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Archive for October 2011

Saying the Brewers and Cardinals don’t like each other is like saying, “The water is wet.”

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Today’s blog post by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s regular baseball beat writer, Tom Haudricourt, states the obvious even to its title, which is: “Brewers, Cards don’t like each other.”  This is like saying, “The water is wet.” 

I’ve been discussing this for months now, with my most recent post about the Brewers-Cardinals animosity being this one regarding Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan’s “spitting incident” at Saint Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter after Carpenter swore at Morgan.  This is why Haudricourt’s blog post shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.  But Haudricourt’s blog is still quite insightful due to getting a number of revealing quotes.

First, Haudricourt started with Brewers pitcher Zack Greinke, who will start Game 1 of the National League Championship Series tomorrow at 2:30 PM CST at Miller Park in Milwaukee.  Greinke said, after being asked whether the Cardinals and Brewers truly have animosity toward the other team, this:

“Maybe now,” he said. “I think no one really likes (Chris) Carpenter. Besides that, I think (the Brewers) respect mostly everyone on their team.”

Greinke referred to the Cardinals’ ace, whose 1-0 shutout of favored Philadelphia in Game 5 of the National League Division Series propelled wild-card St. Louis into the confrontation of NL Central rivals. That comment drew an immediate and expected response from St. Louis manager Tony La Russa.

Here, Greinke may be referring to the way Carpenter acted at the end of the concluding game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals in their National League Division Series.  The Phillies’ big first baseman, Ryan Howard, tore his Achilles tendon on the last play of the game and was writhing along the first base line as he never made it to the first base bag while the Cardinals piled into the now-traditional dogpile in celebration elsewhere on the field.  Then, Carpenter was interviewed, and he either didn’t know that Howard had to be helped off the field (and could put no weight on his leg or tendon) or he didn’t care. 

None of this looked classy on the part of the Cardinals, though the media for the most part left it alone.

Back to Haudricourt’s blog, where the next person quoted was Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa.   However, because LaRussa is a very good friend of former Brewers manager Ned Yost (who was unjustly fired with only twelve games or so remaining in 2008), that might somehow impact upon what LaRussa thinks and feels.  You need to keep this in mind as you read the following:

“Very disappointed that Greinke would say that,” said La Russa. “I don’t know him a lot but I always thought he was a high character, classy guy. That’s a bad comment to make unless you know Chris Carpenter.

“Our attitude is we look at ourselves and we grade ourselves. And even if we don’t like what’s happening on the other side, it’s not our business unless somebody crosses the line.

“So, I think the Brewers should take care of their players and their comments and not be concerned about other players and comments. But, like I said at the beginning, if they had Chris Carpenter they would be cheering for him and believing in him and they would not allow somebody that was a teammate to make a crack like that.”

Haudricourt’s blog is full of information about why the Cardinals dislike Morgan in particular; it goes back to when Morgan was a member of the Washington Nationals, long before Morgan ever became a Brewer.  Morgan is a hard-nosed, gritty player with attitude and ebullience, and he isn’t shy about sharing what he thinks and feels, either (see the two “f-bombs” he let loose with in the TBS coverage during the game 5 coverage that I talked about here).  Morgan also is known for being a player whose behavior is right on the edge of what’s considered acceptable, as Tim Brown pointed out in this article from Yahoo Sports, dated September 8, 2011.

So perhaps it’s not too surprising that one Cardinals player, veteran Lance Berkman, opened up and actually discussed with Haudricourt (quoted in Haudricourt’s blog) what Berkman thinks about the Brewers in general and Morgan in particular.  

Berkman, however, was more truthful about the lingering tension between the clubs.

“It doesn’t just go away; it’s always under the surface,” said Berkman. “So, we’ll see what happens. It is what it is. I hate that phrase but that’s as good as I can come up with to describe it.

“I don’t want to create something that’s not there. We all respect the Brewers and think they have a great team. Taken individually, I think they’ve got some great guys. Sometimes, when you’re competing collectively, there are things that rub you the wrong way or incidents that happen.”

As for Morgan’s antics, Berkman said, “He’s obviously a passionate guy and intense competitor. That being said, sometimes that exuberance can spill over into a realm that I don’t feel is appropriate. But I’m not the czar of baseball, either.”

All of this is why the Brewers-Cardinals will definitely be “must-see TV” in my household, even if I weren’t such a big Brewers fan.


