Dear Brewers Fans,
I am writing you this letter today, because I am confused. In the past, I have always wanted the team to do more. Sign more players, make more deals, and the like. Since 2008, the team has given me countless gifts and things to write, analyze, and whine about. Then this off-season started…and I had a Bud Selig era flashback. Naturally this caused me a great deal of, unwanted, close-call pukes. You know, the ones where you feel it coming and against your better judgement you swallow it back down. That is what happens to me when I think of the last decade of Selig ownership.
For most of this off-season I have been feeling an overwhelming sense of emptiness. The Brewers attended the Winter Meetings, although no one noticed they were there. That includes available free-agents, other teams, and of course the Brewers faithful. It might have been better if no one showed up at all, hiding the team in a shroud of mystery and magic.
While teams like the Reds and Pirates continue to add depth and talent, the Brewers and Cardinals seem to be perfectly content to do nothing and stay the course. Normally I would never put us in the same sentence as the Cardinals, but this is why I need your help. Allow me to elaborate.
Since the Greinke trade occurred, all I have heard from baseball “experts” is that the Brewers farm system is one of the worst in baseball. But then last season I watched Mike Fiers, Mark Rogers, Jean Segura (acquired mid-season for Greinke, but still a part of our system), Jim Henderson, Brandon Kintzler, Wily Peralta, Martin Maldonado, and Caleb Gindl all contribute at the major league level. This is not a coincidence, this is part of a plan…right?
The St. Louis Cardinals have won two World Series titles in the past decade. This is a fact. They have done so, by allowing their farm system to flourish at the major league level. And once again have done nothing notable in the off-season to improve their team. Now obviously they have had better luck than most major league teams, but this type of overall organizational philosophy seems to be what the Brewers are trying to emulate. It seems as if every time they lose a big piece, they are able to fill it with someone from off the farm. And based off of the Brewers complete and total lack of interest in adding talent through free agency, we can only assume this is what our beloved Brewers are shooting for.
So, here is the question that has been keeping me up at night. Is this franchise done adding talent through trades and free-agency for a few years? The follow-up to that is, and if so…are we going to continue winning with that formula?
Truth is, I do not know the answer to either. What I do know, is that I am excited to see what happens in the coming months. I believe that Mat Gamel is going to be traded before the season starts and the Brewers will use him to acquire some more pitching depth. My brain also tells me that unless Rickie Weeks can set the world on fire, his days in Milwaukee are numbered as well. Weeks’ future could also be dictated by the growth of Scooter Gennett, who seems to be a hitting machine at every level. Here is also my brains idea as to what the rotation will look like on opening day: Yovani Gallardo, Mike Fiers, Mark Rogers, Chris Narveson, and Marco Estrada. The position players will all remain the same barring injury, that group of gentlemen spear-headed the most potent offense in baseball during the 2012 season. So, while it is unrealistic to expect them to perform to those same levels…as fans we can afford to be unrealistic this time of year.
As a fan base, are we cool with all of this? Do we, as a collective, believe that this gives us the best opportunity to make a run at a World Series title? More importantly, do we all see the parallels between what we are doing and what those stupid Cardinals have been doing for over a decade? And can we live with that?
Even as little as 2 weeks ago, I was irritated and pissed off. If you follow me on Twitter, this will not be news to you. But time heals all wounds. As the days peel off the calendar and we inch ever closer to Spring Training, I feel better about where we are going. Am I the only one? Do you all feel as I feel? Or am I just confused for the sake of confusion?
Too many questions I know, but this is why I have not been sleeping. Brewers fans unite. Thank you for listening to my paranoid non-sense…as always.
Always Your Neurotic Pal,