I will not admit that this Brewers season is over because we're probably going to see a NL Wild Card that wins 85 games and that number does not seem impossible and I will not give up on the Brewers season because, seriously, what else am I going to do for the next three months? With that being said I will say that this season has still been incredibly disappointing, no fun and not at all what we thought it would be. But what did we really think it would be?
Vegas set the Brewers pre-season over/under win total at 84.5. They weren't ever going to be a team that ran away with the division. Did last season's 96-66 record distort our expectations? Probably, but we should always remember that team had +6 wins over it's Pythagorean record (or expected record) and was a league best 30-18 in one run games. Those are two things that are really hard to repeat. For the Brewers to make a return trip to the playoffs this year they once again need a lot of things to go right and thus far this season almost nothing has. This isn't a lack of "drive" or a team that doesn't "mentally have it", this is baseball. You play more games than any other sport and less teams make the playoffs than any other sport. A lot has to go right for any team to succeed.
Thus far they haven't succeeded and a lot of reasons have been thrown around as to why. Here are a few of the most popular:
Injuries, man. Injuries.
Offense is worse than last season.
And while there have been a myriad of problems with this season there really is only one thing that has kept the Brewers from being "in it" and that thing is the bullpen. No, seriously, it's not Rickie Weeks. It's the bullpen. It's not injuries. It's the bullpen. That's it. Seriously. Continue reading »
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. Continue reading »
Yeah, Braun got hurt last night and that'd be real bad, the Brewers are "not clutch", can't hit on the road and they are left out of interleague play like the wheelchair kid in kickball. I don't care. This is what I want to write about because it's the saddest news of the day.
When people discuss the difference between professional wrestlers, the opening match comedy acts or the middle of the card technical wrestlers or the main eventers, the difference between them is always referred to as the "it" factor. That something about someone that makes you want to watch them. The ability of the performer to keep your eyes on them and draw your attention to whatever it is they are doing at the moment. It's something that is extremely hard to define, but when someone has it you just know. Hulk Hogan, despite being one of the worst in-ring performers of all time, had it. Steve Austin had it. The Rock had it. Even John Cena, despite the chorus of boos he receives from the diehard fans, has it. That special "IT" is what sets apart the wrestlers from the stars and the stars from the legends.
If I were asked to give an example of everything that ever epitomized what "IT" was I wouldn't be able to tell you what qualities that person might have, how they might sound or what they might look like. I would only give you one specific example that would sum up all you needed to know about the "IT" factor and that example would be the Macho Man Randy Savage. He had IT more than any wrestler of his or any generation. When he wrestled, you watched. When he talked on the microphone, you listened. It did not matter where his place on the card was or whether he was currently aligning himself with the babyfaces or the heels, whatever Randy Savage was doing was important. In a way Randy Savage just didn't have "it", he was "IT". Continue reading »