** Note:  You also might want to take a look at Jeff Passan’s column at Yahoo! Sports, which discusses the Cardinals and Brewers in great depth with the understanding of the whole “Brewers are ‘new school,’ Cardinals are ‘old school'” dynamic that the national media is doing its best to portray.  (Me, I see the Cardinals, and their ace P Carpenter, the same way Greinke does, quoted above from Haudricourt’s blog.)

Just reviewed Mercedes Lackey’s “Changes” at SBR

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Folks, I just finished up a book review for Mercedes Lackey’s CHANGES at Shiny Book Review, so here’s the link:

As Lackey is one of my favorite authors, writing a review like this, where I stated she’s “done this all before” and talked about the formulaic nature of the Valdemar series at this point was difficult for me to write.  Note that saying something has a formula to it doesn’t mean it’s bad; in this case, Lackey has so much skill that you can’t help but read any of her novels, even one of her weaker efforts, until the end.  Lackey is a very good writer for a reason, and she’s sold a great many books for a reason also, because her formula works.

In the Valdemar novels (also called the “Heralds of Valdemar” series), there are a number of things that are generally seen.  These are:

1) A likeable hero or heroine (in this case, Herald-trainee Mags).

2) The likeable hero feels like an outcast, as he’s come from someplace that doesn’t know much about the Heralds of Valdemar and struggles to fit in.

3) He finds friends who, like him, feel like outcasts for various reasons, so he’s not entirely alone.

4) He solves some problems due to his unique set of challenges and gifts; the way the hero looks at the world is vital to the safety and security of Valdemar, and thus everything the hero does (even the stuff that isn’t so nice) makes sense in context.

Those four things all have to be in a Valdemar novel, and they all were present with abundance in CHANGES.

So why, then, did I give this novel a C-plus when I really like Lackey’s writing?  Because while I sympathize with her in trying to come up with a unique angle for writing the Valdemar stories after all this time (after twenty-nine novels, the first one being published in 1987), this angle didn’t work for me.  Mags is analytical and intelligent, yes, but the way he speaks (in heavy dialect) is there so the reader will be constantly reminded that Mags really is intelligent and analytical because he doesn’t sound like either one of these things most of the time.  As a reader, I don’t like being “force-fed” like this, even from someone who writes as well as Lackey.

Second, as I said in my review, I’ve seen this done before and done better by Lackey, most notably in EXILE’S HONOR, BY THE SWORD, and the allied novel OATHBREAKERS (the latter being a view of Heralds from outside Valdemar, and through the lenses of two diversely gifted women).  

Third, even though there was a very nice emotional center to the book (I said this in my review, too), some of the emotional lows were not really there.  Mags doesn’t doubt himself so much as think that he should doubt himself, if that makes sense; also, when there were fights between the major characters, it felt forced and unnatural, as if Lackey figured there’d better be a fight so she put one in there even though it didn’t flow out naturally from the characterization.  And since I know Lackey can and usually does do better than this, that was the primary reason why CHANGES only garnered a C-plus from me, with the other reasons being that this book seemed more like an appetizer to whet my palate rather than a full, rich, satisfying meal.

Anyway, no writer is going to hit 100% with every reader on every book, so Lackey only hitting about 75% of what I’d hoped for with regards to her newest Valdemar novel, CHANGES, isn’t that big of a surprise.

Still, if you want to read Lackey (and I hope you do), you’d be better served to start with these books instead (along with the ones I’ve already mentioned):

ARROWS OF THE QUEEN (the very-first written Valdemar novel), ARROW’S FLIGHT, and ARROW’S FALL — These star Talia, an unwanted child from the puritanical Holderkin who live on the far outskirts of Valdemar.  She is Chosen to become the Queen’s Own Herald, struggles mightily in the role as her primary gift is empathy (not usually seen outside of Bards or Healers, and most especially not seen alone), and eventually finds her soul mate, Herald Dirk, after a great many trials and tribulations.

MAGIC’S PAWN, MAGIC’S PROMISE, MAGIC’S PRICE — this is the “Last Herald-Mage” trilogy, and it stars Vanyel Ashkevron, who is gay.  Vanyel’s family doesn’t like this fact overmuch and causes great troubles for him; when Vanyel’s first (and best) love, Tylendel, dies through misadventure, Vanyel tries to commit suicide.  Instead, he is Chosen and must come to terms with his new-found, prodigious abilities while his lover is still dead.  Very real emotions are evoked here, and the storytelling is as strong as I’ve ever seen it in any of Lackey’s novels.  Lackey won the Lambda Award for the final book in this trilogy, MAGIC’S PRICE, due to her sensitivity and understanding of Vanyel’s problems.

