November 2008

The Milwaukee Brewers are not looking for a big money closer!!

Now that the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is over, let’s get back to business.

Contrary to what many “experts” believe, the Milwaukee Brewers are not looking to sign a big money closer this offseason.

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FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ
Nope,
Future Met.

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BRIAN FUENTES
Nope,
Future Redbird.

I base this assessment not on weak self-opinion, but on some comments Doug Melvin made a few weeks back.

Melvin mentioned hard-throwing right-hander Seth McClung as an
internal option to try as closer. He said he didn’t plan to bid on
high-priced free agent closers such as Francisco Rodriguez and Brian
Fuentes.

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SETH McCLUNG

Good internal option and a helluva nice guy off the field.  On the field, he’s mean as hell.  Has the right mentality for a closer.





“We’re
not going to spend a big chunk of money on a closer,” said Melvin.
“We’ve found closers in the past. You usually don’t find that out until
later (in the off-season).

“It’s way too early at this point.”

If anyone knows Doug Melvin around here in Milwaukee, it’s that he’s usually honest when asked about certain rumors/musings.

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And…

I don’t want to hear about how Melvin has thrown big money in the past at closers.  Over a larger sampling of his track record, this is simply not true. 

DOUG MELVIN

Good GM.

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Yes, 
Melvin did make a multi-million dollar offer to Francisco Cordero
after the ’07 season.  That’s because Cordero was lights out for him and he
wanted to make an effort to retain one of his own.

He signed for a tad more to join the Reds.

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Yes,
Melvin did sign Eric Gagne to a 10 Million dollar deal.  That was only for 1-year.  Low risk with a potential for a large reward. 

It
didn’t work out.

Don’t expect Doug Melvin to put big money into his closer entering ’09.

Just one diehard’s opinion.

Happy Turkey Day…a time to be thankful.

I’m truly thankful for so many reasons…without further ado.


   I’m thankful for having a beautiful and understanding wife.
   I’m thankful for having a happy, healthy daughter.

Clara 2year pics 004.jpg                                      Plus, a son on the way.

 I’m thankful for having a steady job that allows me to help others.
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I’m thankful for my hometown baseball team, the Milwaukee Brewers.

                                 I’m thankful for home run baseballs.
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     I’m thankful for the Patron Saint of Police Officers – St. Michael.
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    I’m thankful for living in a nation where I can be free and proud.
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I’m also thankful for:  Military personnel, people with good manners, leaders, modern medicine, teachers, food on my table, waking up each day, role models, clothes on my back, playoff baseball in Milwaukee, bulletproof vests, a stadium with a roof, dependable vehicles, great parents, peace and quiet, snowblowers, bleacher seats, sunny days, strong faith, MLBlogs frontman Mark Newman and last but not least…

Each and every one of you in the MLBlogging network. 
Without you reading this, I’m just talking to myself (which I do anyway, but you know what I mean).

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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                                                         “Happy”

Our road trip to meet Matt Holliday

Yesterday, Ballhawk Shawn (click here for his blog) and I made a road trip down to Rosemont, Illinois to meet Matt Holliday.  I wanted to go because a few years back, I caught Holliday’s 19th career home run at PNC Park. 

Of the 47 game home run baseballs I have snagged over the years, only 25 I’ve had signed by the players that hit them.

     Make it 26…
Holliday game home run.jpgMatt Holliday was laid back and cool (he was getting paid to be there) and was more than happy to inscribe the date (July 22, 2005) and the career # (19th Career HR).

He seemed interested that I had presented an actual game home run of his (probably doesn’t happen often) to be signed.

  Here’s a picture of me with the burly slugger…
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     Here’s Future Star Ballhawk Shawn with Matt Holliday…
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This day I would also meet Hall of Famer Paul Molitor.  Being the Brewers fan that I am, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to meet “Molly” again.

Here’s Pauly signing my 1982 World Series baseball…notice I’m keeping a watchful eye :)
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Finally, here’s Paul Molitor posing with The Happy Youngster…he doesn’t seem too interested, does he)?
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Good times had by all!

Here’s a random picture of my daughter and I (and Dora the Explorer) in the Brewers dugout this past baseball season…
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because she’s so freakin’ cool!

My Interview with Channel 12 Milwaukee

Here’s the story Channel 12 ran a few years back about me here in Milwaukee. 
Man, do I miss Matt Vasgersian!

Thanks again for spending the time checking it out…

Meet “The Happy Youngster” on Fox6 Milwaukee!

I’ve been working on getting a few videos up on this blog…finally, here’s the first!

This aired on Fox 6’s “Perry’s People” here in Milwaukee a few years back.

Enjoy!!

I know it’s not the best quality…but you get the gist of it!  More to come…
 

So, whaddya think?

Special thanks to Mark Newman of mlb.com for the recent plug.

Thought I would take a few minutes to show my appreciation for the recent article by Mark Newman that appeared on mlb.com a few days ago. 

In case you missed it…here’s the link:

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081115&content_id=3680821&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

If you ever come through Milwaukee, Mark, I owe you one!

www.happyyoungster.com

Why not Milwaukee, Jake Peavy?

