After last night, all I want to talk about is….
By Lou Olsen
If you somehow missed all of the events of last night, find your self a computer and get acquainted. Last night was one of the most amazing nights of baseball I have ever experienced. Two epic meltdowns and two epic climbs to the top, in one case minutes apart. While I am disappointed that the Cardinals made it in to the playoffs, they deserve it. The NL Playoff teams are all very, very good. However, today I wanted to talk about something not directly related to the upcoming NLDS series with the D’Backs. Honor.
Honor is something that is hard to define on the baseball field. It is much easier to define in life and death situations, which baseball is certainly not (if you think otherwise, seek professional help). Even as I sit here writing this, I am not sure what it means to me. But today, as I listened to 950 KJR (Seattle sports talk radio), people were calling in to share their feelings about how the Mariners season had gone. Mostly it was people who were unhappy, but there was also a contingent of people who had great hope for the future. Listening to this, I realized how fortunate I am as a fan to have been able to truly be involved in last nights events. There are a lot of fan-bases who have already moved on to football, hockey, and water polo. Baseball is America’s past time, but it is hard to truly enjoy playoff fever unless you are right there in the thick of it. Last night, I was able to enjoy the playoff race, because the Brewers ARE in the thick of it and I am infinitely grateful for that.
Back to honor. The Milwaukee Brewers played this season with honor. Other than the T-Plush tobacco toss at Chris Carpenter, this season was littered with guys showing up to the park and playing baseball. That’s it. No major endorsements or players getting pissed off due to lack of playing time. Just a group of guys who kept their ears to the ground and played the game. When the team brought in Nyjer Morgan, Carlos Gomez had every right to get all pissed off and run crying to the media, but he didn’t. After we acquired K-Rod, he was obviously displeased with his role (still is), but it has not effected his work on the field. The 2011 Milwaukee Brewers are everything you would expect from a Wisconsin sports team, young, hungry, and probably a little chilly. It has been my privilege to be so involved in this season, you could say…it has been my honor (I thought about cutting this out, but no matter how cheesy it is it kept making me smile.)
There have been times this season, were I have felt like this team does not have faith in each other. Any thoughts like that need to be shown the door if this team is going to reach the ultimate prize, the World Series. In order to have true honor, I feel like you have to have faith in waht you are doing and the people you are trying to do it with. Maybe I am wrong, certainly would not be the first time. I digress.
You know who else has honor? The Arizona D’Backs. While we may have bigger name players, the D’Backs have done nothing aside from playing baseball everyday. I can not think of one time this season where I heard about an off the field incident involving D’Backs players. You know what, D’Backs fans have honor too. In the past 24 hours I have received Tweets, e-mails, and comments from D’Backs fans…all of them positive. Things like, “The Brewers are a great team, we are happy for your franchise” and “It will be an honor to share the field of battle with the Brewers“. Damn it D’Backs fans! How am I supposed to hate you when you are so darn nice and grateful for this opportunity. In many ways, we are the same (accept for your World Series win in 2001). You love your team and are so damn happy to be in the playoffs that everything else is just noise.
To all of the D’Backs fans who make there way to this site over the coming days, thank you. You could have been like the Phillies or Yankees fans, but you have honor and true pride. Rather than bashing us and bringing up how historically bad our franchise has been, you complimented us on a wonderful season. For this, I personally can not thank you enough. Your contacts with me have put this baseball season in perspective. Every fan base goes out and roots for their team to play in October. And against all odds, two of the smallest market teams in the NL are going to play each other for the right to play a much bigger market team. Truth be told, I wish that this series was the NLCS. Even though the ratings may piss of FOX, it would be an amazing sight for baseball fans to see. So, before this series starts I would like D’Backs fans to know that no matter what I write over the coming days, it is an honor to be playing your team. The D’Backs have made believers out of me.
Honor is not something you pay for, or acquire in the off-season, it is earned on the field. In my very humble opinion, this is the most honorable division series being played this week. Both teams have overcome amazing adversity to be here and we should all enjoy it together, the same way we all enjoyed last nights events. So, I vow right here and now that I do not currently and will not, have any ill will towards teh D’Backs or their fans. Let’s all enjoy some October baseball.