Try one of these trilogies, or better yet, try both as they’re uniformly excellent.  Then read the newest novel, CHANGES; if you do so, I’m sure you’ll see some of the same things I did with regards to this newest novel (the lack of freshness and emotional depth compared to “what has come before”).

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 8, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Brewers win game 5 in 10 innings, Advance to NLCS

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Game five of the NLDS between the Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks is over, with the Brewers winning, 3-2, in ten innings.  But let me set the scene for you, as this game was even more exciting than the scoring shows.

The Brewers led, 2-1, after Yovani Gallardo had pitched a smart and gutty game through six innings.  Both relief pitchers, Takashi Saito and Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod), pitched well enough in their innings (Saito the 7th, K-Rod the 8th) to keep the game 2-1.   The Brewers went into the top of the 9th with Brewers closer John Axford, who hadn’t blown a save since April, brought into the game to close it out. 

But sometimes, the best-laid plans of mice and men do not work.  Instead, Arizona tied the game at 2-2, though Axford was able to get three outs and preserve the tie (he still got a blown save).

The ninth went by quietly, as only Jerry Hairston, Jr., hit the ball hard (and, unfortunately, right at Gerardo Parra in left field).   No runs, no hits, no errors.

The tenth inning rolled around, and Axford was still in there.   Axford had only pitched two innings seven times this past year; he usually is a strict one-inning closer, partly because of how successful he’s been.  As Axford had not looked all that good in the ninth, I was very concerned — however, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke made the right move to leave Axford in as he breezed through the top of the tenth.

In the bottom of the tenth, J.J. Putz, the D-backs closer, was brought in to pitch to preserve the tie.  Craig Counsell went up to bat; he lined out to right field.  Carlos Gomez came up, and hit a single to left field.  Now Nyjer Morgan stood at the plate, and he’s been a tough clutch hitter for the Brewers all season long; I’m sure D-backs manager Kirk Gibson knew this, but he also knew that Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder (the Brewers #3 and #4 hitters) were up after Morgan and so Gibson elected to take his chances with Morgan.

At this point, Gomez stole second base, but was unable to take third on a wild pitch by Putz. 

Pitch after pitch went by; finally, Morgan got a pitch to hit and roped a single into center.   Gomez is the fastest man on the team, so I knew if anyone could score from second base, Gomez could do it.   And Gomez did it — he scored easily — which means the Brewers won, 3-2, and will advance to the National League Championship Series against the winner of the St. Louis Cardinals-Philadelphia Phillies matchup, which is currently in progress.  If the Cardinals win that game, the Brewers will have home field advantage in the next round of the playoffs; if the Phillies win, the Brewers will not.

This is the first post-season series the Brewers have won since 1982.  Like the ’82 Brewers, it took the ’11 Brewers five games to win the series; unlike the ’82 Brewers, they were ahead, 2-0 (the ’82 Brewers were behind, 0-2, even though they, too, had home field advantage; unlike this series, until game five, every road team had won the game).  And in this one, the ’11 Brewers did not win a single road game — but they didn’t have to, either.

Now, the one thing you need to be aware of is that Sam Ryan, reporter for TBS, was on the field right after the Brewers won the game.  Morgan dropped a few “f-bombs,” which I would’ve told you were quite predictable — but Ms. Ryan doesn’t seem to understand things like this. 

This is the same reporter who didn’t seem to know who in the world Brewers Hall of Famer Robin Yount was when she spoke with him during game 2; Yount was very polite to her, but if I had been Yount, I would’ve pulled her aside and pointed to Yount’s retired number #19, which is prominently displayed at Miller Park (the Brewers’ stadium).  I would’ve told her that I was a first-ballot Hall of Famer, too, and one of the few players to ever win Most Valuable Player awards at two different positions, shortstop in 1982, and center field in 1989.  And next time, that she should do her homework or stay home and let someone who knows more about baseball get paid.

There are many female baseball reporters who would’ve done a better job than Ms. Ryan did, during game 2 and at the end of game 5; I do blame her for even putting a microphone on Morgan because while I really like Morgan as a player, he’s a high-strung guy who’s been known to lose his cool before.**  (Granted, he was on a huge emotional high at this point.  But he’s not like Brewers sluggers Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart or Rickie Weeks; Morgan doesn’t have that level of self-control and everyone should know it unless they’re completely clueless, like Ms. Ryan apparently is.)

