brewers baseball and things


12 Comments

day night and day

I have two TV’s,  so I guess in terms of world wealth, I am terribly spoiled. One of them is flat screen and that’s where I watch all the baseball games and movies. The other one is so old that it has one of those VHS bellies built into it. I keep it because I have some Brewer games on tape that are not available on You Tube like that game from I think 2005 when Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks both hit their first career home runs.

And that old TV freaking exploded Saturday morning. Thank goodness I reacted quickly; wrapping my arms around my head like Egyptian Mummy strands avoiding what I thought were going to be  flying shards of TV tube, but it was just a dream or I guess a nightmare, but what a loud BOOOOM and bizarre way to wake up on Sa-Turds day. The TV suddenly looked like a still and very peaceful Buddha.

The Brewers almost came from behind in the 9th to beat the Cubs Friday night. Lots of home runs too which may be like an uncivilized messy burger at a greasy spoon to some, but I like greasy burgers at local greasy spoons every once in a while and I ate one of those Saturday and well, the Brewers win when they hit home runs; always did and maybe always will. I like the fight in their fabric this past week.

The subway car is always something to exit; slipping through those Star Trek swooosh doors into an inverted cathedral; the massive cement underground; the up and down escalators way more than myth or metaphor with heaven and hell definite possibilities. I had a burger to eat and the Brewers another game to play. The afternnon passed and so did the evening. I digested that burger and by George, the Brewers beat up on the Cubs 12-4 with three more home runs; one of them the first in Jason Rogers’s career and heavens to Betsy it came as a pinch hit three run blast. Rogers looks a bit like Bill Madlock and he plays third base too.

The Brewers are 10-21 and I just saw a man wake up from under an evergreen tree.  He stretched his arms, yawned and apparently had a good night’s rest on pine needles and under the stars. Today is Sunday.

Advertisements


6 Comments

thanks bazooka joe

Skylab launched in May 1973 and 6 years later NASA announced the space station was reentering earth’s orbit, but they had no idea where. 

The sky was gonna fall on us. Paranoia reigned. T-shirt were printed. I was at summer camp in Northern Wisconsin; a three hours drive from mom and dad and I missed my bedroom and baseball cards.

We all knew the odds of a human being getting struck by skylab debris was like 1 in 600 billion, but we also knew about people buying lottery tickets. The anticipation and sweat felt the same. 

I don’t think I ever stopped dwelling on the end of the world and my own disintegration. I just toned the fears down or my survival instinct shoved them into a far away file called subconscious. They escaped when I got sunburned and my skin peeled and I refused to take a bath. I was afraid of being sucked down the drain. 

Seems stupid now especially since I was willing to let some stranger stand behind me with two knives criss-crossed together and chop chop chop cut my hair. But he did give my brother and I Bazooka Joe bubble gum and there was more good news.

People were struck by lightning and didn’t die. Holy cow! Amazing. I guess it had to be the perfect amount of voltage shooting down from the sky but a right-brained person could turn into a left brained one; a baritone into a soprano, a Duane Kuiper into a Ralph Kiner?

I watched Kuiper in action the other day; thanks to the you tube/mlb agreement signed a few years ago; liberating games from MLB locked vaults; full games-original broadcasts.

It was a long overdue paradise; but an old fear emerged and slowly crystallized into an irrational certainty. A copyright glitch or government takeover or a nuclear bomb was gonna tear down this Alexandria library of baseball games. I had no choice. I went Al Capone on my separation anxiety.

I downloaded over 100 baseball games, especially regular season ones that turn out to never be regular and so there was and is and always will be Wrigley Field in early May, 1984. 

Duane Kuiper and his 1 career home run in over 3,000 at bats pinch-hitting for Giants pitcher Matt Williams in the top of the 6th. Cubs announcer Harry Caray mentions something about the wind and right on cue, the camera flashes to the Ernie Banks retired number 14 flag waving atop the left field flag pole and Harry goes silent for a second and Kuiper grounds out to shortstop.

Bill Veeck is at the game; sitting in the center field bleachers of course; with the people and Harry reminds us that he’ll be broadcasting games from there when the summer sun arrives.

