16
Jul 13

The Best and Worst of the Milwaukee Brewers 2013 First Half

worstbrewersfirsthalfIt's been awhile since I stole the Best and Worst gimmick from someone else (since the good times in fact,) but I felt this particular season was in more need of it than any before. After all, what season could be in need of some positivity more than this one? Put it this way, I debated with myself all morning on whether or not it should be called 'the Worst and Worst.' It's been that kind of season. So, without much further adieu let's get into this thing.

BEST: Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez

That's it. That's all the bests I have.

Okay, maybe not, but that is certainly how this season has felt at times. Nothing has really been great and these two have provided somewhere between 94 and 98 percent of all 2013 positive Brewers memories and I feel like that is a low estimate. They've been just plain fun to watch which is kind of funny because they play exactly the kind of baseball that the manager we don't care for loves to play. That's not to say that their style of baseball is wr0ng or that Roenicke's strategy is right, but these two have proven themselves time and again to be the exceptions that prove the rule. While simultaneously proving that they, as players, rule.

Jean Segura is young and probably not this good with his high BABIP and all, but he has made that Greinke trade look like an absolute steal (even while Johnny Hellweg gives up a homerun on eight out of every ten pitches thrown) and shortstop looks solidified for some time to come. He probably won't be an All-Star again, but he won't be Yuniesky Betancourt ever so he's basically the greatest shortstop in Brewers history. (White guys not included.)

Gomez on the other hand... actually, let's do this right. Continue reading →


07
Jun 13

Homestander: Critical Thinking

Each Thursday preceding Brewers weekend home stands, Tyler Maas Vince Morales 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 @vintown

There is a witch hunt going on in the MLB and it involves our favorite son, Ryan Braun. I don't know why, but there is. The mainstream media is a big part of it because they want to get the scoop, they want to break the story and they want to get the page views. They learned from the Melky Cabrera situation that he just doesn't get the clicks anymore. They've learned that Alex Rodriguez, once a ratings bonanza of controversy on par with Tiger Woods, just doesn't get the viewers like he used to. In order to strum up some business with this Biogenesis thing, they need a name with some value. A guy who is still good, they NEED Ryan Braun. I guarantee you if someone ends up suspended for this thing (and they shouldn't be unless they fail a drug test, but that's another rant) that the media will tell you that "so and so was suspended, but still no word on Ryan Braun" because "so and so" doesn't get the clicks, but Ryan Braun will. Ryan Braun is forever stung by this thing and it sucks. Whenever there is a thing with PEDs, he will be brought up. Right now, every dumb person I know just assumes that Ryan Braun did PEDs and he WILL be busted soon. There is no burden of proof, only a belief in what ESPN tells you.

v-for-vendetta-creator-muses-on-anonymous-act-L-Bf8KkgWhich is why I say this, don't believe everything you read or see on TV. The media lies. They have an agenda. Sometimes that agenda is protecting their corporate sponsors and sometimes that agenda is to get more viewers. Ryan Braun can be used to fit that agenda. I'm not saying he's guilty or innocent, I'm just saying you need to look at what you know and make up your own decisions. Use critical thinking and stop letting ESPN or whoever else decide things for you. You can do it. We are Anonymous. Continue reading →


08
May 13

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Yuni B

yuni-voldemortLet's start this off properly: Yuniesky Betancourt is the worst shortstop in Brewers history. That might not necessarily be true, but it feels true. In 2011, his last full season as the Brewers shortstop, he was the worst everyday shortstop in the league. Or at the very least in the bottom five. Even when he did good things, he always followed them up with boneheaded plays, errors and stupid pop-ups. He was the worst. People called him names, people called into radio shows screaming for his replacement and nobody was a fan of him. Nobody. @atmeiller calls him Voldemort and it makes sense because when he was playing shortstop he removed all the light from the world and each one of his swings spread a flurry of Death Eaters throughout Miller Park. He wasn't good at baseball and we were all glad to see him go.

When the Brewers brought back Yuni B, it was like seeing your ex-girlfriend walk back through your door. Only instead of the moderately attractive girl you remember she was sporting a neck tattoo that read "SLUT" and a Nickelback t-shirt that barely hid her pregnant belly. And the baby is yours. The Brewers re-signing Betancourt felt somewhat like the worst thing ever, but it wasn't. Why? Continue reading →


22
Apr 13

The End of the World: An OOTP Diary

Last week saw the release of OOTP14, the latest in Out of the Park Developments excellent baseball simulation series, and ever since then I have been playing it. The game is a definite upgrade from last season, but also I played as the Yankees, I played as the Pirates and I played as the Braves, but I never played as the Brewers. The reason is simple: I don't know what the hell is going on with them or what to expect from them. The scoreless streak, the winning streak, Yovani's DUI and the basic roster construction just don't make a lot of sense to me and I don't know how to make this team better. OOTP Doug MelvinSo how do I manage that team? Do I call up Hunter Morris, DFA Alex Gonzalez and/or Yuniesky Betancourt and ship Axford out of town? Do I Stand Pat? Will any of it even matter?

