Photo: REUTERS/Darren Hauck
According to GM Doug Melvin, the Milwaukee Brewers are going to see what happens in the nine-game span starting Friday, July 13 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. How the team plays will reportedly determine whether new hands are brought on or if someone or several someones will be thrown overboard. I think this is a very logical and pragmatic, almost insanely predictable strategy. I can’t help but observe that the series with the Pirates starts on Friday, the 13th. That’s just great.
However, I’m pumped because I will be at Miller Park to enjoy Zach Greinke’s third-straight start and have a chorizo or two. Tim Dillard has been shipped out in favor of Tyler Thornburg in the bullpen, and Jeff Bianchi will hopefully be manning shortstop this weekend. The weather will be terrific, I trust, and the roof will be open. We can all hope and meditate on the Brewers having the might and wherewithal to put a righteous pounding on the lovable Bucs, despised-for-good-reason Cards and suitable-candidate Reds, but deep down, the Brewers may be packing it in over the next nine games. I don’t want that to be the case. I just don’t see the mood and record of this team magically congealing over the next nine games, especially when they happen to be against the teams in front of us in the NL Central. Those teams want to keep the Brewers down and kick them a few times while they’re at it.
If things don’t work out as they should in the best of all possible worlds, well, it will turn a different sort of page for the 2012 team and the fan base. The Brewers could turn some expiring contracts and players they won’t need next year for some prospects or new faces. Maybe they’ll send Greinke out for a nice prospect or two, only to have him sign back with the Brewers in the offseason. Maybe they’ll actually get rid of Manny Parra. Hey, you never know with the grand game of baseball. Happily, following the nine-game span, success or failure, the team will have a better idea of itself, its composition, and what style of pantaloons it should wear for the remainder of the season.
The fans will be able to rest easy enough, knowing that after July 31, no player can be traded away without the waiver process working its way. We can return to baseball for the joy of the game and still hope the Brewers pull everything together. And, you know, they just might. If Greinke is still around, anything could happen in August and September. Even if the Brewers are then the Brewers they’ve shown us already to be, we can relax and enjoy the fruits of what will still be productive and constructive baseball, yawn and rally against this or that, speculate, jostle and oscillate, weep, rage and laugh all the way until the end of the season. There will be a next year either way, my fellow Brewers fans.