Tag Archives: Milwaukee Brewers

2013 Nats vs. Brewers Q&A and prediction with @LeavittDC

The second half of the 2013 Washington Nationals season begins tonight with a four game series featuring the Milwaukee Brewers. I’ve asked Wisconsin native, @LeavittDC to contribute to another Q&A again, a record-breaking 7th time if you include those Penn State vs. Wisconsin previews back in the day. To the questions!

WFY: I ran into a family of Brewers fans this weekend on the Duquesne Incline – they were in Pittsburgh following the Brewers and are headed to DC this week (we were there for a wedding). They didn’t seem to excited about the 2013 Brewers. What’s going on with Brewers this year?

@LeavittDC: Blah, it’s no fun being in last place. I know a lot of Brewers fans who are getting itchy for football season to start.

WFY: How do you feel about the overall direction of the franchise? Did they max out with a couple of playoff appearances during Prince Fielder’s time with the team?

@LeavittDC:These questions are depressing me. There are some bright spots, but no team in baseball is further out of first place than the Brewers and it’s hard to see past that right now.

WFY: Do the Brewers put as much effort into their Racing Mascots as the Nats do? Do the sausages overshadow Bernie Brewer like the racing Presidents overshadow Screech. Why haven’t they come to DC yet? Are they afraid a half-smoke will show up and beat them?

@LeavittDC:That’s a clown question, bro. I mean, why haven’t the presidents come to Miller Park yet? Miller Park has pretty good beer options, like Spotted Cow from the New Glarus Brewing Company, which is a true gem. And evidently they just unveiled something called Bernie’s Barrelman Ale, which is made by Leinenkugels (a iller brand).

WFY: Milwaukee is one of the smallest MLB markets, yet the Brewres routinely draw in the top half of the NL, how do they do it?

@LeavittDC: Good question. I don’t know. But it’s clearly a credit to the stadium experience and the atmosphere that Mark Attanasio has brought to the team.

Since the two leagues were realigned to each have 15 teams this season, would you have preferred the Brewers go back to the AL instead of the Houston Astros? Do you miss fattening up the record on the Stros?

@LeavittDC: It was going to be weird either way, but the Brewers traditionally (if you can use that word for a team that is still pretty new in the context of baseball history, even if you include the one Seattle Pilot season) were in the AL so I had hoped they’d be the ones to switch.

WFY: Laverne or Shirley?

@LeavittDC:You brought up Lavern and Shirley last year, and seemed to sympathize with the fact that outsiders commonly fall back on that reference with Milwaukee. Now you’re turning on me? Editor’s note: Remember when I asked a similar question during my Twins Q&A? I was prepared to ask “Blanche, Dorothy, Rose or Sophia?” ifthe Marlins Q&A happened.

WFY: Apparently, the Brewers uniforms this year have included the following: home whites; road grays; home pinstriped throwbacks; home golds; home blues; road blues; Negro League throwbacks; minor league throwbacks (for a game in Minnesota); home whites with camouflage lettering; and home golds with Spanish-language “Cerveceros” lettering, red jerseys with Polish-langauage “Piwowarzy.” Are they overdoing it? Why did it take so long to get a Polish uniform? What about the YOUniform? I liked the jersey.

@LeavittDC: I wish teams had fewer uniforms. And of course I love the throwback glove ones for the Brewers. But I do like the Spanish- and Polish-language alternatives as a nod to the fanbase.

WFY: Toughest playoff defeat – 2008 Brewers, 2011 Brewers, 2012 Nats?

@LeavittDC: It always sucks to lose. But sometimes it’s truly just a great achievement to make the playoffs. Baseball isn’t like the NBA or NHL where half-way decent team makes the playoffs. I’m proud of the recent Brewers playoff teams. Sure, I’m proud of the 2012 Nats too, but they had a real chance at making a deep run — losing to the Cardinals was crushing. Also, I was in the stands for the Nats-Cards Game 5, which makes that one 900 times worse.

WFY: Who takes the series and why? Are you rooting for the Nats, who are still in contention, straight up?

