There’s accusations tanking, there’s Stearns refuting said accusations and then there’s fans livid at the notion of trading away Lucroy (he is a fan favorite after all). Then-there’s me, wondering just what in the world the difference between tanking and rebuilding ACTUALLY is. So, I sought to seek out something that most would just laugh at not knowing the difference.
Like any word there are different ways to interpret the “tanking”. Generally, it’s looked as a team intentionally losing for one reason or another (in pretty much every case it’s to get the number one draft pick) and that winning in the present time doesn’t matter to them.
The Brewers finished 2014 9-22 and then went 7-18 to start 2015, at which point, then GM Doug Melvin began an overhaul of the roster by trading away veterans for prospects. New GM David Stearns has only reiterated that since his hiring, saying that is what the Brewers are doing, rebuilding so that the Brewers can bring Milwaukee a World Series.
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But with a team that went 68-94 last year, they’re projected to barely do better next year (71-91) and they’ve shipped plenty of their talent away in a division that has the Cardinals, Pirates and Cubs. And with a little luck the Brewers will be able to avoid 100 loss seasons over the next couple years.
I’m still not sure the Brewers are rebuilding, in the last ten years the Brew Crew has been mediocre at best, making the playoffs twice. Once in 2008, as a wild card, and again in 2011 when they took the division crown. In that same span, the Tigers have won the AL Central 4 times with 4 ALDS titles and two ALCS titles. If the Brewers could boast the same I’d be like hey totally rebuilding! But, alas that is not the case.
But, the Brewers have established themselves as having one of the better farm systems in MLB, and that is where our hope lies in the Brewers posting a winning season anytime soon. Oh, before I digress too much, that accusation of “tanking” from ESPN.com, it said the Brewers were going to go the “Houston Route” God I hope not, three consecutive 100 loss seasons doesn’t sound pleasant to me.
I think that the Brewers really aren’t rebuilding and they aren’t tanking, they simply are performing at a sub-mediocre level, as opposed to their usual mediocre, and given that Milwaukee is a small market baseball city, it really isn’t all that surprising. Side note: I wasn’t alive during the prime of the Brewers in the late 70s and early 80s, so take that for what it’s worth.