The Brewers lead in the division has shrunk to 3 and a half games, but at least we've finally won a series. So many different thoughts running through my mind that I'm left with no other options but to ramble...
--I really love the opportunities that the Brewers are providing for kids who come to Miller Park. From the kid who yells "play ball" at the top of the game to the hordes of children partaking in the base run after a Sunday game, you see example after example of the Brewers' front office making every effort to create major league memories for their future fans. For example, I can't even begin to tell you how excited I would have been to announce the first three hitters of an inning, as one lucky kid gets to do every game in the bottom of the third.
But there have been a few kids that I have felt sorry for too.
That's because of another promotion that they run on Sundays, which is sponsored by Culvers and lets kids run out to one of the nine positions, greeting the players during the introductions and standing with them during the national anthem. I can't even begin to imagine how excited I would have been to stand next to Robin Yount when I was nine years old. You wanna talk about "pee your pants for the Brewers"? Yep. That would have done it.
But I do kind of feel bad for the kids who get chosen to stand next to the utility players when they get a start. For instance, on Bill Hall bobblehead day Fielder didn't start. So the kid who went out to first base stood next to Tony Graffanino instead. And today Counsell played for Hardy. I'm sure it's still a thrill for the kids to be next to a big leaguer, but if the kid's any kind of a Brewers fan--you gotta believe that when he first heard that he was going to go out to 1st base, he was thinking, "Awesome! Prince Fielder!"--and instead he gets to run out and meet Tony Graffanino. I'm sorry, and I really don't mean any offense to Tony, but there's got to be some measure of a letdown in that.
If it's 1983 and they tell me, "Tommy you're going to run out to shortstop," and I run out and meet Ed Romero--well, it's safe to say I'm sobbing in front of all of County Stadium. At the top of my lungs. I'm already picturing my mother scolding me and hollering "Tommy, you tell Mr. Romero 'thank you' right now, and take that baseball, dammit" as I fight through that post cry breath-intake thing that kids do (and can't ever seem to stop once they've started). As I think about it, perhaps it's best they started this promotion after I've become (somewhat of) an adult.
--Really glad the Bucks have Mo back in the fold, but I'm a little nervous about locking anyone up for 6 years. I like Mo's game, and I think he's only going to get better...but Bobby Simmons' contract has scarred me for a good three years (and I, admittedly liked the signing at the time). I do think Mo will play in an all-star game within the next two to three years, however, and will regularly pray that someone can teach him a little more defense.
--Meanwhile, Yi has had a conversation with Harris and Coach K, 68% of China wants him to play for the Bucks, and it's pretty well agreed that there's no way he would be able to sit next year (in order to re-enter the draft) with the Olympics on the immediate horizon. Nonetheless, I'm not going to admit I was wrong about the draft pick until Yi is practicing at the BC in a Bucks jersey. Until then, I still say the Buck should have sold while the selling was good. (Eric's comment three posts ago that I was "ripping on Yi," however is just not true. I've already said that I have no idea how good this kid is going to be. I haven't, after all, ever seen him play. But there's no way the Bucks can afford to "give him 2/3 years," because we all know that once he's completed his rookie contract, his days as a Buck are over...)
--Meanwhile, my other long-time friend, Darren, had to be ecstatic when Ned decided to pinch hit Tony G for Weeks on Saturday night. I have no problem with that decision, but I'm sticking with my prediction that Rickie breaks out of his funk during this homestand...
--One other observation I'd like to make from today's Brewers game, if I may--
Any of you that have ever sat behind home plate have probably watched kids run to the front row whenever a ball is fouled back to the screen and then beg the bat boy for the ball. (If you've ever thrown a piece of bread into a fish pond, it's pretty much looks like the same kind of thing.) And I have no problem with that. IF you're actually a kid. Today there were several adults begging for a ball as well. What's worse, there were at least two occasions in which the bat boy was throwing a kid a ball and an adult leaped up and stole it in front of them.
Can we just establish some kind of man law that it is NOT any kind of an accomplishment,whatsoever, to catch a ball from a bat boy? Please. I mean, maybe if Prince tosses one into the stands or Jenkins in left, then maybe that's a cool souvenir. But otherwise, unless you are catching the ball directly from the crack of the bat--you need to find the closest kid--immediately. And if you're stealing a bat boy ball from a kid, you should have one heaved at your head.
--Finally, I have a confession to make to my fellow Brewers fans. And an apology. On the night of the no-hitter, my cat Albus broke my Chris Capuano mini-bobblehead. I don't think he did it on purpose, but Albus does get jealous when I ignore him during the game. Anyhow, I think it's safe to say that Cappy hasn't been the same since. As a matter of fact, it was the next night that Villanueva had to make the spot start for him. My wife has obtained some super glue, however, and we hope to have him back to normal by his next outing. After all, with the Cubs playing like the '84 Tigers, we desperately need to put Cappy back together again...