What we learned this week: August 31, 2013

Tom Lynn

This weeks lessons include the importance of timing, what another MLB stadium is like, and a long streak has come to an end.

The difference between a Hall of Fame career and a below-average tenure can all come down to timing.

Success can come from hard work, but sometimes even the hardest workers can toil for years and never find much more than a little bit of success. Meanwhile, there are people who don't work as hard yet succeed just because they are in the right place at the right time. That's a lesson that we considered towards the end of last week, when Kyle looked into a potential alternate reality where Ken Macha could be the greatest manager in Brewers history. While we will never know what would have happened had Ken Macha managed the 2008 and 2011 teams, the talent on these teams may have made Macha the best manager in Brewers history.

Great careers can begin in September.

Tomorrow is September 1st, which means that rosters expand and minor league players will join their major league clubs for the last month of the season. Some of these players are just getting their first taste of major league experience, and that can turn into a long career. On Monday of this week, Kyle profiled one of the biggest names in Brewers history as he looked at the beginning of Greg Vaughn's career. His 38 games at the end of 1989 was the start of a fifteen year career, which included parts of eight years in Milwaukee. Timing was important for him as well, and he picked the right times to insure that he would have a great career.

There's a lot to see at PNC Park.

Starting on Tuesday of this week, the Brewers began a series in Pittsburgh. The stadium that the Pirates play in is PNC Park, generally regarded as one of the better parks in all of baseball. As part of the preview for the series, Eric Nehm recounted his experience from PNC Park earlier this year. He recaps the good and bad of the stadium, from the staues outside to the little bits of information on the scoreboard inside. It's an in-depth look at all the stadium has to offer and how it compares to other stadiums around the league.

According to the polls, Ryan Braun still has a lot of work to do.

At the end of last week, we got the statement from Ryan Braun that he had been waiting for. This week, in the tracking poll, the readers got their chance to react in regards to what they thought about the statement. The poll results were not favorable to him. 55% of the voters weren't completely satisfied by what he had to say, 65% are not convinced that he only used performance-enhancing drugs in 2011. Braun still has a lot of work to do if he wants to regain more support from the fans in Milwaukee.

The Brewers can win on Thursdays.

In one of those odd quirks of a schedule, the Brewers had lost 11 straight games on Thursdays in 2011, with the only win on Thursday coming back in April. The Brewers finally snapped that streak this last Thursday, defeating the Pirates to break that streak, as well as get their first win on a Thursday on the road since September of last season. At the end of the day, it's probably nothing more than a coincidence, but it's one of those that we're happy to see end.

The John Axford era has ended in Milwaukee.

With the deadline for trades to be completed for postseason consideration approaching, the Brewers managed to pull off one more trade prior to it. Rumors started coming out on Thursday evening that the Brewers were working on a trade, and the trade was announced on Friday morning. The Brewers sent John Axford to St. Louis for a player to be named later, ending his time in Milwaukee. It was an up and down year for Axford, and now he will get a chance to move on in a new location. Soon after the trade, Kyle took some time to reflect on how much of the roster that has changed since the 2011 postseason and get a little melancholy about it. Despite his performance, many people liked Axford, and he will be missed in Milwaukee.

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