brewers baseball and things


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moondog, rainy nights and did that infield hit really just happen?

I sometimes watch a spider climb a wall and It looks good and right in all its efforts with moondog’s invocation song playing in the back round and the Royals and Orioles stuck in a rain delay.

And people were saying,
“we kept waiting for the song to start but twang went the diving board. Twang twang twang and still no jump, soar and splash or maybe we missed a flash?

“well,” some other people were saying. “it ain’t called invocation for nothing; every moment a virgin birth, especially when you’re inside Rick Sutcliffe’s mind. That guy pretends to know the future, but he’s not pretending. He really believes it,  so damn much that he must be continuously surprised when oops he suddenly doesn’t know the future.

We called Sutcliffe The big red baron and impersonated his cupped ball delivery when he pitched the Cubs to the division title all the way back in 1984 was Leon the Bull Durham and Keith Real Estate Moreland and Jody Davis Eyes and I grew up listening to Chris Ethel Merman Berman and his endless nicknames.

I think Sutcliffe was just about undefeated after the Cubs acquired him from somewhere else, probably in a middle of the season trade or maybe he started the season on the Cubs? I can’t remember but anyway, now the big red baron is in the broadcast booth for game 1 of this ALCS a few days ago and he says “that Billy Butler has no look of infield hit anywhere on his face;” a double meaning to indicate he’s all thunder bird power and no road runner speed.

but then as sure as a morning dew drop is pinned to a blade of grass looking like a buddhist tether ball reflecting the world …Billy Butler hits a ground ball in the hole, gobbled up by JJ Hardy who for no known reason hurries the throw and Butler and his baby fat cheeks are chugging a boogie up the line but coming nowhere near beating out the throw one hops Steve Pearce at first base he swallows it up; the ball disappearing in there rattling around but Pearce can’t hold on and Sutcliffe’s partner-I forget his name he’s mild mannered as always but with a dash of subtle needle says “should be scored an infield hit” and there’s a lilt in the way he says hit.

I mean there was no more words for Sutcliffe to say. Broadcasters like to say “right on cue” when there’s talk of long ball and the player hits a long ball, but this was reverse cue Billy Butler and the infield hit.


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grandma moses, postage stamps and letters to heaven

To live to be 101 years old causes some people to say no way, enough is enough. Maybe some people are born old. Everything always seems to be dying around them. They complain about telephone booths disappearing and wonder where all the coin slot laundry machines go and day dream about spontaneous encounters in back alley pool halls.

Who can blame them? Those were the good old days when individuals lived and struggled and died just like any other time roaming planet earth; including here and now, today 2014. Grandma Moses musta been like Quincy Jones; integrating current happenings into her activities and creations. Miles Davis wrote a hip hop album. That must be the ticket outta here.

No one really says, “I’m too old” anymore. Do they? Are those the same people who say, “Oh, I haven’t played chess in so long. I’m no good at it anyway.” Is that an old psych ploy? a woe is me strategy so no one expects a damn thing or flowers you with praise?

I wanna talk about pound cake because it’s old and so are people greeting you at a door with “What can I get you to drink?” Grandma Moses remembers and there was no Ginkgo biloba available at the pharmacy in her daze. You had to comb Chinese gardens and play chemist and do some extraction and sniffing.

G Moses is part of a pretty long tradition in America; baseball themes on postage stamps. And these are the dying days of the postage industry. Oh shit, here I go with my own swan song charade.

(In a whiny voice) “and there was a time when we would walk to the post office and pass by the dirty river and the root beer billboard painted on the side of the old Woolworth building. The nappy boys would be staring up Miss Lanphiers dress. She had that yellow spinner on; ankle high. Mmmmm, what flesh, so soft and shiny. Turn a choir boy into a daylight sinner.

There were many baseball players on stamps. I remember the Jackie Robins in 1982. It had a yellow background. That was the only one I saved, but according to the article, Generations:Baseball on U.S. Postage Stamps by Robert A. Moss.  there was Ruth, Gehrig, Greenberg, Sisler, Speaker, Trainer, Thorpe, and many more. There was  a mighty Casey in cartoon, anonymous little league and on and on.

I mailed many letter in my day and maybe that’s why I don’t remember most of those baseball stamps. Some sort of government conspiracy; amnesia to the masses, a Khmer Rouge mind freeze. History is officially over. We start at zero every damn day. That’s not a bad idea if we could get rid of the killing fields.

