Tag Archive | "milwaukee"

Tags: , , , , ,

What it must feel like in Milwaukee tonight?

Posted on 28 September 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

I’m a little conflicted to be honest with you. I spent today downtown watching the dozens of Orioles fans who blew off the NFL Ticket to spend one last day “at The Yard” before they close up shop for another winter. And I do mean “close up.” My guess is that we won’t hear a peep outta The Warehouse for weeks. That could be MANY weeks.

Like November at the earliest…

I think they want us all to forget that they played this season and that it didn’t end back around Memorial Day.

From now until then – and I’m guessing the next formal gathering will be the one when they don’t sign Mark Teixiera — the few of us who actually remember real Orioles baseball and are ashamed of what this sham has become over the past 11 years will watch something that is a faded memory: the MLB postseason.

Remember rushing around and setting your schedule to watch baseball in October? Crisp fall afternoon doubleheaders, with one game at 3 in the shadows and the other waiting after dinner. From Yankee Stadium to Chavez Ravine, from Royals Stadium to Riverfront Stadium.

And sometimes, once in a while, we got a taste of that on 33rd Street.

I do remember.

I want that back and this is the time of the year when I get the MOST pissed.

This is when I really feel cheated outta the juice of being a fan: a chance to win! At least as I board the purple bus in a few hours to go to Pittsburgh with 52 other crazy Ravens maniacs, I know the Ravens have a chance. And in the NFL, that’s a REAL chance. Hell, they might even win and Joe Flacco might throw three touchdowns! What a bus ride that’ll be if the Ravens win on Monday Night!

But back to the other birds…I digress.

The Brewers made the playoffs for the first time since 1982. Do you remember 1982?

I do.

I remember the “lost weekend” and the final Sunday, and Palmer vs. Sutton and Weaver’s (almost) last ride and the feeling and outpouring of community that now sadly doesn’t exist for the Baltimore Orioles.

I’m sure Harvey’s Wallbangers are a distant memory for many, but I have a feeling ESPN and TBS will be buzzing all week with images of Pete Vuckovich, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount and Ben Oglivie. And Harvey Kuenn, of course. And there will be images of that day at Memorial Stadium, and fuzzy 1980’s porn-style video of County Stadium and skinny, pre-roid guys running around the bases in pinstripes.

Surely, Gorman Thomas and Rollie Fingers and Don Money will be involved.

But I don’t need to “look it up.” I know what happened. I lived it.

I really love baseball and have loved it all of my life.

And I’ve honestly disliked the Brewers for much of my adulthood just based on that autumn weekend in 1982 when they broke my 13-year old heart.

So as I turn 40 years old in two weeks, it’s amazing that it’s been THIS long since the Brewers have had a taste of what Bernie Brewer ultimately slid into: the deep suds.

So, tonight, I salute the city of Milwaukee!

To the Fonz and Laverne and Shirley and everyone at the Shotz brewery and the Pizza Bowl…

To Mr. C and the whole gang at Arnold’s…

To former Brewers P.R. man Jon Greenberg, who was always a super guy…

To the best downtown summer festival in the world, Summerfest…

To the fun I’ve had at Miller Park and at the old County Stadium…

And to the memories of my childhood and rooting FOR Sixto Lezcano prior to 1982, I salute the Brewers, their fans, the city of Milwaukee and anyone who thinks the blue and gold “mb glove” logo is now “cool” after hating after that fateful 14th year of my life.

God bless ya, Milwaukee!

Go get drunk on anything brewed in the state of Wisconsin. And chase it down with some cheese curds!

You’re in the playoffs!

Welcome to October. As Colorado and many other have proven, YOU HAVE A CHANCE!

One day we hope to feel that feeling you’re feeling tonight.

But I’m not holding out hope anymore.

I don’t know if there’s a big frosted mug of Natty Boh we’re going to be sliding into anytime soon.

But I’m sure the Orioles will be mentioning Tampa Bay and Milwaukee a whole lot in whatever lame campaign they put together for Mister Angelos and Sons Network next spring.

Come to think of it, maybe baseball deserves a Tampa Bay-Milwaukee World Series?

