Dear Milwaukee Brewers,
On this Easter Sunday back in 1987, you blessed us with one of the most incredible comebacks in team history by continuing your winning streak to 12-0.
You also during that season had completed our only no hitter in team history!
It was one of the best Aprils ever for me as a Brewers fan. This season may be the first since 87 that I have been pleasantly surprised by the Brewers start. If someone told me after one of the toughest starting schedules this year of any major league team, the Brewers would have the best record in baseball, be in first place, or look very good doing it, I would have thought you were lying to me. Don’t believe me, here is my previous blog to prove it.
I would have been thrilled with a .500 record by this time. Now 14-5. Ecstatic is an understatement.
Eyes were raised when they took the air out of the World Champion Red Sox and swept them at home during their ring ceremony opening weekend.
They next went to Philly and swept the Phillies in a park that gives them all sorts of trouble historically.
Then they swept a good Pirates team to win 9 in a row (which I think already you are in their heads after what happened today).
Now I am not going to defend Gomez here because he is very stupid for basically being baited (possibly on purpose) into a fight. If Cole wants to be a baby because you slightly admired a home run, just tell him and his Pirates team to shut up and beat them on the field. It is clearly obvious they are upset that the Brewers as of Easter Sunday are 6-1 vs the Pirates this season.
Whatever Gerrit Cole’s motivation for doing this obviously backfired cause he ends up with a no decision as Jason Grilli blows his 2nd save in 2 days.
Ryan Braun is currently the most hated player actively playing in baseball for reasons I don’t want to rehash. However like I told someone recently, as a Brewers fan, what am I supposed to do? Hate the man? He has already made a statement in at least 3 games this year that we won. I to a degree have to root for him to do well in order for our team to do well overall. And anyone that does not like it will just have to deal with it.
Now Carlos Gomez may rival Braun in being one of the most hated players in the game. All the talent in the world and while I was his harshest critic, and still support the man, seriously stop. Opponents will now do this just to see you crack under the pressure, or be baited to brawl again.
Matt Snyder provides a great analysis on why I made a point to say Cole as a pitcher needs to learn to not open his mouth and beat the Brewers if he does not like what Gomez did.
This is why I am now saying this.
Brewers. Please embrace all the hate that will come your way after today and the rest this year. You are currently the BEST team in baseball record wise. It’s April and much can change, but the quicker you embrace being hated, the easier it will be when more hatred comes you way. And you might actually relish in it as it serves for motivation to prove everyone wrong.
And after the shenanigans on Sunday, Ryan Braun shuts the Pirates up by hitting a 9th inning game tying home run, I admit I roared and was pumped specifically cause of what the Pirates did to initiate this brawl. As a fan, you want to win Sunday’s game now more than any game so far this year and they do it in 14 innings. It felt good knowing the Pirates shenanigans blew up in their face and one of the most hated players had a part in doing it.
Enjoy it Brewers. It is a sign of respect. And you have thousands of Brewers fans like me who will embrace it and put their arms around you too. This team is quickly becoming a true Wisconsin underdog with a chip on their shoulder looking to prove something. And whatever happens this point forward, I know many fans like me are excited for Brewers baseball again after a horrendous season last year. Yes they won 9 in a row last April, but something feels different about this team this year.
And it makes for a awesome start to the sport I love.
P.S. Keep pitching the way you are and continuing to knock the cover off the ball…. literally.
Update: 6:48 PM. Word is coming out that Carlos Gomez did tell Cole to shut up after Cole was barking at him. That ended things and Travis Snider (not even playing today) was one of the guys who attacked Gomez.
There is also talk that the Pirates were “admiring” many of their hits Saturday.
If this is all true, I have lost quite a bit of respect for the Pirates. I will continue to update this with links as the news about this comes in. What an Easter game.
Update: 9:21 PM
Here is a link to the Pittsburgh newspaper. I like how it was written objectively. Was Gomez wrong? Yes. However he should not fully take the blame for all of this. And what really irks me is how the Pirates bench handled this situation.
Benches cleared in the third inning. Gomez hit a two-out triple that bounced off the top of the wall. Gomez thought it was gone, so he flipped his bat and jogged to first base before taking off at a dead sprint when it stayed in.
Cole said something to Gomez when he went to third base to retrieve the ball from Josh Harrison, and Gomez took exception. He shouted back, and third-base umpire Jim Reynolds restrained him.
At that point, benches cleared. Snider came off the bench and got in Gomez’s face, causing Gomez to fight against Reynolds in an attempt to reach Snider. Snider, Russell Martin and Gaby Sanchez went after Gomez, shoving him to the ground. They threw punches, but not many landed. One did: Brewers backup catcher Martin Maldonado punched Snider in the head. Maldonado was the same player who slid into Jordy Mercer’s ankle during Friday’s game.