@LeavittDC: Weather permitting, I’ll be in a suite tonight rooting for the Nats. #Natitude

WFY:Thanks, @LeavittDC, I’ll have better questions for the Skins vs. Packers this fall.

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Rough weekend for Nats, who try to salvage Brewers series at 1:05 today

With the Eastern division crown seemingly little more than a formality, the Washington Nationals continued down stretch by losing two of three to the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend.

FRIDAY

A strong Edwin Jackson start turns into a 4-2 loss after Tyler Clippard blows the save and gives up 3 runs in the ninth.

SATURDAY

Up 10-2 in the seventh, Gio Gonzalez feel flat on his face.

He finished the strikeout, earned win number 20. I need to find the Bob Uecker play-by-play of the pitch.

The Brewers added two late for a 10-4 final.

SUNDAY

Chein Ming Wang
started and did fairly well. However, Bryce Harper lost a ball in the sun (CSN Washington) and cost the Nats two runs.

Guuuhhhh.

Wang doubled too, which is worth watching.

Nats tied it up, but Ryan Mattheus got lit up like a firework and the Nats lost 6-2.

TODAY

The finale is at 1:05 p.m. Day baseball! I’ll be there. Hopefully, they’ll not lose any balls in the sun. Jordan Zimmerman for DC, Marco Estrada for “The Good Land.”

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Nats vs. Brewers Q&A and prediction with @LeavittDC

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?

@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.

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I should probably be tired of this gag now

Yup, the Washington Nationals are head to Milwaukee for 3 games against the Brewers, starting at 8:10 p.m. tonight. Then again at the same time on Tuesday and joy of joys, a day game on Wednesday at 1:10 p.m.

In fairness, I think I have to start posting the “What’s Happening” theme whenever the Nats visit the Los Angeles Dodgers, “Ironsides” when they visit the San Francisco Giants and “Three’s Company” when they go to play the San Diego Padres. Maybe, Mr. Belvedere for those Pittsburgh trips.

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Nats vs. Brewers Q&A with David I. Leavitt

David I. Leavitt, who tweets at @LeavittDC, has been a Nats fan for six years and a Brewers fan for 34 years. You may remember him from the Redskins vs. Packers Q&A last football season and several Penn State vs. Wisconsin previews (2008 2007 2006). We address on a variety of topics, including who the current Washingtonian is rooting for this weekend, former Brewers owner and current MLB commissioner Bud Selig and a recent trade between the two teams.

WFY: The expectations around the Milwaukee Brewers seem fairly high this season but newly-acquired Zack Grienke is only signed for two years and if I am not mistaken, Prince Fielder is in his final year. Are you eager about the 2011 Brew Crew or has anxiety about the future tempered your enthusiasm?

DL: It’s true that expectations are high for the Brewers this year. Zack Grienke and Shaun Marcum are important additions to a team that has finished in the bottom three in the NL in runs allowed the last two seasons. With Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks becoming free agents at the end of the season, it seems like now would be the year to make a run. And we seemed to have been everyone’s favorite sleeper pick to be a division winner.

Having said that, it’s still the Brewers. I mean, when Grienke went down with a broken rib while playing in a pickup basketball game, I’m sure I wasn’t alone in thinking: “Of course he did.”

WFY: What is your take on the Nyjer Morgan trade?

DL: I rooted for him, but he made it hard for me. And I didn’t appreciate him saying that D.C. isn’t a good baseball town, as if a “real” baseball city would have appreciated him more. I mean, I saw it with my own eyes: he never got on base and was a terrible base-runner when he did get on base. Evidently real baseball cities love centerfielders with an on base percentage of .317, slugging percentage of .314 and a league-leading 17 caught stealings. By the way, my spell-check doesn’t think “stealings” is a word. That’s how rare it is. And he had 17 of them.

WFY: From afar, the people of Wisconsin seem very passionate about the Green Bay Packers and the Wisconsin Badgers. Are the Brewers similarly beloved? I got the feeling that the nostalgia for the Milwaukee Braves was stronger than the Brewers. By the way, I think Milwaukee Brewers is one of the best names in sports.

