Nick's Notes header Nick's Notes

  • Just playing through

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Ever since "Back to the Future Part II," I have been waiting for the Hover Board to, no pun intended, take off.   

    Still waiting on that, but hover technology is potentially coming to a golf course near you, thanks to a Bubba Watson brain child.  We have got to get these around here!  I'd pay a greens fee just to drive that sucker around hole-to-hole and never swing a club:

     

  • 162-0…come on now!

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Everybody’s been laughing at me for my “162-0 is still possible” Brewers attitude.  But hey, when my team hasn’t been victorious on opening day since 2008, it’s fun to look at the standings and see 1-0.  And look at this way, we always take it “one game at a time,” so I’m not asking these guys to go 161-0 from this point forward, just 1-0.  Granted I’m asking for 161 1-0 days, but for the moment, we don’t have to think that far out.  Keep your eyes on tonight’s prize, for they ain’t defeated until they are.  Wrap your head around that for a second.

    Day 2 of “great” Brewerrs music comin’ at ya:

     

  • The Brewers' hot tub time machine

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Terry Cashman’s 1981 hit “Talkin’ Baseball” is arguably the most recognizable baseball song of all-time.  What many do not know is that, after its release, Cashman recorded versions specific to just about every MLB team. 

    In anticipation of the Crew’s opener this afternoon, here is Milwaukee’s version.  It’ll take you True Blue Brew Crew fans back to some great names:

     

  • Lost in translation?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Entrance music has been an integral part of the in-stadium Major League Baseball experience for a while now.  Once reserved merely for the closer role, now everybody gets a piece of the action.  I always love to learn the “walk-up” tunes selected by the players.  It’s sort of a glimpse into their personalities, and often they seemingly make no sense at all.  For example, in a word association-type deal, think on Craig Counsell.  Okay, you good?  Did Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” come to mind?  Probably not, but that's what he used.

    Our 2013 Milwaukee Brewers have locked in their final decisions, at least for now, and there is one HUGE head-scratcher for me – Norichika Aoki is goin’ with Flo Rida’s “Right Round.”  So, here’s the deal, Aoki is pretty English-challenged.  The Crew has a translator on staff for his purposes/needs.  Now, it’s a great beat…it’s a solid tune…a fine sample, but…ahh…he knows right?  The real, not-so-hidden meaning(s) behind the song?  Is he on-board, or has it been lost in translation?  Either way, it’s fantastic!  

    HERE is the complete list of the guys and their tracks.

  • T-Rats bringin' it again

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    New, expanded team store.  New club level.  New menu.  New mascot?

    This is one of my favorite stretches in the calendar, the logging of the final non-baseball days.  The heartbeat picks up steam, a smile begins to curl the corners of the mouth, the gait gets a little more up-tempo - this (for me anyway), is the true kick-off to spring. 

    We are incredibly fortunate in NE Wisconsin to be less than 2 hours away from the bigs at Miller Park and have a minor league team, our minor league team at that, right in our backyard.  Not only the chance to witness the next Milwaukee Brewers “before they were stars,” the Timber Rattlers bring their own unique presentation to what I have always regarded as the world’s finest game.  That presentation has gotten a massive face-lift since the conclusion of the 2012 campaign.

    If you have not ventured past the stadium in recent weeks, you’re gonna be in for a surprise.  From the entrance, it’s virtually unrecognizable.  Congratulations to the entire organization on what looks to be an incredible expansion.  And a big ol’ “job well done” to the fans, as well, who have continued to turn out each season to support a great product.

    Now, what’s the story with the Phillie Phanatic lookin' fella who mysteriously lurks in the background of the 18th installment video?  :)

  • 2014 video games already?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    So EA Sports is releasing Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 today…yeah, TODAY.  We’re not even a full 3 months into 2013 and we’re already releasing the 2014 version of this game?  Seems a little strange to me, like, at what point are we going to have a release that looks 2+ years out – not really 2 years, but like the December before so it looks like 2 years?  You know what I mean?  Anyway, I haven’t bought a video game in a few years, but the trailer for this one just might get me to pull the trigger:

  • I am not ashamed to admit it

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    I know since joining the team in January I have done little to combat the image that I am the second girl in the booth from 5-9am.  Sensitive – check.  Emotional – check.  In tune with my feminine side – check.  Crier – big check.

    And based on the response (but big thanks to my boys who had my back) to my professed love for the soap opera “The Young and the Restless,” I know I didn’t help myself this morning.  I won’t seek to change the minds of any who feels I have violated my man card, but I’m tellin’ ya, “Y&R” is solid TV.

    I started watching the soap with my wife a number of years ago.  And I’m not throwing her under the bus on this one.  Whipped as I may be, I am not so to the point that I must couch-up with her every night, regardless of the program on the tube.  If I don’t want to watch what she’s watching, I move…and she the same.  So though it began as a way to share in something that she enjoyed, I have no qualms with admitting pure delight in the program.  And by the way, I don’t think there’s anything unmanly about a dude who will watch something for which he cares not in order to give his lady a 60 minute escape from the real world.  :)

    But the show really is good – good writing, good characters, and though the plot twists contain plenty of the soap stereotypes, it doesn’t hitch itself solely to the gimmicks.  And the production value is solid.  It’s the only soap that doesn’t look like it was shot through a Vaseline lens.

    And here you go fellas - a little Milwaukee Brewers for your masculine palates.  Here’s the set-up:

    Y&R is based in the fictitious Wisconsin locale of Genoa City.  When we join this episode, Jack, who is running for Wisconsin Senate, is being prepped for a highly publicized photo op with some key members of (at the time) MLB’s feel good story, our own Milwaukee Brewers.  Phyllis, Jack’s ex and village pain-in-the-rear, unknowingly interrupts...and the hilarity ensues:

    So yeah, that was 2007, but other manly stuff has happened since then...I swear! 

