Free mullets in honor of Wiemer ... and then he homers!

June 18th, 2023

MILWAUKEE -- Behold, the power of the mullet.

, Milwaukee’s patron saint of "business in the front, party in the back," smashed a two-run home run in the third inning to back Wade Miley’s successful return from the injured list in the Brewers' 5-0 win against the Pirates on Saturday afternoon while dozens of fans were getting free haircuts beyond the left-center-field wall at American Family Field.

The team barber, Jose Perez, enforced one rule: Mullets only.

“I love it,” Wiemer said. “That was fun. That was really cool to see it up there.”

Wiemer has made the mullet the look of the summer in Milwaukee -- according to no less a style authority than Christian Yelich, after getting a creative haircut during the Brewers’ last visit to Cincinnati, where Wiemer went to college. The "mane" man was Dondrae Bremner, who Wiemer has long entrusted with his curly locks.

“He’s cut my hair for the last, like, six years,” Wiemer said then. “He might not be the most precise barber of all time, but he’s my barber.”

When a hot streak followed, including a two-homer game against the Orioles on the Brewers’ subsequent homestand, other players pondered whether it was time for a haircut of their own. Long-haired Brewers starter Corbin Burnes vowed that if Milwaukee makes the postseason, he’ll get a matching mullet.

Wiemer has made his presence felt with more than his hair, holding down center field ably since the Brewers lost fellow rookie Garrett Mitchell to a shoulder injury that could sideline him the rest of the season.

With Wiemer’s 10th home run on Saturday, he became one of 11 players in the Majors with double-digit home runs and double-digit stolen bases, and one of only two rookies on that list with Arizona’s breakout star, Corbin Carroll.

Saturday’s third-inning home run for a 2-0 lead propelled the Brewers toward their second straight victory following a six-game losing streak.

“That was great. Homers don’t suck,” Wiemer said. “When it goes over the wall, you get to run around, free run. So, it’s good.”

How did he get right again at the plate? Wiemer, after all, was in an 0-for-19 funk before he went deep against the Pirates in Friday’s series opener, a 5-4 Brewers win.

“I hit the ball on the barrel,” he deadpanned.

Wiemer becoming something of a cult hero in Milwaukee is not a surprise to teammates like Miley, who called Wiemer “one of a kind.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever played with anyone like him,” said Miley, who has had 437 teammates in the Majors alone in 13 seasons and eight different organizations. “He plays hard. He’s a really fun dude to be around.”

Would Miley go for a mullet?

“No,” he said. “Look at him. No chance. He looks like Larry Bird.”

Said first baseman Rowdy Tellez: “You know how as a rookie, you’re trying to be there for your teammates and impress while going under the radar? He’s one of those guys who, as soon as he got here, was high energy and good for the team. He keeps guys young, you know? He keeps it fun.”

Tellez’s two-run double and Blake Perkins’ first career pinch-hit home run offered Miley and four Brewers relievers plenty of insurance as they completed Milwaukee’s seventh shutout victory. Notably, the combination included 1 2/3 crisp innings from Peter Strzelecki coming off a couple of rough outings.

For Miley, he went five scoreless innings, scattering two hits and two walks. The outing was especially impressive considering he made only one rehab start before coming off the IL.

His injury -- anterior serratus -- was rare for a baseball player, so Miley and the team’s medical staff proceeded on feel rather than a track record of other players who had successfully recovered from that kind of muscle strain.

“I was really convinced that he wasn’t going to need more than one [start in the Minors] because of how good he’s been feeling,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It showed today.”

Miley’s day began with a jolt because his mischievous 6-year-old son, Jeb, had squirted soap on dad’s toothbrush overnight. Miley was already amped up to rejoin the Major League rotation; he arrived at the ballpark at 10 a.m. C.T., more than five hours before the first pitch. As they walked in from the bullpen, catcher Victor Caratini urged Miley to slow down.

After throwing at least five pitches to each of the five Pirates batters he faced in a long first inning, Miley settled into a rhythm that carried him to the sixth.

By then, the line for haircuts was already growing. Wiemer’s fan club is increasingly recognizable.

“I think we expected that,” Counsell said of Wiemer’s cult hero status. “He’s such a unique player. He’s such a unique personality and a unique athlete, frankly. The first time we saw him in Spring Training last year, you knew he was going to be a player you wanted to watch.”

“I hope [the fans] know the love’s reciprocated,” Wiemer said.