Apparently, there are still thousands of land mines still buried in the Cambodia ground not yet detonated. Anyway, focus focus, focus, on stamps and the ground in front of me. Stamps. Yes,  There were was the legendary stadium stamps issued in 2001. I’d like to get a sheet of those and past em all over a manilla envelope and stuff a letter to my grandpa in there. If he had a mailing address, he would dig the Forbes Field stamp.

I’d address it to heaven. Probably end up in a garbage can somewhere. Hopefully some kid goes dumpster diving and finds it, takes it home and gets a story form his own grandfather..

july-fourthA Grandma Moses painting is included among the baseball stamps. It’s barely noticeable and kind of becomes a Where”s Waldo situation but I know it’s there. Why else would the postage powers include it as one of their baseball stamps?

So I keep looking and wind on down the dirt road. I bump into a horse and admire it’s hair; so long and black and shiny like a Japanese Geisha. People are dancing and screaming and blowing instruments and it’s annoying, but I keep walking  because I’m stuck inside this painting.

The mountains in the distance are encouraging and then  there it is; a bat and a ball and a glove and some kids in a merry-go-round formation or no formation at all; playing pickle? It can’t be. Looks more like a Gas house gang flip game.


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that’s a fine tasting sandwich

It’s amazing what a little vinegar can do to a sandwich. No point in flipping out over nothing, Cheese, bread, lettuce, olives, and vinegar and this is turning out to be a nice playoff season.

One Brewer fan curls up like a sow bug. He can’t bare or bear to watch the Royal surge. It’s not the pimples in the sourdough of adolescence. No, it’s not that. He enjoys the Hosmer Moustakas Gordon Butler; the HMGB fantastic four; the original Royal draftees, the pride and glory, especially G. Gordon Liddy. He was destined to be the next Brett and cheers to him for rising to some semblance of the occasion. He’s a damn good left fielder.

That Brewer fan can’t bear or bare to see all those former Brewers in the playoffs while the Brewers are mourning the loss of their AAA affiliate. Nashville said they were no longer interested, but that’s alright and that’s ok cause Colorado Springs saves the day. They rolled out the AAA carpet for 2015..

I’m enjoying this, but I wished they would have chosen a city closer to Milwaukee so AAA players could be called up on a whim like the Atlanta Braves do with Gwinnett Georgia. I remember the dawn of Julio Teheran’s career. He would pitch one game and be sent back down. And what a glorious tease with his across the body delivery and other worldly confidence a la Pedro Martinez.

Anyhoo, this is a time to celebrate former Brewer’s manager and former Brewer catcher Ned Yost and a time to celebrate the trade that brought Zach Greinke from the Royals to the Brewers in exchange for current Royal’s shortstop Alcides Escobar and current Royal’s starting center fielder Lorenzo Cain; both the pride of the Brewers system.

Then there’s Norichika Aoki. Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin pulled a fast one on the baseball world back during the Yu Darvish auction daze. While the world drooled Darvish, the Brewers signed Aoki for a million dollars. What a steal for two seasons; maybe the most underpaid lead off hitter in all of baseball.

And last off-season, he was dealt to the Royals for reliever Will Smith; a good trade for both teams. I feel like I’m repeating myself. Yes, I’ve talked about the Royals a number of times this season and why not? Ned Yost is their manager and he has been since 2010. The Royals were 55-72 under Yost that year and he still predicted a World Series victory before his time was up in KC.

Yost hit a home run in 1982. No big deal except that it was the only home run he hit all season and for his career he only hit 16, but the most memorable blast was in 1982; September 29-Game 158 out of 162. It was a ago ahead 3 run homer at Fenway.

The Brewers won that game thanks to Yost and had a three game lead over the Orioles heading into the last series of the season…4 games against Baltimore of course..in Baltimore.

The Orioles won the first three games. It was showdown game 162. Don Sutton faced Jim Palmer and Robin Yount happened like he did all of that MVP season. He hit 2 homers and Bob McLure recorded the final out-I think that was Gary Roenicke. That’s the same McLure who was the Royals pitching coach for many years. That was the same day Earl Weaver made his first retirement.

Speaking of coaches and managers, the Royals current bench coach is former Brewer shortstop Dale Sveum-also a former Brewers manager. Fitting that Sveum and Yost are together again. Yost was fired as Brewers manager back in 2008 and replaced by his bench coach Sveum with like one week to go in the season. I feel like I’m repeating myself. I probably am.

