14
Dec 12

Brewers Fan Holiday Gift Guide

Excuse our lack of Hot Stove posts during winter meetings and this week's free agent free-for-all. Fortunately (if only to excuse our laziness), nothing really happened with the Brewers. Unless the front office's collective heart and wallet grows three sizes in the coming days, it looks to be a fairly frugal holiday season for Brewers fans.

White elephant gift.

Best case scenario, Shaun Marcum decides to make up for that whole NLCS thing, and allows the Brewers to sign him to a rich one- or two-year offer. But more likely, Milwaukee will push on with its talented (but green) cast of young hurlers or sign a past-prime hurler to his last payday; someone like Carl Pavano, Kevin Millwood, Derek Lowe or hologram Cory Lidle.

While we fans wait to open our popcorn tin-equivalent gift of various un-sexy Brewers acquisitions, get some holiday shopping done. Better yet, funnel your love of baseball into your shopping and cross some names of fellow fans off your list with some of this stuff. Also note: Vince and I are BOTH celebrating birthdays next week, and we have very expensive taste.

Milwaukee Brewers Man Cave 36" Sign
This sturdy $55 metallic wall sign is the perfect way to let those unfortunate enough to share your company know that, yes, you are a man and, hell yes, they better believe you like the Milwaukee Brewers baseball organization and, finally, if they can't take that... GTFO the Man Cave.

Various Discount Meats From the Klement's Factory Store
Always a Miller Park fixture--from sponsoring the Racing Sausages to being the official encased meat of the stadium, Klement's is an unbeatable idea for that carnivorous Brewers fan... not counting Usinger's, which is ever-so-slightly better, if you ask me. A few blocks down from Klement's factory headquarters in Bay View, a seedy utility closet-sized space at 2650 S. Chase Ave. doubles as a little slice heaven. Here, small details like store decor, sanitation and proper packaging are strewn aside in the name of value. Beyond the usual brats (for less), the outlet store offers beef sticks, summer sausage on the cheap, as well as dirt cheap weird items like ring bologna, head cheese, braunschweiger and ham balls. I don't exactly know what a ham ball is, but for 50 cents, I can't afford not to pop that fucker in my mouth at least once.

eBay Bobbleheads
Electronic Bay dot com is a great source to obtain the various figurines to help line the mantle of that toy-freak on your X-mas list. Here, there's an array of oversize-headed sports hummels that range from official stadium giveaways to high quality limited edition rarities and terrible, terrible knockoffs.

One search yields a world of results. If you weren't one of the some-40,000 to nab a Derrick Turnbow bobblehead with synthetic "hair," here's your chance. For an extra buck, most sellers will throw in actual Turnblow hair the ex-closer sold so he could pay his gas bill. You can also re-live the saddest epoch of Brewers baseball with a Jeffrey Hammonds bobble that, fittingly, costs too much and does absolutely nothing. For a mere $17.99, this limited edition Ryan Braun bobblehead (right) could be yours. It appears to be limited edition because Goose Gossage's face is painted over Braun's.

Wisconsin Booze
Alcohol has many uses: dulling the unrelenting hellscape that is everyday existence AND stocking stuffers! And for fans of MLB's most alcoholic team name which resides in America's drunkest state, the beautiful gift of hooch is always appreciated. Whether it's a four pack of delicious Green Bay-brewed Hinterland Winterland beers to enjoy during spring training telecasts, a bottle of Pewaukee gunt fuel (aka "RumChata") to mix in your morning coffee while you blog about Derrick Turnbow bobbleheads or a bottle of Great Lakes Distillery's Rehorst vodka for your Opening Day bloody Mary's, you literally can't go wrong with the gift of Wisconsin spirits. Unless you're giving it to someone who doesn't drink, at which point you should probably take stock in the type of people you surround yourself with.

Brewers-related Apparel

$15 well spent.

Of course I'm partial to Forward Fabrics, as its owner/operator/annoying promoter and all, but there's a wealth of other awesome online outlets offering outside-the-norm products honoring your favorite Wisconsin teams. Obviously, Sconnie has an abundance of great items too, as does Milwaukee Shirt Guys. I also own an embarrassing amount of Wiskullsin products (embarrassing because it's all the panties).