Harry’s color man sidekick during the 4th-5th-6th is Milo Hamilton and he remembers. He points out that Cubs manager Jim Frey’s wad of chew is in the Danny Murtaugh class of Tobacco pouches stuffed in one human mouth. The paid attendance is 4,625 but rounded up to 4,861 with the walk ups.

Leon Bull Durham is going for his 7th homer in as many games. He doesn’t hit one but Bob Brenly does and Ron Cey hits a grand slam for the Cubs. The wind is blowing out. Jeffrey Hack Man Leonard does not play.

Dutch Rennert is the home plate umpire and that deserves its own line.

He calls balls and strikes with vaudeville enthusiasm; turning 90 degrees with hop and giddy up; takes a massive inhale while screaming Strike and during the exhale lowers to the ground; arm on knee pointing towards the dugout and screaming 1 or 2 depending on the count and if it’s the third strike,  take cover; fireworks finale; the arm comes down like a sledgehammer at a county fair high striker strongman game.

The Cubs won 11-10 and I feel incredibly refreshed; more like a time machine than nostalgia.


13 Comments

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.


13 Comments

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?


13 Comments

the way we were; a Streisand redux

My secret love for dogs was no secret. It began in 1979 or 1980. I couldn’t hold it in anymore so I bought my friend’s golden labrador a bone. Maybe the cutest act I’ve ever committed. It’s been downhill ever since.

I’ve only lived with one dog and it wasn’t by choice. A human love couple decided to “lend” me their german shepherd/collie for a weekend in 2008; same season the Brewers won the wild card; their first playoff appearance since Gorman Thomas ruled Milwaukee and he really did rule Milwaukee.

The human love couple were my friends, but they made it sound like they were doing me a favor. They needed a dog sitter, but sold it to me like I was in need of a companion. Maybe they were right, but I wanted nothing to do with their dog, with any dogs for that matter.Too much responsibility.

As it turned out the dog stayed longer than a weekend. Maya was her name. That half German Shepherd/half Collie stayed for 2 freaking  years.It was genuine hot love as deep as any Paris cafe cliche. Maya licked my body head to toe when I arrived from work. She slept on the edge of the bed.

Maya

How can you not love that face? And she was fierce too; catching,and killing birds with her bare teeth and making enemies with the more civilized dog owners; like the ones who pay big bucks for pure bred huskies and walk around with them like trophy wives.

Maya was never neutered or spaded or whatever. Why would I ever do that to such a gorgeous wild creature? I never trained her either, but she never raped anyone.  I let her run free and we suffered dirty looks and verbal threats. “If your dog touches my cat, I’ll shoot her.”…..It was like being back in the USA!

The Brewers won the National League Central in 2011. That was a wild time; me, myself and Maya drunk; jumping up and down with Nyjer Morgan. I already had a guitar. Got it from a friend who slipped into Orthodox Judaism. She surrendered it for 50 bucks. I had a crush on that girl, so 50 bucks was nothing. Haven’t seen her since.NLDS Beer

I taught myself some chords and well an amazing thing happened. Maya whimpered and fell slowly to the floor; jaw over her paw when I plucked a specific part of the freight board.  She was like a parakeet; always on cue. Incredible or maybe cruel? Love is a dirty game.

I eventually gave Maya to a friend up north in Gaspe, Quebec; more open space for her. I kept playing the guitar and wrote a bunch of songs, just a bunch of chords with lyrics and hell if I remember them, but I recorded them on my 80 dollar Sony audio baseball interview recorder; uploaded them to You tube.

The Brewers are stuck in a colossal skunk fart; losing 8 games in row, another one yesterday …swept by the Cubs and now 3 games behind the red turds! Misery street but wait. I wrote a song called four corners and now is  the time to make it a talisman and reverse Brewer woes into wins, four wins.

The red turds come to Milwaukee town for a four game series; beginning today-Thursday-Turds Day. Sweep those stuffy red coat red turds and it’s back in first. The Red Coats with their fake badges and schmaltzy traditions. More over the top than the Yonkles. Vomit.

The song four corners was about me at an art exhibit. In the song I get confused; not knowing if the coat room is part of the exhibit? I know nothing about art, but it was a good time and only lasted 25 minutes and I got in free with my fake media pass.

