Long-time guest prognosticator @LeavittDC is back talking about the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers series.
WFY: Up until recently, the Milwaukee Brewers 2012 season was left for dead, right? Now, they are 2.5 games out of the second play-in spot. How have they done it?
@LeavittDC: Yes, it’s 2.5 games but there are two teams ahead of them. Still, they were 12.5 back a month ago. Ryan Braun is having another MVP-caliber season and Yovani Gallardo has clearly stepped up. But I don’t really know how to explain the comeback. I guess it helped to play a zillion games against the fading Pirates.
WFY: How tough was it losing Prince Fielder? Did him going to another Midwestern market make it tougher than if he had gone to a big, Northeast Corridor or West Coast market? Did you want him on the Nats if the Brewers weren’t an option?
@LeavittDC: Most Brewers fans expected him to go. And without putting much thought into it, most probably assumed the Yankees. But the last thing the Yankees needed was another first baseman — in hindsight it makes sense that the Tigers would try to make a splash by throwing around that kind of money. And it wasn’t a random Midwestern team. It was the team and city where his father made a name for himself.
WFY: How is Ryan Braun doing without Fielder in the lineup? Oh and that other thing that came up in the offseason, did the fallout last into the season?
@LeavittDC: You mean when he was accused but acquitted of any wrongdoing? I’m certain it motivated him to prove to people that he’s clean. I hope I don’t come off as a San Francisco Giants fan blindly ignoring facts about Barry Bonds, but I believe Braun when he says he’s clean.
WFY: Do you miss Zack Grinke? Do you think he made a good decision to decline a trade to D.C. and go to Milwaukee? Looks like he might have blown it again getting traded to Anaheim.
@LeavittDC: Poor guy. I liked him a lot. But as Jerry Seinfeld said when you’re a sports fan, you root for the clothing. Next man in.
WFY: I haven’t heard about Nyjer Morgan lately, is he having his typical sophomore slump with a new team?
@LeavittDC: Guys like that are nice to have around on losing teams when you need something else to focus on. But he’s been a largely forgettable player.
WFY: We all know of Bob Uecker for his wit, but how is he as a broadcaster?
@LeavittDC: Uecker is the greatest. Grew up listening to him every day in the summer — except for when he took in-season breaks to film “Mr. Belvedere.” I’m delighted that he has a competitive team to broadcast.
WFY: Where do you get your Brewers coverage?
@LeavittDC: It’s funny. I suppose I follow the Nats through local blogs, etc., but for some reason I’m a mainstream media guy for the Brewers and stick with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
WFY: It seems that whenever the Nats head to Milwaukee, people constantly reference Laverne & Shirley and Alice Cooper in Wayne’s World. Does it trouble you that similar things don’t happen when they visit other cities? Nobody seems to hey, the Nats are in San Diego, let’s get the Three’s Company video up,” “heading to San Francisco to play the Giants, let’s listen to Full House, “oh, the Nats are visiting the Dodgers, let’s cue up the What’s Happening theme” etc…
@LeavittDC: We flyover states are used to that type of demeaning characterization. But now that you mention it, I think people should fire up the “Perfect Stranger” clips during Cubs games.
WFY: I’ve heard from several people that Milwaukee is a fantastic city. Do you agree and can you elaborate on what makes Milwaukee great?
@LeavittDC: What’s not to like? It’s right on Lake Michigan. It has a fantastic art museum that looks like this. It has an amazing annual music festival called SummerFest. And it’s a bunch of people who like to drink beer and eat cheese.
WFY: Is Mr. 3000 the best movie featuring the Brewers? Does it hurt that Major League was filmed in Milwaukee but about the Indians?
@LeavittDC: Huh. No, we were just thrilled they were filming at County Stadium. I wanted to show up and be an extra, but I couldn’t make it happen.
WFY: Which alternate jersey do you like best, Cerveceros or Bierbrauer? Those two line up well with the chorizo and bratwurst Racing Sausages, and there was a “Birrai” jersey to go with the Italian sausage this season. Why isn’t there a Polish jersey though?
@LeavittDC: Meh. Those jerseys seem gimmicky to me. They should just stick with the brilliant glove logo and be done with it.
WFY: Who takes this series and the season series? Bigger question — who do you want to win?
— David I. Leavitt (@LeavittDC) September 21, 2012
@LeavittDC: I’d like to see the Brewers get the wild card slot. But I was at Nats Park last night when they won to clinch the city’s first playoff baseball in 79 years and noticed something: there was hardly a celebration. Very muted. It told me this team is focused on something bigger and isn’t satisfied to merely show up for a playoff game. Look out, NL.