .300s and zero power.

Throws: Somehow. It's miraculous, considering his surgically mutilated shoulder. I bet it looks all gnarly. I'm seriously about to charf just thinking about all that scar tissue.

Favorite quote: Probably, "Welcome to Earf." - Will Smith before he punched that alien in the head at the beginning of Independence Day.

Strengths: More ACLs than Alex Gonzalez. Is not Cesar Izturis.

Weaknesses: Is a younger and more injury prone Cesar Izturis. Doesn't have the best movie quote out there.

Ron Roenicke says:
"He's a right-handed bat."

I say: I've been wrong plenty of times. I said Casey McGehee wouldn't make the team in 2009 before he had two good seasons (and one pretty terrible one). There was a brief time when I thought the film MacGruber might not be incredible. I spent, like, 24 years on this planet before trying chorizo. So, yeah, I don't always think things through.

Who knows, maybe Jeff Bianchi will kill it off the bench and make Jody Reed look like Turner Ward by comparison. But he probably won't. And as inconsequential as this move--which basically equates to swapping out Taylor Green, who has huffed turbodong so far--is, it seems to signal the team throwing shit at the wall (on the lineup card) and seeing what sticks. The Brewers are up in the air alright. And trusting at-bats to a player off the bench who currently lacks a single MLB plate appearance can't be a sign the Brewers will land in a cushy place when they come down from this uncertain levitation.

Favorite color: Burnt Sienna.


11
Jul 12

Milwaukee Brewers: Up In The Air

By and large Brewers fans have given up on the 2012 season. It's over they say. Sell they say. Rebuild they say. It's hard not to blame the people that say this. The Brewers currently sit at 40-45, eight games out of first place and six games behind the second Wild Card. A run at this point seems impossible, but as I've said before it isn't impossible only improbable. It's not over yet. Things are still very much up in the air.

And there are at least two people who agree with me on this. One of them is Ryan Braun who said that he thinks the Brewers are "right in this thing" and the other is Doug Melvin who will wait until these next nine games over before making any tough decisions. Some people might think that this is shortsighted or that Doug (or maybe even Mark) are thinking with their heart more than their head, but personally I like it. This isn't Katie and Tom's marriage, there is still time to turn this thing around.

Three teams ahead of the Brewers in the Central. They are all in the thick of playoff contention and the Brewers next nine games are against them. The team deserves a chance to prove itself against those teams. If they don't, sell. If they do? Well.... Continue reading →


10
Jul 12

Top 10 @BigRedBBall Tweets (We Have)

Let me begin by saying that I really like Seth McClung.

He's a charismatic and seemingly personable player with whom fans can identify and hope succeeds. Something I like even more than Seth McClung is the concept of Seth McClung having an unfiltered medium to fire off stream of consciousness thoughts, random musings and wild interactions out into the world. Enter @BigRedBBall.

Over the winter, Clunger inked a minor league deal with the Crew with hopes of cracking a big league roster for the first time since he appeared in 41 games for the Brewers in 2009. The low-profile signing was enough to spark a collective "Oh yeah! I remember Seth McClung!" among most Milwaukee faithful. Caught up in Big Red fever myself, as well as the Kenny Powers-type storyline of Southern fried reliever taking a shot at the bigs again, I permitted McClung to join the rarefied ranks of Cinnabon, Dad Boner, adult film star Lexi Belle and CYBORG HANSON TOMMY... also known as "Things and people I follow on Twitter."

In no time, it became obvious that my decision to follow McClung was a great one. Behind the 140 available characters the fringe reliever employed, one tremendous character emerged. Each poorly-punctuated, misspelled, fucked up tweet granted insight into the inner workings of McClung's unconventional mind. In a world where 98 percent of professional athletes waste bandwidth by shitting out unoriginal tweets like "Off to the gym! lol" or typing stupid shit about God or whatever, Seth's unpolished and less-filtered take on tweeting was a refreshing change of pace. Whether tweeting covert pictures from team meetings, publicly asking companies for free shit or throwing me a retweet when I made fun of him, it was all pretty great.

Sadly, after a Spring Training spent making me laugh online and struggling on the mound, McClung failed to earn a spot on Milwaukee's roster and was sent to languish in triple-A Nashville. Around that time, Clunger also unplugged from the Twitter-sphere and went off the grid. Figuring nothing gold can stay, I had the foresight to snag a few screen caps of some particularly enjoyable @BigRedBBall gems. Honestly, some of these don't even scrape the surface of the account's quality. But like the long-extinct Carolina Parakeet, Surge, or the expectation of new episodes of The Office being funny, it's gone now. All we can do is look back on it fondly and appreciate whatever particulate residue remains from it.

I now give you the top 10 @BigRedBBall tweets (we have):

10. "Let her shine by herself Joe"

Raise your hand if you took Seth McClung to be an Idol aficianado? Not so fast, entire universe. My brain read this tweet in the same crying tone that "Leave Britney Alone!!!" dude had.

9. House for sale
Twitter can be used for a lot of things. It's part promotional tool, part sounding board, a means of trying out new jokes, a way to connect. Additionally, you can sell your own house. If I wasn't poor and petrified to be anywhere near Florida for more than 15 minutes, I'd jump at the chance to own something a marginal Brewers pitcher jacked off inside of. Maybe I can find the Quizno's where Ruben Quevedo works.

8. "I think Id play a solid bad guy."

