Milwaukee Brewers: The Ryan Braun era coming to an end?
Let’s be honest fellow Milwaukee Brewers fans, making the playoffs is like winning the World Series for us. The team last made the playoffs in 2011, and that ended in agony.
I can remember being one St. Louis Cardinals loss away from attending my first Milwaukee Brewers playoff game in person, more than the fact that my own daughter was born that year. Shameful as that is to admit, facts are facts. For me, baseball season never ends.
In 1982, the Brewers lost the World Series to the Cardinals. Do you remember what happened when that team returned home from losing? A parade that was so crowded, it moved slower than a snail’s pace.
We are a loyal fan base, consistently over 2 million in attendance yearly, from the time Miller Park opened in 2001. We may be a small market team, but we have big market fans. The ONLY other times the Brewers have made the playoffs since ’82, Ryan Braun was a fixture in the lineup.
What does the future hold for Braun with the Milwaukee Brewers?
Braun still has a future in the Big Leagues, and could help contribute to the Brewers success long-term. However, for him to retire with the Milwaukee Brewers, he will need to change his position. Where should he play you ask? First base is the only option.
Sorry Eric Thames, but at least Chris Carter hit 40+ home runs while constantly swinging at pitches outside the strike zone. The Brewers are full of middle-infielders and corner outfielders in the Minor Leagues. As this organization moves forward, Braun will inevitably be phased out of the outfield.
Robin Yount spent his entire career playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, and Ryan Braun should too. When he signed his first contract extension in 2008, at the time, he took a team friendly deal. He was suspended for PED’s shortly after, but does that really matter anymore? With or without PED’s, Braun was as prolific a hitter as anybody early in his career. He deserves forgiveness and an opportunity to finish his career with the team he stayed loyal to.
Braun has seen too many of his Brewers teammates come and go over the years. It’s a rare sight to see a player play his entire career for one team in this day and age. At this point, indiscretions and all, Braun deserves a chance to play out his days in Brewers blue and gold.
Although he has missed time due to injury this season, he provides a veteran presence when he is healthy. His stats are below expectations, but there is still life in his bat. Braun also brings leadership to the clubhouse that won’t show up in any box scores.
Stating Braun’s case to stay in Milwaukee
Braun has been in the Major Leagues with the Milwaukee Brewers for over a decade. He’s been a part of the last two playoff teams, as well as teams that have lost 80-90 games. He has seen the Brewers have a division lead late in the season, only to fall apart and miss the playoffs altogether.
Braun has seen it all, and with this young team, they need that experience more than anything. It would be nice to see Braun hit 35 home runs and drive in 110 runs again. However, at this point in his career, that’s not the player Braun is anymore.
He needs to embrace the tail end of his career, and accept the fact that he is no longer a superstar. He can still be the face of this franchise as the team moves forward. However, he is no longer the lynch pin for this offense.
As the team moves closer to contention, they will inevitably have to supplement the roster via free agency. Having Braun, a former MVP with multiple All-Star appearances, should only help the team in that regard. By showing loyalty to an aging star, the organization can show potential free agents the type of treatment a world-class organization can give their players.
I vaguely remember witnessing the end of Yount’s career with Milwaukee. This fan base, and organization, hold “The Kid” in such high regard that he has his own statue in front of Miller Park. It’s well deserved for the greatest player in Milwaukee Brewers history.
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We Brewers fans stand by and support our great players, Braun should be no different. He will never be as beloved by Brewers fans as Yount is. However, the fact remains, Braun is a Milwaukee Brewers hero. That is something that should always be remembered.