It was like a death in the family. So unexpected. So hurting. So frustrating. It was like they were saying, ‘I just talked to him the other day and he seemed fine.’ After 161 games, with a six run lead in the third, the unexpected Milwaukee Brewers died. But unlike that relative whom you talked to the other day, they will be back next year to break our hearts all over again.
Sure there will be optimism and assuredly there will be the Bill Schroeder platitudes about what a great season it was to finish second when the team was not expected to finish above the cellar. The announcers will tell everyone how great Counsell was in managing this season. Not sure that is entirely true. Why would the manager of the year take out Hader and put in Sxzxczcvz slightly out of position? Why didn’t he remove Jeffries when he could have saved the the bottom of the 8th?
There will be arguments on how great this team finished according to projections. And they will praise the new general manager for the great moves he made. But in this second to the last game of the year, 4/9ths of the team on the field in the 7th was put there by his predecessor and that does not include the manager whom he also placed in charge.
There will be praise for having three players hit 30 or more home runs in the season, just like the ’82 Brewers did. There will be platitudes abound about how bright the future looks. But all of that talk is for teams who have lost.
The cheering happened in Denver on this Saturday evening, who wrapped up the last playoff spot in the National League for this year.
The 2017 Milwaukee Brewers were good, above average in many respects and finished way above expectations. That still doesn’t mend the heart which has been ripped open on the second to last day of the year. Bobby Unser once said, ‘Nobody remembers who finished second but the guy who finished second.’ Perhaps Mr Unser got into one too many crackups. Because it is not just the extended Brewer team who swelled in September with call ups from the minors, but to the millions of fans who thought this just might be the team that takes us to Dyersville.
So farewell 2017 Brewers. Today we are not feeling so good.