Something for the LAY-DAYS!!!
If I've learned anything from hackneyed '80s stand up comedy, it's that women be shoppin'. So for that penisless Crew fan on your list, spring for a MLB.com gift card so that they can choose from the site's myriad of stupid, useless and ugly items without function that only a woman could enjoy. For Katie - an intentionally distressed denim tote bag with a faded retro Brewers logo. Kaytee would love a beaded gold Brewers bracelet. And if I know Kaityeee, she'll cake the "Pink" of her ironically not pink sweat pants in a thick layer of shit Christmas morning when she happens upon a pair of garish Brewers sequin flip flops.

Framed Photo of Brett Lawrie
Sure, maybe that Marcum for Lawrie trade will go down as a colossal fuck up in Doug Melvin's otherwise-respectable track record of trades. But with this candid pic framed and displayed beside your stupid "Man Cave" sign on your wall, the pain of losing one of baseball's most promising young players will sting a little less.

And, yeah, Lawrie might post 10 straight 20-20 (or 30-30) seasons before all is said and done. But do you really want a guy like this to play for YOUR team? Hmmm... "Yes," you say? I know... me too.


30
Oct 12

Guess Brew? Don’t Mind If We Brew… Er, Do!!!

Unlikely.

Getting through baseball's long, unforgiving offseason is a difficult task. While each season draws to its conclusion, the days also get shorter and the temperatures dip.

At virtually the longest period of time spanning the Word Series and Opening Day, we're still more than a month from winter meetings and likely even longer from teams making any notable trades or free agent signings. I'm sure it's not hard to find an exact number of days between now and the Miller Park home opener, but I don't want to see it. It's just too depressing.

So how are fans supposed to bide their time during this bleak, baseball-less period? Do we take up a new hobby, such as canning homemade preserves or banging strangers at swinger's gatherings while dressed up as Huckleberry Hound? Neither sounds all that appealing... even if I found a gently used Huckleberry Hound costume in my price range. Maybe this is the perfect time to start watching New Girl. Then again, I'm probably way behind in the plot. At this point, they probably just call it "Girl" or something. Do we feign interest in the Bucks for a while? Perhaps this is a prime opportunity to better our lives... you know, get back to the gym, read a book not written by R.L Stine for once, apply for somewhat-less soul-crushing jobs, finally determine the reason that "check engine" light has been illuminating your dashboard since April--things like that.

Then again, with the new #GuessBrew promotion, this usually rough stint of boredom, soul searching and all-around trouser flaccidity can be better weathered than it used to be. In previous seasons, fans would have to wait until winter (sometimes even after New Year's Day!) to get information on forthcoming Brewers promotions. And even then, some of us didn't have Internet on our phone, so we'd need to look that shit up on our home or office computers like a bunch of cave-dwelling chumps. Infants had a crazy low life expectancy; the term "Honey Boo Boo" was only used in situations in which someone made a mistake that involved honey, and Walter White had only killed MAYBE two people on Breaking Bad. It's fucked up even thinking how we survived back then.

Now Brewers fans have some help riding out the darkest epoch of baseball's departure by getting daily updates on which Milwaukee players, personnel and additional periphery figures will be honored as one of the team's 10 all-fan bobblehead giveaways in 2013.

Though I gave all my bobblehead dolls away to other fans when I was old enough to grow pubes (18 months ago), I still like to keep up to date on upcoming promotions. Plus, anything Brewers-related that's not about Ryan Braun being jobbed on the MVP vote or Nori Aoki losing rookie of the year to some Mormon kid who paints his face for attention is welcome news to me. Monday, the team announced that Aoki would be the first bobblehead honoree in 2013. Still, nine more announcements are scheduled between now and November 9. I have no insight into the Brewers social media team's inner workings (aside from assuming Sophia Minnaert probably has no interest in getting coffee with me sometime), but I can still weigh in on some possibilities/likely choices, some outliers, as well as a few of the Crew who I feel should or should not get such an honor bestowed upon them. Here are some (faint) possibilities.

Managers/coaches/front office
• Ken Macha - Though Ron Roenicke is a more obvious/likely choice to get bobbled, I'd much rather own a throwback to Milwaukee's most vanilla two seasons ever. Complete with a pull string, the doll could liven up any mancave with such famous Macha sayings as "Uhhhh..." and "[clears throat]."
• Ed Sedar - While Doug Melvin assembles the team and Roenicke runs it, it's of little doubt that Sedar is the runaway favorite for both players and fans, giving our hearts the green light no matter the count.
• Stan Kyles - The bobblehead's box could transform into a makeshift garbage can to unfairly dispose of the figurine in at first sign of trouble.

