Ryan Braun (center) hit a home-run in his first Spring Training at-bat. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
I cannot remember for the life of me where I saw the original article, but it seems there’s a growing sentiment about the Milwaukee Brewers. Some people believe that the Brewers’ 2014 campaign will be completely dependent on Ryan Braun.
That is by far the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard.
While it is true that the Brewers’ offense ran into its problems last season, that isn’t what caused the team to sit 14 games below .500. The starting pitching was the number one culprit last season with Kyle Lohse being the only consistent starter. Sure the offense had some blunders at time, namely getting guys on and then stranding them, but you cannot tell me one player will magically make those problems go away. Regardless, I think Braun is talented enough without the banned substances to continue his dominance at the plate.
Braun doesn’t make the offense and in the same regard, having him out of the line-up doesn’t destroy it either. The Brewers do have the bats of Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy, Jean Segura, Rickie Weeks (when consistent) and Aramis Ramirez (when healthy) that will and can produce.
Even some of the younger guys like Scooter Gennett and Khris Davis pulled their weight for a nice portion of 2013. There’s no reason to believe Braun’s influence either way is going to affect how this team performs overall this season.
Many people will hold their vendettas against Braun until they day they die and so be it. They’ll criticize the front office for giving Braun the contract they did and some even think keeping Prince Fielder would have been the better option. Regardless of what the public opinion is or isn’t on Braun, the fact is he’s just one guy who alone has a small chance of making a severe impact this season, which is true of any player. Sure, Braun can hit a solo home-run and in fact hit 35 of them for example, but if they’re all in losing games, then what does it matter?
People just like to use Braun for this “make or break” attitude that has been associated with the Brewers. It’s sad because there is so much more to this team, yet some feel the need to cling to Braun’s actions. Let it go already and realize one man alone cannot make a team win or lose games.