Let me sip a little whiskey Friday night and see the blue team out there. It’s kind of blurry, but isn’t that Alcides Escobar ranging to his right at short? And isn’t that Cain in center? Aoki in left? Where am I?


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the end or beginning and why i prefer roasting vegetables

Carlos Gomez was doing hand stands on a treadmill so my interview had to be cancelled with the Brewer’s center fielder, but that’s ok. Plan b interview was right beside me. I’m not a big fan of phone interviews anyway and email interviews? Forget it. So here I am in my underpants, sipping early morning coffee. It’s still dark outside and it’s me interviewing me.

What do you keep in the fridge?

Not much. I’d hate to be hit by car and stuck in a hospital for 4 weeks and have a full fridge of food go to waste. But I plan ahead anyway and always keep a bag of spinach lettuce and a bottle of Soy Sauce in there. Also one beer because I never get to the last one the night before. Drunk GPS and what not.

So what will you be doing now that the baseball season is over?

Get a manicure and a massage. But seriously take in a Sunday movie; ride my bike and cross-country ski when the snow arrives, if it arrives. Watch basketball. I’d like to get a Wolfgang Puck Novo Pro Rapid Bake Oven for Christmas, but it’s too big for a stocking and maybe too expensive.

Will you keep writing on this blog?

Maybe a post here and there every once in a while, but not with the same religious baseball regular season 162 every day devotion.

Will you put messages in bottles or write graffiti on alley walls?

Well, I wrote 4 novels and never tried to get them published. The first one is 10 years old. I’m gonna read em all over and send them to a publisher or self publish them. I got one publisher interested in a collection baseball stories, so we’ll see where that one goes.

How can we track down your writing if we feel like reading some?

You could look for my name Steven Myers or Randall Dybzinski. I used Randall as a pen name for another baseball blog, but I don’t write there anymore so look for Steven Myers; but that’s too common so when they’re published, I’ll definitely put a link on this blog.

So, this is sort of the end with Brewers baseball and things?

Well not really. I’ll just be working on other projects; ya know, finishing up those books. This is a train shooting out of a train station mother ship belly; nice and slow and giddy upping and onward.

And I like train stations too especially the big scoreboards with all those blinking destinations. Hey, what’s your greatest accomplishment in life?

Standing up on two feet, walking, getting potty trained and all that were huge self-reliant rites of passage or whatever,  but I don’t remember any of it; not even riding a bike for the first time and feeling free and vulnerable. Attaching a soup can to a broken muffler and fastening the can with mini baby belts was huge, but maybe my biggest achievement is writing a Brewers’s blog post every damn day during this 2014 season.

Did you tell anyone you were going to do it?

No, I just did it. I’m not too into marketing, but then again, here I am forecasting scattered novels and a 95 per cent chance of baseball short stories precipitation. Oh well. I wanted to see what it would be like to be a play-by-play broadcaster or beat reporter or peanut vendor; doing their baseball thing every damn day.

And how does it feel now that you’ve done it?

Like a Nike commercial.

Like Bo Jackson?

I’m glad  Kansas City is in the playoffs. Lots of Brewers on that team; Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain both drafted and developed by Brewers and Japanese import Norichika Aoki first groomed by Brewers plus Royals manager Ned Yost is  former Brewers manager and that home run he hit against Boston in 1982.

And the 2014 Brewers?

Lost to the Cubs 5-2 Sunday. Finished with an 82-80 record. First time in franchise history. I like 82-80. Reminds of 1980 and 1982.

And why roasting vegetables?

I like the black metal gates of cote des neiges cemetery and finding a way inside and roaming up the hill towards the neon cross; seeing Montreal roll south, those blue mountains and St. Lawrence river winding away for a mouth to touch. Did i forgot to answer your question about roasting vegetables?

No worries.

Because they taste so gooooood.

Opening day 2015
April 6,  1:10 PM Miller Park
Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado Rockies.


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maybe this is my way of saying thank you Lake Michigan

She doesn’t talk about movies or books. She’s more into making beef stews and canning vegetables for the winter. I don’t think she even has a tv. She’s just from the country and never had one.

She would show up at the bar wearing a wet t-shirt and when it was time to go home and sleep it off; she would hold onto us like a buoy.

