No one hates bad baseball teams. Sure, people feel sorry for them, or they just ignore them. But you don’t read national sportswriters talking smack about the Royals. Players from opposing teams don’t pick fights with them, either.
But lately, the Brewers – currently the best team in baseball – are finding all sorts of new haters. Whether they’re ripping on Carlos Gomez’ swagger or presuming that Ryan Braun most obviously still juicing, the Crew is facing all sorts of new heat.
And that’s awesome.
You expect people to fear the Yankees. You might even expect the Brewers players to underperform when they play the Cardinals – remember back when Ned Yost threw at Pujols?
But look at the Pirates. The Brewers have absolutely dominated them for years, and while Gomez shouldn’t have thrown punches on Sunday, the Bucs taunted him out of frustration. He’s just that good now.
Need proof? Look at these tweets from national sportswriter Jeff Pearlman. Moralizing aside, the assertion that Braun used steroids after he tested positive, in 2012, then now, in 2014, is preposterous. Braun is being tested all the time. Pearlman calls him "slime" but won’t concede that he’s naturally a great player.
It is illogical to believe Ryan Braun is clean. You put up huge #s, get caught, suspended, return—and you're just as good sans PED? Um, no.— jeffpearlman (@jeffpearlman) April 21, 2014
Or this gem from Jeff Passan:
Standing ovation for Ryan Braun in Milwaukee is about the least surprising thing on Opening Day. Great message. Lie and we love you anyway.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 31, 2014
And Pearlman's newfound hate for Gomez? Whatever, dude:
In Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun, the Brewers may well have baseball's most pathetic 1-2 punch. Shameless dolts.— jeffpearlman (@jeffpearlman) April 21, 2014
I especially liked the quote from the Pirates’ Russell Martin:
"The fair thing would be to have our team hold down Maldonado so that Travis can go back and sucker-punch him right in the face. That would be the fair thing to do. I don’t know if we ask the Brewers if they’re going to be down for that."
If I ever get in a fight, I know I want Maldonado on my side.
To All Baseball Fans- my sincere apologies for today's incident. I hope you all understand that I have to back up my team.— Martin Maldonado (@Machete1224) April 20, 2014
Point is, people are taking notice of the Brewers, starting to concede that this team isn’t a fluke.
The Brewers will gladly take the fear and hatred all the way to the post-season if given a chance.
Pearlman is a moron, as is any other writer who preaches from a high horse that Milwaukee should have (or still should) cast Braun out like a leper. Athletes screw up and their cities re-embrace them, sometimes more than they did prior to the screw up. It happens all. the. time. I'd love to hear him wax about baseball's most regal fans in St. Louis and their steely embrace of McGwire (I'd say Pujols too... I think we all know...). But, he won't. The BBWA would castrate him. So he picks on the Brewers.
As for Martin on the brawl, two things: He should tell Snider not to leave the bench and start a scrum if he's not willing to catch 5 to his eye. He should also look up the definition of a sucker punch. Snider grabbed Gomez from behind as he got up off the ground, which was the real sucker move. Maldonado popped Snider's lid off standing right in front of him. Not his fault Snider had his hands down. Head on a swivel, fella. Next time he'll know.
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