Man, this is almost a tear-jerker. For the record, I like Buster. One of the non-donkeys at the Four Letter.
The intensity of the crowds at Milwaukee's Miller Park, in the last half of the regular season, was striking. The place was mostly filled, especially on the days when CC Sabathia pitched, and with every pitch, with every turn of the ball-strike count, you could hear the murmuring -- the sound of concern or hope growing, the sound of anticipation. In the biggest moments, when Ryan Braun or Prince Fielder slammed a decisive home run, or at the instant that the Brewers clinched a playoff spot and CC pumped his fist, the response was overwhelming. The Brewers fans were able to experience something they hadn't experienced in 26 years.
And now, just like that, their window is probably closed, it seems, so quickly. Too quickly. Sabathia is gone and Ben Sheets is gone Mike Cameron is reportedly gone, in a trade to the Yankees, and Milwaukee again needs a closer. The Brewers are now left to rebuild again -- with some good and great pieces, for sure...
...When they win, the salaries ascend and the breakdown must come quickly, which is why the '08 Brewers seem destined to join the '01 Athletics and the '94 Expos and the '07 Indians and some Minnesota teams among the small-market teams that seemed on the verge of postseason greatness, but couldn't quite get there.