Back to the 4th quarter of Sunday’s NFL action…

Go Ravens!

Comments Off on What it must feel like in Milwaukee tonight?

Tags: , , , , ,

As the Regular Season Winds Down…

Posted on 25 September 2008 by Mark Mussina

With the playoffs right around the corner, there were a few baseball things I wanted to point out, to those of you who still consider yourselves baseball fans.
1. Baseball has become as unpredictable as football. I know that the Yankees made a run there where they were in the World Series about every year, and it seems like ever since then people just assume the rich teams are going to win. Well, when you look at Tampa and Minnesota, no one, and I mean NO ONE thought these two teams would compete, let alone win. Everyone has talked about the Rays, but as far as the Twins go, think about this. Last winter, the Twins were dangling Johan to the Yankees. When the Yankees didn’t want to part with their prized prospects, that allowed the Mets to offer a much lesser trade and land the perennial Cy Young candidate. When this was going on, who would have thought that as September would turn to October, the Twins might still be playing while both the Yankees and Mets were at home? No one, that’s who.
2. After Hurricane Ike threw a wrench into Houston’s improbable run, and now another “weather system” may have the Mets playing back to back doubleheaders to close the season, I think it’s safe to say that God is rooting for Milwaukee.
3. When looking at the stat leaders, there are a few things that jumped out at me.
a. Joe Mauer, so lauded for being the first AL catcher ever to win a batting title in 2006, is leading that race again with only four days to go.
b. In the doubles column (a stat which I think has long been underrated) the Orioles have players that rank second, third, and third (there’s a tie). That’s one for the Elias Sports Bureau, but I can’t believe that any team lately has had three of the top four in that category.
c. When Kevin Slowey (who, you ask) pitches tonight for the Twins, he will have more riding than just his team’s playoff hopes. In his first full season in the Big Leagues, this 24-year-old has turned in a very solid year in several categories, including WHIP, K/BB, and BB/9 innings. However, much like a hitter must reach the minimum number of plate appearances to qualify for the batting title, so must a pitcher reach the minimum innings. The innings total is one inning per team game, which almost always ends up being 162, since almost all rainouts are eventually made up. Tonight, Slowey needs to go 5 1/3 innings to get to 162. I know it’s not the batting title or the ERA crown, but for a guy who’s basically a rookie to finish in the top two or three in any statistical category would be a heck of an accomplishment. Unless he ends up coming out the pen on Sunday in what might turn out to be an “all hands on deck” game for the Twins, Slowey needs to get sixteen outs tonight to make his impressive year “official.”
4. I have finally decided that Ichiro is the most overrated, offensive player in baseball. His defense is great. He’s got fantastic range and a cannon for an arm, but this thing about him getting 200 hits every year is extremely overblown. Do you know why he gets so many hits? It’s because he never walks. OK, maybe never is an exaggeration, but he does have 668 official at bats! He should have 200 hits. When a leadoff hitter is 7th in batting he should be higher than 29th in on base percentage. Also, his slugging percentage is a joke. Out of 68 qualified hitters in the AL, Ichiro ranks 55th. Every time I see him play, the announcers talk about what a power display he puts on in BP, and if he wanted to hit more home runs, he could. Forget about home runs! How about any extra base hit? He has 19 doubles in 668 at bats. Jose Molina (he of the .219 batting average) has 17 doubles in 265 at bats. Heck, Jose Reyes, who is an underrated leadoff hitter, has 19 triples! That is to go along with 36 doubles and 16 home runs. Hey, all you have to do is look out your own front door. Brian Roberts is a SIGNIFANTLY better offensive player than Ichiro. Again, if I had to pick a player for my team, I might pick Ichiro because he is so good defensively, but if I had to just pick a leadoff hitter, I’d take Roberts or Reyes…or Damon, or Sizemore, or Granderson, or…I guess you get the point?
All right, I’ve ranted enough for now. While you’re enjoying your football weekend, keep an eye on the upper mid-west. Minnesota and Milwaukee are both great baseball stories whether they get in or not.

