[this was originally a response on fb to one of my in-laws; it turned into something much larger, and since I haven’t had opportunity to post here in a while, I thought it good to prime the pump here with it.]
Here’s the thing I keep in mind with the heartbreak: I have no idea what this feeling is like. I was more interested in pooing my diapers, crying and sleeping in 1982 than whatever it was was going in a decrepit, over-sized tin shed in the Menominee river valley with rain gutters for urinals. I was barely a year old when Yount, Molitor, Gantner, a host of outstanding mustaches, Don Sutton’s perm and Gorman Thomas’ gut romped through the AL into October.
I grew up with mostly wretched, abysmal and marginally-talented Brewers teams, and it was my decision to hitch onto them. Year after painful year, watching the Selig trust run the team into the ground, bizarre management decisions and, eventually, dodging a threat to move the team to Charlotte with financing and building Miller Park.
So, the team finally develops a farm system–a direct result of years of horrible on-field ‘performance’, if one can call it such–and we begin to get plucky, 2008 in the postseason as a wild card; 2011, division champs. And now, we just finished getting the tar kicked out of us after our most successful campaign ever.
Here we are now, the dog who catches the car: now what? We’re not the Red Sox pre-2004 or the C*bs (thank God) and have no idea how to process this. And we’re not the DBacks, Marlins, Angels: outliers who had no business being where they were at the time they were and won it all with fanbases who really, honestly couldn’t care less. The Cardinals have 10 world championships and enough retired numbers in the left field bleachers to make it look like part of the numerical extension of pi.
There are a lot of Brewers ‘fans’ this morning who are calling for firings and releases and this and that, and it’s all sound and nasty, cheap American beer-fueled fury. It was a great season with a team–and management–who had no idea how to process October baseball. And, had the tables been turned, I wouldn’t rub it in the faces of Cardinals fans for no other reason than I haven’t been to the promised land. Excuses and sour grapes are the province of those who know, rightly or wrongly, what to expect. When it comes to the Packers and Badgers, I can be just as bad. Then again, I don’t love them the same way I love the Brewers.
I just want them to get back to this point, and beyond. At the very soonest, that will be a year from now.