Miller: Brewers are in the conversation
“Oh no,” I thought as I saw a good buddy approaching yesterday.
He’s a Cubs fan. That’s all I’m going to say.
“What’s wrong with your Brewers?” he asked.
Now, the fact that he hadn’t mentioned baseball when we have met for the past two months is one thing. After seeing “Ws” all last summer and hearing “Go Cubs Go” at least 3,527 times, this was quite the silence.
“Oh, you discovered that they are playing baseball this summer?” I asked.
“Oh, yeah,” he said. “Going down to Wrigley next week. Defending World Champions, you know?”
“Yes, I know,” I said. “I remember the one before that one, also. I’m 172 years old by the way.”
“But we won it,” he said. “Nothing else matters. And the boys are heating up again.”
“They got beat by the Cardinals today,” I said. “And if you look at the standings, the Brewers still are in first place. Been there since May 17. Think that makes 66 days and counting.”
“Doesn’t matter who is leading on July 21,” my Cubs friend said. “Only counts who is leading Oct. 1.”
“Agree,” I said. “But the Brewers have been in first for 58 games, about a third of the season. Not to mention they were 200-1 shots to win the World Series. Longest shots on the board with Cincinnati.”
“Win the World Series?” he said. “You think they are going to win the World Series?”
“Didn’t say that,” I said. “Just saying being in first place for two months—and the Cubs haven’t passed them yet—is an unexpected surprise.”
“Cubs will prevail,” he said.
“I’m sure you figured they were going to be sub-.500 at the All-Star break with all their great players,” I said. “That great manager of yours batting a softball player in the leadoff spot screwed the guy up so much he got sent down to the minors.”
“Kyle Schwarber is a god, man,” he said.
“Yeah, right. Batting .170, that god of yours. Should have traded him to an American League team while the getting was good last season. He’s a DH.”
“Did I ever tell you how long I suffered being a Cubs fan?” he said. “My dad was a long-time suffering Cubs fan. His dad was a long-suffering…”
“And I’m suffering from having to listen about all your suffering,” I said. “You are rooting for a major-market team that should contend every year.”
“Did you notice I’m wearing my Rizzo jersey?” he said.
“Nice,” I said. “Glad you found it again. Might have to use it to wipe away your teardrops.”
“You are the one that’s going to be crying when the Brewers fall down the standings,” my brilliant friend said.
“They might fall, but they might not,” I said. “Even if they do, they are only in the second year of rebuilding. You remember what the Cubs were in their second year under Theo Epstein? 66-96. And 73-89 in their third season. I believe the Brewers are well ahead of that pace.”
“Well, I gotta go,” my good Cubs friend said. “Go, Cubbies, Go!”
“Yeah, go to … hey, here comes my buddy who loves the Cardinals,” I said. “What’s up, Red?”
“What’s going on with your Brewers?” he said.
This is going to be a long rest of the summer.
But, hey, the Packers open camp Thursday.
Tom Miller is a sports writer/page designer for The Gazette