$10 No Holler
Sitting at a tidy 46-64, 19 games out of first place in the NL Comedy Central and chasing the Cubs for the coveted escape from the basement, the Milwaukee Brewers are officially in total disarray.
Lyin’ Ryan Braun finally got busted, the starting pithing staff imploded, John Axford turned into John Axford, K-Rod came and went, and the carousel of comedy at first base continues to be a source of embarrassment for the franchise that helplessly watched when Prince Fielder waltzed away from that position.
So what is owner Mark Attanasio’s brilliant solution to appease the Screwer faithful that have witnessed this type of behavior from their beloved Brewers for most of the 43 years of the franchise’ existence? Offer the lemmings known as patrons ten bucks every time you pass through the turnstile in August and say we’re really disappointed in how all this turned out.
But here’s ten bucks, so when you sit in your $42 seat and read the lineup that goes Aoki, Segura, Gomez, Lucroy, Bianchi, Betancourt, Weeks and Hand, you won’t be so upset when your season ticket package arrives in the mail next Spring.
Sorry Mark, that won’t cut it. The only thing you have to offer for any value is the voice of Bob Uecker on the radio, and he really gets funny when he has a lot of air time to fill, and he certainly has a ton of that for material over the next 52 games.
It’s safe to say the “window of opportunity” that began when C.C. Sabathia
donned a Brewer uniform, Zach Greinke signed and Braun began taking steroids has safely passed and the Blew Crew is back to finding creative ways to attract more $8.50 beer swilling onlookers to Miller Park.
A ten dollar voucher isn’t going to cut it, and neither is the 20 year anniversary celebration of Robin Yount’s retirement. What’s next, a Derek Turnblow and Eric Gagne bobble head day?
Not much left to holler about Brewer fans, especially for a lousy ten bucks. The only real topic to make some noise about is the direction this organization is heading in…again.
And For What
The 2013 baseball season continues, albeit mercifully, for the Milwaukee Brewers. The black cloud hanging over Ryan Braun, in the shape a needle, is just another footnote in what is quickly becoming the worst season in the history of this beleaguered franchise.
It started in Spring Training when Matt Gamel went down with yet another season ending knee injury, and accelerated in frustration when Corey Hart decided to have knee surgery himself, thus leaving a huge void at first base. Anchored by an already questionable pitching staff, it became apparent early in Arizona that the formerly promising arms of Mark Rodgers and Mike Fiers were not ready for the big leagues. That left a stating rotation loosely based on the like of "Ace" Yovani Gallardo, Chris Narveson, Marco Estrada, Wily Peralta and a desperation acquisition named Kyle Lohse.
All that resulted in the National League's worst starting rotation, augmented by another major disappointing start from former "closer" John Axford. Only reacquiring K-Rod from the reclamation heap saved the Kingsford bullpen from further embarrassment.
Despiet an inexplicable 9 game winning streak that left them 14-12 in the month of April and just a 1 1/2 games out of first place in the NL Comedy Central, the debacle of the 6-21 mpnth of May basically sealed their fate for the 2013 year. Add to that injuries that kept Aramis Ramirez, Braun and a host of others in and out of the lineup, and it became clear that 100 losses was not out of the question. Hart trashed his good knee during rehab, and probably will ever wear a Brewer uniform again.
Compounding the injuries and steroid scandal accusations surrounding Braun, the team just flat out played like little leaguers for most of May and June. Shoddy defense, inept base running, and a consistent knack for not driving in runners in scoring position left them looking up at the Chicago Cubs, comfortably in last place at the All-Star Break.
Don't let a soft schedule to open the second half of the year fool you. Even an 8 game winning streak with series sweeps of the Marlins and the Padres (all at homes) would leave this team eleven games under .500. When they get back to playing real teams like the Nationals, Reds, Cards and Giants in August, the real losing will begin again.
By then the likes of Ramirez and Gallardo may be gone to other teams still in the playoff picture, and Braun may be told to sit by MLB this time whether he likes it or not.
No, the only real incentive to follow this group before the Packers start pre season on August 9th, will be to see who is left on this roster that can prevent tthem from logging 100 losses. The challenge for the Brewers will be to finish 23-43 the rest of the way, insuring a sparkling 63-99 finish, certainly one of the worst seasons in recent memory.
