Brewers: A 2020 Festivus-Themed Airing of Grievances
By Matt Carroll
There are plenty of grievances for baseball fans to air from the 2020 baseball season, Milwaukee Brewers fans included.
It’s that joyous time of year. The holidays are here and not only are Brewers fans, not to mention players, filling out their Christmas wish lists, but we’ve even seen firsthand an exclusive look at president of baseball operations David Stearns’ 2020 letter to Santa.
But while the majority of the season is for holiday cheer, today is December 23rd, which marks the “holiday” of Festivus, made famous by Seinfeld back in the 90s. And for this one day, we take part in the airing of grievances.
Milwaukee Brewers fans have had plenty to be happy about in recent years, but today is not for that sentiment. So in the grand tradition of Festivus, here are my grievances as a Brewers (and baseball) fan in the 2020-2021 offseason.
Still no decision on the designated hitter in the National League
This one is obviously directed more toward MLB, but it is absolutely ridiculous that the league and the players’ union haven’t officially figured out a plan for whether the National League will have a DH in 2021 yet.
We’ve already discussed the need for the league to figure out a plan for 2021 in this regard. We saw David Stearns request it in his letter to Santa. And yet, here we are about to replace our 2020 calendar with one for 2021, and still, fans have no answer.
As Brewers fans, we would love to know whether the team can expect a DH next year so Stearns can more effectively assemble his roster, one that will already be tough to put together with expected payroll constraints. It would also be great to the many free agent DHs to know whether they have 15 potential suitors or 30.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic ($), The league has reportedly already sent a memo to NL teams telling them to expect no DH for 2021, but there are others who think it will still happen. All I can say is just figure it out!
Ryan Braun as a Brewer in 2021 looking less and less likely
Listen, I completely understand why long time Brewers star Ryan Braun is currently a free agent. His buyout made way too much financial sense for Milwaukee given the $15MM he would’ve made otherwise, his recent injury history, and aforementioned NL DH status.
Brewers skipper Craig Counsell recently had a press conference, where he touched on, among other things, Braun’s status. And though he didn’t give any indications as to whether a 2021 reunion was in the cards, seemingly speaking about the veteran slugger in a past tense wasn’t encouraging.
I’ve watched or listened to a lot of years (around 30?) of Brewers baseball, most of them bad ones, so watching a player like Braun for the last 14 was certainly a gift worth cherishing. I’ll understand if Milwaukee doesn’t find a way to bring him back for 2021, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it!
No big signings yet by the Brewers
I know all the excuses. The Brewers need to know the plan for the DH. The free agent market has been slow to develop for all of baseball. Milwaukee is working with lower payroll so they have to be very particular about who they go out and sign.
Yes, that all makes sense, I guess. But this is the MLB offseason! Fans want to know what new players they are going to get to cheer for next season and so far the Brewers have signed a handful of minor league contracts and added another catcher to the 40-man roster.
Brewers fans went through quite the 2020 season. Between the wait for the season to start, then the postponed games, watching whatever the 2020 Milwaukee offense was, and finishing with a sub-.500 record yet still making the team’s third-straight postseason only to lose in the Wild Card round, last season was an emotional rollercoaster. And that was in just a 60-game season!
So Brewers fans deserve something to look forward to in 2021, like some new players on the roster. But that can’t happen until players are actually signed by the team (or traded for, technically). So let’s fire up that hot stove and get to cooking Mr. Stearns!
It never hurts to get some grievances off your chest. Just make sure to also take the time to appreciate what the Brewers have given us as fans.