She could squeeze love from a cold, intellectual turn up. She was an elemental force roaming the Milwaukee night long before books and clever turns of phrases. I think she was a virgin too.

She was clear. We all knew what she liked; a basement of sealed fruits, a chicken roasting in the oven with vegetables caramelizing under the meat and Terminator 2. Yep, that was the one movie she insisted we watch; the one where Sarah Connor escapes the hospital.

She wasn’t very subtle. We preferred it that way; avoiding slippery people as much as possible. We got enough of those suckers swimming in limestone quarries north of Milwaukee in Cedarburg. It was kind of slimy in those PCB infested water, but we dared each other to jump so we did.

Lake Michigan’s water was much clearer. That’s where we loitered beside abandoned boat houses and swam all hours of the day; usually in old tennis shoes to protect our feet from the rocks. Easter Sunday 1987 was cold, but we had just witnessed the Brewers winning their 12th game in a row to start the season and we jumped into the Lake  after the game; cold as a professor’s tit.

And the Brewers won game 82 last night and I took a bike ride beside the St. Lawrence River; clear as Lake Michigan and sort of the same water flowing from here to there; river to river emptying into great lakes into great lakes,  My butt hurts after being on that bike, but  Wily Peralta is a pain killer…13 strikeouts in 7 innings, 5 hits and 1 run allowed.

The Brewers have never finished a season with 82 wins and now they’re sitting on 82 with one game to go. In 2012 and 2007 and 1991 they won 83 games, but never has this team finished a season with 82 wins and that’s going all the way back to 1970.

Teams play 162 gme seasons nowadays. That began in 1961 and also in 1962. The American League expanded with the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators for the 1961 season and added 8 games to the schedule; bouncing the season total up from 154 to 162. Wikipedia makes me sound so knowitable.

The following year when the New York Mets and Houston Colt 45’s were added to the National League, 8 more games were also added to them senior circuit team’s schedules.

One thing I’ve noticed about people who are not really baseball fans and don’t even pretend to be interested by it. They all eventually say…damn that season is long!

Turns level-headed scientists into schmaltzy romantics; waxing on and on about baseball beginning in spring with the resurrection of plant species and slips into endless boring summer and curtains closing autumn’s death dance.

But what about  people living in Flagstaff or Shreveport or Mendocino? What about alligator kiosks along the Tamiami Trail? There is no wax poetic. There’s just baseball 365 days a year.


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i can’t think of a title other than Paul Bunyan work boots

The chemist, classical guitar player, music and literary critic, number crunching baseball fan all have a place in snobocracy. The table setting is not just 3 forks of different shapes and sizes. There’s reverse snobbery of rebels refusing to chill inside a suburban posh.

My everyman dictionary; first edition 1940 is postcard small. I think it’s from  England. I got it for free long time ago. Statistical break downs in the intro. The letter S is the most prolific letter; appears in most words-5,647, most phrases-7908 and most pages 87.

There’s a unique features section, comes before the actual words; some sort of marketing distinction I guess. The words aiblins, airt, canty, drook, ettlegleg, sneck, and thrave are Scottish. The words gink, muss, and yegg are American. I’ve never heard of any of them, but there is doggone, frazzle, gee-whizz, high hat, lickety split and vamoose.

New words of the time I guess. Some survive. Some don’t.

Shakespeare’s used 5,170 unique words among his first 35,000, a couple thousand behind Outkast, MF Doom, Blackalicious, Canibus and Aesop Rock with 7,392 unique words. The study or comparison or whatever.

Hip Hop and Rap music gets a bad rap….is just words, is much more than words, is substance requiring some serious ears pining to hear. There’s endless excuses why people don’t like rap, but rare is someone who actually listens to rap.

Rock and roll and country is easy to hear; easy for me anyway. Punk and death metal a little trickier. And rap requires squinted ears, but once it’s clear or clearer, a rap is a story sometimes a rhyme, sometimes a flow. Free style. If we all play one instrument, it’s free verse. We do it all the time; bumping into people on the street and at work.. People we know. People we don’t know. A trumpet bouquet of words we all send em skyward.

Eric B and Rakim, De LA Soul, Public Enemy, Chuck D, the Beastie Boys, and Blonde rapped rapture “don’t move too slow cause the man from mars is through with cars. He’s been eating bars…..” and The Clash of radio Clash “on the Pirate side of light”…all raps…rapping for centuries, King David Psalm rap, scratching the harpsichord rap.

