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Andy Olivares will do the Spanish play-by-play for around 30 Milwaukee Brewers games this season.
Andy Olivares will do the Spanish play-by-play for around 30 Milwaukee Brewers games this season.

Olivares ready for more Brewers' Spanish play-by-play

As the snow continues to fall and we drive and slide around slush-filled corners and pot-holed roadways, I find it is relaxing to think of the sun-soaked days ahead.

There’s no better reminder of summer than baseball players reporting for spring training. The players are getting ready now as OnMilwaukee sports writer Jim Owczarski has been reporting. The first preseason game is only a few weeks away as the Dodgers face the Brewers on March 1 at Maryvale Baseball Park.

The ball clubs, and all of the staff members who work on game day are making preparations for another season, and I can almost smell the brats and burgers on the grill.

Those who work in media are getting ready too. The sports radio talk show hosts, producers, photographers, graphic artists, sound mixers and many others are looking over notes, checking all of the recording gear and getting everything prepared for what can be a promising year.

One person who is also getting ready is Andy Olivares, who is entering his seventh season as the Spanish play-by-play announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers.

"Depending on how the schedule goes, I should be doing around 30 games this year," Olivares said.

When we last chatted about baseball, we talked about his early love for the game that developed when he was a child in the Dominican Republic. I was telling a friend about how Olivares when he was 8 or 9 years old would ask to have the volume turned down on the television set and he’d do the play-by-play.

"That’s right," Olivares said. "I’d be doing the play-by-play and before I knew it, other people would come by and listen to me do it. They would tell me that I should go out and do that. Their support was incredible."

This year, Olivares believes the Brewers have all the pieces they need for a good season.

"I’m looking to some of the younger players to see how they develop," he said. "I think they could step up and make a contribution."

Olivares will be making the call for a number of the home …

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People created a memorial when actress Elizabeth Taylor died in 2011. Taylor, was part of the dead pool file at many different newsrooms.
People created a memorial when actress Elizabeth Taylor died in 2011. Taylor, was part of the dead pool file at many different newsrooms. (Photo: shutterstock.com)

Dead pools a fixture in newsrooms for decades

When I saw that actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died, it was a post on social media that alerted me. Which – as I’d call myself a pretty traditional media consumer – was something a little out of the normal routine.

But it was not a huge deal.

What was a huge deal, for my OnMilwaukee.com colleague, were the posts he saw surrounding the character actor’s passing. Jim Owczarski blogged about the dead pool.

Now, in my world, dead pool could be two things.

First, it is a character in Marvel comic books, usually involved in mutant and X-Men comic story lines. Actor Ryan Reynolds played the character in the 2009 film "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."

The other dead pool is much more dark, and some people take it to an extreme. Owczarski mentioned the way in which people may gamble on who may die. The person gains more points for the younger famous person that may be on the list.

When I worked in a traditional newsroom, for daily newspapers, television and radio news, we had a dead pool, too.

It wasn’t meant for betting, but it was for taking the time to be organized, gathering the assets needed to cover the passing of someone important or notable in the community. When I was on the copy desk or the sports staff at a couple of newspapers earlier in my career – mind you, this was before the internet – I had to keep records, photos and other items to run with the obituary story. The area in one of the multiple filing cabinets was called the dead pool.

In the media business, as a reporter or editor or producer, you often cover people at their worst. It is in some small way the same way in which police deal with people – they are usually the furthest from their personal best.

Because of that, a sense of humor comes in handy to push the dark reality off. Hence the dead pools in area newsrooms are very common.

My colleagues and myself would have to decide which actors, politicians, singers and athletes needed to have a file. My major files were Bob Hope, Ronald …

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This top for the Denver Broncos was available from Bon-Ton before the Super Bowl.
This top for the Denver Broncos was available from Bon-Ton before the Super Bowl.
I've always wondered what happens to the gear from the losing team after the Super Bowl, like this shirt from Bon-Ton.
I've always wondered what happens to the gear from the losing team after the Super Bowl, like this shirt from Bon-Ton.

The game is done, let's break down the Super Bowl

The big game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos is over. However, the next 24 hours will be spent looking at every aspect of the spectacle that is the Super Bowl.

How will Bruno Mars ticket sales go for Summerfest after his Super Bowl halftime show?

How much will we love Joe Namath’s coat with the fur trim?

How great were the Super Bowl ads? Which ones were your favorite?

More importantly, which ones will get you out to buy something? Which ads will you remember?

I’ll be on "Real Milwaukee" at 9 a.m. this morning on WITI-TV Fox 6 to talk about all of this and what it means. Tune in if you can.

My friends at Bon-Ton sent over the Broncos tops that were on sale the last couple of weeks. I wonder what will happen with all of those?

Milwaukee Public Television produced the documentary, "Memorializing Kosciuszko," about Gen. Tadeusz Kosciuszko and the restoration of his statue.
Milwaukee Public Television produced the documentary, "Memorializing Kosciuszko," about Gen. Tadeusz Kosciuszko and the restoration of his statue.

MPTV story shares Kosciuszko's connection to Milwaukee

The Polish influence is shown with pride in Milwaukee, home to generations of immigrants.

In "Memorializing Kosciuszko" on Milwaukee Public Television, Raul Galvan wanted to weave the story of the American Gen. Tadeusz Kosciuszko and the current-day restoration work done on his monument in Kosciuszko Park.

"A group approached us, telling us about raising the funds needed to restore the statue," Galvan said. "We knew of Kosciuszko, but after we talked to them, we felt it was great for a long-form documentary."

The half-hour presentation tells of the general’s involvement with George Washington during the American Revolution, and his dedication to the new country that he came to serve. When he returned to the U.S. to collect the back pay owed to him by the U.S. military, he asked Thomas Jefferson that the nearly $20,000 be used to purchase freedom for slaves, including the ones owned by Jefferson.

In 1905, the area Polish community commissioned Italian sculptor Gaetano Trentanove for a monument. In 2008, a group of local residents raised more than $400,000 to restore the statue that took on wind, rain and snow damage in the past 100 years. Funding for "Memorializing Kosciuszko" was raised through online crowdfunding efforts, which was a first for MPTV.

The special will air at 9 p.m. Monday on MPTV Ch. 10 and sub-channel 36.2. It will be re-broadcast on Friday at 10:30 p.m. on MPTV Ch. 10 and 36.2 and Feb. 8 at 10:05 p.m., Feb. 9 at 11:33 a.m. and Feb. 11 at 4:33 a.m. on MPTV Ch. 36.