I’ve been very interested in the daily Jake Peavy trade rumors. 
What
I don’t understand, though, is why Peavy didn’t put the Brewers on his
list of 8 teams he would be willing to go to via trade.  Why Jake,
why?

Let’s break this down…shall we?

 MILWAUKEE IS COMING OFF A PLAYOFF YEAR IN 2008.
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picture of commitment.jpgMILWAUKEE IS COMMITTED TO WINNING NOW AS EVIDENCED BY THE 5YR/100MM OFFER MADE TO C.C. SABATHIA A FEW DAYS AGO.

THE BREWERS HAVE THEIR CORE TALENT RETURNING IN ’09.

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PRINCE FIELDER———————————->Stud.

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RYAN BRAUN—————————————->Stud.

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YOVANI GALLARDO—————————–>Stud.

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J.J. HARDY———————————————–>Stud.

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MANNY PARRA—————————————->Stud.

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RICKIE WEEKS——————————————–>Not so much.

(Okay, you get the point)

THE BREWERS HAVE A NEW BALLPARK WITH FIRST CLASS AMENITIES.

INCLUDING:
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A retractable roof (we know you pitchers love a controlled climate).

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First class workout facilities (to prevent injury and increase strength).

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Massage therapists catering to your every need (!!!).

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Feasts fit for a king (we know you’ll be hungry after all those complete game shutouts).

THE MILWAUKEE BREWERS HAVE GREAT FANS.
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Diehards (no booing, please).

MILWAUKEE IS A BEAUTIFUL CITY.
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Wow, would you look at that skyline? 

MILWAUKEE HAS BEAUTIFUL WOMEN.
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Oops…wrong picture.

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That’s the one.

AND BEST OF ALL, THE BREWERS HAVE THE HAPPY YOUNGSTER!
                                          Cheesy, I know…..

     SO WHAT DO YOU SAY, JAKE?  MILWAUKEE’S NOT SO BAD!

The ball that started it all…Game home run #1

I figured since it’s the offseason and most of the major league
clubs seem to be sitting on their wallets right now (minus the
Yankees), I wanted to take a few minutes to reminisce back to the home
run ball that started the ballhawking fever.

July
2nd, 1998 – JIM THOME

Top
of 3rd inning off Brad Woodall/1 on base w/ 2 outs

22nd
of 1998/CAREER HR #155

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Seated in the end seat of the front row of
Section N in the Right Field Bleachers of Milwaukee County Stadium and also
playing the right field well, Thome came to bat.  Crack!! 
The burly slugger put good wood on it. 
The ball’s path was to my right looking toward home plate.  I knew it wouldn’t be deep.  I stood up and everyone converged including
my older brother who was seated directly to my left.   Considering the natural hook toward the foul
pole, the ball ended up clanking off a few hands and mitts (sorry, Jon) two
seats over to my left in the front row. 
As everyone looked around for the ball, with no one yet claiming
ownership, I looked to the field first…no home run ball!  My natural reaction was to look to the floor
and behind me.  There it was nestled
safely on top of my backpack that was positioned behind my seat.  Weird luck? 
Maybe, but a ballhawk was born!!

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                                                                   =

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Say goodbye to C.C…my letter to the big fella

Dear C.C.,

It’s been so nice getting to watch you pitch up close and personal for the last few months. 
sabathia pointing.jpgYou were dominating.

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We traded the young stud pictured to the left (Matt LaPorta) to get you. 

It was so worth it.
 

You pitched on 3 days rest so many times just to see the Milwaukee Brewers reach the promised land.
braun and cc celebration.jpgAnd we did it.

Milwaukee Brewers principal owner, Mark Attanasio made this trade happen.  We appreciate him for doing that. 
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He appreciated you, too.

yankees jersey.jpgSo, when you’re wearing pinstripes next season, please remember the good times you had in Milwaukee.

We won’t forget about you.

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You came, you saw and you conquered.

You are a champion.

We’ll be watching you in the Bronx…good luck to you big fella.

Sincerely,

Brewers #1 Fan and Ballhawk
Nick “The Happy Youngster” Yohanek

www.happyyoungster.com is on the web!

When you go to my website – www.happyyoungster.com you will be greeted with the following image:

Geoff Jenkins holding Happy Youngster signThat’s current World Series champion and former Milwaukee Brewers slugger Geoff Jenkins holding a handmade sign up for the Fox Sports cameras from the Brewers dugout.  I had made two game home run catches that day from the left field bleachers of Milwaukee County Stadium and Geoff was giving me a plug on TV.

Years later, I would catch his 200th career home run.  Click here to read about it.

Anyway, please check out the site…it’s strictly a fan site…not profit oriented.  Just a little something I started up to help me network with other fans around our great nation.

Thanks to the help of a good friend, I will be getting all my videos, interviews, highlights, etc. of home run catches I made throughout the years put on the site very soon.  I will also put those on this blog for those that are interested.  I have to thank fellow ballhawk Zack Hample for inspiring me to do this…thanks Zack!

BLOG PICTURES102708 045.jpgThe motto in which I try to live my life by…

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