By: Big Rygg
When the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks entered the Major Leagues in 1998, there was a bit of a problem when it came to lining up the divisions and leagues. Prior to the expansion there happened to be 28 teams with 14 in each league. Forcing those counts into odd numbers for each league wasn’t going to work without either one team in each league sitting at all times or Interleague Play all the time.
Clearly, those options weren’t options at all and therefore a team had to switch leagues to make it work. The Milwaukee Brewers of the American League were the sacrificial lamb, so to speak, and made the transition from American League club to National League club to begin the 1998 season.
It has been a long and most times difficult journey in the National League for the Brewers. They broke into the National League with a 74-88 record and struggled for the majority of the next 10 years, only reaching a .500 or better mark once in their first eight years in the senior circuit. The only 100-plus loss season in franchise history (2002) has come since the move as well.
Recent history has been a bit more favorable to the Brewers’ fortunes (including a post-season appearance following the 2008 campaign) but the ultimate prize has escaped this franchise’s grasp.
All of the above leaves the Brewers to focus on other kinds of accomplishments, including one counting statistic of which they are on the precipice.
The Milwaukee Brewers are on the verge of their 1,000th victory as a National League entity. They’ve lost over 1,300 games since dropping the DH, so this will be a most welcome achievement.
In light of this forthcoming accomplishment, and with the prized offseason acquisition on the hill tonight in Florida shooting for it, I thought it would be fun to look back at the winning pitchers of the other round numbers in the team’s Win total history. Offered without commentary, please enjoy this look back at a few mentions of Milwaukee Brewers history.
Franchise NL Win #100: Hideo Nomo (recorded as the 26th Win of the 1999 season)
Franchise NL Win #200: Curt Leskanic (recorded as the 52nd Win of the 2000 season)
Franchise NL Win #300: Ray King (recorded as the 11th Win of the 2002 season)
Franchise NL Win #400: Matt Kinney (recorded as the 55th Win of the 2003 season)
Franchise NL Win #500: Doug Davis (recorded as the 20th Win of the 2005 season)
Franchise NL Win #600: Brian Shouse (recorded as the 39th Win of the 2006 season)
Franchise NL Win #700: Yovani Gallardo (recorded as the 64th Win of the 2007 season)
Franchise NL Win #800: Brian Shouse (recorded as the 81st Win of the 2008 season)
Franchise NL Win #900: Chris Narveson (recorded as the 11th Win of the 2010 season)
By: Big Rygg
Here is my 25-man roster (complete with starters, batting order, rotation and bullpen assignments). We will be recording a podcast in the semi-near future to no doubt dissect this (and surely Cary will disagree with a few choices).
This roster was constructed with an eye on best players at positions, but also with an eye on making what could be a legitimate 25-man roster with capable bench players and not all closers in the bullpen, etc.
First will be the roster listed alphabetically by position with starters marked with an asterisk.
SP (5) – Jeff D’Amico, Doug Davis, Yovani Gallardo, CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets
RP (7) – Todd Coffey, Francisco Cordero, Chad Fox, Trevor Hoffman, Curt Leskanic, Brian Shouse, Bob Wickman
C (2) – Henry Blanco, Damian Miller*
INF (6) – Ryan Braun*, Russell Branyan, Craig Counsell, Prince Fielder*, Bill Hall*, Jose Hernandez*
OF (5) – Corey Hart, Geoff Jenkins*, Gabe Kapler, Carlos Lee*, Scott Podsednik*
My rotation shakes out as follows:
1 – Ben Sheets (as a nod to his longevity with the team)
2 – CC Sabathia (he was that dominant in his short stint)
3 – Yovani Gallardo (future ace would make an amazing #3 on this team)
4 – Doug Davis (long tenure, LHP, consistent numbers)
5 – Jeff D’Amico (very solid statistics despite only 33 starts with the Brewers)
The bullpen stacks up like this:
Closer – Trevor Hoffman (yes, only one season but an amazing season as closer)
Set up – Francisco Cordero (flame-thrower, closing experience in the 8th inning)
LOOGy – Brian Shouse (of top three including Mitch Stetter and Ray King, Shouse was best and most consistent)
Others in the bullpen would share back-up 8th inning and the short work
And for my batting order…
CF – Scott Podsednik
SS – Jose Hernandez
3B – Ryan Braun
1B – Prince Fielder
LF – Carlos Lee
RF – Geoff Jenkins
2B – Bill Hall
C – Damian Miller
I am more than happy to explain my selections for this roster and I will…on the podcast. Be sure to download it when you see the post telling you that it’s there.
Happy New Year. Happy New Decade.
How about a couple or several division championships this decade?