The truth is I don't know what will happen which makes this, not my favorite, but definitely the most intriguing Brewers season I can think of in a long time. For Doctor Who fans, it's much more Clara than Rose Tyler. Or for people who've actually had sex, it's much more LOST than NCIS. Or for people who aren't good with analogies, it's a mystery that won't be solved over night.

Which I guess makes it the perfect season to simulate with OOTP14. So hold on to your hats because we're doing a diary to see just how bad (or good) this season is going to get. (Again.) Continue reading →


10
Apr 13

Brewed For Her: A Stale Brew

Wow. Just... wow.

Wow. Just... wow.

To say the Milwaukee Brewers haven't been doing a lot of things right lately is something of an understatement. Between the bullpen pitching like they owe the strike zone money, Carlos Gomez and Rickie Weeks' ongoing re-enactment of Weekend At Bernie's and Weekend At Bernie's 2 at the plate, and Ron Roenicke's apparent Punk-ing of John Axford by way of (attempted) multi-inning outings... things could be better. Yuniesky Betancourt is an everyday starter for Christ's sake! Excluding really cold games that allow lil' Yunie to look like a manbaby with his cherub cheeks poking through his ninja mask, that's never a good thing.

With all the bad things happening on the field so far this season, you'd think the organization would go above and beyond to ensure that other elements of the game experience are enjoyable enough to cancel out the sub-standard baseball games themselves. And to a point, the front office and PR department has succeeded in doing this. I mean, there's that awesome Briggs & Stratton roulette in-game promotion! Last week, a concession worker begrudgingly honored my request to mix both lime and strawberry-flavored margarita into my mug. Plus, Miller Park is just in time to ride that "Gangnam Style" wave.

However, the Brewers new "Brewed For Her" promotion is one of the worst, most poorly-thought, tone deaf attempts to get fans to the park I've seen since "Gary Sheffield effigy night" back in 1995.

For those fortunate enough to miss this soft-colored, heart-laden promo flyer, on May 25, Miller Park's Gehl Club will transform into a place for the LAAAAAAAAAYYDEEEEEZ!!!

Since women evidently aren't intelligent enough to be entertained by an unimpeded baseball game on its own, Brewed For Her aims to help distract women from hard-to-understand elements of this man's game and all its "points", "home's runs" and utter lack of Kardashians with a series of antiquated offerings such as:
• Style tips from fashion experts & 15 top merchandise vendors
• Special selection of women's Brewers apparel & accessories
• Interactive stations / demonstrations for hair & nails
• Gift bag filled with Brewers goodies
• Game ticket including food & beverage in the exclusive Gehl club

OH EM GEE!!! You mean for a mere $115, gurlz can get access to a closed off section--awesome usage of "exclusive" by the way to suggest watching the game from 600 feet away from behind a splotchy window is somehow VIP--of the park while indulging in some of the most generalized feminine activities ever?

Style tips from fashion experts? I'd love to be a fly on the wall to hear a Boston Store buyer take time from their day to tell women, "Tie a knot in that Aoki shirsey! And remember, pink is always a home run! Home run is a baseball term that is a positive thing, by the way." Demonstrations for hair & nails? "Adjustable caps, ladies. Cheaper than fitted hats and great for holding ponytails."

Unfortunately, there won't be enough time available for the lecture from an adjunct Alverno professor entitled "Spitting and Chewing Tobacco: Gross. But necessary?"

In short, I'm a dude and I find this to be incredibly sexist and offensive. Maybe in 1950s American society, a time that marginalized women and discouraged them from sports viewing, this would've had a place... barely. But we're living in a time where thousands of females are in fantasy baseball leagues, there's an array of talented and hardworking female reporters and columnists contributing to the baseball conversation and newscycle. I personally know a handful of ladies who know as much or more about the Brewers than I do. Unless there's a Brewed For Him game planned with equally predictable activities like "Shotgunning beers for dummies" and an "All you can meat bar... MEAT MEAT MEAT [grunt noise, fart]", I don't think this type gender-specific promotion has a place in a 2013 Major League baseball stadium.

I know some women will gladly attend this, and that's their right. Not all women love baseball, and I think (or hope) that's the demographic that Brewers PR was intending to hit when it came up with Brewed For Her. However, I think the shortsighted activities, the cringeworthy flyer design and the promotion's existence missed the mark entirely.