brewers baseball and things

i like pigeons, squirrels, aluminum and oscar the cardinal


It’s been a bad 23 years for pigeons, probably been bad since before World War Two. But only bad in terms of how we humans see them; from messengers to flying rats.

Or maybe there’s two kinds of pigeons and the ones who fly a figure 8 flight pattern every morning outside my window-the ones with hologram necks who pick through trash and frat boy vomit are not the same ones my friend’s grandpa talks about with so much love.. He grew up with pigeons and tells us stories about raising and training them and attaching messages to their skinny legs.

Squirrels seem to get a bad rap as well and that’s too bad. That’s a fine creature; sprinting across a telephone wire with paranoid eyes and a mouth full of bread or acorns or whatever. A squirrel is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to Barry Sanders; my all time favorite running back; all that back and forth and tango before ever crossing the line of scrimmage.

And aluminum is not exactly tops on cool people’s list of precious metals.  What a fine piece of metal and yet, kids wear gold and silver chains and adults fork over money for a diamond ring for marriage and all that.

But aluminum is on the new york stock exchange of metals or at least I think it is, but either way, you can shape the aluminum into almost anything including rings and chains and even shacks to sleep in and get this…they’re water proof. Of course they are. Think of a coke can. It’s made of aluminum and it houses coke a cola and that stuff is like rust to our inner organs and coke can are freaking sturdy.

They even have places all over town where you can turn the aluminum into coins and with those coins you can buy beer or potato chips or whatever you want.

Aluminum is like John Kruk to me….wonderful in all its imperfections. Kruk was fat and would probably sweat playing darts but he could hit the baseball and he knew the strike zone real well. Nowadays players look perfect and try to sound perfect. they even pretend to be extra bad sometimes because sometimes people think thing being bad is perfect or extra cool or something. I’m allergic to perfect. It seems fake and crutches and all that.

Ben Oglivie was wonderful in all his imperfections He was the only batter to pinch hit for Al Kaline and Benjy as we used to call him when he joined the Brewers was skinny,,,,sickly skinny. Maybe that’s why I liked him because I was always sickly skinny or maybe it’s because he used to do a NY Times crossword puzzle before every game. Incredible to me. I’ve never finished a crossword puzzle in my entire life,  not even a boys magazine puzzle with easier words than the NYT.

Or maybe it was Benjy as a bad fielder and horrible base runner. We used to have hours of fun impersonating his ugly slides. Or maybe it was the twitch in his swing just like Joe Morgan. Both were left handed batters too and so was I. Benjy hit all those home runs as a Milwaukee Brewers; 41 in one season and combined with Gorman Thomas made a monster situation in Milwaukee, but still so skinny. We’re a beer town; a manufacturing town , a simple town, a not so fancy town, but unfortunately no longer an american league town. we switched in the mid 1990’s; stuck beside the Cardinals.

The real rivalry with St. Louis began with Larussa and his “my Cardinals would never do such a thing.” Larussa said he was gonna open up a bookstore but I think he took over the Arizon D-backs instead. Oh well, at least he’s off the field, but in fairness and credit to the creator  of the universe….Tony looks close enough to Father Guido Sarducci and that’s a paradise reminder to me, that old Saturday Night Live.

One of the key players in yesterday’s Brewers-Cardinals game was Oscar Taveras… a left handed batter like Oglivie, bats from the left side. He played in montreal, lived here a few years as a teenager, has an upper cut swing and yeh, he’s a Red Turd, but I like him. He hit a homer yesterday. Cards won 5-3.

The Brewers are 74-68 and currently out of the playoffs, but there are still 20 games to be played and that’s approximately 60 hours of entertainment. 


Author: Steve Myers

I grew up in Milwaukee and have been a Milwaukee Brewers baseball fan for as long as I can remember.

8 thoughts on “i like pigeons, squirrels, aluminum and oscar the cardinal

  1. So it was Ben Oglivie who was the only guy who batted for Al Kaline. I guessed Gates Brown, but I figured that was not the answer; he was too great a pinch hitter, and it would have been too obvious an answer. These trivia questions are supposed to be doozys, and if the answer was Gates Brown, it wouldn’t have been a doozy.

