The Endless Cycles of Man
In all of my 24 years of life, I've had the privilege of 24 seasons of Milwaukee Brewers baseball. And not one of them ended in a playoff berth. Sure, we've come close, what with all those years in the 80's when we were certainly good enough, but played in that godforsaken "traditional" playoff setup, where only two teams from each conference made the playoffs.
But this year will be different. No, that's no casual or even causal optimism. That's rock-solid fact. (Fact as it pertains to me) This year, we're deeper, faster, stronger, and many other adjectives that describe our physical superiority over the Chicago Cubs. This year we'll break through. I've not wanted many things in my life, except to see my three "teams" (Bucks, Packers, Brewers) win a championship. Well, we got 1 of those 3 out of the way, and the Bucks came damn close in 2001, but alas, Father Time is chipping away at me, and my teams haven't gotten much closer. If anything, the Bucks seem to be hell-bent on going the opposite direction.
But yes, this year will be different. This will finally be the year, when I'll have something meaningful to watch on television in September that isn't soon-to-be-canceled pilots (Homeboys in Outer Space, anyone?) or football. I know the Brewers will probably get swept out of the first round by some big spender, but it doesn't matter, because they'll have finally taken my playoff virginity.
This year will also bring another year of Neddy "Ballgame" Yost's managerial strategies. Having nothing to do in the off-season except watch the gentleman's sport that is NASCAR, Yost had some time to think. By thinking, I mean he decided to start batting the pitcher 8th and the cather 9th in the lineup. I'll let you decide whether or not that actually constituites thinking. The idea, in theory, is that Jason Kendall will act as a second leadoff hitter. Oh, Neddy Ballgame, what moron would bad Jason Kendall leadoff in the first place? Oh, wait, it actually happened in Pittsburgh. A team that hasn't exactly set the gold standard for quality baseball the past 15 years or so. In any case, it should be an interesting season, in which I drag many friends and comrades to the bleachers in order to discuss the finer points of the suicide squeeze, and which I remind Michael A. Ritmanich of his misguided scouting report of Bill E. Hall in 2002: "He's a bum! Get rid of him!"