There are two things you need to go before reading this article:
1) It is a direct parody of this ridiculous article from the bizarro BCB. Read it first as it is quite the head scratcher.
2) I once read that Milwaukee is the largest consumer of Brandy in the world according to the liner notes of a Violent Femmes album.
I'll warn you now, this is going to be a long read, so have a seat with your morning brandy and settle in.
The idea for this article began as the Crew appeared to be sailing along to a 1-0 win against the Reds Sunday afternoon in the first inning. It would've been their 2nd win in a row over the Reds and moved them to 10 games below .500.
So that got me thinking (and give me a moment because I had a lot of brandy at this point): What if the Brewers continued on and won like... a lot more in a row? And the Pirates and Reds fell back to earth in fiery plane crashes (but not the Cardinals, since they're birds and can fly, duh!), and at the All-Star Break the Crew found themselves, say, 4 or 5 games out of the second wild card?
What then? Do you keep such a team together, maybe add a piece, and try to make a run? No. Of course not, because that would be really stupid. But it's not like the Wild Cards haven't won series in the playoffs before. In fact it's happened a lot!
Or do you punt on the season because, as we all know, that is the logical thing to do and the rebuilding process here really starts when the Owner doesn't cut 20 million of budget from the payroll and allows Doug to build the team he needs to build, only to make a stupid signing at the behest of an agent who you give way too much time to anyway. Likely it has to be done the way most smart teams do it with "waves and waves of talent", as this brandy induced leprechaun told me, as does every smart team in baseball does.
Well the Brewers didn't win on Sunday, and that was the difference between not much really as this season is in the tank. Also, the difference between 14 and 16 games below .500 and jeopardizing your shot at a top 5 pick at this point. It appears the the Crew have been heading to be sellers since they tanked in May and have already announced that they're sellers at the trading deadline. They have a few chips to move, and I expect that I'll be disappointed if we don't get Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Matt Harvey, AND Manny Machado back in return for our above average rentals.
Before I get to this, let's talk about Sunday's debacle:
How do you not hold on to a 1-0 lead in the first?!? I mean, you stake your team to a 1-0 lead, you should be able to hold on to that lead with the best pitching performance of your career against a relatively stronger offense of the Reds?!? C'mon Wily!!! Aren't you supposed to be good?!? Let's hear what Ron had to say about this!
"I just thought we didn't play a good game today," Roenicke said. "This is a really good [Reds] team, and we know we have to play really well to beat them. I thought we played really well the first two games, and we didn't play well today."
Pardon my French, Ron, but no shit! You didn't play well today!!! Put down your brandy and realize this!!!
If you won that game you would've had 2 wins in a row, and then think about what could come next!!! 3!!! Every game matters! If your guys don't play well, then you won't win again!!! I don't care about tanking this season and getting actual decent guys that could help in the future! It's been TWO YEARS SINCE WE'VE SEEN GLORY!!!
Which brings me to a complete left turn that is totally unrelated to the first half of this article, and that is this: People die. Prospects are just people that are not dead yet. Take a look at this stat line:
G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BA SLG
138 498 188 199 35 3 72 224 4 .400 .916
You want that player on your team right? That's a statline that was put up in the Longhorn league by a guy who could hit!
So who did it? It was Joe Bauman. Guess where he is now? Dead. The Crew can't use a dead player now can they. Never played a day in the majors either.
How about this guy?
G AB H 2B 3B HR BA SLG
63 229 83 20 2 20 .362 .729
That was put up by a 21 year old in the AA league. What happened to him?
Well that's Hector Espino. The Mexican Babe Ruth. He's now 74 years old, and a hell of a prospect back then! Never played a day in the majors.
You know who else never played a day in the majors? This guy! Here's his line for a 20 year old in the IL!!!
PA AB R H 2B 3B HR SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
209 187 33 61 10 5 7 0 22 .326 .397 .545 .943
That statline belongs to Josh Gibson, never played a day in the majors in his life!!! Also, dead.
