It's no secret that I love wrestling. I reference it all the time and I write about it on the side. It's my thing, but there was once a time when I thought I would never watch wrestling again and that's when Chris Benoit killed his family and himself.
My girlfriend at the time was pregnant with my child that I was completely unprepared for and our relationship was a bit... let's say rocky. My irresponsibility combined with her pregnancy brain and worries about the future combined with the general instability of our relationship in general had us on the rocks. Things weren't really looking good, but we were trying to make it work. For the kid maybe or ourselves or more likely because not trying and dealing with it seemed so damn horrible. We set up a date where we'd get dinner and she'd let me watch Raw and we'd just hang out. Try to have fun, try to have a good time, try to talk.
Before she came over I went online and got a message from my friend Graeme that Chris Benoit was dead and so was his family. I was in shock. This was one of my absolute favorite wrestlers and he was dead. Was he murdered? Was it a gas leak? I felt really bad. Our plans would have to change. I didn't want to eat. I was sad that this wrestler dude who had been apart of my life every week for nearly ten years was gone. Graeme, another guy Brando and I chatted online for hours as the news slowly trickled in. We watched the Raw that was a tribute to him and that slowly became the worst idea ever as before it was over the truth came out: Benoit murdered his family and then killed himself. He was the worst person ever. I felt horrible. I went from sad to depressed to sad and depressed that I was sad and depressed over a murderer. I couldn't experience joy. I jut felt sick to my stomach and I hated everything about life and this world and the way things are. This, as you can imagine, did not sit very well with the mother of my future child. She couldn't understand how I could be so upset about someone I didn't even know. She wanted me to pay attention to her and be attentive and not be so caught up in this fake world. Wrestling was on TV, but she was right there and I couldn't see what was happening right in front of my face. She didn't get it and that night after one of my favorite wrestlers of all time murdered his family and himself, we broke up. A bad night made worse.
After that I couldn't watch wrestling for a long time. It was a constant reminder of those bad memories and it wasn't fun for me anymore. I stopped playing wrestling games, I stopped reading news and results, got rid of my shirts, got rid of my books and I quit watching. Wrestling was over for me because some guy ruined it.
I'm not writing this because I want to compare Ryan Braun to Chris Benoit (or Aaron Hernandez) because I am a rational human being that can tell the difference between breaking a sport's rules and murdering people, but I can't help but to feel similar feelings. Read the rest of this entry »
Baseball, Food, Miller Park, Off-Base July 18th, 2013
Each Thursday preceding Brewers weekend home stands, Tyler Maas will help prepare fans for all elements of the upcoming series with the Homestander. Tyler prints Wisconsin-themed shirts at Forward Fabrics and contributes to such fine publications as Milwaukee Magazine and The A.V. Club Milwaukee. All views, naughty words and weirdo sentiments are his own. Follow him at @TylerJamesMaas.
The All-Star Game is pointless. It's not only worthless, it's actually detrimental, in my opinion. I detailed it in a column a few years ago, but essentially:
• Putting the fate of the classification of "All-Star" (that once carried such importance and pride with it) in the hands of people voting 35 times apiece with each of their email addresses leads to the game being a popularity contest instead of an acknowledgement of accomplishment. Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura totally deserved to be there. Others, not so much.
• Having the game in the middle of the season is flawed, as the All-Star classification stays with a player, even after his average dips below .250 come September. By this logic, John Buck arguably deserved to be an All-Star this season.
• Between increased worries about pitch counts, innings limits and injury concerns (mixed with players opting not to go) and Last Chance polls, more players than ever are appearing in the mid-summer classic. Everyone is an All-Star, which makes a contest once populated with only the best the game had to offer into a pedestrian affair.
• Fans shouldn't want players on their favorite team to become All-Stars because earning an All-Star nod can (AND IS) used by agents in contract negotiations. Fans who are voting in droves to see their favorite players represent their team in the ASG are unwittingly making that player more expensive to re-sign and risking his departure once his deal is up.
While most of you were watching the All-Star Game, I was getting shithoused on a blanket at a public park and watching weirdo stoners hulu hoop while Painted Caves played nearby. I regret nothing. Spring Break 4 Evaaaaaaa!!!
It's been awhile since I stole the Best and Worst gimmick from someone else (since the good times in fact,) but I felt this particular season was in more need of it than any before. After all, what season could be in need of some positivity more than this one? Put it this way, I debated with myself all morning on whether or not it should be called 'the Worst and Worst.' It's been that kind of season. So, without much further adieu let's get into this thing.
BEST: Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez
That's it. That's all the bests I have.
Okay, maybe not, but that is certainly how this season has felt at times. Nothing has really been great and these two have provided somewhere between 94 and 98 percent of all 2013 positive Brewers memories and I feel like that is a low estimate. They've been just plain fun to watch which is kind of funny because they play exactly the kind of baseball that the manager we don't care for loves to play. That's not to say that their style of baseball is wr0ng or that Roenicke's strategy is right, but these two have proven themselves time and again to be the exceptions that prove the rule. While simultaneously proving that they, as players, rule.
Jean Segura is young and probably not this good with his high BABIP and all, but he has made that Greinke trade look like an absolute steal (even while Johnny Hellweg gives up a homerun on eight out of every ten pitches thrown) and shortstop looks solidified for some time to come. He probably won't be an All-Star again, but he won't be Yuniesky Betancourt ever so he's basically the greatest shortstop in Brewers history. (White guys not included.)
Gomez on the other hand... actually, let's do this right. Read the rest of this entry »