And For What
With the Blewski's on pace for a 67-95 season, sitting in last place in the NL Comedy Central as of this writing with a 29-41 record, tied with of all teams, the Cubs, 16 games out of first place, it's safe to say if you're looking to enjoy the summer months ahead, the place to be will be on rivers, lakes or streams in pursuit of your favorite fish, not at $8.50 Miller Park.
With your Radio Shack transistor, or hand cranked emergency radio nearby, you can absorb all the impending disappointment of another Brewer game while listening to the Hall Of Fame voice of Bob Uecker, that is, if you're on the water during the hours of the broadcasts.
That won't be the case this Saturday, a day selected by Don Leaser (a somewhat regular contributor here at andforwhat.com), who has summoned the World's Wurst Brewer Fan to be his net man at the ready at the International Bachelor Pad - IBP - at 2:45 am this June 22nd.
Such is the strategy inside the mind of an obsessed musky fisherman, with Leaser falling into that description. With the onset of mobile apps on your smart phone, it is now possible to extract every last ounce of vital fishing data before agreeing to leave your residence a full three hours before sunrise in pursuit of the coveted 50" muskellunge.
This will undoubtedly insure the fact that your boat will be first on the water, your cast and lure the first on top of the water, and, in theory, the yield will be the first musky in the boat that day. Allegedly.
The only instance more exciting than these first few moments in total darkness on the water is ultimately the chaos that ensues when one lands the fish of your dreams. Whether that happens or not is totally irrelevant to this conversation, it's the memory of days like these that you take with you forever, fish or no fish in the net.
That can't be said for a trip to the old ball park these days in Milwaukee. Nope, head out to your nearest favorite fishing spot and reel 'em in to your hearts delight instead.
And For What
Far be it from me, The Wurst Brewer Fan In The World, to throw in the towel so early in the 2013 season, after all, I have these clowns finishing 87-75, so there's a lot of work to be done on their part. But as owner Mark Attanasio blurted out this afternoon, "I don't like what I see out there", it's becoming painfully obvious that the wart that is the month of May 4-16 record, may indeed be cancerous.
After dropping two of three to the lowly Dodgers, whose own manager's head, the noggin belonging to Don Mattingly, is said to be on the proverbial chopping block, the Blewers proved once again that when the ship begins to sink, the holes become more and more impossible to plug.
The first salvo struck the "closer" John Axford, who blew his fair share of games early on when they bolted out of the docks with a 2-8 record, and accelerated additional damage to the bow when the Kingsford Bullpen once again stumbled in clutch situations, blowing leads like twenty dollar bills for two beers at $8.50 Miller Park.
The second round landed on the starting pitching, exposing a gaping hole where Wily Peralta and Hiram Burgos now reside. Not even a drunken binge by Yovani Goneyardo could change the Karma, although his beer induced DUI did fuel an inexplicable nine game winning streak. Imagine for an instant, where this outfit would be without THAT winning streak?
The third volley struck the mental capacity of every Brewer running the bases, most notably Carlos Gomez, the darling of Doug Melvin's eye. Carlos was picked off third base, yes, picked off third base last night and made the first out there today with his team in a 6-0 hole in the 2nd inning.
Base running gaffes aside, the final blow to this excruciating and god awful month of May muscle pull is manifesting itself in untimely hitting, with the leading culprit being one Richard Weeks, he of the .169 batting average.
That leaves the lone skipper, Ron Roenicke, and his captains, Ed Sedar and Rick Kranitz among them, to bristle in the dugout and await the Mutiny that is beginning to assemble among the Screwer faithful.
You can run, but you cannot hide. Unfortunately for the Blewer coaching staff, if they run anything like their players, they might as well just take my advice and abandon the ship altogether.
After all, the Mighty Pirates sail in this Memorial Day weekend with more than pillaging on their minds.
And For What
posted May 17, 2013 / No Comments
Well it’s been a while since I posted here at And For What, and for good reason, too many reasons, really.
We can start with the Screwers, now mired in last place in the NLComedy Central, proud owners of 2-11 record in the month of May, 1-5 on their current road killed trip, struggling tonight against the Mighty Pirates.
The Blewers roller coaster season continues, highlighted by the escapades of the Kingsford Bullpen, base running gaffes that would embarrass little leaguers, and untimely hitting night after night. When Carlos Gomez is the guy carrying your team, the result is a 16-22 record and last place behind the Cubbies. Wow, only 124 games to go.