These 4 corners could easily be 4 division crowns of yesteryear and the wide open spaces of the exhibit-the wide open spaces of wild card…10 teams now invited to the playoffs. And I used to hate wild cards and I used to know nothing about art, but now I love wild cards and now I know a tiny bit about impressionist and what they do with oil to recreate water. My goodness, so many blues….Brewer blues.

The song has decent lyrics but needs some punk edge or country slide guitar, rap, all of the above. I don’t care. The public swimming pool still shakes with water but it’s closed and will soon be sucked free of water and replaced by crunchy leaves.

The Brewers are 73-66.

 

 


14 Comments

enlightnment is such a rip off

Leon Trotsky was apparently a Cleveland Indians fan. They found a souvenir cap in his belongings somewhere in Mexico. I tried to read this account of trotsky the baseball fiend  but I ran out of coffee. Writers tend to go on and on with big words and complicating the simple. Foot and mouth disease I guess.

But if some idiot offered me 20 bucks to publish some of my writing crap. I wouldn’t blink. I’d take the money and go to the YMCA and  take a swim. It’s free in Montreal. That would leave me with 20 bucks. Not a bad day. Buy a few beers. walk around some more and then write some more crap and watch the Brewers game.

Why do the Cubs play the Brewers at night? at Wrigley no less and  on a day off from work. Pisses me off. It doesn’t get much better than watching baseball on weekday afternoons. It’s like a kid’s first revolution; that staying up all night while everyone is sleeping or working. What’s the difference.

Brewers made two errors in the first inning and the Cubs scored four runs last night. Cripes and crud and sewers and shit and disease and poison. How about that. The Brewers right smack in the middle of a seven game losing streak and they come out shining with two errors.

Final score; Cubs 7, Brewers 1. But Yovani Gallardo tied the franchise record for all time strikeouts

The Brewers are 73-65 and 2 games behind the Red Turds for first place and only a game and half above the Braves for the second wild card. And I must be a shitty fan because I don’t care. I’m having fun with this melt down.

September 1st-communist time when  25 man exclusive rosters expand to a 40 man pot luck bring your own communist Trotsky roster.

I like communism way more than meditation, but maybe pigeons meditate. I see them huddled under the library door awning. They’re so still and quiet that I barely notice them but when I do I say out loud, “oh, those are birds. I didn’t see them.”

It’s like they’re camouflaged not an easy thing for a pigeon to do. Gotta be the most obnoxious or courageous of birds with those day glow or hologram colored necks and head strutting when they walk. Some peole call them flying rats, but they’re not afraid, not of humans anyway. Did you ever watch a pigeon’s shadow? Looks exactly like a bottle of wine. And if you try and catch one? They have amazing reflexes.

They eat everything and don’t discriminate. I seen a gang of em picking through frat boys vomit. And yet, here are the same flying things playing dead, looking like mummies, meditating mummies and beside a library too. I didn’t see any owl there; just pigeons.

I would never want too deep of a massage or too much meditation or yoga. I would never want to be too enlightened. I need problems and noise to make my world spin. That’s why a synagogue on Friday night or Saturday is great. So many fat people and  so many skinny people and everyone loud and hungry. It’s all so ugly and imperfect. No wonder we pray so much or pretend to pray. I go for the food and conversation.

I get enough yoga and meditation when I sleep…or just a few minutes of it. Apparently, I make a lot of nosie when I sleep and move all over the place. Friends don’t let me in the same room when I sleep over. I talk in fake foreign accents. That’s what they tell me. No sleep walk, but lots of sleep talk.

Russian talk I do real well and Chinese too they say. And ya know how dreams sometimes slip out of the unconscious and into the conscious? Well, it happened a few years ago. I was working for a start up tech company and the boss had me and this guy at work make videos. I think he was gonna use everyday spontaneous conversation type stuff as online ads for his encryption software, but he never did.

Well, my fake Russian accent came out. Probably because my mom’s side of the family is Ukrainian Jew and my aunt used to leave phone messages saying. “You’re from Milwaukee and that’s all you need to know.” Slam. Dial tone. That stuck with me. She was a pistol and a half.

