Lots. Tons and tons of them. My browser just crashed there were so many search results.
Can you think of a better reliever in Brewers history than John Axford?
Most definitely. He had his stretches, but there have been others who have matched them and others who have beat them. (I think. I didn't really do the research on this one.)
Can you think of a better closer in Brewers history than John Axford?
Sure. Despite being second on the Brewers all-time saves list, the last two years have basically erased the idea that John Axford is or was an awesome closer (even though he really was for a minute.) The idea of "awesome closer" is admittedly a stupid kind of thing, but he was pretty dominant at one point. The best? You'll have to go through something called Doug Henry first, pal.
Can you think of a cooler guy in Brewers history than John Axford?
John Axford's legacy in Milwaukee will always be that of a cool guy, the kind of guy that you wish baseball players were like in your head (instead of the cruel reality that they are mostly Ryan Braun) and the most fan friendly Brewer we'll ever see. When he was good at baseball, he was grateful for his fans. When he was bad at baseball he was upfront about it and kept his sense of humor. He didn't want to be bad at baseball and he did whatever it took to get better, but the way he deftly handled his haters on twitter was magical. Or remember the time he blew a save and left a note? That was awesome. He was almost more fun when he sucked which was a good thing because he sucked a lot these last two years. (Which, again, is kind of a stupid thing because he was a reliever and sucking for two innings more info
is the END OF THE WORLD as a reliever.) I don't know. He was really good, but also sometimes really not good and when he was really not good you tend to notice more than when he was good. Does that make sense? Like, in 2011 I don't remember anyone saying "thank god Axford didn't blow any saves or we wouldn't be here," but you sure heard the opposite last year. I feel like that is John Axford's Brewers career in a nutshell.
But I always had a special spot in my heart for John Axford. He was good, but when he wasn't I wanted him to be so bad. He was also my favorite non-Braun player to write about. Remember #WeLoveAx? Which was our response to the cyber bullying of Axford. Remember his script I wrote (that John liked on twitter!)? Remember when he let us pick a Refused song to be his closer song? He was probably the most Miller Park Drunk Brewers player ever in our site's existence. He was cool. He was funny. He was just like this blog, good two years ago.
And now he is a Cardinal and 2011 feels like 80 years ago. He was just a middle reliever who got paid a lot of money that they probably wouldn't bring back, a smart move by the front office to get rid of someone like that, but his departure seems like a big deal. It's the end of an era. The team I've loved is changing right before my eyes and growing into something I don't recognize. Is it for the better? Probably, but sometimes better isn't better. Sometimes you just want to see your old friends. Sometimes you just want to hear "New Noise" and pretend it's October 2011.
Good luck in St. Louis, John. I hope your new team gets into a bus accident and everyone breaks their arms and legs, but you remain unscathed.
Can I scream? Yeah!