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 →


17
Sep 12

GUEST POST: A famous sportswriter on the MVP race

The NL MVP race is heating up and Ryan Braun looks like he should be the favorite, but he's not because, well, you know. Tyler Maas already chimed in on this over at the AV Club. Now, we asked a very famous and prestigious sportswriter from CBS/ESPN/Fox/USA Today to add his two cents to the argument. Here is what he says.

A little boy walked up to me the other day. He was straight out of a Hallmark card. Baseball glove, backwards hat and one of those t-shirt jerseys of his favorite baseball player, Buster Posey, that hung just a bit too loose on the young man. His dad recognized me from the paper, he thanked me for my years of excellent work (you were too kind) and introduced me to his young son Jonny. The boy looked at me, eyes full of wonder and a future so bright it nearly blinded me, and asked "Mistah Sportswritah sir, is Bustah gonna win the MVP?" I patted the young boy on the head and said "He has my vote, son."

This is what the 2012 NL MVP race is all about. Children's favorite baseball player's winning baseball's most prestigious award. If I had it in me I'd vote for Chipper Jones because of all he's done for Major League Baseball in his career. Or maybe I'd vote for Bryce Harper who has taken the Nationals from an also-ran to a World Series favorite. Sure, their numbers don't look as good as Buster's, but their hard work and determination display the kind of qualities you would like to see in every young man. They aren't ghetto thugs who only play baseball in between getting tattoos. They are heroes who kids love and look up to. Just like I looked up to Johnny Bench and hated Reggie Jackson, these kids look up to Buster Posey and hate all the me-first, money grabbing homerun hitters of today.

Okay time to come clean on something. I voted for Barry Bond and I voted for Mark McGwire. I might have even sent out a Christmas card of Mark McGwire and I standing near home plate at Busch Stadium the year he hit all those homeruns. That sure didn't make my wife happy. So unhappy that she left me, but at the time it seemed like a good idea. A lot of things did. It was a different time then. I was young (45) and I didn't know any better. Seeing these great heroes, these Greek Gods in baseball form play the way that those guys did it was hard not to get swept up in it. Back then it was all about stats and numbers. Role models be damned. It was a very hedonistic time in baseball's history and some of it's darkest days.

When we found out the truth about those guys it was tough, but it allowed us into this age of enlightenment. You see, numbers are no longer what's important. Sure, they help. Matt Holiday's 27 dingers and 96 RBIs are impressive, but you take one look at that team and you know that it's Yadier Molina's team. He is their emotional core, their hero and their MVP. Take Yadi away and you have the Houston Astros. Just stating the facts, but that's what matters. The MVP is about more than who has the best batting average or who has the most RBIs. They are about the intangibles and winning. Before I vote for the MVP I ask myself four questions:

  • Did this guy's team make the playoffs? (most important)
  • Is this guy a stand-up guy? (most important)
  • Will I at any point in my career regret this vote? (most important)
  • Is this guy a hero to little kids? (most important)

It's not a perfect science. For example I got it wrong last year when I voted for Ryan Braun. He seemed to meet all the criteria and then some, but after a few months we all learned the awful truth about Ryan Braun. He was a cheater and he let down America's youth. I wouldn't want my son watching him, even if he did talk to me. He didn't end up getting suspended, but it was true. That's how things work in this country. I've never regretted a vote more in my entire life and that includes the time I tried to write Mark McGwire into the Hall of Fame while he was still playing. I regret that vote more than my ex-wife regrets marrying me. (Sorry, Ethel.) I'd love to put an asterisk on that vote and that award because Ryan Braun let me down and he also let down a nation of children. I will never vote for Ryan Braun again and neither will most of my sportswriter friends. It doesn't matter how many home runs he hits.

Not when there are guys like Buster Posey out there. In my mind he is the hands down MVP. David Wright? Great hitter, but he is clearly unable to carry his team to wins. Not a winner. Andrew McCutcheon? Definitely a "dark horse," but he's a bit too "street" for me. Matt Holiday? He's not Yadier Molina. Yadier Molina? He's not Buster Posey. And he's Mexican. Or Puerto Rican. Whatever.

