Thanks to ‘Brewers On Deck’, I was able to learn a great deal about the 2012 Brewers. Based off of skipper, Ron Roenicke’s comments, I would say that I am not the only one. Roenicke had plenty to say about what he expects from the 2012 Brew Crew.
"We think the offense, the more creative we get, the more opportunities we have to score runs without home runs, the better off we’ll be. This is going to be a good team."
Well, at least the skipper thinks the team will be good. Although, I doubt that even if this was the worst team in history, any self-respecting skipper would admit to that…accept for Ned Yost maybe.
My favorite thing about the Milwaukee Brewers is that we can get so close to our players and coach. At the even a few weekends ago, Roenicke spent countless hours discussing every topic imaginable. Through all of that, his goal remained the same, win the NL Central again. That is good enough for me skip, say no more.
Oh, sorry Ron, what about having an infield with 3 new faces? Aramis Ramirez, Alex Gonzalez, and Mat Gamel will all be filling roles occupied by other players in 2011. RRR wasted no time in saying what we, as fans, already knew:
"We’re excited about Aramis Ramirez and Alex Gonzalez on the left side. Hopefully, that’s going to be a huge improvement."
Hopefully?!!? Hopefully Ron?!?!!? I can almost guarantee that the left side of the infield will be infinitely better in 2012, than it was in 2011. Defensively, there is no debate. Offensively, Ramirez will be an upgrade and Gonzalez is no better or worse than Betancourt. So, if you can win a division with, statistically, the worst shortstop in all of baseball, then you sure as hell better win it with a guy who is not the worst. I’m not saying…I’m just saying.
Now, I give Ron a hard time. Mostly because I have not really liked a Brewers skipper since Phil Garner. I want to like Ron, but I still feel like he is too soft on this team. Just once, I want to see that ice water running through his veins. Granted, the guy is a step up from Ken Macha, but a wet moldy towel is more emotional than that cyborg.
The biggest question for RRR at ‘On Deck’ involved the batting order. Corey Hart eventually took over the lead-off spot from Rickie Weeks, who was moved behind Prince Fielder. Hart flourished in the lead-off spot, while Rickie’s first All-Star season slowly fell apart. While he did not tip his hand on how things would play out, he did give us a little indication of how is leaning right now.
"They need to be in a spot where they’re comfortable."
…is that it? Ok, well then I would guess spring training will decide who bats in the 5 hole. There is no doubt in my mind, that Corey Hart should be the lead-off batter to start 2012. That leaves us with either Rickie Weeks, or our new 1st baseman Mat Gamel. Who Ron also discussed.
"You don’t want to put a young guy right in the fire. You want to get him comfortable and confident."
Based off of these comments, here is your opening day lineup:
1) Hart 2) Morgan 3) Braun (?) 4) Ramirez 5) Weeks 6) Gonzalez 7) Gamel 8) Lucroy 9) Gallardo
There you have it folks. The power of assuming.
All in all, I think Ron will have more confidence and that can only be good for the team. If he has another good season, maybe I can let him into the league of Lou’s favorite Brewers skippers. Which, as of this moment is a one man dance party, hosted by Phil Garner and his sweet early 90’s mustache.
I believe coach when he says the team is going to be good. Why would I doubt him? In my opinion, the 2012 team is just as talented as the 2011 Brewers. While the 2011 Crew’s strength was power baseball, the 2012 teams strength will be in it’s defense and clutch hitting. If we have learned nothing from the last two World Series champs (Cardinals and Giants), the team with the most power does not win. If they did, the Texas Rangers would have two championship rings by now. Pitching, defense, and clutch hitting is what gets you thru October and into the first week of Novemeber. That is where I want to be, and this could be the team to get
sorry, us there.