When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie that's ... Milwaukee?
It will be July 1, when the Milwaukee Brewers host Italian Heritage Day at Miller Park. As part of the festivities, the Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks will wear jerseys featuring Italian translations for their nicknames, along with colors of the Italian flag — red, white and green. Fans also will be able to buy "Birrai" jerseys at the ballpark.
So, "Birrai" means Brewers, huh? Sounds more Hebrew, or Asian, than Italian. And "iD-backs"? All that's on the back of my I.D. is a bar code that hinders my ability to produce crystal meth. And "Serpenti" "Serpentes" would be a better nickname, even if it's not a precise translation. (Thanks to the always polite commenters who pointed this out.) iD-backs also sounds like the silly NBA promotion of putting "Los" in front of the English nickname when it does its Latino heritage stuff. "Los Bulls"? Go the full nine yards and call them "Toros," muchachos.
Regardless, oh how Chris Capuano would have loved this. If only he still pitched for the Brewers. In fact, it's not obvious that anyone on either team's active roster is Italian. Although, does it matter? We're all fratelli (fratellos) under the skin. And though it seems unlikely he could attend given recent health events, the Brewers ought to invite the most Italian man in baseball history — Tommy Lasorda — to the game. Yes, he's more Italian than even Joe DiMaggio. The Big Dodger in the Sky said so.
In addition to the uniforms and other Festa Italiana, fans will receive an Italian Sausage bobblehead doll, styled after one of the famous racing sausages — the same one, in fact, that Randall Simon saluted with a bat that one day back in 2003. Milwaukee might be known for its German roots, but the city and ballpark know how to salute peoples of various ethnicities. The team has been selling "Cerveceros" (Brewers, in Spanish) jerseys for years, and the most popular Racing Sausage is probably the Chorizo, who is of Mexican decent. (No, it's not the Bratwurst.)
Some folks get uneasy when dealing with themes like this because it's easy to use stereotypes and, possibly, hurt someone's feelings. But the Brewers are just having fun and trying to be inclusive. So if there are any complaints in the comments or on Twitter, go ahead, but we can't hear you.
Big BLS H/N: Paul Lukas of Uni Watch