On July 22nd, the Milwaukee Brewers had not only been defeated by the San Diego Padres 5-3, but also lost their best player for the rest of the season. Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League MVP, became the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to be suspended for performing enhancing drugs in the prime of his career.
Inside a local karaoke bar near Miller Park, a man wearing a vintage Steve Garvey jersey was called to the stage. The Milwaukee crowd cheered enthusiastically which upset a young patron, Mr. Brewer, who had just sat down and was wearing his beloved Ryan Braun jersey. What was happening? Who was this madman from another squad entering his territory? Mr. Brewer heckled the new age Garvey and smirked with the hopes that the Padre would embarrass himself. When the opening lyrics of “Terrible Lie” by Nine Inch Nails rang out, the crowd erupted in laughter and the Braun joke began. Steve Garvey had dynamic stage presence and he wasn’t afraid to use it.
Why are you doing this to me?
(Mr. Brewer looks up from his drink)
Am I not living up to what I’m supposed to be?
(Mr. Brewer’s head turns to the stage)
Why am seething with this animosity?
(Mr. Brewer stares at the next table)
I think you owe me a great big apology.
(Mr. Brewer’s jaw drops)
Mr. Brewer stood up and laughed. Milwaukee loses, Braun is suspended and a Padre fan has the nerve to make fun of it all on his turf. He continued to heckle the Garvey wannabe and looked around the room for support. He checked his phone and when he looked up there was a couple on stage wearing Los Angeles Dodgers jerseys. Oh come on, Mr. B thought. The Brewer fan laughed hysterically as the woman in blue sang the opening lyrics of “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem and Rihanna with a special Milwaukee twist.
Just gonna stand there and watch me Braun
But that’s alright because I like the way it Brauns
Just gonna stand there and hear me Braun
But that’s alright because I love the way you Braun
I love the way you Braun
“Hey, that ain’t funny!”, Mr. Brewer called out.
Burn. Hurts. Cry. Lie. Lie. These five words were replaced by one five-letter name and now Mr. Brewer was getting upset. The woman in blue stepped slowly off the stage and approached the devoted Brewer fan.
“Baby, don’t Braun”, she said and gently slapped him across the face.
Mr. Brewer cracked up and was amused at the intensity of the karaoke all-stars. He was just a patron. It wasn’t he who smiled in front of television cameras and proclaimed his innocence. It wasn’t he who publicly accused test collector Dino Laurenzi of tampering. Brewer sat alone in his chair and listened to the music.
The waitress made her way over the table and smiled. “Baby, Don’t Braun.”
Several people were now on stage in front of him.
Just Gonna Stand There And Watch Me Braun
But That’s Alright Because I like The Way It Brauns
Just Gonna Stand There And Hear Me Braun
But That’s All Right Because I Love The Way You Braun
I Love The Way You Braun
I Love The Way You Braun
Mr. B staggered to the bathroom as the madness continued onstage.
Now I Know We Said Things, Did Things That We Didn’t Mean And We Fall Back Into The Same Patterns, Same Routine
Mr. B leaned against the wall and washed his face. He looked at himself in the mirror as the noise on stage became louder and louder.
Next Time? There won’t be no next time!
Mr. B looked at his phone: Texts, Facebook, Twitter and E-Mail. They all said the same thing. Baby Don’t Braun.
I Apologize Even Though I Know It’s Lies
Mr. Brewer left the bathroom and the music had stopped. Every face in the crowd stared back at him and the room was split in two…
Mr. Brewer woke up and answered his phone as he lay in bed.
“Are you going to the ballpark today?”
“Maybe? Don’t lie.”