It’s now time to begin the Elite 8 of the “Least Liked Brewers of the Last Decade” bracket. We will kick things off with a look at the Gary Sheffield Region and Eric Gagne Region, as the winners will square off in the Final Four.
In the Sheffield Region’s Sweet 16, top-seed Yuniesky Betancourt continued his dominance, taking down 5th-seeded Jody Gerut with 75% of the vote. Despite some pockets of Yuni B. enthusiasts, the fans have certainly spoken thus far in their distaste for the former Crew shortstop (and technically first baseman). He is now one victory from a Final Four appearance.
The other Sweet 16 matchup in this region saw 3rd-seeded Matt Albers cruise to a comfortable 68%-32% victory over Cesar Izturis. The 7th-seeded Izturis was optimistic after knocking off the 2-seed, but Albers overpowered him by the end of voting, setting up a marquee battle for Final Four rights.
#1 Yuniesky Betancourt vs. #3 Matt Albers
It’s the “unwatchable force” versus the “deplorable object” in the Elite 8.
Not exactly a classic Cy Young pitcher facing an MVP hitter….but this is something. Betancourt remains the big favorite, although some believe Albers caused more harm and held his teams back the most. Lots of emotion will go into the voting, and no matter who comes out on top, a portion of the fan base will be beside themselves.
Sheffield Region, Elite 8: Who do you like least?
This poll is closed
#1 Yuniesky Betancourt
#3 Matt Albers
Over in the Gagne Region, 4th-seeded Oliver Drake knocked out top-seed Shaun Marcum by a 60%-40% count in the Sweet 16. The voting proved that many fans appreciated Marcum’s overall resume with the Brewers instead of focusing on his enormous struggles in the 2011 playoffs, especially the NLCS. Apparently, Drake just drove more people nuts, and perhaps benefited from some recency bias as well.
Meanwhile, 2-seed Ken Macha destroyed 3rd-seeded Jacob Barnes by 56%. Macha, the only Brewers manager remaining after round 2, has a major inside track to the Final Four. Though Barnes may have failed to lived up to his potential, Macha downright sunk quality teams in-between Brewers playoff appearances with other managers.
#2 Ken Macha vs. #4 Oliver Drake
Some thought Drake was too high as a 4-seed, yet here he is in the Elite 8 of the tournament. Despite the upset win over the number 1 seed, it will take a nearly perfect voting turnout for him to keep the Cinderella story alive.
Macha’s age and calm stodginess, which hurt him as a manager, may serve him well at this stage of the bracket. He has some true haters out there and he just doesn’t care. Vegas has instilled him as a heavy favorite to reach the Final Four, and I’m not sure any analysts would bet against that.
Gagne Region, Elite 8: Who do you like least?
This poll is closed
#2 Ken Macha
#4 Oliver Drake
So, these four men sit one win from the Final Four, two from the title game, and three victories from the championship belt. Your votes will determine their fate. Submit and share!