Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Young and the Relentless...

I have a confession to make.

On Sunday afternoon, with the Brewers trailing 9-4, I went off and organized an intense game of kickball with my nephews and nieces. And I do mean intense--a one run game, with me as all-time pitcher and all-time base coach and frequently having to remind the youngest kids where third base was. At one point the two youngest boys started walking off the field, mid-inning. When I asked the youngest, Sam, where he was going, he simply said, "I'm tired now." (Apparently, the pressure had gotten to him. Oh, and apparently there IS crying in kickball, or at least in the first and third innings.)

By the time the game ended, my kickball ERA was at a lofty 7.75 (I'm calling all three of the runs in the top of the third unearned; sure Missy is like 6 years old, but she's got to stretch for that throw) and the Brewers had miraculously tied the Twins at 9. Lesson learned. Don't give up on these Brewers--they're young, they're hungry, and they're relentless.

And perhaps they are, indeed, a little restless too. Prince Fielder certainly is. He was restless the moment Lew Ford lost the ball in the glare of the dome, sprinting around the bases with the grace of a hungry, and perhaps somewhat drunken, grizzly bear. After seeing the replay, I couldn't help but wonder if they shouldn't attach a parachute pack to his back, so in the slim chance that this ever happens again he can pull the rip cord and assure no teammates are placed on the DL due to a dug-out roll-over.

(I should mention that even if I hadn't gone to play kickball with the kids, I still wouldn't have seen this play live. My dad's cable company in the booming metropolis of LeRoy offers him like 13 channels, and none of them are Fox Sports Net. I knew I grew up in the boonies, but it was only as an adult that I became concerned that I might actually have grown up Amish.)

Geoff Jenkins may not be young, but he too seems restless. Just asked Prince Fielder's family jewels, who became the victim of a bank shot into the corner pocket when Jenkin's throw from left eluded Prince's glove last night. Ever the player's coach, Yost came out and chatted with Sheets until Fielder's voice was somewhere in the range of a second alto.

Bill Hall has certainly been restless, probably because he didn't want to bat in the 7th or 8th hole anymore. After my prediction that he was going to get hot, Hall managed to win a couple games with his bat the last week and saved, by my count, at least 7 runs over the same stretch with some amazing glove work in center field.

So maybe, just maybe, this was the perfect soap opera for the Brewers to appear on this afternoon. When the announcement came out back in April that Cappy, JJ, Hall and Suppan were going to appear on The Young and the Restless, I was annoyed. It seemed like a distraction that they didn't need, and I was afraid it would take away from their focus on an important west coast trip...thank goodness that didn't...uhm...anyhow...

I asked my wife to set the DVR to the show, and we had a chance to watch it this evening. Unlike me on Sunday afternoon, if you didn't tune in, you really didn't miss much.

I do fancy myself a bit of an actor, however, so I thought I'd provide my review of each Brewers performance, so here it is from the best to the worst...

#1 Chris Capuano:

At least as good as--Bob Barker in Happy Gilmore. Mostly relaxed, but a few of the lines felt a little forced. If you read the story on the Brewers website, however, during the airing this morning, his teammates caught him delivering lines to the lead actress' chest, rather than her face. Just like Bob used to do with his beauties. According to Cappy, it was a very pretty blue shirt.

Toughest line to deliver--"Oh yeah, we brought you this autographed ball too."

#2 Billy Hall:

At least as good as--Bubba Smith in Police Academy (#s 1 through 47). Billy was pretty smooth out there, but I wondered if he was improvising every time he said, "Tell you what." If that was scripted, he definitely made it his own and sounded natural.

Toughest line to deliver--After JJ delivers his God-awful line about the lead actress, you actually hear Billy holler "JJ!" It kind of sounds like he's about to ground him, without desert.

#3 Jeff Suppan:

At least as good as--Brett Favre in Something About Mary. Sup seemed to be enjoying himself the least. As you're about to read, the lines they wrote him didn't help matters...

Toughest line to deliver--"You just keep the fingers firm. Wrists flexible. Just don't be stiff." (Yeah, he was teaching the politician guy how to PITCH, but later he actually said, "I'll even throw in a personal training session." And they say soap operas lack quality writing?)

#4 J.J. Hardy:

At least as good as--Dan Marino in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Perhaps a better comparison would be Dustin Diamond in any Saved by the Bell episode because they seemed to load him up with all the cheesy lines they could muster. I actually felt sorry for JJ because you know his teammates are going to be playing catch with him and saying things like, "This ball is going to bring you good luck in the election" for the rest of the season.

Toughest line to deliver--Is there any question? Has to be "She can warm up with me anytime. I'm going to need her name and number."

It wasn't exactly must-see-tv, but I'm not turning my back on this team batter how bad they might be looking...or in this case, sounding...


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