DL: Well that’s not really fair. The Packers have won 13 NFL championships! The Badgers are a state-wide institution! Meanwhile, the Brewers showed up in 1970 from Seattle and have made the playoffs only three times in 40 years.

WFY: The Brewers have played in 4 different divisions and moved to the National League in the late 1990s. Between the Braves and Brewers, I think Milwaukee has been in each league for about the same number of seasons by now. Was their a general consensus amongst the fanbase on the move to the NL? How did you feel about then and now?

DL: Yeah, moving to the NL was weird. It gave them a nice rivalry with the Cubs, but the other divisional match-ups (Reds and Astros, in particular) feel forced. It’s hard to just flip a switch and stop thinking that the Brewers should be playing the Twins and Tigers instead. It would be as if Redskins fans are told they have to suddenly care about a new rivalry with the Bengals. Starting… now!

And the whole thing happened of course because of Bud Selig had to figure out a way to add one team to each league (the Diamondbacks and the Devil Rays) without resulting in an odd number of teams. His solution was easy to push through since he was simultaneously MLB commissioner and Milwaukee’s owner. Wow — just typing that sentence makes me realize how little we appreciated the craziness of that situation.

Incidentally, most Brewers fans were thrilled when Selig’s daughter sold the team in 2004. Owner Mark Attanasio has been great for the team.

WFY: Were you disappointed that Bernie Brewer stopped sliding into a mug of beer after home runs? That was way better than riding along the warning track on an ATV like some mascots do. Even without the beer slide, I’d put Bernie in the top 3 MLB mascots though.

DL: Well, he still has the slide, but it doesn’t end in a mug of beer. And sliding into home plate, as he does now, is still pretty cool. But maybe it will return. After all, the slide went away completely from 1984 to 1993 before making a comeback.

WFY: You have been in D.C. since the Nats arrived and have been a fan. Who are you the bigger fan of though, the Brewers or the Nats? have you gone back and forth over the last six years?

DL: I’m hopelessly conflicted (see photo from last year’s match-up at Nats Park).

WFY: On the whole, I like the Brewers uniforms. The cap is distinct with the barley sprig under the “M” and the Brewers script is pleasing enough, but I have two problems with the kit — no city name on the road jerseys and the Times New Roman-like numbers look like somebody put the Brewers logo in MS Word and used the default font. Can you defend those two decisions or are you just going to advocate for the old ball and glove “mb” logo?

DL: The glove/MB logo is the best in all of sports. By far.

WFY: A previous guest prognosticator claimed Miller Park is the best ballpark. What makes Miller Park great? How was County Stadium?

DL: Miller Park is probably bigger than it should have been. I’m probably the only one on the planet who misses the old County Stadium. I can’t help it. It’s what I grew up with. It’s where the 1987 Brewers played, perhaps my favorite team that I’ve ever rooted for. I like where we’re headed with new sports stadiums, though. The Minnesota park is small, which was a great decision on their part. Ballparks should be small and intimate.

WFY: What is your opinion of former Brewers owner Bud Selig’s tenure as MLB commissioner? How has it evolved, particularly in relation to his dealings with D.C.?

DL: I believe he means well. But that’s pretty much the only nice thing I have to say about him.

WFY: Why haven’t the Racing Sausages accepted an invitation to race the Racing Presidents? Which racing sausage is your favorite? Which racing president?

DL: Huh. I wasn’t aware that the sausages have been snubbing the presidents.

Milwaukee’s sausage race is a great tradition. (And newer than people think: it had been a simple scoreboard diversion until 1995 when it became live-action.) I root for the chorizo. I suppose I don’t have a favorite racing president, but I think it’s a missed opportunity that we don’t mix up the contestants at Nats Park.

You’re telling me it wouldn’t be compelling to see a race between Romney, Gingrich, Bachman and Trump? You don’t think it would be fun to relive old presidential races and have Clinton mix it up with Dole or have Nixon face Kennedy? And what about a vice presidential race pitting Mondale, Quayle, Gore and Cheney?

