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.
After Vince and I spent countless hours of planning, crowdsourcing, screen printing, drinking a bunch in the 400 level of Miller Park and calling it a meeting, and anticipating for weeks, Pants Party weekend is nearly upon us. For those of you who will be there, I'm excited to get blotto in your presence. So excited, in fact, that I can't even think of an intro. I hope you guys asked off Monday.
MicroBrew - Minor Leaguer Of The Week
Devin Williams is one of the newest Brewers minor leaguers. Milwaukee took the hard-throwing righty in the second round (54th overall) in the draft a couple weeks ago. None of the club's recently drafted pitchers have made much of a positive impact in the big leagues (COUGH-Eric Arnet-COUGH), so I'm all for adding as many promising arms as possible. Plus, his name is strikingly similar to Devon Williams, who was the lead singer of Osker, one of my favorite bands ever.
Williams is a Cardinals fan, so hopefully that changes by the time he cracks the MLB roster a few years from now. Hey... maybe Yovani Gallardo is a closet Cardinals fan.
Blatz from the Pabst - Old School Brewer
The 1997 Milwaukee Brewers were a veritable who's who of "Who's that?"-type players for baseball fans living outside Wisconsin. That August, the star-studded roster that came complete with Mark Loretta, Jeromy Burnitz, Jeff Cirillo, Scott Karl and John Jaha gained a semi-notable cast member when Julio Franco was released by the Cleveland Indians in August. The Brewers quickly snatched up the 15-year vet. The DH spent seven unimpressive weeks with the Brewers, hitting .243 (.373 OBP) with four home runs and seven steals, before playing 10 more productive years. While his Brewers stint was among his shortest, lowest-paying and worst, it's cool to know Milwaukee was at least a footnote in Franco's respectable 5,000-year career.
Handy Heckle - Braves
If the Braves end up losing one of the games in this series (unlikely), look a Braves fan right in the face and do that racist Indian chant and tomahawk chop combo. If they lose the game you attend, I guess make mention of how they made the playoffs 14 consecutive seasons and won just one World Series. It takes talent to falter when it matters with such frequency.
Also, make fun of anyone under the age of 70 who's wearing a Milwaukee Braves hat. Wearing a Braves hat (Milwaukee, Boston, Atlanta or otherwise) is a gesture of cheering for the current Braves team. The original Brewers (American Association) team eventually became the St. Louis Browns and eventually the Baltimore Orioles. I don't see many Orioles hats at Miller Park.
Tailgating Tips - What to put inside you, etc.
To eat: Obviously, I'll be at the Pants Party on Sunday. The food, the fun, the connection to fellow Brewers blogger/fans, drinking enough to forget all the stuff I wrote before "drinking"... it's a baseball nerd holiday. Here's Vince telling you about the menu.
To drink: When I loved to metro Milwaukee in 2009, I made the mistake of agreeing to move to Shorewood. It's where my would-be roommate adamantly wanted to live, and I was just happy to live away from the Fox Cities for the first time in my life. Don't get me wrong; Shorewood is a very nice, quiet and all-around fine place to live. Benji's Deli is awesome. But as a 24-year-old recently out of a two-year relationship who was seeking a career and fun in Wisconsin's default "Big City," it wasn't ideal. Since I left "The Wood" in early 2011, the Milwaukee-adjacent village went from one-bar (and legion hall with a bar) retirement community to a more bustling locale with an English Pub (with karaoke!), a sushi place, the great Camp Bar, an Alterra, a gym and even an upstart microbrewery.
Not only does Big Bay Brewery make a decent quartet of ales (and a porter). Its logo also kind of looks like a dick and balls, complete with oversized urethra. Win-win!
Tailgating Tunes - Wisconsin music recommendation
Sunday Flood has long been one of my favorite bands (local or otherwise) and is made up of some of my favorite people. This incredible Appleton rock band has been around since 1995! Even more amazing is that they’ve been getting better every year. Like a fine wine. Or Carlos Gomez. Having a member moving to Minnesota and general adult responsibilities makes Sunday Flood shows a real rarity, but they still manage to play my Forward Fabrics first pitch event every year. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better Brewers fan than Sunday Flood's Eric Krueger. If you see them on a show lineup, GO! In the meantime, treat yourself to their latest EP, which includes a Bob Uecker-referencing song "JamJob."
If you can't make it to Miller Park - Watch the game here
Steny's (800 S. 2nd St, Milwaukee) in Milwaukee's Walkers Point neighborhood is the kind of place I want to hate, but just can't. Despite being a loud sports bar, rife with Entourage extras that cranks Winger songs over Brewers game audio, it offers good Brewers specials ($2.50 for 20 oz. Miller products), has great wings and fish fry (get Jamaican potato salad as your side and thank me later). Best yet, if you are going to the game, they offer a free shuttle to all Brewers, Bucks and Marquette home games and to Summerfest.
Ad-monishment - Shaming commercials that deserve it
I doubt I'm alone in my confusion of the purpose of the Fox Sports Wisconsin girls. Yes, they're all better looking than any woman I've ever spoken to and I'm sure they're perfectly fine people. But what do five-second bumpers showing a regionally attractive woman from Germantown wearing a Brewers hoodie asking us to follow her on Twitter serve? I think it's just an excuse to grow the company/team's brands while preying on desperate dudes tweeting "Yer so hott. I'd love to take you to a game sometime." between fap sessions to an account actually managed by a 20-year-old male UW-Whitewater journalism student interning for the summer. When I can sleep at night, I try to imagine the awkward interactions between the FSW Girls and contestants who won the "opportunity" to watch a game with them.
@DidBrewersLose - If you didn't catch the game, Twitter is the only website you can access and you can't gauge the outcome of the Brewers game from other people you follow, @DidBrewersLose is the best way to find out whether the Crew lost.
Have any ideas for any of these categories? Email tips to ForwardFabrics@gmail.com.