Thursday, May 30, 2013

I need a beer


I do not drink as much beer as I once did. I would never call myself a beer connoisseur -- talk of making your own beer, the breweries you've discovered, or other esoteric ruminations about hops and barley bore me completely -- but I enjoy a good brew.

Today, though, I can mostly confine beer-imbibing to one of two categories.

1) It's summertime and I'm off.
2) I'm exhausted and the world has decided "night owl is the enemy."

Today it's in the high 70s, rather humid, and I've got a busy workload tonight. None of this really falls into category 1) or 2), but for some reason -- perhaps the nine zillion beer commercials that I've watched during all of my baseball viewing has finally gotten to me -- I can't stop thinking about a beverage.

In short, I need a beer.

Here's the problem. There's no beer in the house. And with the budget cutbacks continuing for another week, I can't be buying any without there being ... um ... repercussions.

So, I've decided on the next best thing.

No, not whiskey.

The All-Beer Team!

Now, there are several ways you could go with this and I like the idea of a few of them, especially the one where you could pick out the most notorious drunks in major league baseball history and field a team with them (if you don't steal this idea, I am so totally doing this). But I am going solely by the name connection.

There are a bazillion kinds of beer, many of which are named after actual people. So it shouldn't be any problem coming up with a team of players whose name (or team) matches a kind of beer. I took some liberties, but that was more in the spirit of fun rather than desperation.

I've also limited the team to eight position players, a DH, a starting staff and a modest bullpen. I'm not going any further or I'll need a beer just compiling the team and that would be an ugly turn.

So here you are: the first All-Beer Team. Completely produced with no alcohol, with apologies to Lefty O'Doul:


FIRST BASE



KEITH HERNANDEZ

You've got to have a smooth-fielding first baseman on your All-Beer Team, the infielders can get a little wild when they're half in the bag. Unfortunately, Keith Hernandez's middle name isn't "Alexander" (he has no middle name). As you can see, Alexander Keith's is a Canadian beer, which has only been available in the States for a couple of years. And no, I don't know if Hernandez drinks in the broadcast booth. But I wouldn't be surprised.


SECOND BASE



JOE MORGAN

The infield positions were the most difficult to fill, but fortunately there used to be a team named after a beer (OK, so that's not true). And I'm not opposed to expanding my All-Beer Team parameters to include team names, too. We're talking about beer here! Joe Morgan, despite what you may think of the man, was one of the finest second baseman to ever play the game. But he will never be as smooth as this man:




SHORTSTOP



EDDIE LEON

I can't tell you much about Eddie Leon or Leon beer, which is the proud owner of the title of "first brewery in Cyprus." I would have felt better selecting a Mexican beer since Leon is of Mexican descent, but that would not be in the spirit of this particular All-Beer Team (but would work very well for another All-Beer Team ... and that's now idea No. 3 for All-Beer Teams).


THIRD BASE


RON CEY

I am a little displeased associating my all-time favorite player with such an inferior beer product. In fact, I'm getting bitter beer face about the whole thing. But I would not be a Cey fan if I couldn't squeeze him into as many blog posts as I could. Keystone beer? Played the keystone? It's a match.


CATCHER



BRIAN SCHNEIDER

Brian Schneider receives a place of honor as I sure do love German beer (don't worry, I'm not going to start expounding). Look, you can see Schneider staring longingly into the stands. He's just heard the call of the beer vendor.


LEFT FIELD



GEORGE FOSTER

Foster's may be "Australian for Beer," but Foster is "Slugger for Outfield" ... or something like that. At any rate, we found it endlessly amusing when we discovered two George Foster cards in 1981 Fleer and one had "outfield" for the position designation and the other had "slugger." Why this card isn't valued 100 times more than the other one, I'll never know.


CENTER FIELD



WALLY MOON

Baseball's ultimate "unibrow," meet "Unibroue." Unibroue is a French-Canadian Belgian beer and you've got to admire a brewery which offers a beer called "La Fin Du Monde," translated literally as "the end of the world." I hear it's quite good, too.


RIGHT FIELD


KEVIN BASS

Formerly the top-selling beer in the United Kingdom, I admit I was totally unaware of this beer until I started this exercise. Then, in the supermarket checkout line, I glanced over to a shelf and there it was. As for Kevin Bass, I'm still pissed that he struck out in the 16th inning to let the Mets into the World Series in 1986. I'm sure Astros fans needed a beer after that.


DESIGNATED HITTER


PAUL KONERKO

In homage to Ken Harrelson, I'm going with Konerko's "Hawk" nickname "Paulie." Besides, I need a gratuitous "attractive female in little clothing" photo with this post. It's practically a requirement of any beer advertisement. So, as the saying at the bottom right goes, "enjoy responsibly."