    About pidgeons—- I HATE ’em. I was trained early in life (like age 3) to clap them away. My father taught me how to just as he taught me how to play baseball.

    A friend of mine I had growing up, though, had pidgeon coops with chicken wire (pigeons and chickens, interesting; well, maybe not so interesting), in his backyard adjoining their garage; his father used to race pigeons. I never met his father. He walked out on the family about a year before I met my friend, at age 13. I guess he took the pigeons with him and raced off with them.

    But the pigeon cages, interestingly, always stayed. My friend, his mother, his sister, and his brother never took them down, and they always remained, chicken wire and all.

    But, of course, that’s a different kind of pigeon than the kind that you find in the street. At least I THINK so. And, yes, I call the ones in the street flying RATS. I would no sooner feed a pigeon than I would feed a rat, and I wish all the old ladies who do so would realize how silly they are and find a different hobby.

    This is a terrific post. Sometimes your posts remind me of Red Smith articles, and I can pay you no higher compliment, my friend.

    Be sure to check this book out of the library and you’ll see what I mean.


    • Yeh, my dad has that book. I saw it on his shelf when i was back home a few weeks ago. He offered for me to take it back to Montreal and I forgot to take it, but I hope to be back there at thanksgiving so i’ll get it then. I’m glad you liked the post Glen and appreciate the compliment. I take your comments to heart because you always seem to tell it like you see it with no fancy innunedos or confusions and no fake airs or trying to be extra cool or tough. I can smell that stuff like a fart in a convertible. I don’t like convertibles.

      The thing i like about street pigeons is their colorful necks, but more than that is their shadows epecially when they’re walking with heads bobbing. The shadows look like bottles of wine. Maybe I already said that the other day.

      I had never heard of Gates Brown. One of the great things about knowing you Glen and reading what you write is your experience. Your baseball knowledge is vaster than mine, extending back to 1960,s and early 70,s…exciting years i don,t know much about being born in 1970, but with books people reference and names of players I get a nice glimpse and i begin to like those years

  2. I like pigeons. Yeah, they crap all over statues but some of the people in those statues need to be crapped on. I like to watch them congregate to feed. You can go to a park, toss one tiny piece of bread at the only visible pigeon in 5 miles and by the time you toss out the second piece there will be a dozen pigeons and ten dozen by the third piece. I like that kind of teamwork. Baseball teams should have that kind of teamwork.
    Nice post

    • I kinda like pigeons too. What Glen says makes a lot of sense, but to me the pigeons are all way we got. I mean I never seen a lion or elephant or anything cool like that, not in a city anyway and like you were saying about the statues and them gathering in their little congregations….yeh, i like watching them too. thanks v.

    • but i don’t know about the teamwork with pigeons. They do fly together in those figure 8 patterns but when it comes to food, thye seem real selfish or maybe I’m wrong.

    • Ha! That’s funny, V, how you say “yeah, they crap all over statues but some of the people in those statues need to be crapped on.” Yeah, I guess that’s true.

      And there’s another thing. Why STATUES. Why do pigeons like crapping on STATUES? I’ve always wondered that.

      I wonder if you’d still like pigeons if you lived here in Ciudad de Nuevo York. There’s pigeons EVERYWHERE and pigeon crap EVERYWHERE, all over the sidewalk, mixing with the dog crap. I have to walk under a subway overpass under the appropriately named “Avenue P”, and they crap, and, I suppose, “pee” all over the place under there, where pizza parlors illegally dump their rancid extra ingredients, such as boxes of old mozzarella cheese and other stuff that smells and looks great.


  3. I’m overwhelmed! 3 races ,THREE that have my attention at the moment…the A.L. West, the N.L. West, and the N.L. Central. Giants came out of nowhere, Brewers and A’s went into slump hell and the Mariners are actually kinda good. What is this madness!?

    Great post Steve. They are like my morning coffee. I’m going to an afternoon game today….those are the best. Grienke vs Trevor Cahill. Last time I saw Cahill pitch in person was opening day at the Coliseum in 2010. He lost to Felix. And the world keeps on turning….

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