Some people say silly things like John Coltrane’s Love Supreme is the greatest album of the 20th century in any genre. Why spoil such a good thing by saying superlatives? I put my headphones back on.

That elusive 82nd win. The Cubs roughed up Jimmy Nelson last night; knocked him out of the game in the fifth inning after 6 hits and five runs. Two more games to go.The Brewers are 81-79

A. Bartlett Giamatti’s Shakespeare talk never resonated too much with me or never any more than John Kruk speak easy. Baseball doesn’t break my heart. It takes me back to Bodega Bay; just north of San Francisco and that German lady overlooking a cliff; waiting for her husband to make his illegal and dangerous dive into the Pacific; hunting for Albemarle.

She offered me chocolate and beer and said “there’s always a toast to be made and a beer to enjoy.” vielen dank!

There’s no broken heart. Kansas City clinched a playoff spot; first time since 1985 and Houston will finish with a better record than Texas, Colorado, and Arizona. The Astros are 70-90 and so are the Red Sox. Two games to go in this inverted pennant drive.

A Charles Mingus stand up double bass sampling?


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oiling up the lawn chairs for stretch number 82

Garbage cans overflow this fine 75 degree late September morning and my imaginary sister is wearing a black dress, eating matza ball soup and maybe feeling sexy for the first time in her life. Hot damn! I’m going to the beach this weekend; gonna climb over or under some ropes and no trespass signs. How can a park close anyway? What a transvestite that moon and sun sharing the same sky!

The garbage cans are always overflowing in Montreal and today, there’s a diaper box, banana peels, and crumpled up papers…a good enough jungle gym for squirrels. There’s a bald-headed killer sitting beside a teenage girl while someone listens to Billy Joel on their MP3. That’s public transportation for ya.

The man riding the back of the garbage truck holds the handle like a cowboy, like he always does, only on this day he wears a pink mohawk. He musta done it on a drunk dare last night.

I can already see my future. I’ll be outside for no particular reason with no destination and suddenly decide to run around the local track. There will be 5 or 6 blocks to go. It will feel like a blog post or an everyday conversation. It will be a runaway train.

I’ll see a man who resembles Mike Tyson but behaves like LL Cool J. We’ll talk each other up and he’ll suggest a monopoly board with brothels and skid rows and crack dens, dog parks and church bingo halls, Portugese Plazas with azulejos tile architecture. They tell me azulejos is made up of infinity blue. I don’t want this day to end and will drink a few beers to tease forever into joining me.

I see a friend who wears long hair. He’s been known to carry around anywhere from 15-20 gram bags of weed in his pocket; fragrant red-haired hydroponic chronic weed and all for personal use. He’s addicted, We talk about budget cuts and unemployment. He speaks everyone’s language in our neighborhood; knows the hoodlums, gang members, imps, and me.

He’s not a big baseball fan, but reminds me of Jeter’s last stand tonight at Yankee Stadium. We’re leaning against a pole; a garbage can at the base. I suggest we move to the side; towards the bushes and smell the green rather than the trash.

A Filipino lade approaches with pictures of children, A We are the World solicitation. I offer her a one dollar Canadian loonie, but prefer giving beer to beggars and I tell her so. “I like to see the immediate results; the joy and satisfaction, but I’m glad to give you a loonie lady.” She gives me a confused look. I smile.

My long-haired friend extends his closed fist; a signal of greeting and goodbye in today’s world . I do the same and expect our fists to bump. He says “open” and so I do and he lowers a green bud into my palm and wishes me a happy new year.

It’s almost time to really celebrate.The Brewers sitting on 81 wins,  one more and it’s over the top into above .500 land. It wasn’t happening last night. Yovani Gallardo was roughed up for 5 runs on 10 hits in just 5 innings, but only 3 runs earned.

I think it was all rigged this way. Same as Jeter’s beautiful walk off and out of New York forever. Yep, the Brewers will close out the season against the Chicago Cubs in Milwaukee with a chance to finish above .500 for only the 14th time in franchise history. There were also two .500 seasons on the dot in 2005 and 1989, but this year we can soar beyond 81.

Against the Cubs it will be who most Brewers fans despise, but many of us love. One more win and it’s ticker tape parade time in our Brewer 6 pack minds. And wouldn’t it be sweet if Jimmy Nelson won it tonight; Friday Fish Fry night in Milwaukee as every Friday Night is.

The Brewers are 81-78.

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