Jul 13, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Khris Davis (18) is congratulated by first baseman Lyle Overbay (24) after hitting home run during the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
I remember sitting at Brewers on Deck with my brothers in January listening to Mark Attanasio talk about the recently announced signing of Matt Garza. As the details were revealed I said to my brother Matthew, “This moves put them all in for 2014”.
It was a different stance than I thought they were going to take. I thought Tyler Thornburg or Jimmy Nelson would earn a rotational spot. I thought if the young guys did not pan out the way the Brewers hoped, they would have tradeable assets to continue to rebuild their minor league system. Yovani Gallardo, Aramis Ramirez, Rickie Weeks maybe even Ryan Braun. The Garza signing signaled to fans that we will compete in 2014.
Going into the year I said again to my brother, “I love the team, in fact I bought my first 20 pack but they are a 87-89 win team that WILL NOT make the playoffs”. April started and on opening day I witnessed win number one, only to see the Brewers drop the next two to the Braves before leaving for Boston for a long road trip. I was there to see Khris Davis knock in the winning run and help sweep the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The crew went 6-0 on the road trip and then swept the Pirates at home to make it nine in a row. April ended and the Brewers were 20-8 yet to many fans the sky was falling.
May was not friendly to the Brewers, injuries hit Braun and Ramirez and others. The sky was truly falling and “fans” decided to make it known that the fun was over, yet at month’s end the Brewers remained in first place. The Brewers finished May with a record of 13-15 and entered June 33-23.
June brought back the fun that April showed us all as fans. The Brewers had moments of frustration and continued to show their struggles with division rival Cincinnati. Still, a 6-1 road trip to Arizona and Colorado, highlighted by a Jonathan Lucroy grand slam and a three run wild pitch, helped cap off a 18-10 month.
The Brewers entered July with a 51-33 record but then July happened. The sky began to fall and the “fans” that wanted to remind us all that the Brewers were over their head got louder and louder. Prior to the break the Brewers hit rock bottom by getting swept in a four game series at home against the lowly Philadelphia Phillies. The sky was falling!
Then life happened, real life. Following a tough loss, a loss that I was at and was visibly upset about the entire 90 minute drive home, Ron Roenicke informed the media that something had happened and he would not open the locker room to the media. The next day we all found out, Jean Segura’s 9 month-old son had died. Now I have two sons and I cannot imagine life without them.
Sports is not life or death and many times we do not enjoy the good as much as we complain about the bad. As fans we second guess the manager, we yell at the TV when a player clearly shouldn’t have swung at a pitch and throw our hands in the air when a pitcher walks a batter.
Still, its sports not life and death. The sky is not falling. The Brewers have been in first place since April 9, 2014 and while I don’t want to tell fans how to be fans. I will offer an opinion, be a fan! Enjoy the success, success very few predicted.
Put it in prospective, did you think the Brewers would be in first place at the All-Star break?
You can yell at me as you read this and say, “That’s not good enough” or “Without a championship it doesn’t matter”. To you I respond, “What championship?”
When did we become so rich with tradition that we cannot enjoy a series win over the Rockies or the Cubs. As fans of the Milwaukee Brewers, none of us have seen a championship. This is why I say, be a fan! Enjoy the good, be frustrated by the bad but remember the next series is a chance to take 2 of 3 and if they do that we will be in Miller Park in October.
Just an opinion and some perspective from a fan as we enter the second half of 2014.
By the way the Reds enter without Votto and Phillips, the Cardinals without Molina and the Pirates without Cole (just saying).