brewers baseball and things


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110 losses and counting

I don’t know exactly how Orioles manager Buck Showalter sits; if he leans on his chin with one foot on the dugout step or if he slouches down on the dugout bench. Buck can probably do whatever he wants. The Orioles have lost 110 times this year with six more games to go.

I like the faith the Orioles have in Showalter. It’s refreshing since usually the manager gets the blame.

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Waylon Wipple

Glen mentioned he liked the quirky stories I used to write. That made me feel both honoured and home sick for those stories. So I thought I’d give it another try to see what happens. I don’t know if this is quirky or good for that matter, but I had fun writing it.

Thanks Glen.

There were side armers, subterranos, herky-jerks, clean dirt off a cleat with a popsicle stick typo types, Luis Tiant wield around dervishes…all sorts of motions, more flavours than the local ice cream shop….. all attempting to seduce scouts so they’d fix on eye on them, take a second look, get them thinking between sips that yeh this guy can get big league hitters out, one day, some way.

I met Waylon when he was tending bar. I forget the year, the month, the day. Forgive my lack of GPS but I was on a binge. Waylon was well-known around town as the quickest, most accurate drink maker in the west or at least in Saskatchewan which was saying a lot because Saskatchewaners liked to drink in a lowest common denominator sort of way, that is, if math does to your mind what pop rocks used to do to a mouth, one of those universal volcanic explosions….yes, drinking is habit and a pastiime enjoyed by most unless Allah rules your roost or Doctor so and so points his bad breath at you and says, “You Drink-You Die.”

Waylon tended an old man’s bar. Drinkers broke the rules of decency, ogling teenage girls and old grandmas alike, but they also showed ambition. They longed to see Waylon step out of the cinema of being a bartender and join the old men rascals..carouse a bit.. to do what cocaine dealers are encouraged never to do…..

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES SNIFF THE MERCHANDISE.

Do not get high, hooked and screw up the entire operation. And so Waylon kept the course. He slid drinks with eight ball corner pocket accuracy across rail and table alike. He never needed a notepad to jot down the chicken wings and ginger whisky spritzer orders either. His mind was inside of a lawn mower sharp and when he wasn’t catering to sorry souls, he sat tucked away in the Jimmy Leyland corner chain-smoking and putting to memory what most people never even thought about.

But one hot sticky swimming through yogurt humid night, he fell from isolation chamber grace.  He fell hard. At the time I was on my binge. I had no idea what caused him to look for answers in the bottle of a Jim Beam bottle but thank God or the Devil he did and thank God or the Devil I was there because somewhere between bar time and those lights going on and the last straggler falling to the floor, Waylon rolled up his sleeve. A rare event. He always wore long sleeves and pulled them down over his hands making it kind of impossible to prepare drinks, but he did it, somehow. If anyone asked, he said the cuffs were like wings to him. “Do you want your drink or not!”.

Rowdy Tellez is currently a first baseman for the Blue Jays. I swear on the beauty of Rowdy’s name that Waylon revealed a web for a hand that sticky and summery night. So there I was staring, ogling at an old man’s bar but not at some fleshy waitress or old man drooling cigar juice from his half-open, stroke induced jaw, but at Waylon Wipple’s web of a right hand, all the fingers and thumb joined together by flesh. The questions gushed through me. How did he tend bar, all those quick and accurate drinks and how in the Urban Shocker did he play baseball? He had mentioned being a pitcher and being pretty good at it too.

I couldn’t resist. I called scouts, knowing a webbed hand would make a Grizzly Adams beard or a side winder look Beaver Cleaver innocent. The scouts organized a gathering at the local field. They came like salmon spawning in spring or fall or whenever they lay their eggs and Waylon grew fast, tore up the league or tore it down with K’s galore. He held the ball in his webbed hand, not much of a grip and easy to detect, but by nature, by some freak of nature, his supposed handicap, that ball merged with the wind and curved and dropped and screwed in ways no one had ever seen before…fork ball, knuckle ball, screw ball, fast ball……it was time…..web ball.

