By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Sep 02, 2008 at 5:19 AM

As incredible as it may seem, in this, the summer of playoff hopes, I haven't written a thing about the Brewers in three months.

In May, I jumped to the defense of Ned Yost when the chattering class was screaming for his scalp. Since then, nothing.

Of course, we had the little matter of Brett Favre clamoring for attention, but that's still no excuse. I should have paid closer attention to the Brewers, and vow to do so the rest of the season.

What brings me back to our favorite baseball team now is the mini-dustup created last week when the Brewers continued to smash the daylights out of the St. Louis Cardinals.

I don't want to get into all the details, but suffice to say that there are people in St. Louis who think the Brewers are an over-confident, cocky, obnoxious band of athletes.

Bernie Miklasz from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, wrote the following in his blog:

"One more thing: I don't understand the Brewers. I just don't. Really, I admire that team and its talent. Doug Melvin is one of the best guys in the game and an excellent GM. There are so many good players on that roster.

"But why do the Brewers always have to pull stunts? Why do they have to go knucklehead on us so often? What's up with yanking their shirts out of their pants on the field as soon as they win a game, which, despite what they claim, really is an insult to the other team? What's up with some of the showboat HR trots? What's up with a journeyman like Villanueva gesturing wildly and cursing in the direction of the STL dugout?

"I don't understand why this talented team feels that it needs to act up like NBA bad boy Ron Artest, or something. I don't understand why this Milwaukee team feels the need to be controversial. I don't understand the arrogance, considering that the Brewers have won NOTHING since 1982. And I don't understand how Yost continues to allow it to happen.

"The Brewers will probably make the playoffs. They are that good. But we must ask: can you fellas at least hold off on the showboating until you actually win something?"

First of all, the phrase "sour grapes" jumps quickly to mind. But, there is an issue here. Many baseball people will tell you that a big part of the charm of the sport is its understated method of celebration. They point to athletes who just put their heads down and jog around the bases after a home run. They talk about a distinguished fist pump.

These people are very fond of pointing out that Vince Lombardi told players who scored touchdowns to "act like they've been there before."

Well, I've got news for those who worship at the shrine of Lombardi:


This is a team of young players, and some veterans, who find themselves in the middle of a very exciting time. Forgive them if they seem a little exuberant. Forgive all of us if we seem too excited about all of this.

It's been a long time coming.

And one more thing. A lot of times people bitch and moan about decisions made by the manager. Pitching rotations, hit and run, stuff like that.

One of the biggest jobs of a manager is to create conditions that allow a team attitude to flourish. It doesn't matter what that attitude is. The manager needs to figure it out and then find a way to let his players live with that attitude.

The Brewers have an attitude of youthful joy and celebration. Yost has decided to let his players go. And he deserves credit for recognizing that and doing what needs to be done.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.