It's the end of an era up north. The Green Bay Packers traded longtime quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Monday, sending the future Hall of Famer to the New York Jets. Rodgers was the starting QB in Green Bay for 15 years, taking over for another Hall of Famer QB that was traded to the Jets in Brett Favre in 2008.
15 years is a long time in the sports world, and it made me think about how much has changed for the Milwaukee Brewers in that time.
So let's go back to September 8th, 2008, the day of Aaron Rodgers' first start for the Green Bay Packers, and look at the lineup the Brewers were putting out at that time.
The Brewers lineup in 2008 back when Aaron Rodgers was just getting his Packers QB career started was loaded and fans will remember it fondly.
If we're going to look back at any lineup in Brewers history, the 2008 one is a solid place to go. This was the team that broke the Brewers 26 year playoff drought.
Rodgers' first start was on September 8th. Here was the Brewers lineup on that day against the Cincinnati Reds.
1. Ray Durham - 2B
2. JJ Hardy - SS
3. Ryan Braun - LF
4. Prince Fielder - 1B
5. Corey Hart - RF
6. Mike Cameron - CF
7. Craig Counsell - 3B
8. Jason Kendall - C
9. Dave Bush - SP
Just look at the heart of that lineup. Hardy-Braun-Prince-Hart was the recipe for success that year. Ray Durham was acquired midseason and was an excellent addition to the lineup in his final MLB season.
The legendary Mike Cameron was patrolling centerfield at the time and look who was manning third base. It's none other than current Brewers manager Craig Counsell. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Another legend, Jason Kendall, was behind the dish.
On the mound that night was Dave Bush. Bush sometimes frustrated Brewers fans in his tenure, but he was not the problem on the night of Rodgers' first start. Against the Reds on that September night, Bush tossed 8 strong innings, allowing just two runs and striking out three. It's almost hard to imagine a starting pitcher nowadays going eight innings and tallying just three strikeouts. But again, this is Dave Bush we're talking about.
The Brewers were in position to win this game, leading 4-2 when Bush exited after the 8th. But closer Salomon Torres gave up three runs in the top of the 9th and the Brewers would fall 5-4. Manager Ned Yost did not pull Torres from the 9th, despite him facing 9 batters in the inning. Yost would be fired a week later with just 12 games left in the regular season.
Aaron Rodgers was a constant in Green Bay for 15 years. It's rare in sports. The only constant from the Brewers in 2008 to the Brewers now is Craig Counsell, and he has held three different jobs in that stretch. He was a player through the 2011 season, then a special assistant in the front office from 2012-2015, then installed as manager early in the 2015 season.