Comments Off on As the Regular Season Winds Down…

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Talk of the Town

Posted on 15 September 2008 by stevenlink

Wow, what a week in sports. But before I get to that, I want to first send my condolences and wishes to anyone who has family or friends in the Houston area. Also, my wishes go out to those persons affected by the horrible commuter train accident that occurred this past weekend.

And speaking of the situation with Houston, here’s, My Take about the talk of the town right now which is the Ravens-Texan’s schedule change and how it affects the Ravens:

I want to state a disclaimer beforehand that I do not know exactly what went on with the NFL’s decision about the Ravens-Texans game…all of this is pure speculation.

The last natural disaster the NFL had to deal with was that of Hurricane Katrina and the New Orleans Saints. The NFL decided to move the Saints’ opener of the 2005 season to the Meadowlands in New Jersey against the New York Giants.

In comparison, what occurred this week with Ravens-Texans game and the Saints-Giants game are two completely different situations. Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005 and the home opener for the Saints was scheduled for September 18, 2005. The NFL was able to coordinate with the teams, the cities, and the networks to move the game to New York. For this situation the NFL only had 2 weeks to prepare for the game to be moved and it was not until September 10th that the path of Hurricane Ike was determined definite.

I know there are a bunch of reasons and also conspiracy theories out there as to why the game was not moved and how much of a disadvantage it is for both teams. Such as, why didn’t the NFL just move the game here to Baltimore for Monday night? It’s a good argument. The Orioles have an off day as they are about to travel to Toronto, and even if the Orioles did have a game, there would be more than enough space for the fans to park on W. Camden Street (you know, the street running perpendicular to the main Eutaw Street entrance across from Pickles). But the problems still remain about getting proper police protection, security, network personnel and equipment to Baltimore in such a short time. Preparations for our Sunday ritual are made months and months ahead of time.

Now, I am not saying that NFL was 100% correct with its decision; rather I think it did the best that it could do. The NFL tried its hardest to keep the game at Reliant Stadium for the Texans to have their home opener there. We can all agree that the last thing the NFL wanted to do was move the game to a different location. It also would have been great to see the game moved to a college campus in Texas because we know they have an abundance of them. However, again, people will have to make new arrangements that cannot be done in less than a week’s time. Plus, I especially believe the NFL does not want to have the game played at the UTEP football stadium after the…how can I put this delicately…the tainting of the hill. This is a huge lesson for the NFL and how, (like school systems prepare for snow and other inclement weather), it needs to have its own plan to prepare for situations such as this. Apparently the NFL did not think ahead after its dealings from Katrina, but hopefully it will learn from this instance. I mean come on, if Major League Baseball had a contingency plan with the Cubs-Astros game and moved that series up to Milwaukee, so why didn’t the NFL have one as well?

The Ravens and the Texans are at a huge disadvantage because of the game change. I know people did not predict the Ravens to do well this year, but what if we are doing well by the time our bye was scheduled? “Experts” are wrong all the time about their picks. The absence of our bye week will probably break our season at that point due to injuries and fatigue. Losing our bye is going to be detrimental to our season, but let’s not forget that real life and real people will always outweigh the risk and reward of a sporting event.

Your take: Do you think the loss of the Ravens’ bye depletes any chance they had at a winning season this year?

2 Minute Drill: Oh Maryland, my Maryland, why do you only show up against opponents that are favored against you? That was quite a game by the Terps upsetting Cal. Turner had a great game, as did the entire running game. Now maybe Maryland was looking ahead last week when they lost to MTSU, but that that is still no excuse. This team should be 3-0 right now and atop the ACC. If they had dominating performances against Delaware and MTSU, who knows, maybe they would be in Top 25? Okay maybe not, but they’d have a really strong case to be there, especially with a win like that over Cal. Again, I want to make the point that I want Coach Friedgen and the Terps to do well, but this win shows me that the coaching staff did not have the ears of their kids and did not motivate them enough for the previous two games. Ralph thought this was going to be the best team he ever had because of the amount of seniors he has on his roster. It should not be that difficult to motivate a team that consists of over 20 seniors. But maybe last week’s game was a wake-up call for the players and coaches?? Great win for them though, especially since not that many thought they could pull an upset like they did (including me). Let’s hope they can keep the momentum going and trounce the Eastern Michigan Eagles this coming weekend.

