Monday, July 6, 2009

Braun Speaks His Mind....Leaving the Pitchers with Bus Treads On Them

Probably saddened by the fact that they were going to have to report yet another loss to the Cubs, the Milwaukee sports media was given a reason to smile after getting 'fodder' by one Ryan Braun calling out the pitching staff by saying statements like, "We need to find a way to throw the ball a little better to have success. When you're constantly behind in games, it's not easy. It's not fun". He also mentioned that he hopes Melvin makes a move (for a pitcher) sooner rather than later, "That being said, it would be nice to make a move. It would be nice to do something to help us out for the time being. The sooner we do it, the better." Braun even went on to maybe try to position himself as a future GM. When asked if he thought Melvin would make a move, he said "I wish I got to make decisions like that."

Braun has called the team out before and usually the team responds positively. The difference is, those times he called out the entire team, including himself. This go around he picked on only the pitchers, sort of balancing the line of leader/griper.

My thoughts, he nailed it, and he is 100% correct. No doubt the starting rotation has been abysmal of late, and sure Yovanni (who I think realizes is not involved in Braun's statements) and Suppan could think, "Hey, I spun a gem last time out and you hitters couldn't do anything", but I think the pitching staff realizes where the deficiency is on the Brewers club and no argument can be made against Ryan's statements.

Braun is the leader of this Brewer team, and is showing obvious passion for wanting to have a successful team. He is going to be with the Brewers' organization for long time (barring a GM career ending trade), so this is his team and damn it he wants to win! So, while he might draw some ire from some who feel calling out your teammates to the media is the wrong thing to do, it is a great way to make yourself respected amongst the Milwaukee fanbase.

Milwaukee fans just ask that players and teams give it their all and show respect to the community and the fans. When the Brewers were struggling and not really trying to put a good product on the field, people didn't show. The same thing is happening with the Bucks right now. Sort of a, if you aren't going to try, why should I waste my time and money. If you do right and you try hard though you will earn respect.

The ultimate case of this is none other than Gary Sheffield, straight up admits he boots a play, whines about a position change and disrespects the city and its fans as a whole. What, like 14-15 years later, fans STILL try to make his life a living hell while he is in about holding a grudge, and deservedly so, hell I know of a website that named themselves after Sheffield just to poke fun at him.

The more subtle cases of this are Bill Hall, Corey Hart, and Ben Sheets. All were well liked by all fans...Hall talked about getting traded, Hart said he isn't going to take walks, and Sheets was just perceived as being a 'Sally', and each lost the respect. I think everyone still hopes the best for all three players, especially Hart, as most hope to have him as a Brewer for a long time. But, the boo birds and the blogospheres light up after poor performances - (see AverageDude's, "Bill Hall Updates").

The opposite end of the spectrum is Geoff Jenkins. That dude would get in some hardcore slumps, but he pressed on and never really griped about it, just worked harder. I don't know of too many fans who don't still appreciate what Jenkins did for the team.

So, what's this have to do with Braun? Braun wants to win, he has a fire about him that we the fans haven't seen in a long time. That passion to win has a certain blue collar quality to it, which bodes well with the Milwaukee fanbase. Yes, a blue collar ethic from a California kid who went to school in Miami, I mean, the girls aren't as pretty fake in Milwaukee (but they know their baseball a hell of a lot better)!!! We as fans are sick of the complacency that we have seen for so many years....we are sick of people like Ned Yost sticking up for/sticking with players that need to be called out/benched. So, good for Braun!

Ryan Braun signs a long term deal for probably less money than he would have gotten in the long run = RESPECT
Ryan Braun talks highly of the community and the fans = RESPECT
Ryan Braun goes all out every time in his attempt to become the best = RESPECT
Ryan Braun legitimately cares about how the team does as a whole, not just his personal numbers = RESPECT
Ryan Braun has obvious fun playing the game of baseball and isn't afraid to show it = RESPECT
Ryan Braun speaks what's on his mind, being open and candid with the fans and not giving the 'company line' = RESPECT

All of that means that when Ryan Braun speaks, Milwaukee is listening and likely agreeing. So pitchers, the ball will be in your hands now (literally and figuratively), how will you respond, because Milwaukee is on Braunie's side on this one. Also, Doug......your star is asking......the fans are asking. The clock is ticking.

I said it before....Keep on doing what your doing Braunie