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On the surface, fans of football and baseball are entirely different. But when you’re in a small market like Milwaukee, you take anything you can get. The entire state is feeling the first signs of Spring and still feeling confident about after the Packers Super Bowl win a few weeks ago. The win left a high level of expectation in all areas of sports, including the Brewers.
New Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said it best, “With the moves we made over the winter, we’ve put ourselves in position to win. My expectation for this team is very high, it’s very deep into the playoffs.”
He’s not the only one. Brewers fans are confident their team can make the playoffs, if not the World Series. Too confident? Maybe. But the Brewers have been “almost” a well-rounded team, so great in some areas and then slightly lacking in others. Add to that the overall high that the area has with the Packers win in the Super Bowl, and you’ve got a set of fairly confident fans and players. Even general manager Doug Melvin acknowledges the expectations, saying “I think people are energized about this club. Coming off the Packers’ Super Bowl win, I think our fans will get behind our team now. That’s what you want to do. You want to increase your franchise value and level of interest.”
Outfielder Ryan Braun no doubt heard an earful from his buddy Aaron Rodgers about the Super Bowl win. Braun admitted that there is “definitely a buzz around the Packers” but that “there’s a buzz around this baseball team, too. People are genuinely excited, probably more so than they’ve been in years.”
We won’t have long to wait. Pitchers and catchers report to camp today. Let the games begin.
Strengths: Everyone on this team is young and a work in progress. 2B Neil Walker, 3B Pedro Alvarez, and OF Garrett Jones all have shown promise, but as long as they are playing in Pittsburgh, they won’t get much recognition. The addition of 1B Lyle Overbay will give the offense a much-needed boost.
Weaknesses: Pitching. They had a team ERA of 5.00 and lost 105 games last season. Need I say more?
Analysis: Hang on Pittsburgh fans, you are in for another long season. It probably won’t be as bad as last year, but you can expect another bottom-of-the-barrel performance. You have to give them credit for trying.
Prediction: 6th in NL Central
More 2011 NL Central Predictions after the jump >>
Is it really only six weeks until spring training? Hard to believe since we can see our breath here in the frozen tundra but it’s true! Could the Packers win in the Super Bowl bring luck to the Brewers? Sure, but the Milwaukee Brewers don’t need luck, they already have what it takes to lead the National League Central this year.
More 2011 Brewers Predictions after the jump >>
Baseball got the real season started yesterday and what did we learn? After getting dominated by Cole Hamels, 3-1 (Hamels had nine strikeouts) it looks like the Brewers might need CC Sabathia to pitch
the remaining games. Everyone of them.
Game 2 between Philly and Milwaukee is today at 6:00/5:00 Central. The pitchers are Sabathia and Brett Myers.
Most post season baseball after the jump >>
Now that the Chicago White Sox finally took care of their regular season business
, the mad dash for the World Series title — otherwise known as the Major League Baseball playoffs
— begins tonight in earnest as three of the four divisional series are scheduled to begin. There are a ton of storylines to keep up with so we have a small series-by-series breakdown of what you can expect and some things to watch for as the games progress.
A preview of today’s games after the jump >>
The California Angels of Los Angeles and Anaheim
became the first team to clinch a post season berth
last night with their 4-2 win over the Yankees. After the game was finished, the Angels celebrated like any team would, dousing each other with sparkling wine and other libations. Even though Torii Hunter was suspended for his little dance with Pudge Rodriguez, he still enjoyed the celebration by “swimming” in the puddles of alcohol left behind. He called it his Michael Phelps impression.
While the rest of the teams in contention for the post season seem to be focused on the various ways they can relinquish a division lead, the Angels have been one of the most consistent teams this season; a fact that makes them a favorite to win the World Series. In the meanwhile, teams like the Cubs, Dodgers, Rays, White Sox, and Mets still have work to do before they can collect their post season tickets.
With only something like 17 days left in the regular season, most of the above storylines will sort themselves out in a hurry, but until then, that gives fans some entertaining baseball while the remaining teams fighting for division crowns and wild card slots sort themselves out. Currently, the wild card leaders are the Boston Red Sex in the American League and the Milwaukee Brewers in the National.
Both teams have a little breathing room in regards to the teams chasing them but there is enough time remaining for the Brewers and Red Sox to choke their position away.