Wisconsin is waiting ’till next year

Thank you Republicans for Major League Baseball in October

Well, hell and damn. Haven’t the Dodgers had more than their fair share of glory? Couldn’t the Gods of baseball have turned that double play in the sixth inning, right before Yasiel Puig hit the playoff series’ only three-run home run? Couldn’t that long fly ball off the bat of Christian Yelich have fallen just outside Chris Taylor’s glove? Would have tied the game, 2-2. And please do not pinch hit for Josh Hader while the phenom still has plenty of gas in the tank. Not in the middle innings, anyway.

Sabermetrics will tell you a lot, Craig Counsell, but sometimes you got to go with the hot hand. That was not Jeremy Jeffress in the playoffs. (He was an All-Star reliever. What happened?)

Had standing room-only tickets for Game 2 in Milwaukee, the one where Jeffress blew Wade Miley’s good work. Win that game and Wisconsin is celebrating the first pennant since 1982. (BTW: my godfather and uncle Cy Blaska married Grace Counsell of Oconomowoc, a cousin.)


But who(m) am I to criticize? Counsell is manager of the year, mostly pushing the right buttons all year. Meshing millionaire egos into one living organism, a team. An embarrassment of riches in the infield and the outfield but shy on starting pitching. And for rewriting the book on managing a game. 

Thanks for the rememberies

Crushing the Cubs in a winner-take-all at Wrigley might have been enough. Cherishing my blue & yellow “Crew Runs Deep” hanky. And the neat division champion caps Your Squire and Number #1 Son bought at Miller Park. Tom Oates, you are correct: the Brewers are very well positioned for next season. Might even have two new superstar pitchers, Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff. (Got to suck to be left off the playoff roster. Are Eric Thames and Chase Anderson trade bait? Along with Jonathan — too many infielders — Schoop?) 

Taylor’s catch and Cody Bellinger’s belly slide catch in Game 5 and the work of Lorenzo Cain in center field underscore how defense wins games, as long as the bat is respectable. That is why Orlando Arcia and Keon Broxton are the future of the Brewers.

Then there’s the feel-good story of Eric Kratz, age 38 and a lifelong journeyman player. Is he living the dream? Happened to catch where Kratz reminded Big Papi that they were teammates on the Red Sox. (Doubt he ever knew.) For two days. Didn’t get into a game. “But I got a jersey.”

Someday the Brewers will need a replacement for national treasure Bob Uecker. I nominate Eric Kratz. 

Play Ball Schimming

In 1995, Brian Schimming was chief of staff to David Prosser when the latter was Speaker of the Assembly. (That’s Schimming in white shirt and tie at upper right.) His newspaper is signed by Robin Young, Hank Aaron, Bud Selig, and a 4th illegible. (Today, Schimming runs WHEDA.) 

Remember George Petak?

Is this that politics-free blogge America has been demanding? Sorry. Can’t resist. There would be no major league baseball in Milwaukee without Bud Selig, of course. But understand this: there would be no baseball in Milwaukee without State Sen. George Petak, Assembly Speaker David Prosser, and Tommy Thompson. There would be no baseball in Wisconsin without Republicans.

Milwaukee County Stadium was crumbling in MLB’s smallest market. The Brewers needed a new stadium — with a roof to draw fans from 100 miles out, assured they would see a game at any time of the year. One in which the team would have some ownership, so that the franchise had concrete foundations it could not relocate in a more attractive market.

Wisconsin has the Milwaukee Brewers no thanks to the Democrats. Came across this from Craig Peterson, president and CEO of the  ZigmanJoseph pr company; he writes:

One vote does matter. On the morning of game seven of the NLCS, it’s important to remember that on October 6, 1995, the fate of the Milwaukee Brewers came down to one night, one vote, and one state senator who had the political courage to save Major League Baseball in Wisconsin. On that night, following a 16-hour debate on a controversial bill to fund Miller Park, Senator George Petak changed his vote at the last second when he realized the bill was going to fail by one vote, and the Milwaukee Brewers would leave Wisconsin.

That one vote cost George his job as his constituents recalled him nine months later. Now try to imagine had George not taken that vote. No Miller Park. No Milwaukee Brewers. And no sense of the excitement, common bond and pride that Major League Baseball brings to a community. So George, thank you for casting that vote twenty-three years ago. The country will be watching your legacy tonight. God bless George Petak!

Now, the 1/1,024th good gummint goo goo in me recognizes that there is good cause for judicially invalidating a tax imposed by the State on only five of the state’s 72 counties. (“Baseball is here to stay because of Miller Park.”

Does baseball really matter? Or any sports, for that matter? Craig Peterson just answered that question.


About David Blaska

Madison WI
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2 Responses to Wisconsin is waiting ’till next year

  1. old baldy says:

    “But who(m) am I to criticize?” Exactly my thoughts.


  2. Leo says:

    In addition to George petak, Wisconsin needs to remember that it was Tommy Thompson who went to bat for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1995 Without Petak and Thompson, there would likely
    not have been any Brewer fever in Wisconsin in 2018. Etarnal thanks to both men.


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