Only a few minutes ago, dedicated Brewer fan Nic W (nwest33) twittered, “Boycotting Brewer games for now...still a fan, just can't watch listen or take the agony.” He’s not alone. Brewer fans everywhere are uttering sentiments similar to Nic’s.
Earlier this spring when the Brewers lost Rickie Weeks and his hot bat, I began touting, “Craig Counsell 2009 World Series MVP.” A few Brewer fans rallied behind the idea of Counsell hoisting up the MVP trophy while his Brewers teammates doused the Milwaukee native with champagne.
Milwaukee radio legend Gene Mueller (genemueller) responded to my tweet, “@joelkatte Love it! I don't think Weeks a fatal blow. Lots of faith in Melvin to find the right parts to keep things going.” (Via Twitter May 18)
Hey, I believed Counsell could win 2009 World Series MVP earlier this spring, and I still believe it now! The man is clutch! He’s a gamer. He gives every second of the ballgame his best and leaves it all on the field. He was instrumental in helping the ’97 Florida Marlins and ’01 Arizona Diamondbacks win World Series titles. In short, he’s money and deep down we know it!
Baseball is a game of statistics; everybody understands that. However, there are a few things numbers cannot account for. How do you measure a player’s heart? How do you calculate the impact a player’s quiet, lead-by-example demeanor has on an entire team? Do we have statistics for keeping track of good base running? How do we keep track of moving runners over to third with less than two outs with a selfless groundball to second?
However, one of the most important factors to a winning team is FAN ATTITUDE. Trust me, it’s huge, and you can’t keep stats on it. I’ve felt the importance of fan attitude when I played in front of as few as 25 fans as well as in front of a few thousand fans. There is an energy fans emit that drives players and motivates them to dig deeper when fatigue and slumps have set in.
Remember last year’s 2008 postseason run? Fans began touting “WE BREW-IEVE!” The slogan showed up on t-shirts, posters, and was heard in many conversations.
Well, we’re nearing the pennant race stages of 2009 and the Brewers need you. No doubt, they’ve given you plenty of reasons to give up on them. Let’s not talk about the last time we won a series this season. Let’s not dwell on the fact that we’re in fourth place. We’re going to be grateful that we are only 2.5 games back. Yeah, I agree with you; fourth place feels crummy.
However, being back 2.5 games feels pretty darn good. Remember all those losing seasons? Any one of those years, Brewers fans would have given anything to be 2.5 games back near the end of July with a weak schedule ahead of us.
Baseball is a game of highs and lows. A coach once told me, “In baseball, you gotta figure out a way to keep your highs low and your lows high.” Sure, the past few weeks Brewers fans took a bean ball in the spine, but we gotta brush ourselves off (Don’t rub it!) and jog down to first no matter how badly it stings.
Darn, I know this is a tough sell because as I finish this post, the Brewers are now losing to Major League’s worst team the Washington Nationals 14-6 in the 8th inning. We’re still in this thing and we gotta let the BREW CREW know we’re behind them. Think COMEBACK! Remember what Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” The Brewers have a chance, and wouldn’t we all love to see Milwaukee’s home grown Craig Counsell wear three World Series rings?
Drop a comment below if you’re still backing the Brewers this year and drop Brewers beat reporter Tom Haudricourt a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter @haudricourt saying “CRAIG COUNSELL 2009 WORLD SERIES MVP.” That way I guarantee your support will filter its way into the Brewers’ clubhouse and dugout and help boost the team’s morale. Trust me, I’ve played a lot of baseball. Players are superstitious for a reason. It’s not the unwashed socks that are magical; it’s the belief that the unwashed socks are magical.