Posted by Steve
That’s what I am watching the Brewers lately. Other than today’s dud against Houston, they’ve been playing better. Watching the games the last couple weeks has actually been… enjoyable. The starting pitching has been better, and the new guys in the bullpen (Axford, Braddock, Loe) have turned the pen into a relative strength. Plus, Rickie Weeks is on fire, and I love watching when he’s on a hot streak.
So, why am I torn? Because I’m not sure I really even want the Brewers to win. Allow me to explain.
This is really the reason why: PECOTA gives the Brewers a 1.5% chance of making the playoffs. The Brewers aren’t making the playoffs this year, and I have personally come to terms with that fact. I am not convinced the front office has, however, and I’m afraid that if they go on a mini-run here, they’ll make detrimental decisions before the trade deadline.
Corey Hart, Prince Fielder, and Casey McGehee should all be shopped (although the polish is wearing off McGehee rapidly), and absolutely no rental players should be acquired for prospects. The Brewers made the mistake of acquiring Felipe Lopez last season when they weren’t really in the race, and they lost Cole Gillespie in the process. The Brewers have been in need of a capable right-handed bench bat all season. Gillespie has a .911 OPS in AAA this season, and would have certainly solved this problem. Not to mention he’d be a possible replacement if Hart was dealt. I was alright with the trade at the time because I assumed the Brewers would get a compensation pick for Lopez, but once they chose not to offer him arbitration, the deal made no sense.
Unfortunately, I’m afraid they won’t make what is the correct decision to be deadline sellers if the team is within five or six games of .500. This is why I’m torn while watching the Brewers. I can’t watch a game and not root for them or get excited by wins, but at the same time, I’m afraid winning now could mean bad things for the franchise long term.
One short tangent. I’m going to keep harping on Baseball’s archaic attitude towards replay until it’s changed. Did anyone happen to see Johnny Damon get called out on an absolutely horrendous call to end a game? Not only do we have another umpire immediately admitting he was wrong, but this one was on balls and strikes–an instance that would have been avoided by an electronic strike zone. It’s not normally this cut and dried, but this is one instance where it literally costed a team a game. Another instance was the walk-off strikeout against the Brewers last year.
At least baseball has one thing going for it. We’ve finally discovered another sport just as archaic: soccer. The incompetence of human officials is being showcased at the World Cup, along with the need for instant replay after England’s obvious goal was missed. England’s coach sounded just like me lobbying for an electronic strike zone: “It’s incredible that in a time of technology, the referees aren’t capable of deciding if there has been a goal or not. The match could have been different after this goal.”