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, 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.
MicroBrew - Minor Leaguer Of The Week
The minor league season is over, but Johnny Hellweg and Jason Rogers were the team's minor league pitcher and position players of the year, respectively. Hellweg's most impressive stats are his 3.15 ERA over 125.2 IP and his 6'9" height. Rogers hit 22 HR and 87 RBI in 133 double-A games.
Blatz from the Pabst - Old School Brewer
Keith Ginter was one of the best players for one of the worst Brewers teams of all time. In 2004, he had 19 homers (trailing only Geoff Jenkins) and 60 RBI (third on the team). The Brewers won just 67 games that season and Ginter played only 51 more games in the Majors. He won't be missed.
Handy Heckle - Reds
Hey Cincy, how does it feel to currently be in third place despite being a Wild Card if the season ended today and already having a guaranteed winning season with 15 games left to play? Pretty good, I bet. Whatever. Ryan Hannigan is the closest thing to a cyclops a "normal" can get.
Tailgating Tips - What to put inside you, etc.
To eat: I find it odd that Cincinnati has a style of chili named after it. Really, it's just regular-ass chili with angel hair spaghetti noodles mixed in. It's a weird thing to be known for, if you ask me. Anyway, between the Reds coming to town and fall sitting just around the corner, I have chili on the brain. Make a pot of non-Cincinnati chili and hope the temperatures aren't still in the 90s this weekend.
To drink: Appleton, WI is world famous for being the longtime home to Houdini, the birthplace of Willem Dafoe (that he refuses to acknowledge) and where modern Americana superstar Corey Chisel calls home. It also has a brew pub in the basement of a building that also has comedy club in it. That brew pub is Stone Cellar and they know their way around a Scotch ale. If you're at a bar in the Fox Cities and see Stone Cellar beers (especially its Scotch ale) on tap, you know what to do.
Tailgating Tunes - Wisconsin music recommendation
Corey Chisel and the Wandering Sons, I guess. If you'll look above, you'll see that he lives in that place with the dead magician and the basement beer. He's a musician.
If you can't make it to Miller Park - Watch the game here
Your home. It's been a long season. If you don't have cable, go to Bar Louie. Just kidding... that place sucks.
Ad-monishment - Shaming commercials that deserve it
It's astounding that The General still exists, let alone has a budget for advertising. The bottom of the barrel company for people who don't have the money nor acceptance for better insurance consistently churns out some of the worst TV spots in the history of the medium. The quality of the CGI General mascot makes those Taiwanese animations seem like Avatar by comparison. The acting and "plots" of the ads are dreadful. This one, set in a gynecologist waiting room or something, takes the shit-cake.
What's so outrageous about an expecting mother wanting to change her due date? The look of shock on the white woman's face is like the black woman said she planned to throw her baby in the garbage after delivering it. If you audition for a General commercial and don't get the part, quit. Not just acting. Life.
Look at the comments on this YouTube video too. "i'm scared of womens who are pregnant"
@HowieMag. He's Milwaukee Magazine's resident sports guy, a great reporter and an endless well of clever sports puns. I think I saw him at Classic Slice last week, but I've only met him, like, twice in real life. I didn't want to risk it and be wrong, but I'm 87 percent sure it was him.
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