STARTING STAFF


STEVE CARLTON

Carlton #1 is known for his 1972 season, a Hall of Fame career and not talkin' to nobody. Carlton #2 is an Australian beer known for its comical commercials, like this one.



MIKE MUSSINA

To me, Mussina is the most unlikely "Moose" in nickname history. He is not/was not a "moose." This is what happens when you determine nicknames by sounds instead of characteristics. But whatever, it gives me an excuse to feature another well-loved Canadian beer.



STEVE STONE

I love that Steve Stone card. Goodness knows what he's saying. Probably something bad about Hawk. I can't say I've ever experienced Stone beer. It's way out there in California, and those gargoyles that are all over its bottles are rather intimidating. But they've won awards so that's promising.





DICK BOSMAN

Bosman's wikipedia page says he redesigns old cars into hot rods down in Florida. The only thing that would make that cooler is if Bowman did this while sucking down some Bosman beer, which by the way is from Poland.



SHELBY MILLER

Shelby is here because I don't want to be accused of not giving the young, present-day players their due. (And I'm completely ignoring the fact that his first name is "Shelby," too). Miller Lite is here because I liked their '70s commercials. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about their beer. The few times I've had it, it's made me sad ... and I think that's supposed to be opposite effect of drinking.


RELIEVERS


MIKE KILKENNY

One of these days I'm going to be old enough to have a basement room with a bar and an illuminated bar sign.


WILLIE HERNANDEZ

Tiger Beer is from Malaysia or Singapore, I believe. Guillermo "Don't Call Me Willie" Hernandez is from Puerto Rico. Evidence that islands are good at producing both beer and closers.



ROD BECK

Probably the first connection I made when I started this project a long, long time ago (this has been a post in the making for probably a year). Beck's, as you probably know, is the best-selling German beer of all-time. My guess is that Shooter had a few during his too-short lifetime.


MANAGER


BILLY MARTIN

I think Martin would fit on the All-Beer Team no matter which way you determined the team. And, not to bring everything down, but he should be the poster child for what alcohol can do to you if you don't control yourself. By the way, I can't get over the design of the Billy Beer can. It looks like something that would contain canned food. Really bad canned food.


So, here is the All-Beer Team without all the illustrations. I even arranged a batting order:

2B - Joe Morgan
CF - Wally Moon
1B - Keith Hernandez
LF - George Foster
3B - Ron Cey
DH - Paul Konerko
RF - Kevin Bass
C - Brian Schneider
SS - Eddie Leon

SP - Steve Carlton
SP - Mike Mussina
SP - Steve Stone
SP - Dick Bosman
SP - Shelby Miller

RP - Mike Kilkenny
RP - Willie Hernandez
RP - Rod Beck

MGR - Billy Martin

If there are two things that we are not in any shortage of in this world it is beer and ballplayers. So there are lots and lots and lots of other options in both columns. You could form a completely different team with totally different beers and it might beat this one.

But that's as much as I can write about this for today.

I've got to get cracking on my "All-Time Drunks Team."

And I'm getting thirsty.

16 comments:

  1. Best. Post. Ever.

    And I'm schnockered on vodka not beer.

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  2. Is their home field Busch Stadium.

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  3. Rick Miller can be the 4th outfielder. Mike Busch can be the utility infielder

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  4. Great. Now I'm at work and I'll be thinking about this all night.

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  5. 1. I can vouch for "la Fin Du Monde" being the best one from that brewery. It's a great winter warmer beer.

    2. What a shame you guys don't get Stone beer out there. If you ever see it, buy it. Guaranteed good stuff, whatever the type.

    3. Most excellent post.

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  6. Great post. I was trying to guess which beers you'd use... and only came up with a handful.

    Now I'm off to find me a can of Billy Beer.

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  7. Stone Brewing beer is absolutely amazing.

    Miller Lite is awful.

    The end.

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  8. Can't believe you've never heard of Bass until now. Next time you're out at a restaurant with a bar, see if they have one on tap. It's marvelous.

    Bud Black should be the pitching coach.

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  9. Impressed you didn't go with the given "Blue Moon" for Wally Moon.

    Cool post.

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  10. Here's another reason Beck belongs on the list:
    http://static.espn.go.com/mlb/s/2003/0515/1554407.html

    Great post, as always.

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  11. Stone is excellent. Some of their IPAs are pretty advanced and not necessarily for everybody, but everything they make is good. One of my favorite breweries out there.

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  12. Highly recommend Stone Brewery products!

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  13. Nish posht.

    See, you got me drunk.

    Gotta recommend Dodger great Jim Brewer to come out of the bullpen from the port side.

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  14. Great post? or the Greatest Post? I will let history decide.

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  15. I hate beer, but it's still a great post !!

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  16. Great to see a couple of Aussie beers represented! Great post, Greg!

    Nick

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