Past players
• Jeff Cirillo - He was past his prime once the advent of bobblehead popularity hit MLB in full force. Nobody (except people who watched him try to work as an analyst) has a bad word to say about 'Rillo.
• Kevin Seitzer - Former requisite Brewers All-Star and eventual centerpiece in a trade that brought none other than Jeromy Burnitz to town. Who wouldn't want to remember some of Milwaukee baseball's shittiest years with a relic of one of the team's least shitty players of the time? That's rhetorical, dicks!
• Jeromy Burnitz/Richie Sexson - See above self-loathing.
• Sixto Lezcano - If the already-deteriorating Lezcano doll is brought to the guest relations desk at New Busch Stadium, it can be exchanged for way better bobbleheads of Rollie Fingers, Ted Simmons and Pete Vuckovich.
• Gary Sheffield - With a local shooting range as the logical sponsor.
• Ray King - Doubles as a gumball machine.
• Brooks Kieschnick - God, that would be awesome.

Current players
• Carlos Gomez - Because he is awesome and I like him.
• Josh Hamilton - Constructed vaguely enough to pass for Jim Henderson when Hamilton inevitably signs elsewhere.
• Jean Segura - Joke not found. This will probably happen.
• Manny Parra - Well, actually, just an empty box that holds only the crushed hopes that the Manny Parra you were expecting would be somewhere inside.

Other
• Yoshi, Aoki's interpreter.
• Mark Attanasio's wife - For... uhhh, personal use. DON'T JUDGE ME!!!
• The Happy Youngster - Obviously, depicted in his natural state of shoving a terminally ill toddler to the ground so he can scoop up a Jamey Carroll BP ball on the third bounce.
• Bernie Brewer and T.C. Bear open-mouth kissing with the Mississippi River between their feet. Beautiful image, isn't it?
• "E.H." - A maple breakfast sausage that's basically just an insensitive depiction of a stereotypical Canadian, the latest in a line of off-base Klement's racing sausage mascots.
• Ichiro Jones


05
Sep 12

Goodbye 60 percent of readers see you next spring

Well it's that time of the year. Summer is over, the kids are back to school, it's starting to get cold out and the leaves are turning a different color. Shorts are out and pants are in. Sweatshirts are necessary at night and soon they will be all day. Then it'll be coats and boots and scarves because winter is right around the corner. The happy fun times of summer are over and everyone is really, really happy about it. Wait, what?!

Oh, but it's football season you see. Baseball is winding down and the Brewers are out of it so who cares anyways? IT'S PACKERS TIME D00DZ! PACK ATTACK! PACK ATTACK! FOOTBAW! FOOTBAW! FOOTBAW! I LOVE FOOTBALL, ERON ROGDERS AND TWINZ

Look, I'm not here to hate on football. I am in three fantasy football leagues this season ($300!) and now I am going to tell you all about them for the next 2000 words. Just kidding I wouldn't do that to you (but seriously I am going to win all three.) I also really like to gamble on football (read: pay someone money to let me become overly invested in a single game's outcome only to ultimately be disappointed when some idiot coach kicks a field goal because of sportsmanship) and have no issue spending my Saturdays on the couch watching as many college football games as I can. Football is cool and all that, but maybe we should relax a bit about it? I mean, it's cool but not that cool. Continue reading →


03
Aug 12

Pants Party 2 and the end of Off Topic Week

As I write this it has been 19 days since Miller Park Drunk Pants Party 2. It seems like yesterday and it seems like forever ago. I didn't write about it before because everyone who came knows they had a good time and everybody who didn't probably doesn't care. An average post gets anywhere from 500-1000 views and there were 60 people are our party. The odds are that you don't care, but I do and since this is the end of Off Topic Week I am going to talk about it a bit.

When we had the original Pants Party two years ago things were kind of messed up. I wasn't as prepared as I would have liked to been and I didn't really know what to expect. I was just a dude with a silly blog that somehow convinced a bunch of people he's never met to go to a party. I was nervous and worried and probably a little bit awkward at first. I was mad at myself for not budgeting correctly and losing a couple hundred bucks. I drank too much the night before to calm my nerves and ended up being late. Then the party started, I drank some beers, Ryan cooked some awesome food and everything was good. It was a really fun time and I have no regrets, but I knew it could have been better. Real life got in the way in 2011, but in 2012 there was no way I wasn't going to do this thing. Tyler and I discussed this party as far back as Game 5 of the NLDS. I wasn't going to let another year go by without having a party and thanks to my good friend Sam I was able to get it done.

