At 15-20, the Milwaukee Brewers still could rescue their season. But after going 1-9 in their last 10 games, the team has incited all kinds of despair among a fan base that is restless for a winner. Fans waited all winter for baseball and so far most of what the Brewers have done on the field hardly qualifies as baseball at all. Technically speaking, putting nine guys in the field and showing up to play other teams is playing baseball. However, the Brewers have often had the look of a group that isn’t sure what it’s doing on the diamond.
Where is the team I saw in San Diego? This bunch has had a doomed look to it lately and that doesn’t bode well for a franchise still entrenched in a losing culture despite making the playoffs a couple times in the last five or so years. Many people blame manager Ron Roenicke, and he’s had his share of boneheaded moves this season. Things have gotten so bad that Rickie Weeks has become an absolute pariah for frustrated fans. But what might be the most damning indictment of the team’s character is the body language and look of the team as it’s stumbled badly at home and on the road. That’s on the players, of course, but also on the manager to find out what the source of any malaise is and extinguish it. Rickie Weeks finally will take a seat Monday night to rest his slump, sit back and get a breather from the game. This evening and series will present a test for Roenicke and the Brewers. The Pittsburgh Pirates have often been the cure to the Brewers’ ills but this year’s Pirates are five games over .500 and playing good ball. Right now they are nearly as lean and mean as the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds, against whom the Brewers have looked hopelessly lost.
Despite all signs pointing to the starting pitching being a liability coming into 2013, many fans were optimistic based on what the unheralded guys in the rotation had done in 2012. As Enrique Bakemeyer points out in a post below, the team has gotten virtually nothing out of players who were supposed to be important pieces of the 2013 rotation (Narveson, Rogers and Fiers). The team’s front office doggedly stuck with their internal options until Lohse was signed late in the spring. That addition has helped, but perhaps the Brewers needed a lot more to be competitive this year. People wanted Doug Melvin’s head when Kyle Lohse was signed, but Lohse is the Luke Skywalker of the rotation right now. He may be our only hope.
I didn’t necessarily expect this Brewers team to be world-beaters, but c’mon. At least tread water until later in the season and stop making fans feel like utter morons for bothering to tune in to the games. There have been many times this season already where in exasperation I’ve questioned why I was so excited to watch this train wreck of a team. Imagine if you had spent a lot of money to visit Cincinnati this weekend to watch the Brewers. Sure, the experience of going to a new stadium is a reward unto itself. But watching your team get slaughtered on the road is not a fun time. After one of the bleakest offseasons in memory, fans at least deserve to avoid watching their favorite team get destroyed every night. Sure, true fans stick with the team no matter what. That’s right. Without true fans the Brewers would probably draw about one million per year, or perhaps they’d be in some other town by now. True fans can also DVR and fast forward, though. Non-winter is too fleeting in Wisconsin to live in daily agony commiserating with the Brewers.
It’s bad enough that this club has such an expansive history of sucking. But to raise the bar on expectations only to shatter any semblance of hope this early in the season is crushing. The Brewers aren’t doing their marketing department any favors in selling tickets, that’s for sure. I can’t blame fans for staying away a bit until this team shows them something. St. Louis fans are spoiled beyond belief. When is it going to be our turn? If you don’t like the way the Brewers get their heads bashed in every night, don’t buy a ticket. Maybe attend when they start playing like they give a shit.
Fuck!! This team is so damn difficult.
Make it easy on us, Brewers. Throw us long-suffering Wisconsin baseball fans a bone. Put your fighting faces on. Look like you want it more than the other team, and then kick them when they’re down. Play the game hard. Don’t surrender our summer in May, fer chrissakes.