I’m the white guy in this video. Vuyo is the black guy. we became freinds. Our religious Jewish boss is the camera man. You can hear him laughing in the background, laughing because I’ve just explained that the Russian accent maybe sounds angry, but all they’re saying is I need a toothbrush.


2 Comments

I tawt I saw a Pedro Tat. I did. I did.

The Red Sox Hall of fame bash; all inductees invited into the booth last night; Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra.

Clemens first. I’m no expert on reading body language, but a snake wiggling out of a bag was Clemens and steroids weren’t discussed; pointing that finger again and looking stiffer than a Nazi boot. Clemens thanked ice for prolonging his career. In and out of the booth in less than a half inning.

Pedro stuck around for two innings. Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy didn’t want him to leave. Remy said Pedro’s 17 k game against the Yankees was the greatest pitching performance he’d ever seen; how only Ted Williams could walk in a room and change the climate like Pedro.

Pedro bowed; that wonderful smile and slipped into story telling; about being pissed at manager Joe Kerrigan for so much as hinting that Jeter was batting .300 against him. More smiles. Remy said no Red Sox venue was more intense, more loud than when Pedro pitched. Every regular season game.

“Fenway did sort of become a winter league Dominican atmosphere,” said Pedro who is credited with Boston acquiring David Ortiz from the Twins. Big Papi thanks Pedro every time they embrace; hugging him around the waist, lower, Pedro said , “a sign of respect.”

Pedro is a freaking shaman, a saint, a legend walking among us. More than baseball. He’s biblical long before tv had heroes, long before movies existed. A Zeus of pitchers and at the same time, easy to imagine as a friend… beer at the rail.

Nomar Garciaparra followed Pedro and he too lasted way longer than Clemens. Working for the Dodgers now as a broadcaster. Kershaw’s great, he said, but not at Pedro’s level; not yet anyway.

Garciaparra raves on and on about being a Red Sock, about the Nation, about befriending Ted Williams or vice versa; no easy task apparently, getting past the William’s tough guy edge; always talking hitting like Lombardi football and winning and the right way; embarrassing people in public.

Nomar and Williams share Mexican heritage and southern California origins. Nomar friends with Johnny Pesky too, but not blowing hot ego air and Red Sox hype. Nomar seemed heartfelt humble gratitude for being drafted and raised by the Red Sox..

But Pedro Pedro Pedro; the class and eloquence and humor. I don’t need a time machine to go back. I choose Pedro; lucky to be alive during his time. No baseball story gets me coco puffs crazy like Pedro’s story; scouts saying he too small, Montreal giving him a chance, the total domination and intimidation and that smile and his stories.

Pedro said about pitching, “it was my day to do art so I enjoyed every single aspect….frame like Picasso 2 inches off corner….and once it went away, it went away for good.”

And what timing, this HOF Pedro Red Sox thing. Sherzer struck out 14 yesterday and in the shadows, the Brewer’s Mike Fiers did the same….14 k’s, a new road record for Brewers franchise.

Granted, it was the Cubs, the same team that struck out 15 times or whatever against the Rays last week…but still, at one point yesterday, Fiers struck out 5 Cubs LOOKING; impossible corners, Picasso corners, eh Pedro?

Fiers is lanky, 6 feet 2, 190 pounds and everything he does is long; the wind up, delivery, arm extension, follow through. Rick Sutcliffe without the cupped ball, Location master is Fiers, corner paint jobs, drop dead change up, 29 years old.

The wind was blowing in. Gave Fiers some extra confidence to attack hitters, but Khris Davis  managed to muscle one out in left center; so did Mark Reynolds.

Reynolds is the first player in MLB hisotry to hit 20 or more homeruns in 7 consecutive seasons for 5 different teams. Love hate relationship; power and whiff; have glove will travel. Leads Brewers with 21 bombs and plays a solid first base.

Bob Uecker visited the tv booth in between radio innings. Predicted a drone will soon hover over the infield and replace all umpires. He’s not very fond of instant replay I guess; misses the dynamic of manager and umpire; the grudges and dislike; the season long drama. Final Score; Brewers 6, Cubs 2.

The Brewers are 67-55.