Braun speaking would be a good start for 2014 Brewers
So, I guess Major League Baseball does have a mercy rule after all.
The rule says teams will play only 162 games. The Milwaukee Brewers took advantage of it over the weekend when they played their 162nd game.
The overwhelming reaction in Brewers nation must have been "Thank God."
What has been a tumultuous and glaringly disappointing season has ended and eyes have already turned to next season. We wonder what has to be done to improve.
The answer that question is "a lot."
Lets take a look at just a few numbers comparing this edition to the one over the past five years.
The team batting average of .252 is the lowest in that stretch. The winning percentage (.457) is the worst, by far, of the last five years. So were the 23 games out of first place in the National League Central.
Interestingly, except for 2011, the Brewers have never really been in the divisional race over the last five years.
In order to confuse things a little more, the team earned run average was 3.84, the lowest in the last five years. What do we make of that?
Maybe it's something in the water, but the Brewers, like the Green Bay Packers, suffered an inordinate numbers of injuries. Maybe they need to light incense to voodoo dolls to improve their luck.
And then there is Ryan Braun. The best player on the team. The guy who sets the pace.
He has to overcome the shame of his use of banned substances and subsequent suspension.
Gimmicks, like personal calls to a few season ticket holders, an appearance at fan day or a seat on Oprah's couch are not the answer.
There is one way for Braun to make himself whole:
Get a bunch of sportswriters, local and national, put them in a room with Braun, turn on the cameras and let the questions fly. And he's got to answer every single one of them. He can't say it's "private" or "irrelevant." He's got to answer all of them and then it's likely that we all, fans and teammates, may well forgive him.
If Mark Attanasio is serious about helping Braun heal things, he ought to sit his golden boy down and explain the facts of life and urge Braun to do the right thing.
I remember when Andy Pettite admitted using human growth hormone. He held a news conference and sat there until there were no more questions. He answered everything. Braun could well learn from that.
It is within their power to help restore Braun, and then the Brewers can move on to the rest of the stuff.
They need pitching. They need a first baseman. They need to figure out if Rickie Weeks is really worth $11 million a year. They need some optimism.
If the team was as good as the fans, we'd all be in fat city. Over 2.5 million fans went to Miller Park this season. That's a lot, but it's the lowest tally in the past five years.
If hope truly lives and is realized and comes around again we will all be much, much happier.
Come on TosaJim. Don't hate the playa, hate the game. If I offered you $11mil to do whatever it is you love, you can't tell me you'd say "oh no, I only need $50k to support my family, give the rest to charity." MLB baseball is a multi billion dollar industry. The players are paid in proportion to the revenue they are expected to generate for the team. Had Hart been healthy, he would a big contributer to the team. Unfortunately he injured himself (while training/playing). Not like he was playing basketball, drunk driving, or had his wife drop a suitcase on his hand. He's esentially receiving workman's comp.
I'd take Hart back if he would donate 1/2 his paycheck to charitable groups in Milwaukee...since he "earned" 11 million last year and NEVER played....His "I'll take a pay cut" to stay with this team is laughable....don't these players have any sense of decency? How much money do you need?
TosaJim - I totaly agree on Weeks. Even though we'll nevber get $11mil in value back in a trade, he needs to go. Gennettt is ready to play now. As for Hart, he isn't under contract, but has said he'd take a cheap deal to prove his worth after being out all of 2013. That could buy us time at 1st base, and if cheap, worth it. As for Braun, he is kriptonite. No one will trade for him. Brewers can't afford to release him. Melvin needs to tell him to keep his head down and just play ball. He's only distracting if he sits in front the media day after day trying to lie his way out of things.
Get rid of Braun, Weeks and Hart....take the money and get some pitching. Braun is going to be a major distraction next season.
Braun sat in front of the media before. And he lied through his teeth. Doing it again will not make the Brewers better. Braun focussing 100% on playing baseball will. He can redeem himself on the field. As for the rest of the team, they will bounce back next year (if they can stay healthy). The larger problem is our division. No more Astros to beat up on, and 3 play-off teams in our division. Gone are the days when we could count on beating the Astors, Cubs, and Pirates. Brewers are going to have to battle every year for a wild card spot. The division is too lofty a goal in the NL Central.
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