Buster Posey is baseball's white knight and we are blessed to have him in our game. Unlike the Sosa's and Bonds' of years past he isn't a false idol. He is a true Greek God worthy of our worship and if I have anything to say about it he is the 2012 National League MVP. This votes for you, little Jonny!


12
Sep 12

500 Reasons the Brewers are .500

The Brewers are at .500! 71 wins and 71 losses! They are even in the wins and losses column! And everyone is very excited about this!

It's kind of hilarious when you think that one year ago today the Brewers were in first place, fourteen games over .500 and everyone was miserable because they had just lost 3 out of 4 to the Phillies and 5 out of 6 overall. Everyone was sure that the Brewers sucked and that they weren't going to win the World Series. Talk about your white people problems. Here's what we wrote at the time:

Let's say instead of the Brewers losing 5 in a row to the Cardinals and Phillies that they won them all. That'd have been awesome right? They'd be number one on ESPN and everyone would be calling them World Series favorites. Only now they play the Rockies and the Reds and instead of playing them like I think we're going to play them, they lose five. Does that make the Brewers a playoff team who can't close the deal? Does that make them a team that can't "get up" for the lesser games? Because right now the Brewers are a playoff team who, apparently, "choke against elite starters" or "can't beat good teams" and I just don't see the difference. Losses are loses. This weekend sucked, but consider this:

  1. Rickie Weeks is back.
  2. The Brewers magic number is ten. A combination of Brewers wins and Cardinals losses equaling ten and this is done. Sure, it could go til the end of the season, but it could be over by next weekend or it could be over by Sunday. Relax.

Last year we had a team on the verge of clinching a division that was all but guaranteed a playoff spot and we were miserable. Now we have a team that is at .500 and we are through the roof. Baseball.

But who cares about all that? You can't live in the past, you can only live in the now and that's a good thing because right now the Brewers are pretty awesome. Baseball is pretty fun. So how did this happen? Well, for starters there are these 500 things.

Continue reading →


14
Dec 11

TMZ EXCLUSIVE: TMZ tries to get Matt Kemp to bury Ryan Braun and fails

TMZ.com, your #1 source for amateur photographers bothering famous people on the street and then making money off of it despite it's questionable at best legality, caught up with Matt Kemp at The Grove in LA this week and said something stupid about him getting the MVP award for Christmas. Matt Kemp handled it like a pro and dismissed the claims, adding that Ryan Braun was a "good dude" and his homie.

After failing at that the reporter interviewer random dude with a camera decides to bring up Barry Bonds (timely!) to see if Matt Kemp will say anything about him and again, he fails.

It should be noted that TMZ.com (Your #1 source for celebrity gossip! Check your local listings!) posts this video with the headline "Matt Kemp: Don't Call Ryan Braun A Cheater... Yet" despite, you know, Matt Kemp never saying that or anything close to that.

This is pretty stupid, but it shows how far this story has gone. Continue reading →


06
Oct 11

The Milwaukee Brewers’ Finest Hour

Five days ago I wrote a post titled "NINE" that captured the feelings of a nation. The Brewers were fresh off of two amazing wins in front of a crazy hometown crowd and it felt like they could beat anyone. ESPN and other major websites were writing articles about how the Brewers were "the team nobody wanted to face" and a "World Series favorite." Everything that could go right did and everything that could go wrong didn't. Everything was clicking, everything was perfect and the whole thing just felt amazing. An entire state was on top of the world. At the end of that post I wrote the following:

I am going to try and not get too excited. I'm going to try and not let these two games cloud my vision. I know there is a long way to go. I know these are only two games, but wow... just wow. What a weekend.

Last weekend was awesome, no doubt, but the odds of the Brewers sweeping the playoffs were slim. The odds of them sweeping the Diamondbacks were good, but they weren't a sure thing. A loss in this series was to be expected as the Diamondbacks are a very good baseball team. Two losses, while not ideal, was also a possibility. Losing these games was not the end of the world. Although it certainly does feel that way. Continue reading →

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