A peek inside the Brewers bullpen

Baseball July 17th, 2009

The Brewers are enjoying a comfortable 9-3 lead.

trevorhoffman Psst!
seth mcclung /walks Nix
trevorhoffman Pssst!!!
seth mcclung /wipes 2 liters of sweat off brow

Wha? Who keeps doin' dat? I be tryin' to pitch good.

trevorhoffman (whispering) It's me. Trevor.
seth mcclung Oh, hey boss. What can I do for ya?
trevorhoffman I need you to give up three runs.
seth mcclung Wha? Why? We need to win this one boss! We cruisin' to a victory!
trevorhoffman Don't worry about that, just give up this home run so the game will be a save situation.
seth mcclung Bu..bu.... but I wanted to be a startin again soon! I need to prove myself to Mr. Mancha!
trevorhoffman Listen Red, you're never going to be a starter again.
seth mcclung Why not?
trevorhoffman For one, you're not that good.
seth mcclung /walks Gomes
trevorhoffman See.
seth mcclung Aww hell that don't matter. Look at the rest of our staff.
trevorhoffman True, but you're also nature's mistake.
seth mcclung What in the sam hell is that supposed to mean?
trevorhoffman Your hair.
seth mcclung What's wrong with it?
trevorhoffman Don't play dumb I've seen you on Yahoo Answers.
seth mcclung Yeah, but there been lotsa good red headed baseball players.
trevorhoffman Like who?
seth mcclung Chris Shelton.
trevorhoffman /stares
seth mcclung Man, you got a creepy lookin' face. It looks like you stole it from a wax museum in the Dells.
Okay, what 'bout Bobby Kielty?
trevorhoffman Maybe in the California Penal League.
seth mcclung Steve Howe?
trevorhoffman Maybe in the Betty Ford League.
seth mcclung Doug Rader! He won 5 Gold Gloves!
trevorhoffman Yeah, but that was in the 70s when they used to pick the Gold Glove awards by who could do the Hustle and who could get the best quaaludes.
seth mcclung True. That certainly explains Mark Belanger, but whatta 'bout Wade Boggs? Great hitter, could drank 'bout 70 beers, hung out with Mr. Perfect, sex addict, used to record other players cheatin' to protect himself.

Wait, scratch that last one.

trevorhoffman Oh, would you just give up the home run already? You know you were going to anyways.
seth mcclung Fine.

/gives up 3 run bomb

trevorhoffman :o
toddcoffey /RUNS WILDLY
trevorhoffman Psst!!
toddcoffey STFU TREVOR I HEARD WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT RED HEADS

trevor time

Epilogue: Saves with a three run lead are stupid.

Ryan Braun tells you where to go and what to do, but somehow fails

Baseball July 16th, 2009

Ryan BraunDid anyone else get this email? Because we did.

Hi,

When traveling to a new a city or looking for a new restaurant or club to try at home, a simple Google search just doesn’t cut it. What if you could get recommendations on where to eat and what to do from people ‘like you’ or, even better, from celebrity, super-human athletes like Ryan Braun.

LikeMe.Net, the next generation in social media, offers just that. It’s a recommendation search engine, which tailors your search to your specific interests. Awesome. Even better? Finding out where Ryan Braun spends his time when he’s not crushing it baseball field.

You can see his video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMHHhc92gUI

Check out his recommendation page at: http://www.likeme.net/users/RyanBraun/recommendations

Let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy All-Star week.

Cheers,

Lauren

First of all, why the hell should I care where Ryan Braun recommends me to eat? To be an athlete in the kind of shape he's in he probably has to eat food like the bread that Jews eat during the Sabbath. No thanks. Second of all, he recommends places in California or Florida which doesn't exactly help me much. Here's the restaurant Katana which Ryan describes as "The food is so great, and there are a lot of beautiful people here. It's just a great place to go before going out." Great food and beautiful people? It's like gourmet narcissism! The menu looks decent and surprisingly affordable (unlike another Braun spot Prime 112 and their $23 soup), but it also looks like a place that Spencer's creepy flesh colored beard would hang out at. Fail Braun, fail.

Braun also goes on to recommend everything from cellphones (Blackberry Curve 8330: "I'm a businessman now so it's all about email efficiency.") to (surprise) Remetee clothing ("It's something like between Affliction and Ed Hardy. My partners are the majority owners of Affliction. We just felt like it was an opportunity to do something that was a little more colorful and friendly, and for me, it's something I really enjoy. It's available in Nordstrom, Macy's, Bloomingdales, etc."). I wonder if they ever thought of that for a slogan for Remetee, "Remetee: It's just like Affliction or Ed Hardy, only with more pink and purple!" The best part of Ryan Braun's recommendations are the baseball stadiums. That's a really nice touch. Here's his review of Wrigley Field:

It's a special place to watch a ball game. Every fan should experience this place -- a lot of day games, a lot of drinking and tailgating, and as a visiting player, we enjoy going into this atmosphere and environment. It makes it a lot of fun.