Anyway, Axford ends up with the ultimate rarity for a closer — a blown save, and a win.  I’m sure he’ll take it, as will all Brewers fans.

What a game.  What a finish.

Let’s hope the Brewers have something left for the NLCS, where Zack Greinke will be pitching game 1.


** Now, does this excuse Morgan for dropping the “f-bombs?”  No, not really.  It makes it comprehensible, but it certainly isn’t excusable.  Morgan should know better.

Brewers losing in fifth inning

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Folks, I am so frustrated with Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke right now that I want to scream.

Remember my earlier blog post, where I said that Shaun Marcum, tonight’s starting pitcher, didn’t look really good?  (I said he was OK.  Not awful, but not great, and that I fully expected Marcum to be gone early.)

Well, apparently Roenicke has a whole lot more faith in Marcum than I do despite Marcum’s last four outings, where he compiled a 6.66 ERA.  When Marcum started to falter, quite predictably, in the fifth inning, Roenicke didn’t even have anyone warming up in the bullpen.

Just a few minutes ago, Paul Goldschmidt, a rather unheralded first baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks, hit a grand slam HR off Marcum to put the D-backs ahead 7-1.  Marcum, finally and mercifully, was lifted; just like his last start, Marcum lasted only 4 2/3 innings and looked, at best, like he has a tired arm.  (Or, quite possibly, that there may be some problem with Marcum’s arm — he hasn’t looked like the same pitcher for a month.)

Now Kameron Loe has been brought in, and another run has scored.  The Brewers are now down 8-1.

This happens in baseball, as it’s rare in the postseason to win all games (“sweep the series”) because both teams, demonstrably, are good ones that have played well all season long.  And a good team that’s finally managed to get a home game, like the D-backs, usually manages to win at least one game (the 2008 Brewers, vastly overmatched by the Philadelphia Phillies, won their first home game in ’08 behind then-Brewers pitcher Dave Bush), so the D-backs doing well tonight is not a surprise.

As of right now, it looks like it’ll be up to Brewers left-handed starting pitcher Randy Wolf tomorrow night to lock this series down for the Brewers unless there’s a major rally in store from the Brewers big bats.  I’m confident that, providing the Brewers cannot rally tonight, Wolf will pitch well tomorrow and the Brewers will close out the series in four games.

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm

DWTS Results; Brewers Game in Progress

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After a few hours worth of editing, I turned to two of my favorite things to do: watch “Dancing with the Stars,” and continue to follow the Milwaukee Brewers in their National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Thus far, the Brewers are leading the series 2-0, and with Shaun Marcum pitching tonight, there’s a good chance that the Brewers can wrap things up this evening if all goes well.

In tonight’s game so far, Marcum gave up two runs in the first inning but has otherwise been OK.  (Not great, but not bad, either.)  And Corey Hart hit a home run in the top of the third to cut the lead to 2-1, which is where the game stands as it enters the bottom of the third inning.  My estimate as of now would be that the Brewers bullpen should be ready to go early, perhaps as early as the fourth inning if Marcum doesn’t regain any momentum; this game will definitely be up to the bullpen to win as it stands.

As for DWTS, the results show was one of the more unusual ones in recent memory because Kristin Cavallari — one of this season’s better dancers — went home rather than Chaz Bono (called safe early), the lowest scorer, Nancy Grace, who despite her name is far less than graceful, and David Arquette, who got scores that were much better than he deserved last night.  Note that both Bono and Arquette danced the rhumba, while Grace danced the waltz; Cavallari had the demanding samba, and was the only dancer last night who had to perform that difficult dance.

Now, what probably sent Cavallari home early is her lack of name recognition.  She’s best-known for being Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler’s ex-fiancée and for her stint playing herself on “The Hills,” and her very first words on DWTS were something to the effect of how she’s really not “the b-word” (as this is a family-friendly blog, I won’t quote the word she did say that rhymes with witch) and that she hoped people would give her a chance.

Though I am no fan of Mark Ballas (he annoys me, and has for several seasons, most noticeably with former partner Bristol Palin and their “gorilla dance,” where both danced in gorilla masks and outfits), he actually toned it down this season and I was able to see his partner’s potential.   So while I wasn’t on board the “Kristin train” (as Mary Murphy of “So You Think You Can Dance” would most likely put it), I definitely wasn’t against her and enjoyed watching her dance.

