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Monday, July 7, 2008

Jim Cryns on Sports

Our society is enthralled with ceramic images of athletes whose heads bounce and wiggle like a man suffering from chronic seizures. Left fielder Ryan Braun is the latest player to be ridiculed in such a manner. The doll is altogether unimpressive, a slim guy with an enormous cranium holding a bat above his head. His body is slightly contorted in a batter’s stance on a large wheel of cheese. Braun’s name is etched between his legs adjacent to a missing wedge. The bobble-head has eyebrows like a Cro-Magnon, and spindly Barney Fife arms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Jim Cryns on Sports

That’s what makes sports great: surprises. We’re surprised the Brewers were able to send three players to the All-Star Game. We’re astonished we have a baseball team who, in the thick of the season, acquired a reigning Cy Young Award winner. We’re surprised we’re talking about Brett Favre in July after he told the world he was done with football. Surprises keep you young with anticipation, on your toes. That’s a good thing . . .
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Online Exclusive

The Milwaukee Brewers, like many other MLB teams, are being kicked in the teeth once again after living up to their end of a bargain. It appears the Brewers ‘Ace,’ Ben Sheets, is looking to take his accomplished resume elsewhere. Sheets says he’s headed in the direction of free agency, and we know how that usually turns out for the Brewers: bubkes. Despite the fact Sheets has been stained with injury, the Brewers have done a pretty good job trying to retain talent and has been candid about their intentions with players.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Fairly Detached Observers

I`m Art Kumbalek and here's the story. The Shepherd wants a weekly sports column, since sports apparently seems to be a popular topic of conversation these days amongst a certain clique. And somehow I got tabbed to helm the launching of this craft; qualifications being I don't need to spell-check "Lambeau,"...
Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Fairly Detached Observers

The Brewers had found a way to avoid sweeping the Braves, but were fixin’ to sweep the ‘Stros, when the Observers found their way to a local establishment for a couple of cold ones on a sunny May 30.

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