Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Milwaukee Brewers are Not Very Good

Back on May 20th, 2005, I attended a Twins game at the Metrodome against the Milwaukee Brewers with some friends. We were late to the game because we were busy making a huge banner that read: “The Milwaukee Brewers are Not Very Good.” It was a riff on a poster someone had made a year before about Carlos Lee, who had just been traded to the Brewers. Anyway, we only got to hold the thing up across some rows of empty cheap seats for a tiny bit, because Carlos Silva pitched a complete game on 74 pitches. The game only lasted a bit over 2 hours. So at least we had called it.

I know the Brewers got to Baker last night—but it doesn’t even matter to me right now. You know why? The Brewers suck. Do you know why I think that? I spent all afternoon yesterday reading about Bernie Brewer. Yes, that blonde-mustached mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers who looks like Robin Yount.

This had to be the best mascot of all time, or at least tied with San Francisco’s Crazy Crab. Bernie is as genuinely Wisconsin as racing sausages. The problem is that the Brewers ruined Bernie. Now-a-days, when the Brewers get a home run, Bernie celebrates by going from one platform down a big yellow slide to another platform.

This used to be entirely lame up until last year when the Kalahari Resort from Wisconsin Dells decided to endorse the second platform. Now the platform sprays water all over the crowd when Bernie lands on it, so it’s a little less lame.

(Stupid un-embeddable video of the "Splash Zone" can be seen here).

This slide business is supposed to emulate what Bernie was REALLY born to do—live in a chalet in the outfield and celebrate every Brewers home run by sliding down a slide into a giant mug of beer.

But wait—it gets even better, because all this was actually done in tribute to a REAL FAN.

The guy’s name was Milt Mason, and he was 69 years old in 1970 when the Brewers came to Milwaukee. Milt was so excited to have baseball back in the city that he vowed to live in a trailer on top of the scoreboard until 40,000 fans came to a game. On the 40th day, 40,000 fans came to a game, and Milt slid down from the scoreboard on a rope. Yes--slid. This sliding badly burnt his hands, and he ended up falling the final 15 feet and breaking multiple bones.

The Brewers felt bad so they gave Milt free beer for life. He died a few years later, supposedly from drinking tainted beer.

That same year, Bernie was born as a tribute to Milt.

Can’t make this stuff up.

But gone are the good old days when Bernie slid down into a beer. Now he slides down onto a platform, and he doesn't even wear lederhosen. I understand the ‘trying to not promote beer to the kids’ part of this, but give me a break. It’s the BREWERS, they play at MILLER Park, in MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN.

The Twins, of course, would never have any beer related mascot.

But I digress...