The Beginning of the End…?


Ryan Braun is simply doing what we are all thinking….Photo Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

In my time at Reviewing the Brew I have been accused of many things, but being a team “apologist” has never been one.  Truth be told, this team does not deserve any apologists.  Be that as it may, I had been holding out hope that the team could maybe bounce back.  Then Monday happened and I decided it was time to reassess this team and where it is headed.

With Monday’s call-up of Scooter Gennett and the release of Alex Gonzalez, the winds of expectation began to change.  This move indicated a direct shift in the mindset of Brewers management.  Teams looking to compete, tend to go with veteran leadership over youthful potential.  And even though this move pleased me on a personal level (I hated Alex Gonzalez and love Scooter Gennett), I still found myself disappointed. 

Then news broke that the Brewers had acquired Juan Francisco from the Atlanta Braves, for minor league pitching prospect Thomas Keeling.  This was the move where I began to wonder if we, as an organization, were throwing in the proverbial towel.  Francisco is just an ok player, but he is young and can play the corner infield spots, and when he does make solid contact…it is for big time power.  This move signifies the end of Corey Hart or Aramis Ramirez, in my opinion.  Otherwise, what possible need could you have for this guy?  I know Yuni B is back to his old tricks, but surely he is a serviceable back-up to both Ramirez and Hart…right?  Then why do you need… 

The 2013 Brewers are 14 games under .500 and are just 12-18 at Miller Park.  Only the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros have a worse team ERA than the Crew (4.63).  If you pair that with the 4th worst defense in baseball (41 errors, only Dodgers have more) and being in the bottom 10 in runs scored…you have a recipe for a losing team. 

What happens to losing teams?  The veterans with high value contracts go away, the young guys making $10 a day come up, and the team flails through the remaining 4 months of the baseball season.

This is where the Milwaukee Brewers are heading right now.

Initially you may be shocked, or even angry with me for feeling like the season is over already, but why shouldn’t I feel that way.  As far as I can tell, our best starting pitcher has 4.37 ERA with a 1-6 record.  Our best offensive player is striking out 25% of the time.  If it wasn’t for Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez, we would have nothing positive to talk about. 

This is a bad team.

The moves made yesterday should signify to all of us that this is the beginning of the end.  Look for more young guys to get playing time, while veteran players watch helplessly from the dugout, spitting sunflower seeds all over the cold concrete floor.

Prepare yourselves for some of your favorite Brewers to go away.  If I was a betting man, I would say…Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart, Martin Maldonado, Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, Francisco Rodriguez, Burke Badenhop, Mike Gonzalez, and even John Axford should all have their bags packed.  The only players that I can say are 100% safe are Ryan Braun, Jean Segura, Jonathan Lucroy, and Carlos Gomez.  Outside of those 4 names, it could be a complete and total overhaul. 

Come this time next year, this team could be unrecognizable.  The sooner we all accept that fact, the sooner we can all relax and come down off the ledge.

What I love most about baseball is that next season could be THE season.  There is no way to know until it starts.  What I do know, however, is that 2013 is not THE season…it is just a season to be filed away under the “forget about this season” file.  It will join the 1972 season, as well as the 2001-2004 seasons in the “forget” file.

I was born in 1983 and I have been through some really rough seasons, but this one has not even been fun to watch.  We are usually out of the game by the 3rd inning every night and each game their fight dwindles away.  We are only a few weeks away from watching malnourished sloths take the field.

What I would recommend, is that we all hunker down and prepare to weather the storm.  My recommended provisions: beer, buffalo wings, nachos, hot dogs/brats, hard liquor of your choice, maybe some candy…peanut butter M&M’s maybe, and of course a hobby.  Might I suggest whittling, or perhaps facial hair education courses?

What did you take away from the deals made yesterday?  Am I being  over-dramatic?   Will Batman escape the Riddler’s dastardly trap?