I am starting to wonder if Ryan knows the definition of tailgating because in order to tailgate I am pretty sure that you need an actual, you know, place to park. I could be wrong though. (Nope, I'm right.) I'm also kind of wondering if Ryan is saying that baseball players like playing when everyone is drunk during the day because he certainly seems to imply that. That'd be pretty awesome actually.

He also covers his hometown Dodger Stadium:

I grew up in L.A., and I still live there. I really enjoy getting the opportunity to go back when we play the Dodgers. I'm able to reflect on where I'm at, what I've accomplished, and what I'm doing because I grew up a big Dodger fan. It's fun to play against them -- they have a good team, we have a good team. It's not necessarily a rivalry because we only play them a couple times a year, but it's always a lot of fun and a good series.

Do you know how many games Ryan Braun has played in Dodger Stadium? I don't want to be a dick about it, but these things aren't that hard to find out and it literally takes about 20 seconds to look it up online. Two games. That's it. Sure, he could enjoy playing the Dodgers and he most definitely enjoys going back home but you've been there ONE TIME. This is my biggest Braun pet peeve, he talks like he has been in the league for 20 years and constantly gets away with it. He's like a 14 year old who wants to talk to you about sex. Give me a break.

I hate being down on Braun all the time though. I mean, he really likes playing in Milwaukee and signed a contract that he didn't have to sign to stay here. We should be happy. I mean look at this compliment he gives Milwaukee:

Don't sleep on Milwaukee. The people here really take their summers seriously because they don't have good weather very often. It's been great to me so far. It's fun.

At least I think that was a compliment.

How Parra Got His Groove Back

Baseball July 10th, 2009

Manny Parra

Parra: Man, Nashville sucks. I wish I was back in Milwaukee.

/goes to Grand Ole Opry

Parra: I mean, it's not like I WANT to pitch bad. I don't know how those batters get to the bases. I throw and they don't swing, what am I supposed to do? Why won't Doug Melvin understand?

/goes to Country Music Hall of Fame

Parra: I wonder who won the sausage race today. I bet it was the Polish, he's due.

/runs out of things to do in Nashville

Parra: God, what am I doing? I'm so lost. Maybe I should join twitter. Then people will notice me. Then I can get back to Milwaukee. That will be my thing, the baseball player who tweets during his starts. That's the ticket.

/joins twitters, nobody follows him

Parra: Crap. I should just sit in this clubhouse until I get called up.

/puts hands in face, slowly starts to weep

Voice: Hello.

Parra: Oh, hi. Ummmm, I just had something in my eye. It's really dusty down here. Hey, aren't you...

billy ray cyrus

Billy Ray Cyrus: Billy Ray Cyrus? Well, yes I am.

Parra: Well, I was going to say Hannah Montana's dad Robbie Stewart but if you want me to call you that, that's cool. What are you doing here?

Billy Ray Cyrus: The owner said he'd give me thirty bucks and a free hot dog with mustard on it if I came and sang the national anthem before tonight's game.

Parra: Woah sweet deal.

/high five

Billy Ray Cyrus: Hey partner, I can't help but notice that someone seems to have broken your achy-breaky heart. Is there something I can help you with?

Parra: I don't know Billy Ray. I'm a pitcher and my general manager said I throw too many "balls" and not enough "strikes", but I told him that if I didn't throw balls how would I pitch? I can't just hold the ball you know?

Billy Ray Cyrus: I'm sorry to hear that Manny, but I've got some good news for you. In addition to being a successful country singer, actor and media personality I am also an excellent pitcher. I think I can help you.

Parra: How?

Billy Ray Cyrus: Like this.

/Billy Ray Cyrus throws a perfect strike

Parra: Woah, how did you do that? That was amazing.

Billy Ray Cyrus: You see there's this thing called the strike zone.

Parra: The what?

Billy Ray Cyrus: The strike zone. The strike zone is a conceptual three dimensional right angle pentagonal prism over home plate which defines the boundaries through which a pitch must pass in order to count as a strike when the batter does not swing.

Parra: WOAH. Why didn't anyone tell me about this? Where is it? Is it really hard to find like the g-spot? Is it hidden in lines and lines of code like the Matrix? Will I need to travel to Narnia?

Billy Ray Cyrus: No, it's right there in front of you. The top of the strike zone is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the batter's shoulders and the top of the uniform pants. The bottom of the strike zone is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The right and left boundaries of the strike zone correspond to the edges of home plate. A pitch that touches the outer boundary of the zone is as much a strike as a pitch that is thrown right down the center. A pitch at which the batter does not swing and which does not pass through the strike zone is called a ball. Unofficially, the de facto enforced strike zone may be different at any different level.

Parra: Hang on a second, you're pulling my leg aren't you? Is this how you get your kicks Billy Ray?

Billy Ray Cyrus: Hand to God Manny, it's the truth. Billy Ray gets his kicks banging extras on the set of Hannah Montana when Miley has no clue. There was this one time on Best of Both Worlds with these Vietnamese twins and a tennis racket that I --

Parra: Billy!

Billy Ray Cyrus: Sorry. Okay, about the strike zone. It works like this.

