Saturday, June 12, 2010

The column that launched 1,000 blog posts

It was the Friday night of the Brewers-Twins series at Target Field (May 21st). I had my Company’s tickets and planned to take Seth and two clients to the game. I had my Ryan Braun jersey ready. I was ready. Even my toenails were painted blue. I was excited because I could walk to the game. Usually I have to drive 5 hours to Milwaukee but tonight I could walk just a few blocks. I felt like a little kid. Sometimes I try to suppress these feelings because I feel embarrassed that baseball makes me so happy. I feel like other people could not possibly understand how I feel about things so I pretend that I don’t feel that way. But I do.

In an effort to avoid work and make time go by more quickly, I turned to my friend, the internet.  I went to the local paper and found an article: Who’s better? Fielder & Braun or Mauer & Morneau. I read the article with interest; then amazement; and then anger.  Interest because this is a great story idea. These are four of the best players in baseball. Amazement because this article was terrible. Anger because the article concluded that Mauer and Morneau were better because they were better clubhouse guys. “For what it’s worth, Mauer, 27, and Morneau, 29, also score huge character points with the Twins. Not to say Braun and Fielder – both 26 – are bad guys, but they’re known more for their scowls,” the article said.

So Braun and Fielder are not as good because they’re less Scandinavian? Also, didn’t Morneau and Torii Hunter get into a fistfight in the clubhouse a few years ago? I watch the Brewers every day and no one cheers harder for their teammates than Braun and Fielder. This was the stupidest thing I had ever read.

I wanted to respond to the article. I wanted to re-write it. I wanted access to the players to ask meaningful questions. I knew I could write a better article. I fumed for three days about the article. Not because the writer concluded that Mauer and Morneau were better—there’s a lot of reasons to reach that conclusion—but because this writer had a job that I wanted. I wanted a voice. I wanted to write about baseball.  

Hey, why don’t I start a blog?

When Chris Narveson sent the Rangers down 1-2-3 in the first inning, I had a good feeling about the game. (Narveson’s stats have begun to be broken down into first inning ERA and his ERA in innings after the first. Never a good sign.) The Brewers took the lead in the bottom of the first when Ryan Braun hit a monster 2-run homerun off the Trevor Hoffman banner in left-center field. Relief. Braun had been slumping lately and Summer Boyfriend is not allowed to slump. Ever.

The Rangers tied the game at two after picking up runs in the second and third innings but Narveson shut down Texas after the third, while the Brewers caught fire. Corey Hart hit his NL leading 17th homer, and Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee followed suit. 

Brewers 6, Rangers 2
Game played 6-11-10

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