Maybe I've listened to the Pharrell Williams song "Happiness" 30 too many times. And I used to think I had some sort of musical taste? I cut myself some slack. The Brewers are 6-2, in first place and I'm beyond giddy, can't hold it in anymore, so excuse me while I write things everyone knows and praise Doug Melvin/the entire Brewer's organization.
It's easy to feel effusive while looking in the rear view mirror, but screw it. I'm listening to "Happiness" for a 31st time.
Doug Melvin is a flat out visionary. When I scan the Brewers 25 man roster, I get goose bumps. Carlos Gomez sprinting around the bases after a home run? What a freak of nature! Never in the history of baseball can I recall a player who chose a sprint for his home run trot. It's supposed to be a trot for Jeffrey Leonard's sake! But as wild as Gomez can be, he manages to steal bases and not get caught too often. That takes focus I would think.
Gomez is now a part of baseball's elite in terms of dynamic production. Goose bumps. Braun and Gomez in the same Brewer's line up.
And JJ Hardy was traded for Gomez. Yes, Hardy was and is very valuable; an excellent defender at short with power, but Melvin gambled because he trusted Alcides Escobar with our future and then he traded Escobar, Jeremy Jeffress, and Lorenzo Cain and Jake Odorizzi for Zach Greinke because Melvin knew the window was a jar and opportunity strikes infrequently for small market teams and what d'ya know, we sort of almost made it to the World Series. No regrets there.
And then he traded Greinke and I guess insisted on getting Jean Segura thrown into the trade. I guess the Angels didn't know what Melvin knew.
Melvin slipped under the radar when the rest of the baseball world was dreaming of Yu Darvish and Melvin signed Norichika Aoki-one of the best damn lead off hitters in baseball for what? a million bucks? Sweet black market. And then he traded Aoki for Will Smith.
The Brewers have depth in their bullpen now and an even better lead off hitter in Gomez. It was time to move Aoki. No regrets. Same with Fielder. Melvin got the best years of Prince and then let him go because Melvin is smart.
Melvin drafted Braun, Khris Davis and Lucroy who is the most underrated catcher in all of baseball. Melvin claimed Marco Estrada off waivers from the Nationals. Estrada is an absolute pleasure to watch pitch with his deadly change up and control. He makes all stars look foolish swinging at what appears to be an 89 mph fastball and it is, only 8 miles slower.
Melvin drafted Wily Peralta, Tyler Thornburg and Scooter Gennet who refuses to stop batting .300.
And maybe most importantly, he paid money for Lohse and Garza and in the process created a home for pitchers. He changed the climate. Gallardo was great and potentially an ace, but he labored through games, threw too many pitches, walked too many batters. Enter Lohse who is a strike throwing machine with one of baseball's best change ups. Enter Garza who also throws strikes (except last night) and hates to lose. He looks like a monster when he walks a batter. Good thing he wears a mouth guard.
Gallardo is maybe enjoying the osmosis because he walked no one in his first start this season and the effect Lohse and Garza have on Thornburg and Peralta can't be measured....a new climate, a winning climate. Thornburg pitching last night? Screw it. One more listen to Happiness.
This first base platoon of Reynolds and Overbay..talk about dollar store deals and Roenicke seems to work it based on streakiness rather than lefty on right match-ups. That's Earl Weaver smart and I'd venture a guess that Milwaukee's 1B production will be better than a few other teams, maybe many.
Alright, I'll calm down, but regardless of what the Brewers do this year, Melvin created a very entertaining team and it's important. Real important to me. Ya know, when life is hard for countless reasons; health issues, hurricanes, murders, depression, poverty....baseball sits there and never flees no matter what, except for the occasional strike. Melvin does not let down Milwaukee. Baseball is more than a game or a sport. There is no "in the scheme of things." There's just passion.
Win or lose, this is an exciting team. Sometimes I stop and consider the Gomez sprint after a homerun and I laugh a healthy laugh. That and waiting for Wei-Chung Wang's debut. Maybe adds a few weeks or months to my life. Seriously.