Dear Ken Macha

True Stories (52-53)

By - Aug 3rd, 2009 12:46 am


Dear Ken Macha,

There’s been an especially heavy air of futility hanging over your starting rotation as of late.  Grand slams, based loaded walks, arm injuries — what did we do to deserve all this? But I know what you’re saying, Ken: who would have thought you’d need extra pitching when you have Jeff Suppan throwing every fifth day and a shifty drifter named Michael John Burns who keeps sneaking back into the rotation whenever you turn around? Unfortunately for you, just about everyone.

A split series against the Washington Nationals and a series loss against the San Diego Padres helped to push the Crew four and a half games back in the NL Central division chase and under .500 for the first time since April 27th. Thankfully, Doug Melvin traded for Claudio Vargas, ensuring that fans will have more than enough time during his appearances to ponder their deepest and darkest feelings about the uninspiring play they’re undoubtedly witnessing. I fear for the livers of Milwaukee’s faithful when Claudio makes his first appearance at Miller Park since 2007.

Rather than focus on the lackluster trade for Claudio, the meandering offense, the collapsing pitching rotation or the conveniently placed rumors of a failed “blockbuster” trade that makes it sound as though Doug Melvin was this close to pulling off TEH GREATEST TRADE EVAH1!, I’m going to take this opportunity to drop some knowledge on you, Ken.

Now that you’ve successfully made it past the trade deadline without being dealt in a multi-player deal with Cleveland involving another hefty starting pitcher and several foreclosed homes, it’s time to fill you in on the secret history of the Milwaukee Brewers. You probably aren’t aware of any of the ridiculously true facts you’re about to read, Ken, but that’s because we Brewer fans are very reluctant to divulge this information to our managers until they’re able to remain employed for longer than one-half season. That means you can’t pass these incredible tales onto Dale Sveum — 12 games at the helm does not earn Dale a seat at this very special tableside reading of the Brewernomicon.

But enough with the build up, here’s several anecdotes about the Brewers that you may not have ever considered to be possible or even true!

FACT! Robin Yount’s historic trip around County Stadium on a Honda XR500 dirt bike to celebrate the losing of the 1982 World Series is an image burned into the minds, and screen-printed onto the shirts, of many a Milwaukeean. What you may not be aware of, Ken, is that Rockin’ Robin’s historic ride was this close to never happening! It’s true!

Manager Harvey Keunn had originally choreographed a team dance to “Abracadabra,” by “Milwaukee’s tolerated son” Steve Miller.  At the last minute Yount decided that Steve Miller’s mix of blues rock and magic was terrible and he no longer wanted anything to do with the highly technical dance number Harvey had spent most of game 7 choreographing. Keunn kept his disappointment to himself, but Steve Miller’s sadness was clear as day for all to see, and he was never able to write music or produce bad music videos at the same level again. How can this not be known by all?!

BONUS 1982 FACT! “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson was borne out of the King of Pop’s frustration with Brewers pitcher Bob McClure’s performance during game 7 of the 1982 World Series (Why! Why!). Steve Porcaro of Toto was able to channel Jackson’s fiery rage at McClure into the tender ballad we all know and love.

FACT! Steve Sparks did not actually hurt himself attempting to tear a phone book in half during a motivational speech in 1994. He actually hurt himself attempting to glue the phone book back together for the next day’s motivational seminar. Does this knowledge surprise you, Ken?!

BONUS 1995 FACT! Mike Fetters developed body image issues thanks to then Brewer and former Cincinnati Red “Nasty Boy,” Rob Dibble. During one of Dibble’s infamous temper tantrums, an unwitting Fetters entered the Brewer’s clubhouse holding a full bag of George Webb. The rest, as they say, is history!

FACT! During especially quiet moments, when you stand on home plate at Helfaer Field you can still hear the sound of Rob Deer striking out. Have you heard that sound, Ken?!

BONUS ROB DEER FACT! Playing in his final season with the Detroit Tigers, Rob Deer challenged Cecil Fielder to a contest — whoever struck out the most over the course of the season would get to rename the first born child of the runner up. After a fiercely contested battle all season long, and in spite of Rob Deer receiving 300 fewer plate appearances, Rob Deer’s son was renamed Cecil in a special ceremony at Tigers Stadium officiated by manager and famed notary public, Sparky Anderson. This would be Prince’s first clue that his father’s proclivity to gamble would end up costing him more than just the chance to be renamed “Deer Fielder.”

If you keep up the losing, Ken, I’m afraid you’re going to have to learn even more about the untold history of the Brewers that you cannot possibly handle.  When there’s no good news to write, sometimes you’ve got to make it up.

Let’s hope the rest of your California adventure is a tangerine dream and that Corey Hart’s appendix is the real reason for the team’s recent putridness. I’m still pulling for you, Ken.

Best Regards,

Rob Vosters

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