What I think happened is exactly what DWTS host Tom Bergeron suggested; voters assumed Cavallari would be safe and voted for those they felt would be in jeopardy, such as Bono (the night’s lowest scorer), Arquette (he’d been in the bottom two the week before, so people knew he needed help) and Grace (though I honestly don’t know who’s voting for her, I can see where people might think she needed help).  Also, the clips from last night’s show for Bono, Arquette, and Grace were all much more stirring than Cavallari’s, and that, too, might’ve been a factor in how people voted.  (To sum up: Bono danced to a song his father Sonny Bono wrote called “Laugh at Me,” which resonated with the crowd due to Bono’s overall likeability; Arquette confessed to his battle with alcoholism and laid the blame for his marital problems solely on his own shoulders; Grace nearly died in childbirth with her twins.  While Cavallari hasn’t had that level of drama in her life by a mile; she’s only twenty-four, while Bono, Arquette and Grace are all at least forty years old.)

At any rate, the important thing to know is that Cavallari is out, though if someone else gets injured or withdraws, she might be called back as she was definitely a favorite of the judges.  She also might be asked to dance with her partner, Ballas, on the results show just to show some more of her developing skills — this has happened before with someone who was truly eliminated too soon.  Or something else good may come of this for all I know, as last night Cutler was in the DWTS audience and there was a photograph of the pair this morning, holding hands; perhaps this experience will help the pair down the road.

As I have been voting for Bono and Lacey Schwimmer (Bono’s professional partner) from the beginning (I will continue to do so as long as Bono lasts, partly because I like him but mostly because I really enjoy Schwimmer’s dancing as she is my favorite DWTS pro), I would’ve been unlikely to vote for Cavallari because I knew Bono and Schwimmer would need a lot of help.  Maybe many people were like me, and wanted to see Bono’s journey because he’s so likeable, and because we can tell how hard he’s working, and because his pro, Schwimmer, is also quite likeable as well.

All that being said, the people I had firmly expected to be in the B2 this week were Grace and Arquette, with Grace going home.  When those two were called safe, I was shocked — but really, it’s the judges fault for not putting those two far lower as they both were (I’m sorry to say) awful.  And had the judges given those two, Arquette and Grace, the low scores they truly deserved as they should’ve been right down there with Bono, it’s quite possible one of them would’ve gone home and we’d have Cavallari’s performance and showmanship skills to look forward to next week rather than two more insipid performances by Grace and Arquette.

Dancer Lacey Schwimmer Tells Critics to “Zip It”

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This week, controversy swirled around “Dancing with the Stars” cast member Lacey Schwimmer, a professional dancer, because supposedly at 5’3″ and being a size six, she’s “too fat.”  As this isn’t the first time her weight has been talked about in a derogatory manner, Schwimmer has apparently had enough.

Here’s what she said here about these critics:

There’s nothing I can do about except let it go and get over it,” she told In Touch, adding two simples words for would-be critics, “Zip it!”

Let me try to explain how asinine it is that anyone would criticize this woman over her weight.  Schwimmer, 23, is a size six.  She dances for a living, so most of her body is toned muscle, as she is fit and in shape.  She doesn’t have an ounce of flab on her, as the skimpy costumes the DWTS female pros often wear will show anyone who has any sense at all.  And while she’s probably the curviest dancer on the show, that doesn’t mean her weight is too high; on the contrary.  It means most of the other dancers need to gain weight.

Schwimmer seems to have a healthy body image, as the following quote shows:

“I have boobs, I have a huge butt and I have a lot of muscle,” the 23-year-old dancer told In Touch magazine, via the UK’s Daily Mail. “I like having curves – I’m proud of them!”

And I say, “Good for her!”  Because if a woman who is a normal weight, who’s toned, fit, and in shape, is getting so much criticism, what chance do those of us who truly are “big, beautiful women” (also known as “full figured,” which are the kinder ways to say a larger than average size) have of being portrayed accurately in the media with any empathy at all?

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Better Today; Taught a Music Lesson

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After resting most of last afternoon (after the Brewers won their game) and evening, I was able to do what I’d hoped to do today: teach a music lesson.  I am a saxophonist, have a Master’s in Music from Nebraska, and yet my health has been problematic for many years.  In addition, I have carpal tunnel syndrome and have to work around that — I’ve been fortunate that I can type and with some decent speed, too, despite this, but I do have to factor that into my decision making process.

