It’s Working | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

It’s Working

By on August 14, 2011

After today’s games there are three teams with more wins in the major leagues than the Brewers– the Phillies, Red Sox, and Yankees. They’re seventh in offense WAR and tenth in pitching WAR.

I don’t think there can be anything more satisfying within the realm of being a sports fan as to watch a baseball team assemble a talented group of players and then having it work out. Maybe it’s the nature of baseball, in which there are usually only a handful of teams with aspirations of winning a World Series and it takes a long period of time to build a team even capable of making the playoffs. There have been setbacks, and in response to those setbacks there have been adjustments made. The bullpen starts blowing games? Get K-Rod. Weeks goes down? Get Hairston and Lopez.

For years we lamented a pitching staff that couldn’t strike anybody out and walked the ballpark. We got a team with the 4th highest strikeout rate in baseball, and the 4th lowest walk rate. We talked about how the defense might keep this team from contending, but have watched them put up a positive UZR on the year (thanks to Carlos Gomez). We’ve talked about how Yuniesky Betancourt and Casey McGehee could hold this team back from achieving a playoff berth, and then watched them come alive in July and August and winning a couple of games for the Brewers almost single-handedly.

I’ve been consistently writing about the Brewers for 3 years now, and this summer has forced me to take a step back and really think hard about things to write about, for the simple reason that there is not much to complain about. Complaining is also fun. But there’s something to be said about how just about everything we’ve attempted to complain about this season has turned out for the best for the team. Cut Kotsay! DFA Betancourt! Find a lefty for the bullpen! Might there have been better routes forward than the ones taken by Melvin? Sure, but no one can argue with the results. I still think that playing Hairston every day at short would put the team in a better position to win. But the way things are going I just expect it to work out in the favor of the Brewers.

This year certainly has that special feel to it. The pieces are in place and it’s going to be quite an experience to watch this team continue throughout August and September. I assume there will be other setbacks, and adjustments to compensate. But for the first time in my lifetime, the Brewers have a team that can win the World Series, and I’m going to sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Tell us what do you think.

  1. Rob says: August 14, 2011

    I was thinking much the same thing. I don’t believe in the whole “team of destiny” concept, but it almost feels that way right now. Everything is clicking right now, starting pitching is really good, the bullpen has been almost lights out since K-Rod came along (he is the one who has two blown saves, yet they won both), and the offense seems to be picked up by a new guy every day. It is a fun time to be a Brewer fan, that is for sure.

    Although, look at the comment section on just about any JSOnline article and you will find five guys complaining about everything. Ridiculous, if you are complaining that much when they have a five game lead in mid-August, maybe baseball is too much for you.

  2. Flharfh says: August 15, 2011

    The playoffs are a crapshoot but the most important thing is starting pitching. I’d put up Greinke/Gallardo/Marcum up against any three pitchers in baseball, including Holliday/Lee/Hamels. Great year to be a Brewers fan.

  3. chris says: August 15, 2011

    Nice piece. The problem as I see it is that too often, good news, or no news, for that matter, doesn’t get the hype or print that it needs to. Everyone can read articles that complain, bemoan, denigrate or simply tear down a team or a GM, but the ones that are relaxed, going with the flow and just “enjoying the ride” aren’t always appreciated for their simplicity and straightforwardness. As a fan of a team whose owners rarely fail to spend money to put (projected) quality on the field, I don’t ever take it for granted. I was a fan during some lean years as well, and I know what disappointment comes with having a frustratingly bad team. I hear from others how lucky I am to have team owners and a GM like that, and I agree, but I don’t think that makes me want to root less for my team. Just because the farm system isn’t always stocked with prospects, or the talent on the diamond isn’t always home-grown doesn’t mean that the team is any less “my team”. I was in Milwaukee for the CC run a few years ago, and I’m a faithful watcher of this year’s games as well. All I can say is, it IS fun, isn’t it?

  4. Jason says: August 15, 2011

    I was at Saturday’s game. During his at-bat, the scoreboard said Bettencourt was batting .395 for August. he is more than carrying his own weight with the team right now. Hairston can’t even come close to what he is doing for the team. quit nursing this grudge and talk about something else.

  5. Brandon says: August 15, 2011

    I’m loving the product that is put on the field every day this year, but I think someone needs to take a look at why Yo has been our 4th best almost all year. We had huge expectations but he seems to come up short more often than not.

  6. Kris says: August 16, 2011

    Hairston is clearly a better career player than Yuni. I agree that Yuni is playing well recently and has been on fire but when he cools off a bit it might make more sense to play Hairston at short. He is much better defensively and is a very average hitter. That’s better than Yuni can say about the majority of his career.


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