Find me the person who would look away for one second during those races.

WFY: How do you see this series playing out and who wins the season series, D.C. or Milwaukee?

DL: I haven’t seen the scheduled pitching match-ups yet for this series. But I’m going to go with Milwaukee to win both this series and the season series.

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Nyjer Morgan to Brewers; Nats get Cutter Dykstra

P8310508
BREAKING: Per @washingnats Nyjer Morgan has been traded from the Washington Nationals for Cutter Dykstra. Yes, he’s Lenny Dykstra’s son. At the very least, the trade has to be addition by subtraction. It is too bad it didn’t work out, because Morgan’s play in 2009 made that season a lot more interesting for a couple of months.

UPDATE: Here is the conclusion I reached when Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan were traded for Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett:

I have a feeling that this will ultimately be a trade that does little to change the fortunes of two struggling franchises and the final conclusion will be something like “meh.”

Pretty much, though on the whole, I think that trade worked out better for the Nats than the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I am not crazy about Rick Ankiel being the centerfielder though. This team needs to develop a real centerfielder or go and get one.

PRESS RELEASE:

NATIONALS ACQUIRE INF CUTTER DYKSTRA FROM BREWERS

IN EXCHANGE FOR CF NYJER MORGAN

The Washington Nationals this morning acquired infielder Cutter Dykstra and cash considerations from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for center fielder Nyjer Morgan. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Dykstra was selected by Milwaukee in the second round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and has a .374 on-base percentage with 49 stolen bases in three minor-league seasons. Recently tabbed the eighth-best prospect in the Brewers organization by Hardballtimes, Dykstra was rated the second-best prospect in the Single-A Pioneer League and seventh-best Brewers prospect by industry-insider Baseball America following the 2008 season.

Morgan, 30, batted .253 with 24 RBI and 34 stolen bases in 136 contests last season with Washington.

Earlier today: The Ryan Zimmerman doomsday clock is a year away

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Strasburg is intense; Nats aren’t as Brewers sweep; Barn shoutout

The Milwaukee Brewers swept the Washington Nationals this weekend. It was an disappointing series. First some interesting, less depressing stuff than the gamers:

Homer off of Stephen Strasburg at your own perilDave Shenin of The Post has part IV of his series on Stephen Strasburg. His wife (then fiancee was asked to describe him in one word by their pastor — “intensity”). Since 2007, when Strasburg was a freshman closer for San Diego State, Strasburg has allowed a total of only 15 home runs, the most recent of which was Torres’s.

Of those 15 batters, two never faced Strasburg again. The other 13? The next time they faced him, they went a combined 1 for 12 (the one hit being a dribbler to second for an infield single) with eight strikeouts and one walk.

“You could see the difference in him,” said Ben Carruthers, who, as a senior second baseman for Texas Christian University, homered off Strasburg on March 27, 2009, Strasburg’s final year at San Diego State. “After my homer, he struck out seven of the next nine batters. He was just burying that slider. And when I got up again, he threw me three straight fastballs — 100 miles per hour, each of them. And I missed all three. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

So, maybe he needs to give up a solo homer early in every game?

Liván Hernández wants to say. Hey, I feel the same way! ¡LIVAN! and Strasburg are the only guys who have been winning lately (Nats Insider) http://natsinsider.blogspot.com/2010/07/strasburg-and-livo-and.html

SUNDAY

Adam Dunn, who didn’t start, went up to say hi to Bob Uecker during the game. Nationals News Network was not amused. Uecker just returend from sevearl months off due to heart surgery.

We’ll be hearing an awful lot about Dunn between now and Saturday, unless he signs an extension or gets traded. I still want him here.

Ross Detwiler made his first start of 2010. It did not go well. Final score 8-3, Brewers.

The Post: Washington Nationals lose to Milwaukee Brewers, 8-3
nationals.com: Morgan unable to help Nats avoid sweep

SATURDAY

Some weird about this game — the uncertainty of whether the Nats had scored. The scoreboard did not show that the first D.C. run had been scored, leading to confusion in the radio booth. Also, Collin Balestar got called up, I had not heard that prior to listening to the game coming back from a trip to Maryland, so I was shocked to hear his name. He went in for an injured J.D. Martin. It didn’t matter, the Nats lost again, though they tied it in the ninth at 3. Final score 4-3, Brewers.