The point is that Prospects are prospects.
These are just 3 examples. I personally am too drunk off the brandy and high off this mescaline I just took to recount more. Except for this guy here who is now playing in Japan. He may look familiar to you.
G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
72 324 268 49 92 7 4 0 23 26 17 33 44 .343 .439 .399 .839
That's Nyjer Morgan's statline as a 22 year old in the NY Penn lo A league!!! Remember him? He was fun! AAAAHHHHHH GOTTA GO!!!
The point of all this is: you can be excited by Orlando Arcia, Tyler Jungmann, Tyrone Taylor, and Chet Manly (not a brewers prospect, just an awesome baseball name. In fact, he's not even a real person!) and others, but they are all playing or not existing at the lower levels of the minors. One of these guys probably did something really impressive recently, but I'm way too drunk to look it up. But someone else probably did it too and they probably didn't make the majors or is probably dead.
Some of you may be excited about the most recent draftees as well. But a lot of them haven't even hit puberty yet!
I repeat, because I already forgot what I wrote 9 sentences ago: There are no guarantees with prospects. Sure, they have some promise, and it appears that this rebuilding process is happening and it looks like their second round strategy of high risk, high reward guys may pay off in Taylor and already is with Thornberg making the majors already. But if you think they will lead the crew to a completely unrealistic goal of a world series in less than 4 years, you have drunk WAY more brandy than I have.
If the Crew is going to trade off parts later this year, and it's been written in stone since their 6-21 May, they are likely going to lose more games again. At some point you have to stop doing this and win. I'm not suggesting giving completely unrealistic millions on players like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton who were dumb signings by their teams and are old. What I'm suggesting is that the Brewers do something that every team in baseball is trying to do and identify, sign a couple players or by trade or by mid range free agency and go and sign them with the intention of contending next year before this sentence gets any longer or convoluted. Then you can sprinkle in some of those young players by rushing them to the majors before they're ready and let them grow up with the team, probably stunting their development, rather than expecting them to magically sprout into all-stars when they hit the big-league level which is so rare that it only happens a few times every decade. That would be nice, but you can't count on it.
As I have written here before, up coming this summer is the 32nd anniversary of when I first went to County Stadium. I started following the team as intently as an infant can, which is to say not at all. I saw the dismantling of Harvey's wallbangers, the excitement of the 87 and 92 seasons, and then suffered through the rest of the 90s when kids are most interested in baseball, before the teen years intervene and then they can actually start looking up and learning stuff about the game beyond what Harold Reynolds says (that Harold Reynolds, what a baseball genius!!!). That's where I come from and I know others here that share that. You may be younger, and had to grow up with Chad Moeller on that squad of disappointments.
I'm tired of disappointments. We may have the right management team in place to take the Crew to the division titles and championships we've dreamed of for our entire lives, because there is no living person that can remember the Crew winning the world series, because it has never happened. It's beginning to get to the point that the living people that can even remember the Brewers being in a World Series are getting close to retirement age. That was 31 years ago! Some of you may know I have a daughter, Sophie, a charmer and a half as well as a little diva who rocks her Brewers gear with the best of them. When I couldn't fly her up to see the crew in the playoffs 2 years ago, on account that she wasn't born yet, I told her "Don't worry, they'll be back sometime". She, like the rest of us, are still waiting after those 2 long years.
That was some time ago. I know people who have died without seeing the Crew in the playoffs. Tragic stories there (takes another sip of Brandy). I don't want to be one of those people. It's time to start on the unrealistic tracks when Doug was hired and try to build the system and WIN GAMES NOW!!! because my expectations, drunk as I may be, are completely logical according to the dragon outside my window (stupid mescaline). How many bad seasons do we have to endure?!? This one is enough!!! There's fan loyalty that going back 2 years that has been unfulfilled!!! How much longer Mark?!? How many more Brandys do I have to drink?!?
Winning can be done. It must be done. We have had virtually infinite patients and short memories (made shorter by all this brandy drinking). But that patience is growing short.