The Messiah of Milwaukee works at Miller Park tonight. CC Sabathia makes his debut for the Brew Crew--and starts the team on its inevitible run to the World Series title. I can't remember the last time people were this excited about a regular season Milwaukee Brewers game. Our Green Bay all-sports sister station was actually able to go an entire hour talking baseball--without anyone calling to hope Brett comes back to the Packers because we all know he's the best quarterback they got and they ain't goin' nowhere with that Rodgers kid and with all the talent they got comin' back the Pack is going to the Super Bowl because we almost got there last year and how do you think the first round draft pick is gonna do when they open up training camp this month????
You have to admit that Mark Attanasio is putting his money where his mouth is. He promised to spend money to put a winner on the field--a refreshing change from the miserly approach of one Bud Selig who never met a washed up cheap veteran player he didn't like--and the Crew is about to go over 90-million dollars in payroll. And unlike last year--when the Scott Linebrink trade served to sink the Brewers late pennant push--this trade suddenly makes the Crew the Favorites in the National League Central. With CC and Ben Sheets in the rotation, the Brewers can legitimately expect to win at least two out of every five games. Get one more win in those other three games, and all of sudden you're playing .600 ball.
Some are worried the Brewers have mortgaged their future on a player they likely won't have beyond the end of this year. But when you look at what they did give up, it's not so bad. The Brewers already have five first-basemen on the roster (they may not all play the position--but that is where more than a few guys should be playing)--and offense is not what this team needed anyway. I just like seeing the franchise saying "We are no longer playing for the future--we expect to win now."
And that puts even more pressure on Manager Ned Yost and pitching coach Mike Maddux. If Sabathia bombs in the 15 or 16 starts he gets in Milwaukee--and the team misses the playoffs--then they both have to go. No more excuses "We need to learn how to win" or "These guys played their guts out and I'm proud of them." This is also a challenge to Milwaukee fans as well. The owner is proving he is willing to spend the bucks to build a winner--now Joe Sixpack needs to make a few trips to the stadium to provide some return on the investment--and that means people other than idiot Cubs fans outnumbering Brewers fans at Miller Park.
There's nothing better in sports than pennant chase baseball--and it looks like Wisconsin fans will finally get a full dose this year. I can't wait.