Though Major League’s All-Star break and its “mid-summer classic” nickname seem to imply an event that cuts the 162-game big league season in half, the Milwaukee Brewers have actually played 96 games to this point. Really, the exhibition isn’t good for much besides giving players a bit of rest during the marathon season, risking injury to those participating in the game, and giving All-Stars leverage in future contract negotiations. (Thanks for voting 25 times per e-mail address, fans!)
As meaningless as it is and as late as it occurs in the season, it also allows fans an opportunity to step back and take stock of their team. Which players are underperforming? Who’s surpassing expectations? Can the division leading Brewers move past the pre-break struggles and widen the gap between them and the perennially good Cardinals? While you were busy thinking of answers to all those questions, Milwaukee Record pondered this stuff instead.
Most times losing helmet – Carlos Gomez
Lately, every time Carlos Gomez’s “hacktastic” approach to hitting causes his helmet to fall off his head, Fox Sports Wisconsin announcer Brian Anderson says, “he’s good for about one of those a game.” Anderson is good for about three “he’s good for about one of those a game”s a game in reference to Gomez losing his lid. The only Brewer anywhere close to the All-Star outfielder in helmet loss is Rickie Weeks, whose dreads have been known to regularly dislodge his dome-piece while running around the bases. Since Weeks is on the wrong end of a 65/35 platoon with Ryan Gennett at second base, this award will remain upside down on the ground in front of Go-Go’s mantel all year long.
Worst All-Star – Aramis Ramirez
Aramis Ramirez is having a good season. Especially considering he missed time to his seemingly annual injury, Rammie’s 11 home runs, 43 RBI and THREE steals (of his 28 lifetime) are just fine. What that stat line isn’t, though, is worthy of an All-Star appearance—and sure as shit not a spot in the starting fucking lineup. As cool as it was to learn the veteran third baseman was going to Minneapolis this week, being 5th in homers among National League third baseman, 6th in RBI, 10th in hits, and 16 in walks seems to suggest the votes cast for Ramirez were mostly of the “I’ve heard of this guy!” variety. At least the accolade wasn’t Derek Jeter-level undeserved.
Most parodied in song – Wei-Chung Wang
There’s no disputing that the awful, awful Will Smith music medley is hands down the worst Brewers-related song parody of the season. However, when it comes to volume of parodies, rookie reliever Wei-Chung Wang takes the odd honor of being subject of a weekly parody of an ’80s song that incorporates a portion of the pitcher’s name. Fans might go weeks without seeing Wang toe the pitching rubber, but you could bet that every Wei-Chung Wang Wednesday (#WCWW) for a while, we’d see the 22-year-old dancing uncomfortably while being flanked by teammates in on a joke he didn’t seem to fully grasp. With Wang on the disabled list with…the ability to finally be put on the disabled list without Milwaukee losing his rights, we’ll see if #WCWW continues after the break.
Best promotion – Spring Madness
The way the Brewers played from Opening Day through the All-Star break is enough of a prize in itself. The first place team that’s surpassed reasonable expectations to this point doesn’t owe fans anything for coming to watch them take the diamond. Still, Milwaukee is kind enough to give away stuff anyway. Some of the bobbleheads leave something to be desired, and a Hank The Dog beach towel is about as useful as Hank The Dog (not very). Yet there are some cool freebies, such as t-shirts and the Jean Segura bobble. Of everything available, the premier promotion came during the three-day epoch of affordability aptly called “Spring Madness.” Between May 13 and May 15, select seats were half off. More importantly, hot dogs were only $1. Have you ever wanted to see how many hot dogs fit inside your body, but didn’t want to spend a small fortune on nitrate-infused anus tubes? During Spring Madness, the only thing standing in the way of you reenacting Joey Chestnut in the terrace reserve seats is some semblance of self-respect.
Best at-bat music – Logan Schafer
Though the tides are slowly changing for the better when it comes to Brewers at-bat music (Corey Hart taking his awful musical taste elsewhere is probably 97 percent to thank for that), it’s still pretty rough stuff for the most part. Apparently Jeff Bianchi is a Jesus freak and Marco Estrada likes Drowning Pool un-ironically. Comparably, Ramirez walking up to utter silence sounds like a symphony. Thus, Logan Schafer’s use of mid-’90s Mark Morrison blip “Return Of The Mack” is the clubhouse leader. It’s funny, nostalgic, and admittedly catchy in a Montell Jordan, “This Is How We Do It”-type of way. When you want the sometimes-Brewer, sometimes-Nashville Sound to be called to hit, you know that player is doing something right. Hint: it’s not tallying just 19 hits in 45 games.
Worst – Hank The Dog