Iâ€™m sitting here on Opening Day, in the first row of the press box at Miller Park, and itâ€™s quiet. Too quiet.
I mean, I can hear the fans in the ventilation over the sound of stands in this not-sold-out stadium. Apparently, other people here are rolling their eyes in the fifth inning (or theyâ€™re passed out).
But let me back up. I didnâ€™t go to Arizona to cover the Brewers' Spring Training / get tan on the berm, for the first time in 18 years. When the front office blew up this team last year, I didnâ€™t take it well. Partially because it came a year late and partially because they came across desperate to dump everyone at any cost.
Understand that Iâ€™ve been following the Brewers closely since 1993. I sat through horrendous teams in the 1990s and early 2000s, still supporting them at games where fewer than 6,000 fans would be on hand with me. Back when you could heckle and the players would hear you.
Then, the Brewers got kinda good, and everyone was a fan again. Doug Melvin drained the farm system and give his teams a shot. They came so close in 2011. But it didnâ€™t work out, and we wound up with a bloated team of guys who didnâ€™t really want to be in Milwaukee.
So here we are. An astounding 12 guys out of the 25-man roster are brand new. And, because I barely paid attention to the Brewers this spring, I have no idea who they are.
Iâ€™m not really taking the season off. Nothing is finer than the sweet sounds of Bob Uecker on the radio on a hot summer day, or a late-night West Coast game on TV long after you shouldâ€™ve gone to bed. Or right now, sitting in the best seat in the house â€¦ "working."
But I will be a little more hands-off this season. I probably wonâ€™t live or die with the wins and losses, the latter of which will be ample. People tell me to be excited about this rebuild. I remain skeptically open to the possibility that they might be right.