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A random note about the name 'Julio Muchacho':· 0 replies
When I was first considering the transition from obsessive and creepy lurker in those epic minor league threads of the original Brewer Fan to an actual poster, I was really struggling with a name. Initially, I tried to craft an homage to Marquis Grissom's innate ability to swing and colossally whiff at every off-the-plate slider feigning as a possible pitch over home plate. I found that homage mysterious and challenging. For some reason, unbeknownst to my conscious self, a casual story 'The Rock' shared over a telecast sometime in the 1990-1991 season about then Brewers reliever 'Julio Machado' was milling about my Brewers-themed mind and it sunk its teeth in me. Apparently, Bill revealed at that time, Señor Machado loved to eat iguana. As an adult, having now traveled extensively in Central and South America, this is just not a big deal - not even remotely. BUT, as a suburban 8th grader at that time, I was incredulous. "Iguanas?!? Whoa." Machado had instantly achieved cult status in my eyes. And, that story had traveled with me in the dusty caverns of my mind ever since.
So, as I was considering my 'screen name' I became married to an homage to this one-time Brewers reliever, Julio Machado, who had somehow managed to continue occupying a snug place in the archives of my Brewers nostalgia even tho he pitched a mere season with the club! Why did he only pitch one season? During the inquiry, I hit a snag. As I was randomly trying to validate my memory of that same broadcast on the interwebs, I discovered Mr. Machado was expected back with the Crew for the 1992 season but there was a hiccup: he was being investigated for allegedly murdering a secretary in his home country of Venezuela during a traffic dispute (in which, he later claimed, he feared he was being robbed). The iguana story careened to the wayside when learning of this truly unfortunate event. Who knows what truly happened that disastrous evening? I certainly don't. It's just a terrible event any way we look at it and a woman was taken from her life in ways she never imagined. Machado was ultimately released after serving 4 of his 12 year sentence in a Venezuela prison...and, with it, so did the aura of magic surrounding my memory of the 'telecast iguana'. I was defeated. But, I had already committed.
SO, downtrodden and morose, I simply opted for 'Julio Muchacho'. If I translated it truly and with emotion, it would read: 'Julio, Man!'. What I intended to use, originally, was: 'Julio Machado's Iguana'. 🤣
AND, my friends, that is entirely too much detail behind my screen name. But, what can I say, I began writing this lil piece. I had committed.
My mother arrived today for a 2 month stay on my Farm. It brings back all sorts of nostalgia as Spring Training progresses. What is hot on the nostalgia stove this morning?· 0 replies
On Monday June 2nd, 1986, as a wee 8 year old lad, my parents took me to County Stadium to witness the Brewers defeat the Kansas City Royals 7-2. We sat about 20 rows up the First Base Line directly above the dugout - catty-corner home plate as it were. Teddy Higuera went the full 9 innings and I was completely engaged; on deck; glove at the ready. BUT, more than anything that fine evening, oddly, what I remember most is my mother steadfastly reading Ken Follett's Eye of the Needle. Teddy went 9. Ganter, Oglive, and Sveum had decent nights at the Plate. BUT, through it all, my mother turned page after page only glancing in brief moments to give me an affirming smile or a nod of recognition.
Some 13 years later, while working as a college student in a local bookstore, I was well into my lifelong fandom of the Milwaukee Brewers. And, it just so happened I was the individual shelving and buying Mystery and Thriller novels. The world often spins a Web of Meaning: One early spring day, I laid down in the employee break room on a ragged old couch and began my own reading and interpretation of the very same Eye of the Needle. Apparently, it was time to close the Circle. It was 1999. Phil Gardner was now the manager. The Brewers were yet again inconsequential. AND, frankly, I was questioning my own life's direction (as any 21 yo young man would do) and certainly my fandom of a team seemingly destined to annually define the phrase: "Mediocre at best!". A Brewers season was on the horizon. All hope and aspirations languishing in a sea of 'Meh'.
As the 2022 season approaches - salvaged miraculously from the throes of a devastating Lock-Out - I ponder a line from Follett's seminal international thriller I encountered that day on that couch:
"The trouble with being inspired to perform the impossible was the inspiration gave you no clues to the practical means."
I don't know how the Brewers can win a World Series championship in 2022, but I hope they are inspired to perform the impossible. In the Spirit of Gratitude, I give great GREAT thanks for these past 4 years. I, for One, remember the doldrums. We are living in the next Golden Era of our fanaticism. Let us not forget this.
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