McClung is at that weird level of notoriety where a very small and specific group of people is aware he exists. Where I would be thrilled to see him in a cameo where he's a quirky gas station employee in some road trip boner comedy, 150 percent of the rest of the planet wouldn't recognize him from any other bit actor. When he wrote this, I said "I thought you were the guy who said 'Sweet!' on those Dodger Hemi ads." He replied, "I wish!" and retweeted me. In that fleeting moment, I felt kind of famous. Speaking of, any screenwriters out there have a role for me?

7. Not a morning person.

It happens to the best of us. Just, most of us aren't wearing button down baseball jerseys when we do it.

6. "Learn from a PRO!"

Perhaps Clunger had an inkling a promotion to Milwaukee was unlikely during the spring. Hence him hocking $50 pitching lessons behind the field after practices. Still, it'd be kind of cool to get tips from a pro athlete while at Spring Training. It's times like these I wish I was 10 again and my mom's boyfriend was angling for my approval.

5. Pitchers be prayin'!!!

This is evidence of the hurler's sensitivity. Amid the chaos, Seth would occasionally sprinkle in a mention of how much he missed his wife and daughter, as well as this. Humanizing. Touching. Almost makes you forget that airplanes are exponentially safer than cars are.

4. Thank goodness the Brewers signed Jay Gibbons.

February 28th, 2012. Mark that date down as the first time anyone was happy Jay Gibbons was on their team.

3. Juggler "fore hire."

More shameless self promo. Depending on how much he charges for juggling, this could actually be a pretty good deal. My birthday is December 18th, by the way. WINK! WINK!

2. Send shoes.
"Yo, Nike. Big fan. So... I'm a professional athlete who has a standing offer on his home. I also accept untaxed income to play catch with kids. Anyway, where was I going with this? Oh yeah, send me some free shit."

1. "Saw something crazy in the sky..."
Awesome.

McClung's current 2-10 record an 5.17 ERA in 16 starts at Nashville makes him an unlikely call-up for Milwaukee. Plus, there are a heft of better and younger minor league options (many already on the 40-man roster) that would likely take the mound before Seth, even if he turned his season around after the All-Star break. Still, I can take the likelihood of never seeing Seth McClung pitch another inning again, if I could just see one more tweet from @BigRedBBall. RIP.


03
Jul 12

FASHION UPDATE: Put your clothes on

VINCE:Hey Steph, what is the deal with all these dudes taking their shirts off in the parking lot at Miller Park? I think I saw more bad tattoos than Brewers logos at the game we went to a couple of weeks ago. Is this in any way acceptable? I say no, but maybe that's just because I don't have any sweet tats brah. I mean, I'm not going to pretend that I've never stripped my shirt off to do the Macarena, but there is a specific time and place where that kind of thing is appropriate. Like a bar mitzvah. You have to read your surroundings when you are doing that stuff and a parking lot filled with people is not that time or that place.In my mind there are maybe six people who can pull off the "casually hanging out in public without a shirt on" look and those people are Matthew McConaughey, D'Angelo, Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling, David Beckham and John C. Reilly. Oh, and Joel McHale. I'm pretty gay for Joel McHale. (hi joel ;)) Pretty sure none of those dudes are tailgating at Miller Park this season so everyone else needs to shirt up, period. I don't care how hot it is. This isn't the beach. You aren't playing with sand toys. Nobody wants to see your back tattoo that reads "PLEASE FORGIVE ME" or watch you drip a glob of mustard off of your brat and into your taco meat. Please keep your shirt on.
Now am I just a hater because I am more Louis CK than Donald Glover with my shirt off? Or am I right about this one? Please tell me I'm right.
STEPH: Now I understand that I am the (sometimes) proud owner of a vagina but I don't really love seeing dudes without their shirts, it makes me feel uncomfortable. I find myself staring at their nipples and then checking out their abs or lack thereof. 9 out of 10 times, the men that are shirtless at Miller Park are essentially some form of this lad.
I understand that manning a grill while drinking booze in the sun can get a fella a little heated but, Jesus Christ, keep the shirts on. There is no way that tailgating without a shirt is acceptable, how can going sans shirt be that much more refreshing than wearing, say, a cotton t-shirt? The bottom line is that guys are douche bags. Douche bags like to be shirtless. Shirtless dudes end up on Cops. So, in conclusion if you are at Miller Park without a shirt on you will end up on Cops.
VINCE: I'm glad we settled this. I think we should rank taking your shirt off in the parking lot slightly behind "jerseys with your name on it" and "Brewers heels", but above "mixing old and new logos" and "being Front Row Amy" in the Official Miller Park Fashion Rules.
A few thoughts before we go.
1. Is that a cell phone or a pocket knife on his belt? If it's a pocket knife this dude might be a secret genius because, really, those Miller Lite punch top cans are way too hard to punch. And this is coming from a guy who has a lot of extra wrist strength if you know what I mean.
2. There is no way in hell that guy doesn't listen to "Red Solo Cup" four or five times a day. No way. (By the way, "Red Solo Cup" is such an awful song that I am planning on having blue or green Solo cups at the Pants Party just to avoid the off chance that someone gets that song stuck in my head.)
3. Seriously though, your boyfriend looks really cute in this picture.
STEPH: He does, doesn't he? Way better than this shirtless dickface.

Aren't we funny? Don't we seem cool to hang with? Come hang with us at Miller Park Drunk's Pants Party 2 7/15 at Miller Park. Check out our facebook page for food and drink options.

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