    Funny how none of these dudes is with the Brewers any longer.  Not so funny was the fact that the Crew dropped 5 of 6 on that west coast road trip.  JJ Hardy and Bill Hall were a combined 8-39 at the plate.  Jeff Suppan and Chris Capuano combined for a 1-2 record and a 6.60 ERA.  Perhaps they were a little distracted.

  • Bingo!

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    America, the land of free speech.  Most people stop there, forgetting that with free speech comes responsibility.  You can call out "fire" in a crowded theater where there is no fire, but there will be a legal consequence to that action.  Apparently the same holds true for falsely proclaiming "bingo."  Just ask Austin Whaley, an 18-year-old Kentucky fella who has been barred by a judge from saying “bingo” for 6 months after he did precisely that last month.  Whaley did not have bingo but shouted out bingo, and now he’s the owner of a pretty second-degree disorderly conduct violation as well as the aforementioned banishment.

    It got me thinking of one of my favorite movie scenes from one of my favorite movies, “My Girl:”

     

  • GB gets LSU

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Here is Nikki Caldwell, the head women’s basketball coach at LSU.  The Phoenix women will attempt to make her cry on Sunday.

    Geeze, Nick...that's not nice.  Well...neither is sports.

    Now, it's not personal.  I have nothing against Nikki Caldwell.  I don't know Nikki Caldwell.  She's merely the target of my competitive ire as the face of the LSU women's basketball program.

    A lot is being made of the snub job (once again) by the selection committee as it pertains to UWGB.  I agree that I’m not sure what they must do to generate more respect come tournament time…and I’m not even talking about a nod based on past program success. I’m just talking this year.  A top 20 ranked team with a RPI of 21 nationally, riding a 24-game winning streak has to play at LSU (an “others receiving votes” team with a RPI of 34) in the opening round. 

    Hmm.

    So yeah, perhaps unfair…perhaps unjust…perhaps a legitimate cry of “FOUL!”  But I am not a fan of the victim status.  One of the most rewarding aspects of sports is that the game itself is the great equalizer.  Contests are not won nor lost through talk, speculation, and paper analysis.  

    Nothing can be done to change that seed.  All that can be controlled is our reaction to it.  I’m proud of the entire coaching staff and the players who have chosen to grin and move forward.  Now, they must win...and that’s even tougher a task than turning the other cheek.

    Go get ‘em Phoenix.  And, Nikki, I’m sorry.  I know you didn’t make the bracket.  You’re just doing your best to coach your best to achieve the best.  It’s not personal.  I’m just a fan of our GB women.   

     

  • Tabasco takes how long to make?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    I am always fascinated by how things are made or constructed.  From the complexity of suspension engineering like that of the Golden Gate Bridge, to the simplicity of a bottle of hot sauce, one thing is certain – it’s never as easy as it seems.

    Check out the process of brewing up a batch of Tabasco.  Somewhere in Louisiana, a guy is picking a pepper that won’t make it to your store shelf until summer of 2016.  Un-freaking-believable:

     

     

  • Congratulations to the committee?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    Kentucky.  Tennessee.  Virginia.  Southern Mississippi.  Maryland.  And that’s about it. 

    Once again, we have reached the hours after the NCAA Tournament selection and there is a handful of controversy – and truthfully less than that in terms of true beef.  But once again, the countless shows that dedicate themselves to (over)analysis of the field of 68 are swinging from the jock of the selection committee.

    I feel like I write this blog every year, but I guess I feel like I have to, as every year the record plays again.

    “Congratulations to the committee for putting together a great field.”  We’ve heard it uttered countless times since yesterday at 6pm.

    Hmm.  “Congratulations.”  Interesting choice of words.  

    I’m begging someone to explain to me how selecting the tournament field of 68 is praiseworthy.  First of all, it’s the committee’s job to assemble the 68 most deserving teams.  That’s what they do.  Celebration of their ability to do so is akin to thunderous applause when I turn on the microphones in the studio.  Completion of a task one is charged with conducting is hardly grounds for congratulations.  Perhaps I'm making too much of semantics, but it bothers me.

    Then there’s the “surprise” over who made it in and who was left on the outside looking in.  Really?  We didn’t all pretty much know who was going to make the field?  Here you go:

    1 – Take your top 25 ranked teams and add the “others receiving votes” in increasing numerical order. The most votes becomes 26; the second most votes becomes 27; and so on. That gets us around 40 teams.

    2 – Factor in the automatic qualifying teams (conference champs) that did not make the top 40 ranker.  That gets you to about 52 teams.

    3 – Sprinkle in the best of the bubbles, based on a not so lengthy list of criteria like RPI.

    Field determined.  Boosh. 

  • That’s a moth, right?

    Posted by Nick Vitrano

    I guess we’ll have to take tattoo artist Liam Sparkes’ word for it tjhat this is One Direction’s Harry Styles.  I’m always leery to run with stories like this when the photographic evidence is sans face, but Sparkes says it’s Styles and we have yet to hear otherwise from Harry himself, so…

    It’s allegedly a butterfly.  I don’t know.  There’s a fine line between butterfly and moth, and I’m not sure on what side Harry falls on this one.  Without some colorful accents, looks like a common moth to me.

    I hope there’s some deep rooted meaning behind the butterfly, but regardless, Harry, you’re a dude, and now you’re permanently inked with a butterfly.  It’s kind of like wearing skinny jeans.  Skinny jeans are fine…provided you’re not a dude.