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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Jim Cryns on Sports

It’s spring, which means the beginning of tee-ball and soccer for kids. My young daughters began practices recently, which meant the purchase of two new baseball mitts, new cleats, bats, shin guards. It means league payments, team and parent orientations. I’ve been to more meetings in the past few weeks than a devout member of AA. I don’t mind the commitment—fact is I volunteer to help coach tee-ball, and attend every practice. When I was a kid, my parents never so much as attended a game, I’m not sure they knew I played sports. As a grown and graying man I spend most of my free time protecting my daughters from errant line-drives, overzealous base runners and jackass coaches. Last weekend I began coaching with a guy who has some great fundamental knowledge of baseball, but the bedside manner of Dr. Kevorkian.
Sports
Friday, July 4, 2008

Jim Cryns on Sports

I completely understand the retirement of uniform numbers. I respect the dignity and overall gesture embodied in the ceremony, especially in the case of players of historical significance like Jackie Robinson. His courageous entry into the exclusively white Wonder Bread ranks of professional baseball preceded the heroics of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King by decades. Branch Rickey, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, was instrumental in breaking the racial barrier. While his primary motive may or may not have been getting one of the best players in the world on his team, Rickey’s reasons are incidental. His ultimate actions are what mean so much more.
Sports
Thursday, July 3, 2008

Jim Cryns on Sports

It’s been a busy, busy few weeks for the Milwaukee Bucks. A spring-cleaning if you will, including a new general manager and the replacement of the current head coach Larry Krystkowiak an uncontested lay-up away. There’s been a fair share of moaning by Bucks owner Herb Kohl regarding the finances and the woes of a smaller market team. This is stuff we’ve all heard before with the Brewers, a rhetorical deja vu.
Sports
Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Jim Cryns on Sports

It’s not easy being a “franchise player.” You’re picked out of a sea of potential players, hopes riding incredibly high, visions of pennants, world championships. That’s a lot of pressure for a young kid. Just ask Tony Mandarich (The Big Bust), or Pat Listach (former Brewer rookie of the year.) While Listach wasn’t a complete failure, he never lived up to expectations. Kenny Lofton, the player Listach beat-out for rookie of the year, went on to much greater success. Number one picks are a blessing or a curse. Management has to pick the front-runner, or risk alienating their fan-base. Keeping an established player can be just as harrowing. History does repeat itself and that’s bad news for the Brewers.
Sports
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Jim Cryns on Sports

Everything in moderation. The way we eat, drink, and even consume sports. It’s critical to how we live our lives, to our ultimate happiness. Going out to dinner with friends and enjoying a bottle of wine. That’s great. Keeping it all in perspective. Going to a ball game, spewing venom at opposing teams and others while swilling and spilling copious amounts of beer upon everyone and everything is probably a little askew. If you find yourself in the latter situation, it may be a good time to take a step back, look at the totality of things, and regain perspective, assess your priorities in life.
Sports
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

…and also Bob Uecker, Brett Favre and Tom Crean

With this column, I am in an enviable situation where I can talk about Wisconsin sports with immunity. I do thank the folks at the Shepex for this window. I’ve covered the teams—pro, college and otherwise—for 15 years so it can’t be said I haven’t seen my share of the landscape. I’ve seen team managers, general managers, public relations and media managers come and go. I’ve been lucky to have off-the-record talks with coaches, stars, bench-warmers, Hall of Fame players. I’ve listened to jokes next to the batting cage told by Ken Griffey Jr., and have laughed at some risquokes offered by Gorman Thomas.

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