Janesville59°

Perspectives

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Tim Thompson
November 5, 2012

Don't worry, it's just the title, we won't be doing another Saturday Night Live inspired interview.

During a Facebook conversation that took place shortly after the conclusion of the 2012 MLB regular season, a friend suggested that, given the Brewers failed to make the playoffs, I must consider the season a disappointment. My initial reaction was to point out that our season wasn't nearly as disappointing as his, as he roots for the last-place, 69-win Boston Red Sox. In the end I replied that, in all sincerity, 2012 was far from disappointing.

Of course it would have been nice if the Crew had made the playoffs and extended the season, but most fans understand that a postseason appearance never is a given and, in fact, the opposite generally holds true. I also understand why some of the younger fans (as well as the casual fans) may declare their "disappointment" about a season in which the defending NL Central champs didnít even win enough to garner the second wild-card slot. Not me, though; I keep things in perspective.

The Milwaukee Brewers and their fans can boast of two playoff appearances in the past five years, which is equal to or better than 25 of the 30 MLB teams. It's also one more playoff appearance than the Crew had in the first 37 years of their existence. I donít remember all of those 37 seasons, but I saw enough to provide perspective. I remember 106 losses in 2002. I remember the lack of hope year after year after year. I remember enough to shape my perspective.

Two things about the 2012 season stick out to me, and both helped make it a memorable one. First, it was nothing short of amazing to watch the Crew rip off 24 wins over a 30-game stretch after even yours truly had written them off. That run was the best 30-game stretch of any MLB team this year that, moving forward, says something about the character of the team's foundation.

The most amazing thing about this season, however, was the continued domination of left fielder Ryan Braun. Iíve professed enough admiration on this blog for Mr. Braun, so I wonít waste anymore of your time repeating his annual MVP-caliber numbers, the B.S. leak to ESPN about his test, the obvious break in chain of command or the fact that arbitrator Shyam Das was fired after he ruled in Mr. Braun's favor. I donít need to rhetorically ask why MLB and the players union both agreed not to release the report. I simply am going to trust Mr. Braun when he says he will not reveal the true story ďin the best interest of the game, ahead of the best interest of himselfĒ. Or, that there was a 'second spitter'.

As I sat down to write this blog, I gave some thought to adding something of a political undertone by talking about how everyone has their perspective on the direction this country should go, and how we should keep various historical and personal situations in perspective when casting our vote Tuesday. Before I went too far I read some comments on other GazetteXtra threads and realized (remembered) that as long as people are allowed to post behind a faceless/nameless online I.D., the conversations always will remind me of Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Buffalo Springfield in the sense that "nobodyís right, if everybodyís wrong".

So letís stick with baseball. Do Brewers fans consider 2012 a disappointment? For those "Peace & Glove" readers who cheer for another team, what's your take on where your favorite club finished?



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