Now that the Brewers finally ran out of comeback magic and their season is over, I thought it was time to recap my favorite Brewers season since, um, well since I can remember.
Off we go:
February 21 - We learn that Prince has gone veggie. This leads directly to his hitting 16 less home runs in 2008 as compared to 2007 (there is no other plausible reason). And he doesn't lose any weight in the process, at least any discernable weight.
March 4 - Favre retires. You didn't think we could do this thing without mentioning Favre, did you?
March 24 - Chris Capuano needs Tommy John surgery.
March 25 - Claudio Vargas gets cut.
March 31 - The Brewers are 1-0, after the club topped the Cubs, when Gagne blew a save, then Wood blew the game right back to the Brewers. In other news, I called Corey Hart "unquestionably clutch." Um, yeah.
March 31 - I declared that the Brewers have clearly won the Estrada/Mota trade. I'll stand by that.
April 18 - Ben Sheets leaves a game with forearm tightness. But don't worry, he'll finish the year healthy. Sure he will.
April 20 - Yovanni Gallardo returns from a Spring Training knee injury.
April 22 - Gabe Gross gets traded to the Tampa Rays. He's still playing - the Brewers are not.
May 2 - Derrick Turnbow is designated for assignment. He ends up accepting an assignment to AAA Nashville, where he pitches incredibly poorly until he gets hurt.
May 2 - We learn that Yovani Gallardo has a torn ACL and is lost for the year. Or is he?
May 7 - The Brewers are 2.5 games back in the Wild Card race.
May 12 - Eric Gagne is removed as closer. Or removes himself, rather.
May 12 - The Brewers are advised to panic by a Sports Illustrated columnist.
May 15 - The Brewers extend Ryan Braun's contract for an additional 7 years after the 2008 season. Outstanding.
May 15 - The world is exposed to Bob Uecker in some pretty snug swim trunks. Nobody is ever quite the same.
May 18 - Newly minted team leader Ryan Braun calls out his team for their lackluster effort in getting swept in a 3-game series in Boston. This will end up being one of the turning points of the season.
May 19 - The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt irresponsibly posts a blog about the impending firing of Ned Yost, while citing a blog post. Yost stays for several more months.
June 2 - Derrick Turnbow starts a game at AAA Nashville. Only 2 walks in 2 innings, which will turn out to be his best outing of the season in AAA.
June 3 - Relegated to a platoon on account of his general suckiness, Bill Hall demands a trade. Er, his agent does. See, the thing about demanding a trade, Bill, is that you need to find another team that wants you. Maybe if you were willing to hand back a couple of million dollars, you could make it happen.
June 9 - Rickie Weeks makes his annual trip to the DL, and wonders when Ben Sheets and J.J. Hardy will get there to join him.
June 17 - Chuckie Hacks posts its first CC-to-Milwaukee trade rumor.
June 18 - We learn that Prince has some tax problems.
July 2 - Brett Favre unretires. Or tries to, at least.
July 6 - CC Sabathia is traded to Milwaukee. All of baseball prepares to bask in his glory.
July 7 - We tell people to vote Corey Hart into the All Star game. People listen (we are very powerful) and the fans vote him in. Hart proceeds to urinate in the face of the fans who vote him in, then urinate all over himself during the months of September and October. Dick.
July 7 - Madison rube Andy Baggot writes that anything less than a World Series appearance by the Brewers would be a profound disappointment. On July 7. In other news, Andy Baggot is a fool.
July 10 - In what is perhaps the most surprising line score of the year for the Brewers, Dave Freaking Bush whiffs 13 Rockies. Unfortunately, he becomes the Brewers 2nd best starter by the end of the season.
July 20 - The Brewers trade for Ray Durham. Rickie Weeks' breakout season is not going as planned.
July 21 - Bill Hall does something right with a game-winning bomb against the Cardinals, in what will turn out to be an absolutely brutal series for Cardinals fans in St. Louis.
July 22 - Bill Hall does it again. Cardinals fans are getting angry.
July 24 - Ryan Braun beats the Redbirds this time with a late dinger. Oh, the highest of highs for Brewers fans, drawing even with the Cubs...
July 31 - ...only to be followed shortly thereafter by the lowest of lows for Brewers fans, as they get swept by the Cubs. At home. In a 4-game series. Ugh.
August 1 - Corey Hart opens his dumb mouth and calls out the home fans for the first (though not the only) time this year.
August 4 - Prince Fielder mauls Manny Parra in the dugout in Cincinnati, in yet another turning point in the Brewers' season.
August 9 - We learn that Ryan Braun shoots an ad with Marisa Miller on August 8.
August 9 - Braun injures himself. We learn it has to do with an intercostal something-or-other. I don't think I have one of those.
August 18 - CC throws about a zillion pitches in a blowout-ish win against Houston. Cecil Cooper's prediction of an Astros sweep fails.
August 20 - Baseball Prospectus now says the Brewers have a 78% chance of making the postseason. These odds will go up. Then they will fall sharply. Then, happily, they will go up again.
August 20 - In his one lasting contribution for human-kind, Ned continues his use of the Money Order.
August 26 - The Brewers continue their ownership of the Redbirds with a 12-0 pasting of St. Louis at Busch. And then the media whines about the mean Brewers.
August 31 - CC throws the no-hitter that isn't. More importantly, the Brewers finish the month a scorching 20-7. Smooth sailing to October...er....er
September 4 - Er, except the Brewers promptly get swept by the Mets. At home.
September 10 - Then proceed to win 3 of 7 against the junk Padres and Reds to finish off a 3-7 home stand. Wha happened?
September 14 - Then get swept in a 4-gamer at Philly. Wild Card lead? Gone.
September 15 - Now a 48% shot at the playoffs. And fading.
September 15 - In a surprise (desperate? unprecedented?) move, Ned gets canned.
September 18 - Sheets reveals an injury. Sheets? Hurt? In September?
September 18 - Geo Soto delivers a gut punch in a brutal 9th inning blown save by Torres. Bad times. Probably the worst I felt all year.
September 22 - Brewers down 1 game to the Mets with 6 to play after finishing a fine 2-8 road trip to Philly, Chicago and Cincinnati. Odds not great, but it is the Mets, so what the hell?
September 25 - Yovani Gallardo returns to the bump for the Brewers and tosses 4 solid innings for a starting staff that was sucking wind. Actually, just plain sucking save for the irrepressible CC.
September 25 - Braun wins the game with a walk-off grand slam, although JJ may have hurt himself in the celebration. Charging hard to the finish, these Brewers are.
September 28 - They did it. Finished the season the way they started it - with a win over the Cubs. More late-game heroics from Braun, and yet another complete game from CC seals the 90th win of the season for Milwaukee. Combined with the culmination of yet another Mets meltdown, the Brewers reach the postseason for the first time since 1982.
Yes, the Brewers bowed out rather meekly against the Phillies in a 3-1 series defeat, but frankly I don't care. Missing the playoffs this season was not an option that I wanted to contemplate, and the Brewers pulled through with a big assist from the Mets. Thus concludes my favorite Brewers season of my lifetime. Just going through some of these old posts made me want to slam my head in the dishwasher one minute, then crack open a Miller Lite the next.
There are lots of questions with this team going into the offseason, but 2008 was quite a year.