A Year to Remember

The 2008 season might not have ended the way we dreamed, but it was still a dream season.

Was I let down the Brewers didn’t advance past the first round of the post season or even make it a close contest? Absolutely. But let’s keep things in perspective…

First of all, this was the best team the Brewers have had in a long, long time. They finished with 90 wins, the most since 1992. It was only the sixth time in franchise history (40 seasons, including one year in Seattle) that the Brewers finished with 90 wins or more. Regardless of the evident holes this team had, they were a hell of a team and one that should be remembered very fondly by Brewers fans.

Remember, they made the playoffs for the first time in 26 years! I’m 26 years old. I was born shortly after the 1982 season began. I’m told I was at a game in late September that year, but my memory is fuzzy on that for some reason… What I’m trying to say is, the best moments of Brewers baseball in my entire life came this season. The memories of Sunday’s playoff clinching win and my first two playoff games (including one incredible win) will be etched in my brain forever. Even if the Brewers were to somehow become the second-coming of the New York Yankees and make the playoffs for 15 consecutive years, those games will be very, very special to me for as long as I live. Of course, a lot of Brewers fans are old enough to remember the 1982 season, which remains the pinnacle of the Brewers’ success, but even those fans should remember the 2008 squad fondly. After more than a quarter century drought, any playoff baseball is something to talk about.

Also, give props to the Phillies. The better team won in this series. Philadelphia exposed some of the same holes that have haunted the Brewers all year long. The Brewers have no leadoff hitter, they are not patient at the plate, they do not take walks, they rely on the home run too much, they do not play “small ball,” their defense is average at best with serious shortcomings at some positions and with Gallardo not at full health and Sheets not on the playoff roster, they are not deep at starting pitching. The Phillies did not hit great in this series, but if Burrell and Rollins pick up where they left off today and Utley and Howard get hot, they are good enough to beat anyone. I expect them to beat the Dodgers and move on to the World Series.

It’ll certainly be an interesting offseason for Milwaukee. The calls to sign CC have (predictably) already started and I have little doubt the Brewers will make an offer to him. I doubt it’ll be enough to lure him back though. He was an outstanding addition for half of the season and will forever be a part of Brewers lore. Sheets has also likely thrown his last ball as a Brewer. So, starting pitching may be a priority this offseason. Gallardo, Parra, Bush and Suppan are likely cemented in the rotation (barring a trade of one of them) with McClung temporarily holding down the last spot, pending a roster move for a pitcher. The bullpen will have to be reworked. And it’d sure be nice if the Brewers could add a lead-off hitter and one or two OBP guys so the one- or two-run home runs turn into three- or four-run bombs. Doug will likely be busy. Oh yeah, there’s that coaching issue to take care of too. Will Sveum be back in ‘09?

Still looking for a silver lining? The Brewers had one more playoff victory than the Cubs.

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Related Posts:
In the News (10/1)
The Underdog Came Out On Top
Well, That Sucked
Hump Day Heckler, the Views On Playoff Baseball by an Able Bodied Elated Heckler.

12 Responses to “A Year to Remember”

  1. brewerfever78 Says:

    This was a great season overall. You can say the Brewers were expected to make the playoffs this season, but so were the Yankees, Mets, Tigers, Diamondbacks, and even Rockies. My goal at the beginning of the season was to make the postseason and win one playoff game. The icing on the cake was the Cubs getting swept by LA. I can’t wait until the Cubs fans come up to Milwaukee next year. We seriously need to end that crap and take back Miller Park. No more letting Cubs fans walk through our stadium on days where the Cubs aren’t even playing.

    CC is not going to resign with Milwaukee. Part of me says the Brewers should make a low offer to Sheets and make him a closer. He has good stuff, doesn’t walk a lot of guys, but he can’t stay healthy. Eh, I guess let him go. The possible rotation next year has Gallardo, Parra, Bush, Capuano, Suppan, Villanueva, and McClung…can we win with this? Or should be sign a free agent? To me, we lack a solid #2 behind Gallardo.

    Dale Sveum gave an interview about a week ago talking about the Brewers living on the home run. He said it needs to change and the Brewers need to play small ball. He also admitted that with 12 games to play, he wasn’t in the position to try and change the Brewers approach at the plate. That would need to be changed in the spring. Amen Dale. I gained a lot of respect for Sveum over the 16 games he managed. I think he should seriously be considered for the job.

    With that, congratulations to the 2008 Milwaukee Brewers. Next year, my goal is for the team to win the NL Central!

  2. D'Amico's one good year Says:

    Soup= Garbage. Absolute Garbage. Shoulda Pitched Yo on three days rest.

    Still… I’m not too upset. But I’m also already ready for next season to start.

  3. Kevin Says:

    Congratulations to the Brewers and their fans for a fine season. While the Phillies moved on I think this series was a lot closer than the 3-1 result would indicate. Should be an interesting off season for the Brewers. Good luck!

  4. Scottage Cheese Says:

    I like the idea of Sheets being a closer. But he would never go for it. Woods (CUBS) is little more humble than Sheets and knew he didn’t have much of a choice. Sheets still feels that he can be a bonified ace.

    Rumors on sportstalk in the Milwaukee Area after Sundays defeat was that their was an idea being tossed around to offer CC some sort of ownership in to the team. I have a feeling that Milwaukee has a better shot at signing CC than most others think.

    Capuano will be back next year with a (fingers-crossed) healed arm. I still feel that he can be a good pitcher, and it’s a much needed addition to the starting rotation. Having two lefties would be swell. McClung will probably be the odd man out.

  5. brewerfever78 Says:

    I really do not see how the Brewers will be able to sign CC. It actually pains me to think a lot of people think the Brewers have a chance, because when he does sign with the Angels for 6 years $150 million, fans are going to think he sold out for the money. That is just too much for a small market team to give to one player. Just look what Suppans $10-12 million is doing to the Brewers. CC could be brilliant the next 6 years…or he could start to breakdown. Some teams have the ability to take that risk. The Brewers don’t.

    Ok, I’ve got one final thought on why CC may or may not be back with the Brewers. When CC said he had a lot of fun with the team on the field and in the clubhouse, I don’t think he meant he was chuming around with guys like Corey Hart and Brian Shouse. CC said in a 2007 interview with ESPN that he was unhappy with the low % of black players in the majors. I think the article said only 8.2% of players in MLB are black. So, a typical 25 man roster has only 2 blacks on average. In 2007, CC was the only black player on his team.

    With CC, the Brewers had 7 black players (Weeks, Fielder, Hall, Cameron, Gwynn, Durham, CC) or 28% of their roster. I am going to guess this may be one of the highest %’s in the bigs.

    I think the Brewers roster makeup is appealing to CC. I also know that a couple of players listed will not be with the Brewers in 2009. What does that mean? I don’t know. However, based on CC’s past comments, I’d be surprised if he ends up with a team that does not have a significant African American roster presence.

  6. Chris in PA Says:

    Amazing season, and one that finally made my MLB Extra Innings investment worthwhile! :)

    Honestly, way too many highlights for me to type out here.

    But I think for me personally, the most amazing part of the season was finding and becoming a regular at Right Field Bleachers. I’d like to say is THANK YOU to everyone here at RFB for providing this amazing place on the internet for Brewer fans all over the country to meet. Your effots day in and day out are appreciated in a major way. RFB is run by top notch people, and I appreciate all the interaction and information. It’s tough being a Brew fan buried in the heart of Phils country, and RFB gives me a spot to meet up and talk Brewer baseball with other Brew nuts.

    Thank you again gang, from the bottom of my heart. Here is to many more POSITIVE years.

    Oh, and now that the offseason is here, it doesn’t lessen my mancrush on CC! LOL

  7. Chris in PA Says:

    I also agree with Scottage (HA, for once!) regarding the Brewers’ ability to sign CC. I legitimately think we are in the mix and CAN make it happen.

  8. Chris in PA Says:

    Sorry for these multiple entries…but I am disagreeing with Brewerfan78 in a major way. No way in hell I want Dale Sveum as the manager of this team. Not a chance in hell.

  9. Chris in PA Says:

    And honestly, anyone who thinks Sheets would accept a closer role next year is flat out nuts. That might work on EA Sports Fantasy GM, but it’s not even close to reality. Some team will overpay for Sheets, and (fingers crossed) it WONT be us!

  10. Scottage Cheese Says:

    Holy Balls. Chris in Pa and I have agreed! I too would like to thank RFB on their splendid insight on the Crew. Also would like to do a “what a good guy” shout out to Jeff Cirillo for his contributions to this blog. You will always have a soft spot in Wisconsin’s heart. You and Counsell could run for public office…but CC would probably win out right.

    Brewerfever did raise a good point. Milwaukee (still?) leads the the league in black players. Last time I checked CC was indeed African-American. That could count for something other than a couple of stories discussing this topic in SI or on the four-letter network.

  11. Jared Says:

    Thanks for the kind comments guys. We really appreciate your regular readership and comments. It was a fun year and it should be a busy offseason, so we’ll be here typing away. Hopefully you’ll keep chiming in with your thoughts.

    As far as CC goes, there are two sides of me pulling in opposite directions. The fan side wants CC at all costs. And the more analytical side thinks it’s a risk the Brewers can’t afford. I actually think those two feelings are probably pretty prevalent in the Brewers organization as well with Mark A. leading the fan side and Melvin leading the analytical side. I expect the Brewers to make some kind of an offer and I expect it to be for less years and money than other teams offer. So, it will probably come down to how much CC really does like it in Milwaukee. In the end, I’m afraid we’ll be disappointed. I would have no negative thoughts towards CC for going somewhere for more money though (unless its the Cubs).

    Go Rays!

  12. D'Amico's one good year Says:

    Thank you for this year and this community, folks… But I’m going to be visiting every day, yet, as we build twards next year… and you can bet your ass that I’ll be reporting on the low-A guys in Appleton next year!

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