RFB Offseason Roundtable

This is the first in what will be a recurring offseason series at RFB. Every week, we will discuss a new topic related to the Brewers and/or baseball. We also invite you, the reader, to post your own thoughts on each topic.

 

This week’s topic: Besides clinching the playoffs, what was your favorite moment of the season?

 

Joe

Wow. It’s incredibly difficult to pin down one moment of the ‘08 Brewers season that was my favorite or stands out the most to me. This is especially true if I can’t count making the playoffs or the post season. Now that I’ve had a few days to reflect a bit on this past season and think specifically about this question, there is one defining moment to me - When I found out the Brewers had officially traded for Mr CC Sabathia.

It wasn’t so much CC specifically that excited me. In fact, I wasn’t a huge fan or believer in CC coming into the year or even at that particular point in the season. I thought he was overrated and only won the 2007 Cy Young Award because AL pitching, in my opinion, wasn’t incredibly impressive last year. Yes that opinion quickly changed; however, that still isn’t the reason that moment stands out to me. It stands out because this was the small market Brewers making the blockbuster trade of the year.

Not in my entire life do I recall such a trade made by the Crew. That moment, in my eyes, marked the beginning of a new and improved organization. Though the Crew will never be able to spend money like the Yankees and Cubs of the world, they are now viewed as serious contenders in my eyes. No longer will the Crew have to sell every big bat or arm their farm system produces. We have a “go getter” of an owner and one hell of a GM that I believe can do more with $80 or $90 million than most can with $150 or $200 million.

Though the season is over and disappointment lingers from the quick post season exit, I truly think this is a very exciting time to be a Brewers fan. Be excited fans! This team will be a contender for many years to come. Mark my words.

 

Tyler

Selecting one moment to be my favorite span of time of Milwaukee’s 2008 season is like being handed a pile of photographs of Rihanna and being asked to choose the one where she looks most gorgeous; it’s nearly impossible to select just one. I mean in the last two months alone, there was Braun’s game-winning grand slam, Prince’s walkoff homer, Gabe Kapler going into the stands to rob a homer/save a game, and that two week period where Jeff Suppan was hurt. Beautiful things were happening left and right.

But if shouldered with the daunting task of selecting just one piece of the season that stood out more than most others, or did so for different reasons, I would select April 23 when the Brewers faced the Phillies at Miller Park.

A Wednesday night game within the season’s first full month isn’t exactly the perfect stage for the memorable to take place, but this particular game brought Geoff Jenkins back to his old stomping grounds for the first time as a member of a different team. I think a lot of fans, even some of the the constantly booing casual fans, recognized what Jenkins did for and meant to so many terrible, terrible Brewer teams. I was glad RFB was on hand to honor him properly (See-Off Geoff), and it seemed like he was happy to have been treated so well by everyone. He had to step out of the batter’s box and acknowledge everyone in his first at bat, and I had never been witness to that.

As far as the game goes, Jenkins went 0 for 3 in the game, making clapping for a Phillies player even more digestible. Cole Hamels struck out his fair share of Brewers too (11 over 7 innings), but was eventually tagged for 5 runs and 2 homers - both homers and 4 of the 5 RBI by Prince, who was had just broke out of his homerless drought less than a week prior. Derrick Turnbow then came in to record what’s likely to be the last save of his career. It wasn’t a game I’ll be telling my kids about when I’m older, but it’s one that sticks out when looking back at the season as a whole.

 

Jared

THE moment of the season for me was clearly Braun’s home run on the final regular season game of the year, but I believe that moment is everyone’s moment, so I’ll search deeper.

Aside from that moment, there are two moments that I think will stick out years from now in my memory: Gabe Kapler robbing a home run in LA and Ryan Braun hitting a walk-off grand slam in the final week of the regular season. Because of the importance of the win, the fact that it was Braun’s first career grand slam and the fact that it was the Brewers’ one and only grand slam of the season (good timing), I have to go with Brauny’s blast.

The Brewers were tied for the Wild Card lead going into the game and the Mets had already won the game against the Cubs. Stuck in a 1-1 tie in the 10th inning, Weeks led off with a single. After an intentional walk to Durham, a walk to Counsell and two outs in the inning, the bases were loaded for Braun, who had slumped badly since a rib injury in August.

I was packed in a bar with Joe, Lady Jarjohm, and a collection of other miscreants waiting for The Blueheels show to start. We were staring at the TV screens intently, praying the Brewers could find some magic at the end of the season to get into the playoffs. And we got it. Braun crushed a Jesse Chavez pitch into the seats and the bar erupted.

A Spotted Cow tastes even finer following a walk-off grand slam.

 

Bryan

This season was chock-ful of amazing moments. It was the most amazing roller-coaster ride in my life as a fan. There will be multiple stories to recant later in life, such as Braun’s airplane arms when hitting those big home runs and Gabe Kapler coming back from retirement to be an emotional leader on the team. We will talk about Ryan Braun in the Home-Run Derby and Ben Sheets starting the All Star Game. There were countless other moments of joy and despair that were shared with friends and family.

Since clinching the playoffs is out of bounds, I have to get some help from comic Lewis Black. Lewis says that nothing is better than the anticipation of a moment. There were two moments that had such build up, such high expectations that the anticipation surely couldn’t match the actual moment, right Lewis? The first moment was home opener day. Does anyone remember how we felt at the beginning of the year? The excitement for this team was off the charts! “This was the year” is what we chanted. “This will be the Hunt for Ned’s October and it’s bout time!” The Brewers ended up destroying the Giants 13-4. Even after this game, the anticipation for the rest of the year grew. Bill Hall hit two home runs, Jason Kendall was hitting. 500, and Weeks and Fielder were both hitting over .300.

As the year progressed, we found that 2008 truly was the Hunt for Ned’s October…and Ned wasn’t able to finish. Even so, the anticipation for the first playoff game was even more ridiculous than the excitement at the beginning of the year. Even the fact that the team was down 0-2 did not dampen the spirits of Milwaukee’s Fans. The heads on the radio were saying that they didn’t even know what to expect. They wondered if it would be as loud in Miller as it was in other stadiums. They thought fans might boo the team. Truth is, NO ONE knew what it would be like. What it was like when the team was announced was pure bliss. The noise was deafening as OUR team took the field in the postseason for the first time in 26 years. For at least one game, the dreams we all had of the postseason came true. So those are my moments of 2008: Where the actual moment matched or surpassed the anticipation of the moment.

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Related Posts:
Three Brewers Make the List
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Hump Day Heckler, the Views On Playoff Baseball by an Able Bodied Elated Heckler.
CC Deserves the Hardware
Sunday’s Masterpiece

10 Responses to “RFB Offseason Roundtable”

  1. Tyler Says:

    Good idea, Bryan. I just can’t believe you posted a picture of our customized boardroom table in our secret blog mansion! I hope you had clearance from the higher-ups.

  2. Joe Says:

    Jared ok’d it, apparently.

  3. Sheila Says:

    I’ll share two of mine. CC’s first start was one. I wasn’t at that game, but even watching at home I could feel the electric intensity of the crowd. I won’t ever forget that one. I WAS able to be at his second start though, when he hit the home run!

    The other big moment was when I heard about Braun’s contract. I couldn’t get the smile off my face that day.

  4. Charlie Says:

    gabe gross getting a game winning hit, then being traded! seriously, i was at CCs first game and it was amazing!

  5. kade in dubuque Says:

    Why is no one talking about the fact that Prince might be gone… I mentioned it in an earlier blog…. is it just assumed that he will be back??

    KC

    very confused…..

    BTW… I went to game 2 of that awful 4 game sweep in Milwaukee….. and i was in the right field bleachers was that u guys sitting in front of the cubs fan that was realy drunk and had to leave in like the 8th?? I believe he was talking and spitting all over…

    Love the site thank you

  6. Jared Says:

    We were there, but I don’t recall the drunkin’ Cubs fan. I very well could have been though.

  7. Joe Says:

    That last comment was me. I’m attempting to slowly, but successfully, steal Jared’s soul.

  8. Jared Says:

    I think it’s very unlikely Prince will be traded this offseason. It would take an offer that would totally blow Melvin away. The Brewers have Prince for three more seasons. Why trade him now?

  9. Tyler Maas Says:

    I don’t see it (a Prince trade) happening either - not to say I’d mind seeing it if it brought an affordable young pitcher that could anchor the front to middle of the rotation for 2-3 cheap seasons. That said, I don’t know who’d bite… and who those pitchers would be. I’d love to see a Prince/Gwynn Jr. for Matt Cain trade, but that’s kind of pie-in-the-sky IMO.

    Prince finished a lot stronger than he player pretty much the rest of last season, so why not sell high if possible? Prince will probably scoff at any Brewers arbitration offer less than $8-9 million, and request $10 M - so. In all, if a trade was to go down, I wouldn’t mind bidding Prince farewell if the return is right. Both his salary and wasteband are expanding each season… neither of which the Brewers can easily afford to have on the books.

  10. Chris in PA Says:

    Yeah unless some team is seriously willing to overpay, there is zero reason to trade Prince.

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