The Post: Washington Nationals lose after Ryan Braun’s walk-off single in ninth lifts Brewers, 4-3
nationals.com: Up and down game ends with Crew on top

FRIDAY

Baseball on the Barn! While I was chasing my 2 year old around, Bob Carpenter mentioned MissChatter and her “farm.” Shockingly, Rob Dibble didn’t ruin the moment.

A big thanks to Gary Kriebel of Old Dominion Productions, LLC for getting that video up.

The Nats blew a 5-1 lead, rigth after we left for the evening. Jim Riggleman, overmanaged the game too. We better get used to it, he’s inked through 2011. Michael Morse hit 2 HRs, good for 4 RBI, got pulled in a double-switch. Final score 7-5, Brewers.

The Post: Washington Nationals blow four-run lead in 7-5 loss to Milwaukee Brewers
nationals.com: Edmonds gives Brewers the final say

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Jason Marquis gives up 7 runs; Brewers crush Nats 11-7

Jason Marquis, Nationals fall to Brewers, 11-7The Post
After expressing concern that some pitchers in the bullpen were not getting enough work, Jim Riggleman had to use it to get all 27 outs. He won’t make that mistake again. After the 1st inning though, only one run was scored.

Something is wrong with starter Jason Marquis, one of two major free agent signings this offseason. Yesterday, he gave up 7 earned runs without recording an out, raising his ERA to 20.52 and lowering his record to 0-3, worst among MLB starting pitchers. Marquis claims not to be hurt and went to the batting cage to practice pitching following his removal from the game.

For the 8th non-consecutive season in a row, situational hitting continues to be a problem for Washington*. The Nats had 16 hits off of Brewers pitching (including the nearly unwatchable starter Doug Davis; each pitch looks like a balk due to a slow and tedious wind-up) but stranded eight runners.

Ivan Rodriguez, your National League batting leaderThe Post
Three weeks into the season, the Nats other big offseason signing, Ivan Rodriguez, is leading in the National League in hitting. This probably isn’t sustainable, but watching him doubles seemingly daily has been a lot of fun.

Other notes:

Sunday’s lost sent the Nats back to .500 (6-6). They had already taken the Brewers series behind ¡LIVAN! on Saturday. Getting back over could be tough with the Colorado Rockies coming to town today.

The Nats wore their red curly W jerseys again. Don’t be surprised if they have new home whites next year, I’m half expecting the block NATIONALS to be replaced with script. The Natstown logo is another hint.

I guess 2011 will be the earliest that I “clinch” the National League. I think I’ve seen every team other than the Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds play the Nats since baseball returned to Washington. I’m pretty sure the Diamondbacks snuck in there at some point.

Why don’t the Brewers have “Milwaukee” on their road uniforms? That’s a jersey foul.

I like their caps though.

The Brewers numerals are terrible though, they look like Times New Roman in bold.

*I’m assuming the ’69 Senators hit okay — they were the last D.C. team with a winning record.

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Let us never again be excited about the Nats being above .500 this late

Make it three in a row for the Washington Nationals! They got their sixth curly W in the book this afternoon behind a complete game shutout over the Milwaukee Brewers from Liván Hernández — vintage ¡LIVAN! again. He’s unscored upon this season and the owner of 2 of the 3 Nats 2010 quality starts. John Lannan got the other last night in the Nats comeback win. I didn’t get to start watching last night until the middle of the 8th inning. The Nats came back and fell asleep on the couch and woke up to a win.

The Nats have now won their second series of the year and go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1:35. At the very least, I think I’ll have Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler on — its been so great listening to them this season, I’ve heard over half the games.

Also, Milwaukee won’t send their racing sausages to D.C. for the President’s Race, so the mascot team created cardboard box facsimiles (Let Teddy Win). There better be video of that race.

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