I started to jog, mostly through wooded areas, a fertile place to wonder when some carny hand helper, a low squatting muscle man, one who wields a hammer and sends the puck skyward…..when would he switch professions and reach those fences and in doing so spark the seesaw of pitcher versus batter once again.

 

 


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this might wind up sounding like a john lennon song

sometimes if i’m lucky i get so lost in a baseball game that i forget about the team i’m rooting for. It happened a few days ago. I forget the details of the specific play that sucked me in but i no longer cared about Brewers at Wrigley trying to trim the Cubs little lead in the NL Central.

Thinking about it now makes ethnicities and religions and countries seem kind of well, i don’t know for sure what to call them except to say that those sci-fi movies with so any species of beings with three heads and all kinds of tentacles seem to make more sense.


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how did ted williams do that?

if good moods were the equivalent of getting on base

wait a second,

four out of ten?

baseball is really hard.


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the little i know about samurai

I’m not much of a movie buff, but i love movies. I love being swallowed into one, really escaping. Then when the credits roll and the post movie music quiets down, I have to face the other music…the crud in the corner of the kitchen, cobwebs on the ceiling above the bathtub, that annoying co-worker, work in general, anxiety, depression, then a smidgen of joy, bills, writers block, the thought of dying, of having to be there when we die, the thought of family members dying, of having to endure that. This brings me to my point or to that movie – Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.

At some point during the film, it says something to the effect of imagine your being eaten by dragons, falling off a cliff plunging to your death, being hit head-on by a speeding train….imagine any other assortment of tragedies, …this is apparently the way of the Samurai. You go beyond being ready to die; and actually die, sort of, I guess, I don’t know or maybe it’s only a movie? But I like it.

His name wasn’t pencilled into the line up card. He wasn’t even listed on the roster. One of his cleats was missing. There was spray paint on his locker spelling out “stupid faggot.” There was a notice to see the manager. He was being sent down to A ball, not AAA or AA, but A ball, to work out some issues with his swing. Things would be reassessed in September when rosters expanded.

Vegetables were where his jock straps usually were. His suitcase smelled like a compost bag. He took the bumpy bus ride to Hammy Point, but the manager there knew nothing of his reassignment. He had no space for him on the roster and kindly asked him to leave the premises. Hammy Point had outlying farms, mostly apples and pumpkins, good timing for the season neared. He walked close to 15 miles, not that anyone was counting. He had time on his hand and as he walked, he shed his previous dreams and aspirations and stared out at all the nothingness.

 


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i got some mail the other day

Spitball magazine is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the black sox scandal. They’re looking for submissions. According to their home page, they’re accepting poems, short stories, non fiction, just about anything so i thought i’d pass it on in case anyone was interested. Click the link and it will take you there or maybe I didn’t need to explain that; maybe it was evident? SPITBALL


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a clairvoyant’s favorite drink

it was on special and since the trading deadline loomed, Bernie Brewer came down from his beer barrel chalet, took a break from beer and booze, and looked to windex for some ask the eight ball explanations of who the Brewers might add. He took a few spritzes and figured a starting pitcher would be be in the cards.

But instead came reliever Joakim Soria to join an already stellar relief corps. I guess the Brewers figure if the starters keep getting hit around, at least there’s a bullpen to put up zeroes.

And then came third baseman Mike Moustakas? Yes, the Moose and his .318 OB%, but oh yeh, he’s hit 20 home runs and 3B Travis Shaw had been taking ground balls at second. Good for him. Doing it for the team.

But to think that we once waived second baseman Scooter Gennett, got nothing for him, and now he leads the national league in hitting or he was before the all-star break and that four home run game he had last season was no fluke. He even had some power when he played for the Brewers.

Looking backwards is a nasty habit. Makes a Brewers fan want to drink windex and not for clarity’s sake either. At least, we still lead the wild card standings, but that thing scares me, one game, one loss and your entire season is over. Maybe, they’re not telling us something; maybe starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson is scheduled to come back any day now?