LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face it; things could be better for the Brewers.
Fresh off a losing series in San Diego, a split of a four-game shitshow against the Nationals, and series losses to the lowly Braves and Pirates Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Milwaukee is having a rough go of it. Combine that with Corey HartÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s appendix exploding, and a trade deadline where MilwaukeeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s front office countered St. LouisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ pickup of Matt Holliday by snagging difference-makers Claudio Vargas and Corey Patterson, suddenly things only begin to look worse.
But even if MilwaukeeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s playoff outlook seems bleak and the Dodgers are next for the Crew, there are still reasons to cling to the hope of the Brewers making the playoffs; there are still reasons to watch the Brewers in 2009, exactly 10 reasons.
10. July is over. After a month that saw the Brewers going 8-17, August is a sight for sore eyes. Things already seem to be turning around, as Milwaukee has won half its August games, opposed to fewer than a third of its July contests.
9. The Brewers are in the NL Central. I’d say I was amazed the Brewers are just 4.5 games out in the Central after taking over a month off, but I’m not. People call the NL Central the most competitive division in baseball, not because it’s good, but because each team is similarly bad. Chalk it up to Midwestern politeness for each team’s tendency to surge to first place, feel guilty and let another team take the lead for a spell.
8. The Brewers are in the National League. Honestly, beyond the Dodgers, Phillies and, just recently, Cardinals, how many dominant teams are in the National League? The NL West and East may as well crown its champs and rest up for October. The NL Central and Wild Card reps depend less on a team’s skill than its willingness to be visiting team in a series it will invariably lose in four games.
7. Matt Holliday can only get worse. I mean seriously, even if the square-jawed one continues playing amazing in a Card’s uni, he can’t keep playing this well. Can he? Wait, don’t answer that.
6. The return of Dave Bush.Ã‚Â After taking a comebacker off his elbow (and staying in the game!) in June, my favorite Brewer will be summoned from the DL and on the mound by mid- to late August. His return will renew Milwaukee’s rotation to the full 3 1/2 pitchers it enjoyed at the beginning of the season.
5. Claudio Vargas and Corey Patterson.Ã‚Â Though not the biggest moves in the world, the trade for Vargas and free agent pickup of Patterson can’t possibly hurt the team. Nothing (or next-to-nothing) was given up to bring them in and, thus, they have no expectation. If they fail, the mere fact they were given an opportunity indicates no better possibilities were immediately available. If they succeed, even marginally, they’re heroes.
4. Following @Tom Haudricourt lose exceedingly more faith in the Brewers, in life and in humanity.Ã‚Â I’ve referenced this before, but I’ve grown to love seeing a professional journalist who’s granted more access to the Brewers organiztion than any non-Brewers employee could ever dream of bitching about his mealticket on his Twitter account. Even if the Brewers’ slide continues, I’ll simply have more incentive to read the latest HaudriTweets.
“Looper was pulled in the 4th after 95 pitches. Pondering the futility of life”
“Reds made a waiver trade. I may as well eat a tub of Rocky Road and grow a beard. What’s the point?”
“Brewers barely win tonight… season is over.”
3. Fewer asshats at games. The Brewers are under .500 and six games out of the Wild Card, injuries are piling up, no significant moves were made at the deadline and the pitching staff – that has been lacking all season – is more bare bones than ever. You could take all that as a reason to contemplate ending it all OR you could relate the abundance of misfortunes befallen on your favorite team to the absence of a good portion of fair weather fans. Imagine being able to watch a game without seeing a fan wearing a Remetee or jersey with a fan’s last name. Sorry, but ballhawks will still be on hand to ruin parts of the game for you and everyone in your section. They’re like mosquitoes in that respect, only mosquitoes have significantly more experience penetrating women.
2. The ever-leveling playing field. Assuming this year goes down as others, the Brewers will be in contention to season’s end. Chris Carpenter will hurt himself while thinking about sneezing. Mike Hampton will die after hitting his 700th career home run, Bronson Arroyo will be sidelined with herpes contracted at a Schwayze concert and the Cubs will blow it – again. A possible bonus: Albert Pujols will be outed as a 52-year-old steroid user who doesn’t believe in the moon landing.
1. There are 57 games left. Sure, the Brewers are 4 1/2 out of first, 6 out of the Wild Card and don’t look to have the best odds to make the playoffs. But much can change in the course of 57 games. It may be easier said than done, but there’s still reason to watch the Brewers.