So this was the first lesson I’d agreed to teach in at least seven years, partly because after my husband died in 2004 I didn’t have the heart to play.  Then my health deteriorated for a while, and my hands and wrists and arms got much, much worse (I had been diagnosed with tendinitis for a long, long time; I received the dreaded CTS diagnosis about two years ago), so I couldn’t play until two separate occupational therapists, with two different rounds of hand/wrist/arm therapy, were able to help me enough so I now can again play my saxophone.  Thus I can now, once again, teach the saxophone, as the knowledge was always there; I just couldn’t demonstrate it to anyone for several years, which is why I did not teach private lessons.

The hope now is that I’ll be able to take a few more students, resume playing in a band or orchestra somewhere in the Southeastern Wisconsin area, and do something more with my music degree and knowledge than I’ve been able to do for the past seven years.  I’ve wanted to play regularly for several years, while my health just wouldn’t allow; the hope is that my health will hold out so I can play, and do some teaching, and pick up some music-related jobs to go along with the freelance editing and the attempts to get a story or two sold (much less continue my attempts to place ELFY or decide to self-publish it if all else fails).

The one advantage I have over someone else is this: I do not give up.  I just refuse to do that.  I may have to gather and regather my strength; I may have to take long breaks (in this case, several years in duration).  But I will not give up because I know in my heart what my talents are, and what I need to do in order to create things of worth and value in this world.  Providing I do whatever I can do on any given day to advance myself toward one of my goals, I’m happy, or at least as happy as possible, considering.


By the way, if anyone knows a kid or adult in southeastern Wisconsin who wants a teacher for the saxophone or the clarinet, drop me a line.  If I can’t help you for whatever reason, I should be able to steer you to someone who can.

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Ill; Watching Brewers in Post-season

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For the past several days, I’ve been battling some sort of sinus issue, so getting up to watch the Milwaukee Brewers in post-season play was difficult even though it’s a real “happening” here in Wisconsin (partially due to its rarity; this is only the second time the Brewers have made the post-season since 1982).

While I’m not feeling at all up to snuff, I have to wonder what it’s like to play baseball when you aren’t feeling well, especially when it’s post-season time.  For example, Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy admitted that he wasn’t feeling particularly well (he was quite hoarse) on the Brewers pre-game show carried by the Brewers Radio Network (I listen on the “flagship” station, WTMJ-AM 620 in Milwaukee), also with some sort of sinus issue.  Lucroy called it a “cold,” but if it’s anything like what I’ve been dealing with for several days, it’s not a minor problem — it causes a great deal of fatigue, it’s hard to breathe, and it has definitely gotten in my way.

Lucroy is catching his first major league baseball post-season game ever; to be ill while doing something so exciting must be intensely frustrating.  But so far, you’d never know he’s ill unless you listened to the Brewers pre-game show as the national announcers certainly haven’t said word one about it.

As for anything else, so far it looks like Brewers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo is on his game; after a problematic first inning (where no runs scored only because Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun threw out an Arizona runner at home plate), he’s settled down and looks as good as I’ve seen him all year.  Which is good, because the Brewers’ bats have thus far been rather quiet; the only rally we’ve had so far was in the second inning due to a walk to Rickie Weeks and an infield hit to Jerry Hairston, Jr., who’s playing in place of the light-hitting Casey McGehee at third (while Weeks is in his customary place at second).

Anything can happen in the post-season . . . heck, anything can happen in baseball, as was shown on Wednesday night with some of the wildest season-ending games in baseball history.  But what I’d like to see are good, solid games that feature the Brewers at their best, with their pitchers and hitters both doing well. 

I know the Brewers’ opponent, the Arizona Diamondbacks, are a tough team with excellent outfield defense and better infield defense than the Brewers have; the D-backs also have quite a few home run hitters (they’re similar to the Brewers in that) and much better than average pitching.  But I believe if the Brewers play their best, they will vanquish Arizona; now, it’s just up to the Brewers to do what they do best, not have any mental let-downs, and play their game.  Providing they do that, I will be content.


Personal update stuff:

As for me, despite feeling terrible, I managed to get a story off to the Writers of the Future contest yesterday about eight hours before the 9/30/11 11:59 PST deadline (no idea how good or bad the story is, but at least I finished it and sent it off).  I did some editing this week, too, and wrote one review last night; that, and this blog, and a few others on Wednesday (when I was feeling a little better) will probably have to stand for my writerly output this weekend unless something really outrageous, outlandish, or upsetting happens.

Mind you, that doesn’t mean the rest of my life just stops, but it does have to slow down when I feel like this.   (Live to fight another day, and all that.  Or in my case, write another day.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm