Today it's time to tailgate outside general indifference with the Milwaukee Brewers.
2015 Finish: 68-94 (4th in NL Central)
Kyle Lohse, Francisco Rodriguez, Adam Lind, Khris Davis, Jean Segura, Whole Bunch of Nobodies
Chris Carter, Chris Capuano, Eric Young, Will Middlebrooks, Different Bunch of Nobodies (and Kirk Neiuwenhuis)
Projected Lineup (via rotochamp.com)
Scooter Gennett 2B
Jonathan Lucroy C
Ryan Braun RF (injured)
Chris Carter 1B
Aaron Hill 3B
Domingo Santana LF
Jonathan Villar SS
Shane Peterson CF (this is a weird projection)
Rap Lyric That Describes Their 2015 Season
"Is being cool that cool? Is being a tool that much of a tool?"
- Chance the Rapper, "Wanna Be Cool"
The 2015 NL Central was a historically great division, with the Cubs, Pirates, and Trash Birds all sniffing around the 100-win mark. And they all got there by spending a good chunk of the season cleat-stepping on the asthmatic fat kids in Milwaukee and Cincy. In what resembled the world's saddest game of junior high dodgeball, the Brewers went a combined 11-28 against the Cubs and Cards. Luckily, no one in Wisconsin was paying attention.
Look, this team sucks, and it's going to suck for some time. It's a tiny, disinterested market where Marquette Basketball is far and away more popular. They're overshadowed even by the Twins and the White Sox, which is a hell of a trick to pull. They lost a bunch of semi-useful guys, and they brought in a bumper crop of slightly-less-useful guys. Theoretically the minor leagues are better, but we won't have reason to care about that for a couple of years at least. Instead, let's talk about what annoys me about the Brewers:
- They got ONE (1) playoff season out of the Gallardo/Fielder/Braun prime years. Yet their fat mouth-breathing fans got a dynasty's worth of shitty, obnoxious behavior from it. Just fat guy after fat guy showing up at Wrigley in Braun jerseys with the tags still attached, yapping about how overrated the Cubs were. They wore Badgers hats but went to UW-Whitewater. They professed love of MMA but had visible man boobs. You could profile them sure as a face-wearing serial killer, and they all deserved the same punishment.
- I hold an unreasonable amount of animus toward Ben Sheets to this day. After I write this, I'm gonna go egg the Dairy Queen he manages in New Berlin.
- They abandoned County Stadium, which perfectly represented the franchise (shitty, old, somewhat charming in its irrelevance) and built a brand-new retractable roof stadium with all the charm of a male fertility clinic. Even with the roof open, you feel like you're stuck in Schaumburg watching a mall demonstration of baseball.
- As part of that move, Bernie Brewer could no longer slide into a stein of beer after home runs. That was a perfect representation of the region - vaguely Bavarian good times. But god forbid we acknowledge what brewing is, or have to talk to our kids about beer. Now Bernie and his rictus smile joylessly descend a cheap slide that goes nowhere, like a kid whose mother drank too much mouthwash during pregnancy. And what's more, I'm just now realizing that this is a much better representation of metro Milwaukee. Carry on.
- There are two ways to park at the stadium. And you'll be driving, because a) Milwaukee is an oasis of decaying nightmares and b) the park's in the middle of nowhere anyhow. The cheap parking option puts you on gravel lots a short walk away from the stadium over a bridge. Traffic's a nightmare going out. The VIP option puts you on asphalt right next to the park, and you're basically in and out, no matter when you leave the game. The price differential the last time I was there was $4. That is the line between the haves and the have-nots among Brewers fans. If you really want a pleasant tailgate experience and easy exit, I say go ahead and pull some overtime at the sweatpants factory. You'll thank me later.
- Imagine how fat and gross you have to be for Chicago fans to call you fat and gross. Yet here we are.
- We make better sausages in Chicago. Fight me.
Reason to Watch: This is basically a triple-A team with Ryan Braun along for the ride. If you're watching this, then congrats on selling the most pre-owned vehicles at Waukesha County Hyundai during the month of June. You really need to talk to your sales manager about the terrible incentive program he's running.
Reason to Drink: You're in Wisconsin - a gorgeous state filled with amazing scenery, fantastic craft beer, and delicious food. You could be anywhere, doing anything, and you're stuck chasing a foodservice-grade bratwurst with sips of lukewarm Miller Lite from a plastic cup. Might as well get full-hog drunk and see if you can call one of the city's six Ubers to take you home.
The Fans: You know that guy/gal from your hometown who is weirdly, obnoxiously prideful of their "accomplishments"? Fill the stands with them. Then bomb the stands.
"Oh, you're in your last year of residency at Harvard? Boston's a ripoff man. No big deal or anything, but I'm about to be promoted to assistant manager at a little Fortune 500 company called JIFFY LUBE."
(cranks Drowning Pool album)
(dies slowly each day)
Too many Brewers fans would be intolerable. But our good friend entropy keeps their numbers pretty low.
Their Worst Contract: Ryan Braun is going to cost $7 million more this year than his 3.8 WAR season last year. That's eating half of a sandwich you don't like that much, then deciding to finish it anyway, except the other half is filled with BEES.
Fantasy Standout: I bet you can get your mitts on Braun for pretty cheap. It's like riding a bike with a slow leak in the tire. How far can it take me? Will the value outlast the risk? Why does everyone keep telling me they want to punch my bike in the face?
Fantasy Bust: Domingo Santana has some theoretical potential, and should see some decent at-bats with Khris Davis gone. On the other hand, he has to show up and play every day in front of people who buy their groceries at K-Mart and have Bob Uecker as their greatest living legend.
Uecker is still alive, right?
The Pop Culture Equivalent to This Team Is: A "Very Special Episode" of Roseanne. It's lower-middle class, there's not much hope on the horizon, and it's too close to home for comfort. Let's see what's on Netflix instead.