Earlier this week Brewers owner Mark Attanasio and Ryan Braun proved to truly have 2020 vision, with Braun inking a $105 million contract extension that will likely keep him in a Brewers uniform for the rest of what could very well end up being a Hall of Fame career.
My brief baseball take is that it is a smart move for the Brewers and for a player who obviously wants to be in Milwaukee long-term.
What was not such a smart move, however, was what one Braun-obsessed Brewers fan decided to do as a way of publicly proclaiming her love for the hot-hitting and, apparently, hot-looking left fielder.
The Braun extension represents better dollars spent than would be for Prince Fielder, who the team won’t be able to sign anyway. Five years from now, letting Prince walk after this year will prove as wise as deciding not to re-up on Carlos Lee a few years back turned out to be. And instead of paying $20+ million per for Prince, the team can use the money to address multiple needs for 2012 and beyond while still having a middle-of-the-lineup anchor in Braun around for the long haul to build around.
When it is all said and done, Braun could go done as one of the most popular sports figures in Wisconsin history, right alongside Robin Yount, Henry Aaron, and anyone who has ever lined up for the Green Bay Packers.
And of course, Ryan Braun is also one of Milwaukee’s 12 ‘most fascinating men’. Or #1 by now (or maybe #2, if we expand to Green Bay and include AR)
The Brewers fan base expressed its appreciation for Braun during the team’s 14-7 rout over the Houston Astros last night, with four standing ovations and a memorable curtain call after Braun’s three-run homer in the third inning.
But for those not at the game, but rather watching on television, the game later became more memorable for something else; in particular a college-age lady fan who decided to swing for the fences herself with a homemade sign…
‘Marry Me Ryan’
She is not the first to ‘propose’ to Braun during his nearly four years with the team (J.J. Hardy got similar groupie affection during his time in Milwaukee), but this particular pitch had something extra, and lived up to all stereotypes of plus-size blondes everywhere. It even makes Carlos Gomez’s base-running decisions seem genius.
That “something extra” was that she also pasted her cell phone number on the sign.
As Uke would say in the broadcast booth: juuuuust a bit outside.
Nothing could possibly go wrong with putting a personal phone number on a sign, right? I mean, at most a few of us lonely guys at the game might write it down and give her a call. Right?
Or, Fox Sports Wisconsin runs out of material from Braun’s press conference and his highlights from earlier in the game and decides to air some crowd shots during the latter stages of the blowout affair, showing the lady, her sign, and contact information to all of Greater Milwaukee (and now the Internet).
She got attention all right.
The rest of the half-inning was pure raw comedy, with Braun’s would-be lady wondering why her phone was ringing off the hook with calls and texts and why field reporter Telly Hughes would possibly want to interview her.
‘It seemed like a good idea,” she said in the ensuing interview.
I do have to give the girl credit for hanging tough in the midst of extreme embarrassment, but the old Southwest Airlines ‘Want To Get Away??’ campaign had to be an option at that point.
When asked by Hughes when she might turn her phone back on – the woman replied, “Maybe next week when I get back to school.” If she’s smart (and with the evidence we have, that is debatable), she’s probably already asked for a new number.
In the interview she estimated that she had received 200+ calls and hundreds of texts. And that was just in the first few minutes. With Twitter, screenshots, this blog, no doubt Deadspin, and countless other stories sure to follow, that will just be the tips of the iceberg. If 414-241-9343 didn’t end up “trending” by the end of the game I would be shocked.
Lady, you cannot undo this one. You can shred the sign, but it now lives on the Internet for eternity. Only that May 21 prophecy coming true can get her ‘off the hook’ now. That, or actually reeling in Braun, except the odds of getting struck by lightning 50 times are greater.
Meanwhile, I look for Braun to hold another presser in the very near future to announce he’s engaged, if only to tame any other cruise ships that might be crowding the Miller Park concourses…