As the Brewers magic number continues to improve, I wanted to contribute a bit to the site I frequent almost every single day (and sometimes hour). I'm primarily one of the non-commenting ghosts, but for the next few days, each Brewer win becoming more significant, I wanted to write a short post about how each "magic number" coincides with my Brewers fandom. Ideally the crew will keep me writing every day. You're all free to discuss/argue/completely ignore these posts, as it's simply my reflection on the number in my short time being a Brewers fan (started listening/watching consistently in 2005. That being said, here's my first post of ideally eight reflections on the past, present, and future of the Brewers.
Eight isn't just Ryan Braun, but for my entire recollection as a Brewers fan it might as well be. First time I heard mention of the name is on the now defunct local radio show "Sparks Flyin" with Shane Sparks (short run, short fuse, but a terrifically entertaining show). The man was killing it in the minors, and despite having a roster full of exciting young talent, the Brewers needed another bat. I don't recall many of the details of his first year, but it seemed every time I turned on the game, I was watching a future hall of famer learn what it means to be in the MLB. Even now, it seems strange to me Braun has only been on the team for four years (roughly). I still catch myself assuming the impossible when he's at the plate. I can only assume that when Yount first arrived in spring training fans at that time felt the same. The fact Braun is a once in a generation talent, combined with the fact that he actually WANTS to be in Milwaukee, is almost contrary to everything I came to understand about the Brewers. "We are not supposed to have superstars, and we certainly are not allowed to keep them". Braun is indicative of the massive culture shift I've been fortunate enough to watch these past 5 years.
Eight is the number of days we spent in first place in 2008. Despite a massive trade that pushed the Brewers to the top story of every sporting outlet, everything still almost came to an atomic crash at the end of the season. One fast start and mediocre play for months on end does not make a season, and 2008 taught me how important the Magic Numbers can be. While I didn't entirely understand the significance of the playoffs, watching the Brewers in a playoff game at Miller Park was as electrifying a sporting event I've ever seen. Here's to winning, and hopefully many more seasons to come.
Eight is the number of relief pitchers this year that are no longer in our bullpen. A weakness for more than half the season is now almost an afterthought, and through wizardry, both in pitching and general management, I'd say its safe to claim this is the best Brewers bullpen in almost three decades. I'm certainly glad we're not throwing Sean Green and Danny Herrera every other day.
One more win to 7. Let's get em tomorrow Brewers.