Spring training has begun for the Milwaukee Brewers and excitement has reached an all-time high. With the trades for Yuniesky Betancourt and Shaun Marcum; the team, fans, management and everyone in Wisconsin has expectations through the roof. It might sound crazy to say, but this might just be the most important spring training of our lives.
Or it could be just like every other spring training. A lot of stupid questions, terrible speculation and a whole bunch of BS. For example, check out what Ryan Braun recently had to say about new manager Ron Roenicke. Keep in mind Ryan Braun had been in spring training for an entire day before making this statement.
It’s a thousand times different now. The whole atmosphere, the whole environment is much more positive. There’s just an aura of excitement. When you walk in here, you can literally feel the difference. We can all sense it and it’s exciting. The more positive your work environment is, the more conducive it is to accomplishing anything you can to be successful. He was really positive and optimistic and he was a great communicator. I think those things are something we all look for in a leader and a manager.
Really, Ryan? You gained all of that from one day?
(I secretly hope that Roenicke was just saving his negativity until today's first full practice so we can see Ryan Braun come out and say "Yeah, so, Roenicke's kind of a dick.")
Still, he said it so it's out there now. The Brewers are now in a better, more positive atmosphere and even better Ryan Braun is in the BEST SHAPE OF HIS LIFE.
So we can cross "_______ is in the best shape of his life" and "this year feels different/everything is better" off of our spring training story to do list. What else can we cross off?
- this year feels different/everything is better
- _______ is in the best shape of his life
- _______ looks for repeat of last season (Weeks/Hart)
- _______ wants to make a comeback from injury (Hawkins)
- _______ needs to improve (Gomez)
- Contract questions!!! (Fielder)
Man, we're really running through the questions fast. Luckily once we get to the point where we're out of them we'll be on to the actual games when we can make up a whole new set of stupid questions. Here's my guesses for this year:
- After starting off slow a slew of "What's wrong with Ryan Braun?" (Nothing.)
- When he starts the spring season batting .600 with 5 homeruns everyone will be asking "Should Kotsay start?" (No.)
- After a hot spring training for Brett Lawrie and a grand total of 6 IP for Shaun Marcum the fans start to wonder "Did we make a mistake?" (No.)
- When he gives up 0 ER in 20 relief innings the papers will be asking "Should Hawkins close?" (No. A million times no.)
The thing about spring training is that it's baseball and you have been waiting for baseball for so long that you watch and read and care about it, but it doesn't matter. The reason that I am excited for the Milwaukee Brewers this season is because of all the new guys they have and all of the old guys that didn't leave. I'm excited for Prince and Ryan and Zack and Shaun, I'm excited for Yo and Axford and everyone else. I cannot wait to see Zack Greinke pitch in a Brewers uniform, but if I convince myself to care about spring training I'm just going to see him give up a three run homerun to some jabroni like Koyie Hill and what fun would that be? That's not what I've waited for. I've waited to see Zack Greinke dominate and if I have to wait another month to see that, so be it.
Now, this isn't to say that I don't read everything that comes out or that I won't be watching every game that's on TV, but the point is that I am detached from it. I know that the Brewers' spring training showing has nothing to do with their regular season showing. If Craig Counsell hits 30 homeruns in the preseason it's no guarantee he'll hit one in the regular season. The players are who they are and a good or bad spring training won't change that. (Unless they get hurt.)
/furiously knocks on wood