The team that now calls the spaceship, Miller Park, home which is located just a few miles away from the center of Pigsville, is in essence an above average Triple A team. Now before the hounds of Bernie attack, all one has to do is take a look at the product on the field.
◎ It has a fading first baseman who can strike out more than he hits his mammoth home runs.
◎ The second baseman is an average ball player.
◎ The shortstop is one of the surprising players in the game today as he leads the national League in stolen bases and is hitting like…well an All-Star. But he makes so many running mistakes when he is on base, he ignites more fires then he puts out.
◎ The third baseman is a journeyman player on the down side of an average career.
◎ In left field, the best player on the team resides, when he is healthy, which is approximately 66% of the time.
◎ In centerfield, there are two young players who cannot hit in the Major Leagues. They are both ‘tweeners’, with one so bad, on Thursday he actually committed two errors in one inning.
◎ In right field, there is a potential big time player when he is not on the DL. Unfortunately, he has been unable to play more than he has been in the field.
◎ At catcher, you have the second best player on the team and perhaps the third best hitting catcher in the National League. His replacement can’t hit the dugout.
The starting pitching staff is good for 50 wins. Nelson, Davies and Anderson (sic) are the most reliable so far this season. Peralta is in the minors and Garza is in ‘who knows land’. We’ll find out today as he makes his 2016 pitching debut on the 19th of June. ‘Nelson and Davies…and pray for a couple of rainies.’
The relief pitching, while statistically looks good, is not. More times than not, they blow games the team struggled to lead, tied or win. All you have to due is look at this entire weekend against the Dodgers.
The other day (Wednesday), here is the starting line up:
Presley, Nieuenhuis and Flores made up the outfield.
Nelson was on the mound with Maldonado catching.
Lucroy at first, Gennett at second, Villar at short and Perez at third.
How’s that for a lineup, folks.
Their best player in the line up was playing out of position at first.
This was so bad, Milwaukee television never picked up the game. The only way you could see it was if you had DirecTV and tuned into the San Francisco Giant’s telecast or attended the game at AT&T.
The team’s big news on this day was the signing of their second round draft choice a fellow named Erceg.
So, what do the fans think?
‘What’s an Erceg?’
To consider what the fans think is recorded in the team’s home attendance figures… 27,597 on average per game or less than 1 million fans in 36 home games. This is 3,783 less than last year when the team average was 31,389. That’s a decrease of 12.1% in one year. The real problem with this is that in 2014, the team averaged 34,535 per game. The Era of Roenicke has caused the proud Cream City franchise to drift downward from first place to last place in about 21 months. Thus attendance is down 6,938 fans per game (-20.1%). But then again, who cares to watch a minor league team play, unless you enjoy watching the stars from the other teams.
If business is down -20.1% over two years, in any other business, someone’s head would roll. But not with the beloved Milwaukee Brewers. In the Cream City it is called…’rebuilding’. It is familiar to the fans of beer, cheese and brats. This team has been rebuilding since 1970.
On that beautiful day game at AT&T on Wednesday, where there was another sell-out crowd in the City By The Bay, the difference was clear. One was a division leading team and the other looked like an affiliate. The True Blue Brew Crew’s third baseman on this day threw the ball into the stands attempting to complete a double play, a throw reminiscent of those lovable days when Sheffield was trying to have the Brewers get rid of him. It was a pure Sheffield toss-for-freedom-from-the-Man.
Sheffield was the sixth pick of the first round in 1986. When brought up to The Show in 1989, he struggled at shortstop and the Brewers farmed him out due to ‘indifferent fielding’ while he insisted that his foot was hurt. In fact in Denver, he was diagnosed with a broken foot. When he returns two months later, he played third for the Brewers, a move he didn’t like. In 1990, he settle in at third and hit .294, but he was not a happy camper. In 1991, he had a shoulder and wrist injury and the Brewers really made him not like management by subjecting him to not-so-random drug tests as a byproduct of his relationship to Dwight Gooden, who had already been to rehab for cocaine problems. Then Sheffield suggested the Brewers owner, the one and only Bud Selig, who now has a statue of himself outside of Miller Park, had gone back on offering him a long-term deal. Sheffield was about to go unhinged. Fans had to be careful and alert on the First Base side. After being sent to the Padres for nothing (another great Brewer trade), he told Bob Nightingale of the Los Angeles Time, ‘The Brewers brought out the hate in me. I was a crazy man…I hated everything about the place. If the official scorer gave me an error, and I didn’t think it was an error, I’d say, ‘OK, here’s a real error’, and I’d throw the next ball into the stands on purpose.
But that’s all beside the point. We’re talking about today’s Milwaukee Brewers…a team destined for whatever.
You could see it in Spring Training. All these kids were running around. Blasick was not getting a single person out at the plate; there was a tightness with fielding that was due to the over training of infielders in hope that this team did not commit all of the real and mental errors of the Roenicke Era. There was virtually no home runs except for the rookie who wanted to show the world that he was going to make this team. And then there were few appearances of Braun who was making his first moves since back surgery in the off-season. Lucroy was making sounds that he wasn’t happy to be with a team who was destined for a bad season. And, there was no shortstop as he was traded for a #5 pitcher and a tired veteran 3rd baseman. In essence, it looked like the old Kansas City teams that were continually being depleted of its talent whenever the Yankees wanted to restock their team.
At the end of the third inning on Wednesday, the Brewers line score was this: 0 runs 1 hit 3 errors. AFTER THREE INNINGS.
At the end of the fourth inning on Wednesday, the Brewers scorecard was this: 0 runs 1 hit 4 errors. AFTER FOUR INNINGS.
At this point in the game, the Giant’s announcers said that the Fourth Inning ‘must seem like 2 hours to the Brewers. It is an odd line score.’
At the end of the game on Wednesday, the Brewers line score was: 0 runs 8 hits 4 errors (with the possibility of 2 more errors which were scored hits by the homer official scorer).
This is not a Major League team’s performance chart.
When Sofia Loren said, ‘Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday…’ the new twist is ‘Nelson, Davies, rain, rain’.
But the sadness of this day was even with Nelson on the mound, the team that he is with, has to hit and score runs.
They were swept out of San Francisco in three games like the Fog in the evening. And in the first three games in Los Angeles, they have lost 2 out of 3. With Garza on the mound today, with memories of his last season, pray for rain in a dirt dry LA should be the first thing you do today.
And, Happy Father’s Day.