The Ohio State Buckeyes again got smashed on national television. The Trojans completely dominated that game on both sides of the ball. My question is why didn’t we see more of Terrell Pryor? I don’t believe having Terrell Pryor at quarterback throughout the game would have changed the overall outcome because in the second half the Trojans easily game-planned around him, but it would have made the game much more interesting. Poor Todd Boeckman was setting prey for USC’s defense whenever he went back to pass. The defense sure brought the pain for that guy. And maybe Jim Tressel finally needs to get rid of the sweater vest he sports. Maybe he should put in a special order from Bill Belichick’s hooded sweatshirt collection.

And speaking of Belichick, his new quarterback Matt Cassell did one of the best impressions of Trent Dilfer I’ve ever seen. Manage the football game and do not turn the ball over. It looks like the Patriots are going back to the game plan they had when Corey Dillon was their running back. However, it looks like, at least at this point, that Lawrence Mahroney may not be the bruising back Dillon was and instead that roll may be held for Lamont Jordan. This team is still my favorite for the AFC East until it shows signs that its wheels are finally falling off.

The ending of the Chargers-Broncos game was ridiculous. However, you have to give out some respect points to Ed Hochuli for admitting that he blew the call, literally. When he blew the whistle early it stopped the play and because it was a passing play, the ball was given back to the Broncos where the ball landed. Norv Turner and the Chargers have had the worst luck so far this season. First it was the last second touchdown by the Panthers and now this. But Mike Shanahan did give the Chargers the chance to still win the game by allowing them to stop his team’s two-point conversion and the Chargers could not and therefore they deserved to lose that game.

The Redskins did a great job of exploiting the Saints rookie cornerback Tracy Porter. The Saints’ two starting corners already were scratched for the game and the injury to Aaron Glen was the turning point of that game. As soon as they put in Porter, Santana Moss put on his professor hat and started schooling the kid about how not to cover a wide receiver in the NFL. And it was great listening to Coach Billick in the booth during the game. He did an excellent job of critiquing both teams. My favorite line he said yesterday was when he was talking about the Redskins in the first half, “Now I know I am the poster-child for this because I was the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens for 9 years, but you can’t just score field goals when you are in the redzone. You have to punch it in there.” So isn’t an exact quote, but it is pretty close to what he said and it got a good laugh out of me.

Romeo Crennel, the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, tried his best impression of rookie head coach Jim Zorn last night with horrible clock management. Crennel actually surpassed Zorn with his blunders because at least Zorn has an excuse; it’s his first time coaching a position other than a quarterback. The clock management at the end of the first half was simply horrific for the Browns. After the Browns’ quarterback Derek Anderson ran the no huddle QB sneak for a first down resulting in 8 seconds left on the clock with no timeouts, they should have just kicked the field goal to get some momentum on their side. Then he decided to use his two final timeouts at the end of the second half before the 2 minute warning which was a wasted effort that you cannot fault him entirely for. But at that point in the game, you just knew that whatever the Browns did, they were going to lose the game regardless. And why was Kellen Winslow on the sideline for the final two plays of the game? That decision had me scratching my head too. That was a winnable game by the Browns, and while I know the players could have performed better, I believe they would have won had the coaching staff also called a better game.

And finally, Towson University started off conference play with a tough loss to Richmond Saturday, losing 45-14. Towson’s quarterback Sean Schaefer had a rough game but according to Towson University’s release, Schaefer “became the sixth player in CAA history to reach the 9,000-yard mark in career passing yards. In his career, he has now completed 809 of 1,268 passes (.638) for a school record 9,145 yards and 58 touchdowns.” http://www.towsontigers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=101455&SPID=12497&DB_OEM_ID=21300&ATCLID=1581565. So a big congrats goes out to Sean and his record setting performance.

Sayonara Bmore, I’ll get back at you next time.

Comments Off on Talk of the Town