The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Something’s Brewing

with one comment

Thank god it’s almost baseball season.  It’s been a long winter, and I’m eager for my passion to reignite and burn with a warm glow deep into October.  I’ve got the fantasy league ready to go, and the sports pages growing thicker with baseball headlines makes me smile a little wider each morning.  I can’t wait until I get to my first game.

I’m going full-tilt this year, having already purchased the complete MLB TV package.  I’ve back it up with At Bat 2011, the best baseball app available for the iPhone.  What this means is that regardless of where I am or what I’m doing, I can watch, listen to, or at least check in on literally every single game.  I’ll probably tune in to the Tigers just to wonder at the beauty of Comerica Park.  I’ll watch Seattle play because I’ve never seen a game from SafeCo.  I’ll check out the action in the Twins’ new stadium.  But I won’t make much effort to watch the Yankees or the White Sox.  I haven’t gone batshit crazy, after all–  I still hate those teams.  Them, and the Reds.

My only concern is how I’ll be able to handle this much bliss.

I’m even going to do something I haven’t done in six or seven years, which is buy myself a new baseball cap:

Bald men wear lots of hats.
 
That’s an old-school Milwaukee hat; one applicable to the Braves, not the Brewers.  But it’s Milwaukee nonetheless, and it’s way cooler than most Brewers hats.  Buying it and wearing it will prove how strongly I believe this:  The Brewers are poised to make some noise in the National League.  The long-suffering team could win the NL Central, and here’s why:
1.  The Pirates and Astros are pathetic (as usual)
2.  The Cubs are rebuilding (though I predict they will be respectable)
3.  Adam Wainwright is gone for the season, thus capping the Cardinals out as an 85-win team (but they’ll be respectable–they always are)
4.  Dusty Baker still coaches the talent-rich Reds, and if there is any certainty about Dusty, it is that he can always screw up his situation.  I fantasize about the Reds imploding by the end of the season.
 
If the Brewers do win the division or the wildcard, they could make a solid run in the playoffs.  The heart of their order has three All-Stars in Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and Corey Hart.  The trio averaged almost 30 HR, 100 RBI, and a .500 SLG last season.  Braun and Fielder are also MVP candidates.  Setting the table will be Ricky Weeks, who finally had his breakout season last year.  He had a .366 OBP, 175 hits, 112 runs, and an eye-popping 29 HR and 83 RBI.  He is ready to ascend to the level of elite lead-off hitters.  If those four alone are healthy and produce similar numbers, the Brewers will do some serious damage.
 
Most important of all, the crew may have solved the pitching problem that has dogged them for the past few years.  They inked former AL MVP Zack Greinke as the staff ace, and the drop-off to Yovanni Gallardo, the second starter in the rotation, is pretty shallow.  Gallardo has given the team 185 innings, 200 K, a 3.78 ERA, and at least 13 wins in each of the last two seasons.  On the back end of the staff, John Axford not only has the most badass name in all of baseball for a closer, but emerged in place of Trevor Hoffmann last season and earned 24 saves in 27 opportunities.  With the Brewers starting pitching, he should finish with 35+ saves this season.
 
Injuries are always a concern, though, and two important pieces of the puzzle won’t be available when the Brewers open the season later this week.  Greinke isn’t due back until the middle of April, and Hart is out indefinitely.  Oddly enough, both have rib injuries.  But perhaps there isn’t much cause for panic since purebred Milwaukeean Craig Counsell is still lacing up his spikes.  It’s a little-known fact that the man who scored the World Series-winning run in 1997 is one of the greatest players ever.
 
 
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Written by seeker70

March 28, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I agree with most of this, except I’m not buying into the Cubs. I have little hope for them in my first year as an official Cubbie fan.

    As much as I hate the Brewers (mainly because of the fans), I have to say I agree with your thoughts about them. They’re solid. To your point about the injuries, I would be more worried as a Phillies fan about that aspect of the game; they have to be realizing that the Brewers are the only legitimate threat right now in the NL race, and if they get sidelined with injuries, they’ll implode quicker than the 2008 Cubs.

    Stranger Danger

    March 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm


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