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.
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.
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.
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. Read the rest of this entry »
I've heard so many rumors that Ryan Braun was opening a restaurant in Lake Geneva for so long that I just assumed that it was true. (Kind of like Rod Stewart having his stomach pumped.) I've know about this for awhile, but didn't want to post about it just in case it wasn't true. One day the sign out in front of the restaurant was changed to say "COMING SOON BRETT FAVRE'S STEAKHOUSE" which was funny, but also made me think that there was no way it was Braun's place because no way he'd think of something that funny. Well, it all turned out be true and yesterday news started to trickle out about it, topped off by the great Adam McCalvy doing a full write up. In the write up McCalvy says:
A group of investors led by Madison lawyer Patrick Sweeney finalized a licensing deal with Braun and Major League Baseball this month. The group is spending more than $1 million on upgrades to a former Mexican restaurant at 430 Broad St. in Lake Geneva, a resort community about 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee's Miller Park, and the idea is to open for business within 6-8 weeks.
He got a first-hand look at the progress of the restaurant on Sept. 6, the same day Braun and his teammates executed their now-famous celebration of Prince Fielder's 12th-inning home run that beat the San Francisco Giants.
Now I've worked in and around restaurants for most of my life and if there is one thing that has been said at each and every establishment that I have been fired for drinking from it's this: "The most expensive seat in a restaurant is an empty seat." With the idea being that you can have the best service, best food, stiffest drinks, the sluttiest waitresses and everything else in the world, but if there is nobody there to eat it the restaurant will fail. By their own doing this restaurant has had it's door closed since September and all summer long before that. Why? To spend over $1 million on upgrades to a place that wasn't that messed up to begin with. Of course. Read the rest of this entry »
A few weeks ago I went to the Brewers game with some friends from work. One of the girls I work with brought her boyfriend who brought his grill. My original thinking when I saw this was "sweet, now I can just drink and mess around while this dude cooks." However, after about five minutes I realized this dude had no idea what he was doing. It was a mess. Pouring the lighter fluid on the coals without removing the cooking surface, rearranging the coals once it was starting to go, covering the top completely. It was a mess and I just couldn't believe that someone wouldn't know this. It drove me nuts. So I guided him along and when everything was all said and done we all enjoyed some lighter fluid tasting burgers. Hooray.
Here's the thing, I don't want to do this again. It wasn't fun. I don't want to have to show people how to do these things. This is something that people of a certain age should know. I don't know how to clean a fish. It's embarassing, but it's true. It's embarassing because I should know how to do it. Before the next time I go fishing, I'm going to figure it out. I'm going to go on google and figure it out and then when I'm out there doing it wrong and my friend says something to me I can say "oh man, it's been awhile" and play it off. That's what this is for you, dude that doesn't know how to start a grill. Try to remember what you can and when you screw it up and someone says something to you, you can just go "oh man, first tailgate of the year" and everything will be all good.
- First of all, if you don't know what you are doing buy the self-starting coals. A piece of paper, some matches and you're done.
- TAKE THE GRILL PART OFF.
- If you don't get those however, here's how you do it. Build your coals in a pyramid-esque shape, only flat at the top, Like an A without the ^.
- Pour some lighter fluid if you want, but paper works a lot better. Not notebook paper, but like a paper bag that you get from the grocery store. This will get your coals going. Maybe a little lighter fluid, but don't overdo it. Try and remember that it is GAS and gas tastes like crap.
- Once it gets going, don't mess with it. Leave it alone. Put the cover on, but only half way. Or leave the vent open on top if it's a windy day. Don't move them around, don't do anything. Just let them burn. Drink a beer.
- They are ready when they all look ashy grey and they are warm. I feel ridiculous even writing this.
- Coals last longer than you think they do, you don't need to add more. Here's how you know your coals aren't good anymore: they aren't there anymore. That's how you know you need to add more.
- Dispose of them properly. Nobody thinks a dumpster fire is funny. It's really just annoying.
So, you got that? You can skip half of those and as long as you remember not to mess with them and take the grill part off, we're fine. Seriously.