Turkey Weekend Thanks

First, let me start by wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday Season.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the entire year, mostly due to Turkey and football, but this year was extra special because I met up with my family in Las Vegas.  Normally, Vegas would not be the first place you think of for family get togethers, but it ended up being a very special holiday weekend.  Being so removed from the things I am used to, namely this blog and the Brewers, helped me gain a little more perspective.  It also helped me to make a clean break from the season that was, and prepare myself for the season that will be.

Sometimes you have to take a step back from the usual routine in order to appreciate all of the things you have.  This weekend with my family was a great opportunity for me to forego the present (free agency, Prince, and the MVP) and focus on the past 11 months of this year.  So, as I sat in my super swanky hotel room, I came up with a list of 5 things that I am truly thankful for in 2011.

 

1)  NL Central Title - This is an obvious one, but certainly one of the things I am most thankful for.  The Brewers had not won a division title since 1982 and that was the only other one in franchise history.  Even if we did not make it to the Fall Classic, I am still very thankful to have that title going into the 2012 season.  It will be fun to watch this team play under the banner of being the reigning division champs.  Plus, you can not honestly tell me it will not make you all warm and cozy inside when they hang that banner out in Left Field next season.  When Ryan Braun hit what ended up being the clinching home run, it filled me with a sense of joy that was not duplicated until…

2)  Nyjer Morgan‘s NLDS Single - No matter where Nyjer goes in his career, that will be his defining moment.  In history, we will look back at his game winning single as one of the greatest single hits in all of Brewers folklore.  I think we all could have done without all of the f-bombs on national television, but Nyjer is who he is and you have to be willing to take the good with the bad.  That was the most stressful Brewers game I can ever remember.  If it was not for his schizophrenic, over-confident, and virtually unflappable swagger, the Brewers may have lost that game and not gotten the chance to play in the NLCS.  While I am thankful for Nyjer and his hit, I am also hopeful that he is a Brewer for a few more season.  Pretty much anyone who is not a Brewers fan dislikes him…but I am a Brewers fan so I love me some T-Plush.  Where would we have been last season with out…

3)  Mark Attanasio and Doug Melvin’s Moves - Now, it’s true that I often criticize these two men for their decision making.  In my defense, mostly it is in regards to Craig Counsell and Mark Kotsay type players.  You know, guys who were good during the Clinton administration.  In 2011 (and December of 2010), the Brewers added massive pieces to the NL Central Champs; Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Yuniesky Betancourt, the afore-mentioned Nyjer Morgan, Francisco Rodriguez, and Jerry Hairston Jr.  Take that Pangea!  That is a huge chunk of the playoff roster, 2 starting pitchers, a A+ set-up man, starting Center Fielder, starting Shortstop, and Starting 3rd Baseman in the NLDS and NLCS.  Now they also made some mistakes; Mark Kotsay, Craig Counsell, Felipe Lopez, Josh Wilson, and the handling of Brandon Boggs.  But, I would have to say that the good, far outweighed the bad this season.  We should all be thankful that we have a management team that wants to win.  American Sports are crowded with owners who just care about the money and not the product, that’s why I am so thankful for Doug and Mark this year.  Obviously, my thankfulness level for next year will really depend on what they do with the “Fielder Money”.  Do they somehow get Prince back, or do they use that money to re-sign Greinke or Marcum…or both.  Either way I know that Melvin and Attanasio want what is best for…

4)  Brewers Fans - I do not want to toot our own horn, but we have a terrific fan base.  Just in my own experiences on this site, Brewers fans are the best.  You guys are always very supportive of what we do and seem to enjoy what we have to say, but you are also never afraid to call me out when I am wrong.  Having a good fan base is about having balance.  I am so thankful for those of you who take time out of your life to read my thoughts on the Brewers.  Whether you hate my guts, or genuinely enjoy what I have to say, I am thankful for you.  Now I am not just thankful for my own selfish purposes.  I am thankful to Brewers fans for their behavior and dedication to the team in the National spotlight.  There is an old cliche “Act like you have been there before” and you would never have known that from watching the postseason.  As I sat in Seattle, watching from afar, I never saw Brewers fans crossing the line from being excited to being stupid.  On a national scale, people took notice of how great Brewers fans are.  Joe Simpson could not shut his mouth about it during the NLDS broadcasts.  As a Brewers fan, I am thankful for all other Brewers fans because just by having that one things in common, we have the basis of a friendship.  That may sound silly, but if we all met face-to-face, we would have on thing in common…which is one thing more in common than I have with my wife.  My love of this team is probably bordering on obsessive, but I am always proud of knowing that I am not the only one.  This final thing I am thankful for, is a gift for all of you…

5)  15:1 odds that the Brewers win the Series next season While in Las Vegas this past weekend, I went out and did some gambling research.  Not only did I learn 6 new table games, compliments of my brother-in-law Snick (you guys remember him right?), but I also checked on some sports betting odds.  Now, in my head I thought that the Brewers would probably be in the neighborhood of 50:1 odds for winning the series.  That number was based off of absolutely nothing.  So, I was quite surprised to find that the current Sports Books in the Aria hotel, are taking bets on the Brewers winning the Fall Classic at 15:1 odds.  Now, from what I understand different odds makers have different takes, but that was the hotel where I was staying, so that is who I will choose to believe.  When the women gave me the numbers, my initial intent was to place a little wager.  However, when I heard the odds, I put my wallet away and smiled.  It was a very pleasant surprise and something that I was thankful for.  Not the odds really, but what they signify.  In 2012, people who’s job it is to take you hard earned money believe that the Brewers have a great chance to be great again next year.

 

So, now that Thanksgiving is over get ready for a 4 weeks helping of crappy Paul McCartney Christmas albums and non-stop Santa movies.  Just so we are all on the same page though, last December was huge for the Brewers and I do not expect this year to be any different.  Merry Christmas season everybody.

Topics: 2011 NLCS, 2011 NLDS, Brandon Boggs, Brewers, Brewers Bullpen, Brewers Pitching, Carlos Gomez, Chris Narveson, Corey Hart, Craig Counsell, Doug Melvin, John Axford, Mark Attanasio, Mark Kotsay, Milwaukee Brewers, Nyjer Morgan, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Ron Roenicke, Ryan Braun, Shaun Marcum, Yovani Gallardo, Yuniesky Betancourt, Zack Greinke

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