Secondly we can attribute my lack of stabbing at this out dated keyboard to the fine Wisconsin “Spring” we’ve been having. The grass has finally begun to grow after ridiculous stretches of cold days and nights that extended the winter much longer than necessary and deprived my 28 year old mower a shot at another season of cutting grass. Old Red finally stumbled onto the turf two weeks ago, about six weeks later than last year, and has logged all of three mows in 2013. His record breaking status is under review by the Mowing Commission Of America, so no official word has been announced yet, but there may be cause for celebration soon, or if anything, a new mower before me, and my neighbors, go deaf.
(Oh-oh, the Pirates just jumped ahead, 3-1, imagine that).
Anyway, the real reason I haven’t been blah-gging is good ‘ol Las Vegas got in the way again. As per my usual tendency, trips to Las Vegas are becoming, shall we say, somewhat of a regular occurence since 1999. All told, I have logged some 37 trips to the desert since then, trouncing around The Strip and Fremont Street as a single man in the early stages of these adventures and as a married man since 2006. Luckily for me, Cyndi is a fan of Sin City, if for anything at all, certainly the restaurants more than anything else.
Thus we just returned from our second trip to Vegas for Vegas UnCork’d, a food and wine extravaganza sponsored by Bon Appetit, and hosted by properties like the MGM Grand, Bellagio, Caesars Palace and Mandalay Bay.
If you love food and booze and are hip to the idea that with one flat ticket price you can dine and quaff to your hearts delight in the company of celebrity chefs and people dressed way better than you, than Vegas UnCork’d will work.
It does for us, as it did last Thursday, by ushering us into the newly constructed Hakkasan nightclub, the world’s largest nightclub, mind you, nicely flexing its muscle at the entrance of the MGM and towering five floors escalating skyward. “Decadence” would be one way to describe the 88 million dollar joint, “five floors and a maze of fun” doesn’t do it justice, “amazing beyond belief” probably fits in there somewhere. After six or seven or eight Baby Guinness (don’t ask), four pounds of never before seen appetizers and go-go dancers shimmying in our faces, we finally had enough, slithering out somewhere in the wee hours of the new day, Friday.
That was Thursday night, we waited until Saturday to tee up ticketed event number 2, the Bellagio Block Party, hosted by none other than Todd English, he of culinary fame, and a mess of other fine chefs that lay claim to the names of restaurants like Prime, Yellowtail, Picasso’s and other elite dining monsters that will bring you to your knees when the check arrives.
You see, when you attend these events, you still get to sample as much food as you can possible stomach from all these high priced establishments, plus you’re treated to liquid refreshments from the likes of Patron, Stella Artois, Skyy Vodka and a host of exceptional vineyards.
The Bellagio Block Party, situated between the infamous Jockey Club and Bellagio, is discreetly tucked away from the ogling masses, and lasts from 8pm until 11pm, featuring some listenable noise from the local cover band king, Zowie Bowie, and this year it even threw in a full blown Top Chef style cooking competition to distract those in the crowd interested enough to put down their Patron popsicle and push themselves away from the Skyy Vodka Sno Cone station for a look see. Yes, by 11pm, most everyone in attendance was stumbling out back onto the Strip, where, of course, they fit right in.
Throw in 95 degree blue sky days at the pools during the day at at Mandalay, a dinner at the new Nobu restaurant on Friday and another wallet depleter at the “casual” RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay, and you get the drift. We came, we ate, we survived.
(BTW, Pittsburgh 7, Blew Crew 1, top of the 8th)
Lest I forget, there was of course, the MLB, NHL and the NBA playoffs to wager on in the sports book and a few trips to the felt and video poker machines for good measure.
And yes, and for what, the mandatory trip to Fremont Street for Sigma Derby at the D, shrimp cocktails at Golden Gate, and the obligatory Elvis impersonator World Championship regional finals.
Needless to say, the Stones were in town too, so was Elton John, and, in case you were wondering, yes, the PBR Bull Riding championships, “Last Man Standing”. In fact, that catch phrase could easily have been the theme for our group. As it turned out, Cyndi and me, along with Michael and Mark from LA, we were indeed, the last ones standing when all was said and done. Or in Mark’s case, the first one sleeping Saturday night.
Ladies and gentleman, Vegas is back. Viva Las Vegas!
And For What
And For Vegas