The Milwaukee Brewers 2008 playoff series was not only its first in 26 years and a milestone in team history, but also a monumental achievement for baseball. The team with the smallest market in the Major Leagues won the wild-card when the Evil Empire didn’t placed third in their division. Milwaukee’s payroll is about 80 million, while New York’s is up to around 220 million, that’s nearly triple the Brewers! Not only that, from the smallest city with an MLB team, the Brewers managed to draw over 3 million fans. Although baseball still needs a salary cap to keep the New York’s, Chicago’s and Boston’s from ruling the sport, season’s like this for Milwaukee and Tampa Bay show the league’s playing field is being leveled. The Brewers were also able to acquire arguably the best pitcher in the league, CC Sabathia, midseason, and in the offseason signed the all-times saves leader-Trevor Hoffman. These are big-time signings for a small town team. While I do believe teams like the Yankees are ruining baseball with their massive spending, I admire the Brewers for their hard work, smart signings, and success. They’re winning the right way, by building through their farm system, making small trades for critical pieces, and signing players with potential. I also have a lot of respect for Ryan Braun, because even though he could have waited a year and signed with some “major” major league team, he chose to stay with the Brew, something not many players opt to do (CC). From one of the nicest stadiums anywhere with some of the most affordable prices, to a smart, realistic general manager and players that want to win not only for themselves and their teammates, but for their fans. From all the neglected baseball fans in Milwaukee, thank you Brewers for a fun wild ride in 2008! P.S. Hopefully, more to come in 2009!
January 13, 2009