Billy Ray Cyrus shows Manny Parra a series of graphs and illustrations defining the strike zone. This process goes on for many hours and Manny has a hard time with the concept until Billy Ray shows him this picture.

strikezone

Parra: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I get it.

We make the case to Roy Halladay

Baseball July 8th, 2009

royhalladayRoy Halladay was more or less put on the trade block this week. Trading for Roy Halladay would definitely shut Braun up and fulfill the dreams of many fans. The Brewers would basically trade for the best pitcher available, one of the top 5 pitchers in baseball, two years in a row. There is no way they can do this without it having a serious effect on the future of the team. Does that mean they shouldn't do it? That's hard to say. With Halladay locked up for next year too, we immediately become contenders this year and next. Make no mistake about it, this would be as close as we'll ever get to trading for CC two years in a row. This trade is like that last shot you take at bar time. It's AWESOME and it might get you laid, but holy cow you will regret it later.

Me? I love Roy Halladay. He's been one of my favorite pitchers since I had him in fantasy baseball three years ago. ERA+ isn't a perfect stat, but Halladay hasn't been below average since the year 2000. He's been an above average starter since before Miller Park opened, think about that. He is crazy, crazy good. NINE COMPLETE GAMES! Plus, I love doing things that are mind blowingly awesome that end up coming back to haunt you later. That's why I have a kid.

But as Rob Base has taught us, it takes two. Halladay has a no-trade clause and he'd have to be convinced to come to Milwaukee, but we think we can take care of that for you. Read the rest of this entry »

Miller Park South sucks

Miller Park July 2nd, 2009

I love the Milwaukee Brewers, obviously, but for some reason the team seems to be obsessed with creating a "Miller Park South" environment at Wrigley Field whenever the Brewers go down to play the Cubs. To me, this makes absolutely no sense at all. First of all, why encourage people to spend money on tickets to go to Wrigley Field? For the price of ONE Cubs game a smart wrigleyfieldfan can probably go to two or three Brewers games. Second of all, Miller Park is an amazing place to watch baseball and it is a well built, safe, comfortable building. Why would you want to tarnish it's name by calling a dump like Wrigley Field the same name, only South? It does not make any sense.

I can hear you so-called baseball purists out there right now, "Wrigley Field is a magical place to watch a baseball game! and "Wrigley Field has a storied history, Babe Ruth played there!" To which I say, big freaking deal. Do you know what I like in a ballpark? The ability to pee, that's what. I like to go to the bathroom and not have to worry about missing three innings, having someone staring at my junk because we're so close our arms are interlocked, getting stage fright or being stuck at the end of the trough that some asshole puking in the toilet splashes his puke on my leg (all things that have happened to me at Wrigley Field, by the way). Do you know what I like in a ballpark? Not having concrete fall on my head, that's what. Oh there is a net protecting me from falling debris? That will save me, nevermind. Do you know what I like to run into when I go to a game? Short concession lines. Oh, and something actually good to eat. Can someone explain to me how the Cubs sell out every home game yet the pizza always tastes five days old? Is this a "Chicago thing"? Do people in Chicago like their Old Style cold, their sports teams terrible and their pizza tasting like it's five days old? I feel like there should be forensic scientists studying stuff like this. There is one more thing I like when I go to a baseball game, the ability to WATCH THE GAME. John Kruk has a better view of his feet than you have of the field from most seats in Wrigley Field, but don't listen to me I'll let a Cubs fan tell you:

What seats have obstructed view at Wrigley Field?

Most of them! Most of the seats in the 200 and 500 level have poles in your way. The 200 level is some of the worst seats in baseball.

(Tickets in the 200 level for tomorrow's game? Between $50-$200. Wrigley Field, ladies and gentleman!)

(In Wrigley Field's defense at least they have those TV screens so you can see what you missed from your obstructed seats. Wait, what? They don't!?)

Oh, but I am sure I am being too hard on Wrigley Field. I mean, you don't go to Wrigley Field to watch baseball, eat, pee, or drink. No, you go to Wrigley Field to EXPERIENCE it, to breathe in the history. That's what you do right? You want to be in the same place that Rogers Hornsby and Babe Ruth and Jody Davis once played in. You go there as much for the history of the park as anything else, but if we could let's be serious for a moment. What history? What history are you talking about?  The Cubs started playing in Wrigley Field in 1916. Since then they have played .491 ball, made 12 postseasons (which came 38 years apart at one point) and won exactly 0 World Series. History, schmistory.

If Cubs fans knew what was good for them they'd burn that place to the ground. And if the Brewers knew what was good for them, they'd stop with all this "Miller Park South" crap. If they want to create a truly memorable fan experience they will do whatever it takes to keep Brewers fans out of that pissbucket and inside Miller Park. Unless, of course, the memories they want to imprint on Brewers fans are those of urinary tract infections, diarrhea and 20 minutes of watching baseball combined with two and a half hours of waiting in line. I'm assuming they don't.

Trust me people, save your time and save your money. Stay the hell away from Wrigley Field.

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