12
Sep 13

Homestander: It’s Almost Over

HomestanderEach 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, Shepherd Express and The A.V. Club Milwaukee. All views, naughty words and weirdo sentiments are his own. Follow him at @TylerJamesMaas.

Sorry I haven't done the past two Homestanders. For one, I've been very busy with totally important journalism stuff. But mostly I've just really struggled to care about the Milwaukee Brewers right now. That's a tough thing to admit, since baseball and, specifically, the Brewers are among the dozen or so things I actually care about in this largely disappointing letdown people call life. Still, I don't care. I haven't watched a full game since August. Since I failed to make my fantasy league's playoffs a few weeks back, I stopped looking at Jean Segura's stats. I couldn't tell you if Carlos Gomez is on the DL or exactly where Milwaukee sits in the NL Central standings.

As a Brewers fan, I should be accustomed to this time of year being devoid of meaning. The team has only made the playoffs twice in my lifetime. However, this is the most disappointing Brewers season I can ever remember. I realistically figured Milwaukee would finish, at best, third in the central... but likely fourth. I knew the young and largely inexperienced roster would have its ebbs and flows. But add in the Ryan Braun suspension, Aramis Ramirez being a hobbled husk of his former self, Rickie Weeks being shitty-then-injured, trading my favorite Brewer (John Axford) for peanuts, fielding Sean Halton and vying for LAST place with the rebuilding Cubs... this year is battling with 2004 for the worst Brewers season ever.

Still, I'll look back at the 2013 season fondly with memories like Segura "stealing" first base, being in attendance when Blake Lalli won a game, meeting Mark Attanasio and awkwardly asking him for a picture on the field in San Diego, Vince and I eating a bunch of dollar hot dogs in gross ways and Vine-ing it, the Pants Party, Gomez robbing that Joey Votto homer, Sophia Minnaert almost dying when a foul ball knocked the mic out of her hand, Bob Uecker saying a bunch of funny stuff on air, becoming acquainted with Logan Schafer's patented "you got a purdy mouth" look during at-bats and sitting in the worst seat at Miller Park. My heart may not be in it right now, but I'll be back again. And again.

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01
Aug 13

Homestander: Buy Me Back

HomestanderEach 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 Brewers organization's decision to issue $10 vouchers to all fans in August is genius. Everything is so smart about it. When in the season the promotion is occurring; the fact that the savings equates to a possible $3.6M (approximately the money gained back from Ryan Braun's salary), the lack of fine print in regard to how and on what the voucher can be used. It's the perfect and self-aware response to a bad situation the team is in (primarily) due to poor judgement on behalf of one of its employees.

Some fans--the same turds who post videos of themselves burning Ryan Braun jerseys on YouTube and pen grammatically-weak sob stories about how their son lost a "role model" (You mean the dude comparing Ryan Braun to an alleged murder on the internet wasn't his original role model?) on comment boards--say $10 isn't enough to account for this lost season. To those fans, feel free to stay home. Miller Park doesn't need your negativity, self-doctored "Fraud" shirseys and drop-of-the-hat booing. Bad baseball played under an open roof by men named Gindl and Gennett in August after a blackout drunk tailgate sesh is still better than virtually everything on this stupid letdown planet.

If a $10 coupon isn't enough to buy back the fandom you so quickly abandoned at the first sign of trouble, stay home. More frozen margaritas, helmet cholesterol and elbow room for me. See you on opening day, when you quietly abandon your self-appointed Brewers strike you went on "until the Brewers CUT the LIER" (they're still contractually obligated to pay $113M to). I'll be the guy pointing and laughing at you when you try to start the wave at a pivotal moment in the game.

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23
May 13

Homestander: No Bones About It

HomestanderEach 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.

I'm not afraid to admit it. In 2008, after a Ryan Braun home run essentially won the ever-important 162nd game of the Brewers season and FSN (as it was called at the time) stayed live to show fan reaction to the last out of the Mets collapse that landed the Brewers in the playoffs, I wept. I was 23 at the time and in (in true blogger form) in my mom's basement with my family... none of whom particularly care for the Brewers, especially when the rare feat got in the way of a week 4 Packers game. I'm sure it was an odd sight for them, but (as sad as it sounds) I'd never felt such joy in my life in relation to baseball.

I went to Game 5 of the NLDS in 2011. Vince and I shelled out $100 apiece for left field bleacher seats, and Vince quickly abandoned me to watch at Friday's out of nervous habit. When the Crew won in extra innings, I stifled a full-on man-sob as best I could, hugged and high-fived strangers as confetti rained down from the metallic heavens. A few tears cracked through my masculine veneer and rolled down my cheek as I scooped up come confetti and departed.

I swear I'm not that guy who cries over sports stuff usually. I'm aware of the invisible line in the sand that separates being a sports fan and being a sports nut. And I'm sure as hell not that guy who cries over anything. At least I wasn't. You'd think as you get older, it gets easier to hold one's emotions in check. To a certain extent, it does become more manageable to weather the constant blows of life's disappointments. But in another sense, the longer you live on Earth, the more you taken in, the more you're shaped and re-shaped, and the more your emotions are eroded and mutated in the waxing and waning of existence's high and low tides. Occasionally, something small or unexpected can just break you down. Or at least that's what I'm dealing with at 28.

If a Subaru commercial, a line from a Weakerthans song or some god damn sports moment from yet another World Series-less Milwaukee Brewers season can produce ocular moisture, I'm seriously afraid for my tear ducts when I become a father (and all subsequent dad moments), when I get married and when I lose a close friend or relative. This makes me a total wuss and I probably shouldn't have written it. But hey, I'll take the Brewers tears when I can get them. I'll just blame it on allergies or being way too drunk.

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03
Dec 12

Epic Meal Time: Brewers Hat Brunch

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:

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.

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24
Apr 12

Secret Stadium Sauce recipes

For some reason this season at Miller Park they have large dispensers for ketchup and mustard, but not Stadium Sauce which are only found in bottles. I am not sure of the reason, but I have a feeling it has something to do with Yovani Gallardo's haircut. Talking with friends about this injustice of condiments got me thinking. Why do we only use stadium sauce with our brats? Shouldn't there be more uses for this wonderful condiment beyond grilled meat? For the answer we turned to MPD's culinary expert and the the only reader who ever made me cupcakes: lizconsin, who has crafted some recipes for us. Take it away, Liz.

If you’ve ever stood at the Secret Stadium Sauce dispenser at Miller Park, trying to put it on every food item in your hand without setting down your beer, I don't need to tell you anything about Stadium Sauce because you already know.  If you’ve ever done this routine with a Bloody Mary in hand and thought "…that could work”, you should probably call me some time. But for the uninitiated here are some things about Stadium Sauce that you should know before we move forward:

  • It’s not barbecue sauce.  SSS is reminiscent of ketchup mixed with a little bit of everything else on the condiment table.  It has a tomato base, but is not as thick, sweet or tangy as other barbecue-style sauces.
  • It never has to be refrigerated, even after opening.
  • It’s a Miller Park staple, but you don’t have to maneuver through the team shop between innings to find a bottle.  It’s available in grocery stores around Wisconsin.
  • Bob Costas loves it.

Of course, it’s amazing on a brat or a hot dog at the park, but here are a few ideas for using SSS at home. Continue reading →