Ladies and Gentlemen,
Tonight marks the eve of the 2012 Milwaukee Brewers quest for the World Series. It is not an evening any of us should take for granted. Believe you me, my wife is not taking it for granted, because starting tomorrow she loses me until October…and if I am lucky enough, November.
Tomorrow, pitchers and catchers will report for the first mandatory work-out of 2012. While spring games are still a couple of weeks away, the 18th of February is when the campaign takes its first step. The likes of Yovani Gallardo, John Axford, and Jonathan Lucroy will be all over the Maryvale ballpark/complex. There will be pitching and weight-lifting, but NO, I repeat…NO basketball. Not this time around. Earlier today, Steve Engbloom over at Blog Red Machine, ranked the Brewers pitching staff as the best in the NL Central. That is high praise coming from a team that is one of the most improved in all of baseball going in to 2012. We have a lot to live up to. It all starts tomorrow.
Tonight is the last night that I will feel comfortable wearing my Prince Fielder throwback jersey. Not because I am angry or upset, but because once tomorrow starts, that jersey becomes nothing more than a collector’s item. This evening I will drink a beer and raise my glass to all of the friends who are no longer with us; Prince Fielder, Casey McGehee, LaTroy Hawkins, Takashi Saito, Mark Kotsay, and Jerry Hairston Jr. Those guys made the 2011 season one of the greatest 6 months of my life, but now they play for other teams and we must learn to put them out of our minds. 2012 is a new season and if they are not with us, then they are against us. So, if you have a beer tonight, be sure and pour out a drink for your homeys.
This is the night where we must put the past in the past, because it will not matter any more. What happened in 2011 was amazing, but now it is time for a new adventure. As glorious as that season was, at 9am on Saturday we, as a fan base, must move on. Embrace the 2012 Brewers and marvel in all that they will have to offer us. It will not be the same as last season. It can’t be. But believe me, different can be good too. I look at last year as a stepping stone, now it is time to stand at the summit and marvel at the ultimate prize.
Join me in having a beer and saying a personal “goodbye” to what was, and also saying “hello” to what will be. So, for the last time until the Brewers make the 2012 postseason, here is THE moment of 2011:
That still makes me well up and I am not afraid to admit it. A man should only cry when he can not express his emotions well enough through shouting, jumping, and smashing things. I digress.
This moment will always be a part of us, but I believe that it was just the beginning. We will never forget 2011, but now it’s 2012’s turn.
Go Brewers!! 2012 World Series, here we come.