Tag Archives: Milwaukee Brewers

Q&A: Biking for Baseball – Matt Stoltz is cycling to all 30 MLB ballparks; Nationals Park on August 3

Matt Stoltz is cycling to all 30 ballparks this season for the charity Biking for Baseball. He’ll be at the Monday, August 3 Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks game. Recently, he answered several questions about his journey.

WFY: What compels a man to embark on an 11,000 bicycle ride to see every ballpark?

B4B: I love baseball, I love biking, and love youth mentoring. Combining all the efforts really turns it into something special and provides an opportunity to really make a difference. I’ve always wanted to visit all 30 MLB ballparks and doing so by bicycle represented a challenge that I couldn’t pass up. On top of that, raising awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters and youth mentoring really presents the opportunity to help bring attention to a noteworthy cause.

WFY: How long did you spend mapping your transcontinental route? Have you been able to stick to it?

B4B: It took a good while to figure out the logistics of the trip. Obviously, the team has to be home when you pull into town in order to attend a game. Thus far, I’ve been able to keep to the schedule and haven’t had any delays [knock on wood]. The route has had some difficulties with weather while riding in the form of snow, flooding, lightning, and the like, however, I’ve been fortunate not to have had
any postponed games.

WFY: Tell us about the charity you are supporting through your ride, Biking for Baseball.

B4B: Biking for Baseball works alongside the motto that every kid needs a coach. Whether that be a teacher, parent, coach, whomever, we realize the importance of youth mentoring in the lives of youth. We encourage people to sign up to become mentors, to make a difference in a life of a youth, and really help change a life! We also encourage people to donate directly to Biking for Baseball as well work to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee, and assist us in supporting youth mentoring programs!

WFY: How much training did you do before beginning the trip?

B4B: I did a lot of training before the trip on a stationary bike through the Wisconsin winter. However, nothing really prepares you for the real thing. You just gotta get out and start riding. After you do that, everything else will fall into place.

WFY: Which has been the most challenging part of the ride thus far?

B4B: The Month from Hell as I dubbed it was undoubtedly the most challenging. I had to ride 3,050 miles in 29 days to make it to each ballpark in time. That’s crazy! I was exhausted, tired, and drained, but I made it in time to every ballpark!

WFY: For the gear heads, what do you ride?

B4B: I ride a Novara Randonee, it’s held up pretty well considering all the miles that have been ridden on it! Can’t complain!

WFY: Why doesn’t MLB more aggressively market bicycle jerseys? I know they briefly sold them, but I didn’t get one in time.

B4B: I’m not sure. It sure would be cool, and if this trip proves anything it demonstrates that there are a lot of baseball and biking fans out there! You hear that MLB? Make those jerseys!

WFY: Which ballpark has been the most bicycle friendly thus far?

B4B: Most bicycle friendly? I would have to say San Francisco. But that’s a really tough one.

WFY: How many of the ballparks had you been to prior to this trip?

B4B: I had only been to five. AT&T Park, Marlins Park, US Cellular, Wrigley, and Miller Park.

WFY: From time to time, I’ve done Q&As with fans of the teams the Washington Nationals were playing. What happened to the Milwaukee Brewers over the last few years? They seemed like the were on the edge of contention, but have generally been middle of the pack. What’s the best part about being a Breweres fan? What’s your favorite Racing Sausage?

B4B: As a small market team we aren’t able to keep our big name free agents, nor are we able to sign big name free agents. What you’ve seen recently is the results of signings of players who are just past their prime (Kyle Lohse, Matt Garza, Aramis Ramirez) and once they age all at once, you have a drastic fall off in production. Thus this year, and as you’ve seen recently we’ve made a number of trades to try to replenish the farm system and stay competitive for future years.

Best part of being a Brewers fan is the tailgating. Every game, rain, cold, snow, sleet, sunshine, whatever it maybe. You’ll find some fans tailgating. I’m always down for a bratwurst and some cheese curds.

Hot dog. Always the hot dog. Most aerodynamic suit, thus the greatest chance of winning the race.

WFY: When do you get to DC? Are there any events scheduled?

Yeah, I’ll get to DC tomorrow, and there are some big pregrame events scheduled at local bars to help raise money and awareness for Biking for Baseball. Check out Half Street Irregulars on Twitter for the details!

WFY: I’m looking forward to biking over there Monday night!

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Just one Nats-Brewers question with @LeavittDC

I’m really busy and haven’t gotten to offer many All-Star break #halftakes on the Washington Nationals. Wisconsin expatriate @LeavittDC isn’t even in the country right now, so he’s spending even less time focusing on the Nats or the Milwaukee Brewers. I still needed to get one burning question in with the DC series starting this evening.

WFY: Is having to cold call people and apologize for using PEDs is a bigger deterrent than suspension, fines and loss of reputation?

@LeavittDC: I’d make a lot of unpleasant phone calls for $105 million. He’s handled things very well, though. I suspect the phone call that was even more awkward — although, again, he can cry into his pile of money — was the one from Aaron Rodgers announcing that their friendship and business partnership was over. I don’t know how dear the 8-Twelve MVP Bar & Grill was to Ryan, but that public divorce had to have been awkward. Back to your question, it’s not a deterrent, clearly, but if players knew they are risking not only their professional reputation but personal friendships… crap, I can’t finish that sentence. They’d cheat anyway.

* * *

We’ll try to do better next season, but let’s not forget the most important thing:

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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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