A Fanʼs View

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By Trenni Kusnierek, FSN Wisconsin Brewers Beat Reporter

When the Brewers hit the road 11 days ago, I finally got to stay home. The way Craig Coshun and I handle a grueling, 135 game schedule (plus Bucks in the winter) is by dividing up the road trips–especially the long ones–and it was Craigʼs turn to go planes, trains, and automobiles. The break was nice for a few reasons: I finally got to see the family and friends that I moved home for, my apartment got lived in, and I had the chance to see Brewers baseball from a different perspective–as a fan. It took some getting used to, but I found it helpful to watch the games a little differently and really listen to what Milwaukeeans had to say about the ʼ08 squad.

One thing is clear, this city is on edge and a little nervous. The list of concerns is long, but not completely warranted. At least not all of the complaints. The Brew City faithful are worried about starting pitching, the closing situation, the hitters, and the skipper. As a fan, Iʼm right along with the masses. As a journalist, Iʼm trying to take a less panicked approach. The talk in the local watering holes is that the upper brass of the club need to fire, hire, trade, and sign–but Iʼm not sure a fire sale is the answer.

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Letʼs start with trades and signings. I donʼt think it is any secret that the Brewers would like to add another solid starter to the rotation, but Iʼm not sure just taking anyone who is offered is the best approach. The team canʼt afford to wait too long, but it also canʼt afford to ship off current talent and snatch up the first arm thrown at at them. (No pun intended!)
Milwaukee and the Brewers are not the type of city/team that can throw money or talent around like the Cubs, Mets, and Yankees so they need to be picky and weigh their options. That said…for this club to stage a comeback and make a run at the post season, a lights out starter should be tops on the list. The two aspects of the club that are taking the most hits are the hitters and the manager. I was hard pressed to find a fan who was willing to be patient with either. The arm-chair managers want shake ups in the batting order and shake outs in the skipper’s office. When I found myself caught up in “fan speak,” I expressed many of the same sentiments, but quickly realized the customer isnʼt always right. I like the fact that
instead of making monumental moves, the team has instead tried to fix early problems with minor adjustments: the uneven platoon between Bill Hall and Russell Branyan, giving Seth McClung a shot in the starting rotation, and allowing some relievers in AAA a shot at succeeding in the bigs.

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Iʼm in the school of thought that if a team makes drastic changes, every player starts to look over their shoulder and the result is much of the same. With that said, if the simple changes donʼt have big effects, consideration has to be given to shaking things up. Deep breaths people, deep breaths. We are 52 games into the season–not even close to halfway home. I love that my hometown fans expect excellence instead of mediocrity, but even greatness takes time. Weʼd just like it to speed up a little.

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Comments

  1. paulmbanks says

    Very well written Trenni ;)

  2. very nice article, Trenni, liked the viewpoint.

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