Sunday, September 28, 2008

SCREW 1982

I've been sitting here for the better part of an hour, trying to think of something intelligent to write about the end of the baseball season.

(Insert joke about "Bruce writing intelligently" here. I know you want to.)

While I could roll out some lame analysis of how the Brewers made the playoffs, or how the Mets choked on the playoffs, that would just be a waste of time and not interesting for me or you.

This is pure emotion for me. I've been a Brewer fan longer than the Brewers have been available on local radio or television. I used to follow the team via boxscores in the local paper. I had nothing else to use. The internet, cable, satellite, and all our current wonderful technology didn't exist in my world. It was the local TV stations, radio, and the newspaper.

As the 1987 heartbreak wore off, and the 1992 pennant race left the boys just short of the postseason, the Brewers sunk into an abyss of sucktitude. They never got close to a winning season as Phil Garner finished up his tenure. Davey Lopes and Jerry Royster were disasters. Ned Yost got them just short of where they needed to be.

Today, all that went away. The 1982 season DVD is no longer a dream.

The Milwaukee Brewers are back in the playoffs.

They did it two weeks after firing their manager, and they did it two-and-a-half months after trading for a near 300-pound left-handed pitcher who is pitching for a new contract, but not acting like it.

No, instead, CC Sabathia is pitching for a championship. He's taken the ball three times in nine days, and won twice (should have won a third, were it not for the defense and offense failing him in Cincinnati). He's going to take the ball on three days' rest again Thursday in Philadelphia, and there's no questioning his ability to shut the Phillies down.

He might not get serious consideration for the National League Cy Young (Tim Lincecum, Brandon Webb) or MVP (Albert Pujols) awards. But he should. Sabathia (11-2, sub-2.00 ERA, 10 complete games on the season) is the best pitcher in the game. He oughta be recognized as such.

The Brewers exorcised the ghosts of 1982 on Sunday. For their fans, the euphoria could last months, even if the team doesn't win a championship. Milwaukee is an underrated baseball town (the team drew over 3 million fans), and this team is a hoot to watch. If chemistry matters in the playoffs, they'll do well, because they genuinely enjoy each other's company.

And if having the best pitcher (Sabathia) and best hitter (Ryan Braun) in a series matters for anything, Philadelphia doesn't stand a chance.

It's been 26 years. Cut us some slack if we seem a bit loopy these next few days.


XYZ said...


Runninwiththedogs said...

1982 rocks.
I was born then.
And now I'm making your life better.
Wow, it's really been 26 years since you've made the postseason?? Huh.