Battered and Brewed

I’ve been making a conscious effort to dial down the baseball-related commentary on Facebook, as I realize most of my friends care about the Milwaukee Brewers about as much as I care whether they went to the gym that day (hint: not at all). And while I’ve been tweeting my frustrations on occasion, there are still some things to cover.

My last entry was composed in the afterglow of Ryan Braun’s exoneration. The last two months of baseball have been interesting at best and brutally frustrating at worst. The May 31st game against the Dodgers (which capped off an inexplicable four-game sweep of the team with the best record in baseball) represented what would have been Braun’s first game back had the suspension been upheld. There has been a lot to curse this season, but I am still celebrating the fact that Braun went into June with fourteen homeruns and a 1.003 OPS.

I’m no statistician, but I think that means when you factor in his slugging percentage, he was on base 103% of the time.

Always the pragmatist, I had a backup plan had Brauny missed the first part of the season. One option was to enthusiastically throw my support behind Taylor Green. Admittedly, I didn’t have a lot of reasoning behind this. I was at the game in which he got his first major league hit in 2011, he politely laughed at my joke at Brewers On-Deck, he’s Canadian, and I like to see the new guys get a shot. Green has been getting plenty of playing time lately. Unfortunately, it has come as a direct result of a staggering number of our starters finding their way to the disabled list. Recently, that list has grown to include my second favorite Brewer of 2012, Jonathan Lucroy. I had high hopes (and big plans for a custom t-shirt) for Lucroy this season.
And then his wife dropped a suitcase on his hand.
I realized the guys who have managed to avoid a stay on the disabled list must be starting to feel like the kids from Final Destination. It’s coming. And nobody’s ligaments are safe.

But I’m not ready to call the season a disappointment or throw in the proverbial towel. I knew last October was going to be hard to follow. I knew that I would miss Prince and there would be holes in the bullpen. The injury bug was unpredictable and yes, it has been strange and frustrating. At times, I’ve been fairly certain we’ve entered some kind of Twilight Zone/Bizarro World version of baseball where Corey Hart plays first base, George Kottaras has more homeruns than Nyjer Morgan, and Dale Sveum coaches the Cubs.

For the remainder of the season, I will continue to cringe every time someone tries to leg out an infield hit or steal a base. But I’d rather know in June that it’s going to be an uphill battle than have things unexpectedly unravel in August. Maybe I am keeping my expectations a little lower than usual. But as we’ve heard on every Brewers Live postgame show, there’s a lot of baseball left to play.

I have yet to see a win at Miller Park this season. But here are some of the things I have done:
-Experienced the fascinating economic system of trying to buy tickets in the parking lot on Opening Day
-Made “Greinke Twinkies”
-Ran into Yovani Gallardo and Chris Narveson at a craps table in St. Louis
-Spent a lot of time thinking about Secret Stadium Sauce
Sat here.
-Submitted a lot of All-Star ballots.
Turns out “Win a Night in Ryan Braun’s Suite” didn’t mean what I thought it did. Oh well.

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