POP QUIZ HOTSHOT: Who leads the 2012 Milwaukee Brewers in OPS?
ANSWER: Ryan Braun, duh. Who else would it be?
The answer to that question is not surprising. Ryan Braun is the man. He's one of the best hitters in the league and one of the best hitters the Milwaukee Brewers franchise has ever seen. So, yeah, duh. No big surprise there.
What has surprised us though is who the Brewers second most valuable player has been because that guy is someone that we didn't see coming. That guy has always been a valuable member of the franchise, but it's never been anything quite like this. That guy has become the most popular player on the team and the new king of Milwaukee. That guy is Jonathan Lucroy.
I know, I can't believe it either. (I wanted it to be you Rickie. Sorry if the pressure got to you.)
In a season where everything seems to go wrong for the Milwaukee Brewers, everything has seemed to go right for Jonathan Lucroy. His outs come at times when the Brewers don't need him and his hits seem to come exactly when they do. Every ball he hits hard finds its way between the outfielders and every time he steps up with runners on they end up scoring. He's gritty and clutch and "a gamer" and all those other things people like to write about. (And, omg, he is so dreamy.) Jonathan Lucroy is absolutely killing it right now. I can't explain why it's happening. Baseball is a crazy game and these things just happen sometime so we should all just enjoy this while it lasts because who knows when it will end. Okay?
This isn't the part where we talk about advanced stats and do that whole thing. This is the part where we enjoy it. This is the part where we ride it out and see how long this good thing can last. This is the part where we buy a bunch of Jonathan Lucroy jerseys (not shirseys, jerseys) and crown him our new King. This is the fun part. Got it?
Now if the Spiderman movies have taught me anything it's
something something Kirsten Dunst's nipples that with great power comes great responsibility. We can't say how long Jonathan Lucroy will be the King of Milwaukee, but we can advise him not to waste his time at the top. (We don't want a repeat of the Casey McGehee debacle of 2010.) We want this to work. We want to love you forever and ever. So here's five tips to make that possible.
1. Say something cool in an interview.
I know it sounds ridiculous because, seriously, who gives a shit, but trust me on this one. Here's a recent Lucroy game quote:
"I'm just happy to help my team win any way I can. I'm just trying to have good ABs and hit the ball hard somewhere."
Zzzzzzzz. Lighten up dog!
Last week Corey Hart said "When you think you hit rock bottom, there's worse" and people all over the state were swooning over him. "He gets it, he gets what we're going through," we thought and Corey Hart bought himself a slump because you know what he gets it, he's trying his darnedest out there. That could be you. Say something like that. Not quite cookie cutter, but not quite deep into your psyche either. Throw them a bone and reap the rewards of strangers in Wausau singing your praises.
Or you could be my best friend forever and say something like "hey, maybe we should stop giving away our outs early in the game" the next time Roenicke plays for one run in the first inning.
(More on this point in our next post: "Earl Weaver vs. Ron Roenicke")
2. Smile, but only once.
On Sunday Jonathan Lucroy was forced to give a curtain call to the fans at Miller Park. I say forced because he looked like he'd rather be giving a colonoscopy to Khloe Kardashian. Look at the poor guy.
Look I know you take the game very seriously (and we love you for that) and there is a lot going on for you as a catcher, but this is a curtain call in a game that the Brewers couldn't lose if they let Braden Looper pitch. Enjoy the moment! Gimme just a little smile.
3. Make up with Randy Wolf.
Look, I am the biggest hetero male George Kottaras fan you can find. I have a big picture of him in the center of my vision board and I think the Brewers should try to get him in there whenever they can, but even I admit that this exclusive catcher for Randy Wolf thing is going too far. When someone is physically taking a team's offense and carrying it on his back up a flight of stairs with rocks tied to his shoes like Jonathan Lucroy has been doing then he needs to play as much as possible.
So go up to Randy Wolf and say you're sorry if you have to, tell him you think his girlfriend is pretty and get back in there on his days. Even anyone really needs your offense, it's him.
4. Get some new at-bat music.
Look, I'm not one to make fun of other people's taste in music (I am), but you have to admit that your current at-bat music "Fight Inside" by Red isn't exactly for everybody. For one it's Christian Rock which is a divisive genre to say the least. Second, these are some sample lyrics:
It's still the same, pursuing pain
Isn't worth the light I've gained
We both know how this will end
But I do it again
That pumps you up? You hear that and think "
hell heck yeah I am going to go get me some baseball hits"? Really? If that's your thing then more power to you, but it's not exactly having the same effect on your fans. Some of us don't really need to think about our internal struggle with the existence of God during your walk from the on-deck circle to the plate. (Or maybe that's just me?)
My advice to you is to keep it light and recognizable. Baseball is still a game and we should try to keep it fun, even when we're being serious. Here's a few recommendations for you:
- Jay-Z - Run This Town: This is a pretty literal choice. The only reason you would pick it is because you actually do run this town and you want everyone to realize your awareness of this fact.
- Europe - The Final Countdown: I mean, if I was a baseball player this would be my music so...
- Jermaine Stewart - We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off: It's pro-abstinence stance makes it a good stand-in for your previous religion tinged at-bat music, but it's much easier to stand up and dance to. Will also make you very popular with those who sneak in their own cherry wine. Uh-huh.
- Rush - Tom Sawyer: True story: Gregg Zaun didn't get a hit for his first 99 at-bats as a Brewer (and then he got hurt), but he was never booed once because he used Rush as his at-bat music. Think about it.
Or you could just go with the greatest piece of music ever created.
(Do that. Please do that.)
5. Don't get hurt. Ever.