Mike is still on the road, so you're stuck with me today. I haven't gotten over being left behind yet, so there will be no pleasantries today. However, I did have a good time this weekend without you people.
: Bernie Brewer - welcome to Fish Stripes, the not-so happiest place on Earth.
: Thanks, I think, Grover.
: Is it true that the Brewers current plan is to have as few identifiable players as possible - in hopes of increasing program sales? You know the old saying, "You can't tell the players without a program."
: Um, no. I don't think that's what it is at all. Actually, the Brewers are a competitive club this year. And the younger guys that they're featuring are potential superstars?
: Oh, really? Who do the Brewers have other than Yount and Molitor?
Bernie: Robin Yount and Paul Molitor have been retired for a long time, Grover. The current Brewers are led by U.S. Olympic hero Ben Sheets, Brady Clark, Carlos Lee, Lyle Overbay, Junior Spivey, and Russell Branyan. J.J. Hardy, Rickie Weeks, and Prince Fielder are just some of the future stars that the Brewers have in the pipeline - some of whom are with the team currently.
: Ok, you've got me. I knew many of those names. What's the story with Ben Sheets though? As you mentioned, he was the star of the US's 2000 Olympic team - defeating Cuba in the Gold Medal game. But this year he hasn't equaled the performance he turned in last year. What's happened?
: It's simple: he hasn't been healthy. Sheets has been plagued by an inner-ear infection, or possibly vertigo, and it's affected him. Hopefully he'll get well and become himself again. I'm not convinced that will happen this year. He probably will need the offseason to really recover.
: The Brewers made a big trade with the White Sox over the winter. The key players involved were Scott Podsednik and Carlos Lee. What was the impetus for that trade and which team came out as the winner?
: The Sox wanted speed, and Pods provides that in abundance. The Brewers wanted to add some pop to the lineup, and they've done that with Lee - who entered the weekend leading the majors in RBI.
It's too early too say who "won" the trade, but at this point it's hard to argue with the White Sox. They have a big lead in the AL Central and much of that can be attributed to the acquisitions of Scott Podsednik and Luis Vizcaino.
: The Marlins are currently in something of a stadium fight. The team's future in South Florida is in doubt, blah, blah, blah. The Brewers have a new ballpark, much like the one that the Marlins would like to have someday soon. What's the best feature of Miller Park?
: The most obvious feature is the retractable roof. Miller Park's roof isn't your standard retractable roof - like they have in Toronto, Phoenix, and Houston. The roof in Milwaukee is shaped like a fan or a clam shell and it opens from the middle. This has the benefit of leaving the playing field totally uncovered when the roof is open - something you don't get at each retractable roof park - but still allows the seating areas to be covered.
Possibly the best feature of attending a Brewers' game isn't stadium related at all. It's the tailgating that goes on outside the stadium. Milwaukee is famous for excellent tailgating. The experience was so well thought out that there are even concession stands and bathrooms in the parking lots.
: Thanks for visiting Bernie. We'll talk again before the Fish and Brewers meet up in late August.