Rickie Weeks is my favorite baseball player. In one of our earliest post I wrote about my fandom for him. When I lived in Alabama I specifically went to see him (and some Prince guy) play in Double-A. He is the first and only of the current Brewers that I've ever bought a jersey for. I've had the "Rickie Weeks sucks"/"No he doesn't and here's why" argument so many times in my life that I can do it while I'm sleeping. And now after all this sitting, waiting, watching, wishing; this season, specifically in the last two months, Rickie Weeks has proven all of my arguments and defenses of him to be worthwhile. It's been kind of great. I knew he was good, but I never had a clue he could be THIS good.
To be completely honest, I kind of got burned out on the whole "being Rickie Weeks biggest supporter" thing. I'd just been through too much, you know? This team did not live up to the expectations I had for it, whatsoever and the fact that Rickie Weeks personally let me down a few times was the icing on the cake. I took it out on him. Watching him strike out three times in game-on-the-line scenarios in an extra inning loss to the Pirates really did a number on me. Especially considering I bet beers on him having a good game that day.
The turning point for me came on Wednesday, June 9th a night game against the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park. The Brewers were losing to Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wolf was giving up homeruns at a breakneck pace and this was like the 30th game in a row that the Brewers had lost while I was wearing my Rickie Weeks jersey. So I did what any fan who was pissed at his team and in the midst of his eleventh or twelth beer would do, I threw my jersey into the stands.Now, of course one of my friends went and got it for me. That's what friends do for their drunk friend, but I wasn't as drunk as they thought I was. I really never wanted to see that jersey again. I never wanted to wear it again. I was tired of it all. Tired of the Brewers performance, tired of supporting Rickie Weeks, tired of that stupid retro jersey with the stadium sauce stains on it and as soon as I got to a bar after the game (because honestly, what else would I do?) I gave it away to the first person who wanted it. I'd had enough. It was time to let go. Throwing that jersey away set me free. I would no longer be burdened by the weight of Rickie Weeks performance being tied directly to the shirt on my back. I could sit back, relax and enjoy the game. I'm loving it and apparently so is Rickie. Let's check out his numbers since that day.
Yeah, that's pretty good.
(And they're 24-20! Playoffs!)
The thing with Rickie is that it's not just his hitting that's making him burst onto the scene in a major way. His defense has become decent enough, but it's not that either. You see, Rickie Weeks is a MAN. He got hit in the face and stayed in the game (for the second time in his career) and as Brewers Bar explains it:
He's listed as 5'10 and 215 pounds on his baseball-reference page, but he plays like he's a lot bigger than that (and to be fair, that weight is probably a bit out of date -- he's packed on more muscle seemingly every winter). I don't think you could find a more intimidating presence on the Brewers' roster. How else could you describe a guy who gets hit in the head twice, and dusts himself off like it's nothing?
I don't know if I could name a player on this roster I like more than Weeks right now.
In sports we admire people for their toughness and Rickie Weeks has gone one step beyond that admiration, I now fear him for how much of a badass he is. After all the injuries he's had that have taken him out over the past few years Rickie Weeks has decided that he's not going to take it anymore. As Dalton would say, pain don't hurt. This is Rickie's time to shine. He's finally taken his rightful place as one of this team's true stars and if he keeps it up it won't be much longer until he is the team's superstar. Clearly, he's already surpassed Ryan Braun.