Just Like The Spice Girls, I Have Returned

Well, it’s been a month. No, not a month since the last time I attended a dogfight at Michael’s Vick’s place, but a month since I last posted a blog.

How can someone go an entire month between blog postings? Shouldn’t a blog be updated on a regular basis, kind of like Adam “PacmanJones’s police blotter?

Well, I was away for a little while. No, not like Paris Hilton went away for a little while. My wife and I welcomed a baby daughter on June 18. So we’ve been distracted, but in a very positive way.

If you’re a sports fan, having a newborn in the house is a mixed blessing. Yes, you’re sleep deprived and you’re cranky and your fingers almost always smell like poop (sorry, but it’s true). But you’re home. You can almost always have the game on. Sure it’s muted, but who wants to hear Bill “Check Out My Good Feet Orthodics” Schroeder anyway?

Anyway, good to be back on the blog. Tell your friends, neighbors, and clergy.

I wanted to mention something right away — baseball fans in general and Brewer fans specifically should head down to the Wisconsin Historical Museum at 30 North Carroll Street in Madison between July 17 and December 2 for a fascinating exhibit they will have going on called World Series Wisconsin. The exhibition marks not only the 25th anniversary of the Brewers winning the AL pennant but also the 50th anniversary of the Milwaukee Braves winning the World Series. We had a couple of guests from the museum appear on a WISC-TV show I produce (For the Record; no, I don’t just write blogs for a living!) and they brought along several very cool artifacts that will be on display at the Museum, many more of which will be on hand at the exhibit. Check it out. There will also be a fundraiser on Sunday, July 22, that will provide attendees the opportunity to meet a couple of players from teams past. Check out www.wisconsinhistory.org/museum for all of the details.

The hook for the exhibit is that “every 25 years the World Series comes to Wisconsin,” which of course implies that in 2007 the fall classic (well, at least games three through five thanks to the National League’s continued incompetence in the All-Star Game) will set up shop at Miller Park. Anybody who read my previous blog entry a month ago knows that on June 13 I thought there was a better chance of Star Jones appearing on the cover of Maxim Magazine than of the Brewers winning the NL pennant in 2007. But then the Brewers went on a stretch where they won 11 of 14, which I was happy about, except for the fact that I knew that last blog entry of mine was just sitting out there on the “information superhighway” (as the kids call it) making me look stupid while I was on paternity leave and busy trying to figure out how to keep a six-day-old baby quiet so I could watch Seinfeld DVDs.

But right now I don’t feel quite so stupid. The Brewers finished the first half of the season on a 3-7 run, losing three straight series to the Cubs, Pirates, and the Nationals. Their lead in the NL Central is now less — 4.5 games over the Cubs — than it was when I told Brewer fans to “panic” on June 13, when they had a 5.5 game cushion over Chicago. The Brewers have lost more road games than any team in the NL except the Astros, Reds, and Giants. Bill Hall, who had settled in quite nicely in center field, is on the DL with a high ankle sprain, the type of injury known to keep athletes sidelined for as many as six weeks. Rickie Weeks can’t seem to shake a nagging wrist injury and has recorded eight hits in his last 53 at bats. Chris Capuano hasn’t recorded a win since May 7 and now boasts an ERA of 4.78. At least that’s slightly better than Jeff Suppan, who now has an ERA of 5.00. Not quite what the Brewers expected when they signed the former Cardinal to a 4-year, $42-million contract last off season.

So does all of this mean that I still think the Brewers will miss the postseason? Despite having MVP candidate Prince Fielder, Rookie of the Year candidate Ryan Braun, Ben Sheets staying healthy, and Francisco Cordero leading the majors in saves?

Yes, I guess it does.

Although I give the Brewers a much better chance of winning the World Series than I do of David Beckham’s signing with the Los Angeles Galaxy having any appreciable impact on the popularity of soccer in the United States.

Here’s how I see it: I see the Brewers hanging on to first place for about another month. I see a nine-game road trip at the end of August with Arizona, San Francisco — a team that will feel the weight of the world lifted off of it once Bonds passes Aaron, which he will have done by then — and yes, the Cubs, as the point when the Brewers will find themselves in second place, where they will likely finish the season. It will be a disappointing ending, yes, but not a surprise to fans paying close attention.

I know Brewers fans are sick of hearing this, but experience (this is still a very young team), and in particular experience being in a division race and being so close to the postseason — will aid this group of players immeasurably. Here are the words no one wants to hear but which I will say anyway: Wait ’til next year. At least this time those words mean something.

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