I want you to come to my party. I really do. We have a great menu, there is going to be beer and there are going to be lots of fun and interesting people for you to talk to. One of these people is my good friend Lar from the incomparable wezen-ball. He is going to the party and he wants you to too. He was even nice enough to write this post for us, convincing you to go. He's really smart. You should listen to him.
I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those baseball fans who just has to be in my seat at first pitch. Even when I’m tailgating, if I have any control of when the group gets into the ballpark, I do everything I can to get everyone moving towards the stadium well before first pitch. If that means cooling the charcoal down at 12:30 and throwing the folding chairs in the trunk at 12:45, it’s what I’m going to do. There’s just a simple joy in being comfortably in your seat by the time the Brewers run onto the field. It beats racing up the ramp or impatiently riding the escalator to your seat any day of the week. I’m sure the fact that I like to keep score for all nine innings - and that I never leave a game early, for fear of missing out on the greatest comeback of all time - plays an important part in all that.
But the Pants Party is coming up in two weeks, and with all the excellent food that is being offered and the promise of fascinating, intelligent company - or, at the least, a group of people who like to drink, eat brats, watch Brewers baseball, and complain about Anthony Witrado - that first inning fetish is going to be tested. What happens if I’m on my third chorizo quesadilla with a side of drunken Polish mac’n’cheese and a cup of Riverwest Stein in my hand while chatting and I realize that the game is about to start? Or, even worse, I hear the fireworks going off signalling the start of the bottom of the first? Do I freak out, throw my brat and beer down on the ground and hightail it across the bridge over to Miller Park? Or do I instead try to practice the Midwestern version of zen baseball and just let it slide?
In order to help me ignore choice 1 and instead focus on choice B, I offer this list of why the first inning sucks and why we should all be okay with missing it. After all, if I’m missing that first inning, there’s no way you’re going to be able to tear yourself away from my fascinating conversation and hightail it over there yourself: Continue reading »
The Chicago Cubs lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 18-1 last night. Tying a record for hits given up in a game and basically being embarrassed on their home field in front of their home fans. I almost felt sorry for them.
Instead, I decided to collect a bunch of tweets people posted after the game whining about their team. That seems much more like me, laughing at others displeasure.
Last night the Milwaukee Brewers won a game that they haven't won all season. A game that made you feel good about watching and supporting this particular team. A game that made you realize why you had so much optimism for this group at the beginning of the season. A game that makes the Asian groundskeepers in Major League think the Brewers are "not so shitty." Down 3-0 early the team stormed back to take the lead, then they gave up some more runs and it looked like they were going to somehow find a way to lose this thing. It seemed fated that way, only it wasn't. Our starter gave up runs and the bullpen struggled, not only that but we've never been able to beat the Twins with any sort of consistency and - God! - can we ever catch a freakin' break? We've all seen this story unfold a thousand times, this year nearly every single one of the first 40 losses of the season can be told like this, but it wasn't going to be like that on this night. Not if John Axford had anything to do with it.
We haven't written about John Axford in this space yet this season, which is strange because the rest of the blogosphere has (BrewCrewBall even has a shirt), but it makes sense if you know anything about us or this website. You see, we've been burned before. We've become attached and things happened, because things always happen and they inevitably have to happen, and we got our feelings hurt. It didn't feel good. It felt awful. Soul crushing. Last night I was overwhelmed with fear that I'd be hearing that familiar AC/DC song in the ninth and I couldn't take it. The wounds are still too fresh, seeing Trevor Hoffman enter into the game in a save situation would have been like running into your ex-girlfriend while you were on a date with the new girl you're seeing. You still have feelings, but you want it to be over. You know it's wrong. That's me right now. I want this thing with John Axford to work, more than you could ever know, he's what I've been looking for all along. I'm ready to move on. I'm ready for them to take that silly sign down and fully embrace John Axford as my new special someone. (I also think he should be the closer.) Only I wasn't ready to make the move, wasn't ready to commit and the Brewers probably weren't either, but John Axford is not the type of guy to stand idly by and wait for you to make a decision. No, John Axford knows what he wants and he's willing to take it. Last night, John Axford did something that Trevor Hoffman could not have done and he did it with relative ease. He stared down Jim Thome, Nick Punto, Jason Kubel, Denard Span, Orlando Hudson, Joe Mauer, and Justin Morneau and he took care of them. It was positively boner building. Last night, John Axford proved that he belongs, proved that the Brewers no longer have a need for Trevor Hoffman and proved that he is much more than a funny mustache. John Axford is awesome.