Milwaukee has never had the sporting success of a larger city like Los Angeles or Boston, and with last night’s crushing news about Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich‘s season-ending injury, it’s hard to think that Milwaukee isn’t cursed when it comes to sports.
Let’s dive into the Bucks first. Last year they came within one game of going to the championship series, but fell to the Toronto Raptors – sound familiar? It was the same story with last year’s Milwaukee Brewers. The Bucks haven’t won a conference championship since 1974, and have only one NBA championship (coming in 1971) in the history of the team.
Now, we can’t exactly complain too much when it comes to the Packers, even though Green Bay isn’t Milwaukee, but it has been almost 10 years since they last won the Super Bowl. Combine Aaron Rodgers’ talent with that fact and you have to wonder why we haven’t seen more titles during the span of his career with the Packers.
Now, the obvious one. Our beloved Milwaukee Brewers have never won a World Series in their entire existence. They appeared in the World Series in 1982 but couldn’t claim the title. Last season they came within one game of the World Series, but fell to the Dodgers in Game 7 of the NLCS. Incredibly disappointing – but the result of a curse? Debatable.
2019 Is Cursed
Combine that with everything that’s happened to the Brewers this season, though, and you can make an argument for it. Let’s recap, painful though it may be.
- Opening Day Starter, Jhoulys Chacin – DFA’d
- One of last season’s ace relievers, Jeremy Jeffress, DFA’d
- Another ace reliever from 2018, Corey Knebel – out for the season after Tommy John surgery
- Third Baseman with two seasons of 30+ home runs, Travis Shaw – Suddenly unable to produce offensively this entire season
- 2018 All-Star First Baseman, Jesus Aguilar – slumped hard early this season, then just when he started getting hot, he was traded
- 6-time All-Star Left Fielder, Ryan Braun – in and out of the lineup with back tightness and various other minor injuries all season
- 6-time Gold Glover (well not quite, please fix that MLB) 2-Time All-Star Center Fielder, Lorenzo Cain – Dealing with minor injuries throughout the season, while struggling to produce offensively
- Up-and-Coming Rookie, Keston Hiura – Missed a few crucial weeks late this season with a hamstring strain
- 3-Time All-Star 3rd Baseman, Mike Moustakas – Out for two weeks in the midst of important series’ against the Cards + Cubs, with a hand injury
- Lastly – and most painfully – our MVP. Our star player. Our offensive hero. Christian Yelich is out for the remainder of the season after fracturing his kneecap in a freak foul ball accident in last night’s game in Miami. Cue uncontrollable weeping across the state of Wisconsin.
The Curse of the Franchise
And that’s just this season, there’s plenty of other years that point to the same thing.
- In 2017, possibly the most fun team this franchise has had, fell just short of the playoffs after staff ace Jimmy Nelson went down with a catastrophic shoulder injury.
- In 2014, the Brewers were in first place for 140+ days, but collapsed down the stretch, missing the playoffs and starting this rebuild phase.
- In 2011, they won the division and then lost in the NLCS to the despised Cardinals, missing their best chance to win a World Series with that core.
- In 2009 and 2010, they had Ken Macha as their manager, which led to a serious drop in the level of play
- Also in 2009, Mike Trout was drafted just one spot ahead of where the Brewers were selecting
- In 2008, Yovani Gallardo suffered a torn ACL and missed most of the year, but came back just in time for Ben Sheets to suffer a major injury and miss the postseason.
- For 26 years, they didn’t make the playoffs, suffering through some terrible, terrible seasons in the ’90s and early-mid ’00s.
- In 1982, losing Rollie Fingers for the end of the season drastically impacted this team’s chances at a World Series title.
This franchise and this city has been starving for a championship for years, but haven’t been able to get one. They’ve gotten close a couple of times, but keep on falling short, and then it’s years before another opportunity arises.
The Loss of Yelich
I think this tweet sums it up best – while with the Milwaukee Brewers, Yelich emerges as the best player in the National League, and one of the best in all of the MLB. And, while cruising through a historic season – that we were all hoping would end with 50 home runs and 30 stolen bases, a feat never accomplished by anyone in the MLB, he suffers a season-ending freak injury. Wisconsin sports never fail to break our hearts.
So cheer hard and cheer loud, Milwaukee Brewers fans. They need every drop of help that we can give them if Milwaukee is, in fact, a cursed sports town.