I wanted everything about the party this year to be bigger and better. More food, more booze, more games, more prizes and t-shirts for everybody. I wanted a larger crowd and I wanted that larger crowd to have more fun than the previous party did. I wanted somebody to have sex in the bathroom. I was driven. If I had to spend the entire party in my H&M boxers to make that happen I would do it.

Everyone had fun. I can't speak for all of those who were at both, but I think we exceeded Pants Party uno in many ways. It just seemed more alive. The people who returned from the previous party had a camaraderie that carried over to this one even if they hadn't seen each other since that made everything a bit looser. The new people fit in great and I think if everything works out right we'll see about 80% or more return again next year. Which is an awesome number. Seriously, I love you guys.

I probably started fifty conversations that I couldn't finish that day. I'm really thankful for the sisters who made their way from Minnesota or California or wherever. I enjoyed the young crowd even if they did break all of my fashion rules and drink Mike's Hard Lemonade inside the game. Who invited the umpire? He was cool and all and I appreciate him bringing a crew with him, but you know how I feel about umpires. It sucked for Tony that his boys couldn't handle their liquor and no-showed on him, but it was cool that we got to party together. Tyler and the former Right Field Bleachers crew brought it as always. The Stevens Point people saved my life, but we'll get to that later. It was good to see the Madison bloggers alliance make an appearance. Love that all those Brew Crew Ball people were able to make it (except Kyle.) The guy and the girl where the girl lives in St. Louis, good luck with that. You guys seemed cool. A lot of my friends that I've sort of drifted from, but still enjoy (marriage cult) were able to make it and it was great to see them too. Nick, Nate, Matt, Ang and everyone else I am forgetting and didn't get enough time to talk to good to see you too. Thank you. My only regret is that I didn't get to spend more time with everyone and finish all those conversations I started.

At some point in the day I decided that we should all rip our sleeves off and wear them as headbands. Why? I don't know. I think it was a desire to look like Hulk Hogan or something, but as someone would point out to me later I ended up looking more like Brooke Hogan. :( After that things get a bit messy. We hit the Fridays and somehow I didn't get to the seat until the 6th inning. (A new personal record.) Didn't matter. I saw all the important runs, saw Axford close it down and the Brewers are now 2-0 at Pants Parties. After that some of us decided to hit the Friday's again and well... let's just say I told someone that they could drive my truck home without me and they listened. Then I told another friend that I didn't need a ride and he'd be alright to leave without me too. One more friend asked, I said no and the next thing I know this happened.

Passed out. In a car. Bound for Stevens Point. Three hours from where I live.

Best in the world? You know it.

Pants Party 2 was the very best day of my year and that's saying a lot because my year has been amazing, but it's true. It was the one day in my life when I was almost sure that everyone really liked me and were glad to have me around. People bonded over knowing me or who I was. How weird is that? It was a day in which I was able to say thank you to everyone for that and for putting up with me and all the dumb stuff I do. For that I threw a party and I am glad everyone liked it. I'll do it again next year if you'll still have me.


Well, that was fun. Thanks to everyone who stuck around while we ignored our favorite baseball team. We'll be back doing our thing on Monday. In case you missed anything here's what we did.

Read the ones about dumb people, the Chikara one (then come join me) and the music one. We'll be doing part two of that sometime.


03
Aug 12

Chikara is the greatest thing ever and you should go see it in Milwaukee on 8/17

I love wrestling very, very much. When I was 16 I saved up money and flew to Philadelphia by myself where I attended an ECW show at the ECW Arena. I went with a guy I met on the internet and stayed in a hotel with him. After the show we had breakfast at Denny's with D-Von Dudley, Jason and Chastity. No, really, that happened. It was a great time. Last year I went to Wrestlemania and I've said enough about that. The year before that I went to Money in the Bank and witnessed probably the greatest WWE pay-per-view of all time where CM Punk shocked the world by walking out with the WWE title. I've been to Raw, Nitro, ECW, Ring of Honor and some weird thing at a local high school gym that was headlined by Steve Austin's "brother" Rick Austin, but of all the wrestling events I've ever been to the very best is Chikara pro wrestling. Other shows might have had better matches or bigger stars, but it was at Chikara that I've had the most fun. It was at Chikara that I never stopped smiling. It was always Chikara that I loved the most.

So what is Chikara? Well.... Continue reading →

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