This is a really long article highlighting how sad the Brewers had past has been and how hot the future looks .. all through the storyline that Geoff Jenkins is old and has never seen a good season here in Milwaukee - the last time he was on a team above .500 was in 1995 - with USC in the College World Series.
I don't want to post the whole text, but I think there's some good things to highlight:
Funniest/saddest part of the article:
Jenkins was drafted in the first round in '95, had his first call-up to Milwaukee in April '98 -- "John Jaha went on the DL, that's how it happened," he says -- and has been in Brew-town ever since. The Brewers, coincidentally, were also in first place in the Central in April '98, but flamed out and finished 74-88. Jenkins played the next eight seasons amid heavy change: Five different managers, the jump from County Stadium to Miller Park, different logos, new ownership, a new general manager. Losing was the only constant.
"No one," he says, is left on the field from his rookie year -- only a few figures outside the lineup, including an equipment manager; a trainer; a TV color commentator, ex-Brewer Bill Schroeder; and the team's iconic radio voice, Bob Uecker. That Ueck has remained the franchise's most recognizable face for so long is both a blessing for Milwaukee fans, who were raised on his "Get up, Get up" home-run calls, as well as a telling sign: There hasn't been much to root for in this town over the past decade and a half....
While Yost's short-term enthusiasm is curbed, he makes it clear that the general rise of the franchise -- from the point at which both he and GM Doug Melvin began work in 2003 -- is hardly a surprise. "This is nothing more than the vision we all had five years ago," said Yost. "We knew we had great, young, talented kids in the minor leagues, that we had to kind of tread water until they got here, and then when they got here, we'd be able to compete, with the addition of a free agent or two. And it's just unveiled."
That it has. The Brewers' starting lineup on Tuesday had homegrown hitters in the 1-4 slots (Weeks, Hardy, Fielder and Hall) and six Milwaukee draftees in all, with Jenkins batting sixth and Sheets on the hill. Meanwhile, the club's prize free-agent acquisition, 2006 NLCS MVP Jeff Suppan, was the previous night's starting pitcher and had gone the distance in a 7-1 victory against St. Louis for his fourth win of April.
The acquisition of Suppan, who was inked to the richest contract in club history (four years, $42 million), this offseason, was important on multiple levels. As a 13-year veteran who has thrown at least 188 innings each of the past eight seasons, he solidified a rotation that already included Sheets, rising lefty Chris Capuano, and Dave Bush.Suppan was also a symbol of the organization's intentions: to obtain him, new owner Mark Attanasio pushed the team payroll above $70 million for the first time, and sent a message that Milwaukee was out of the building phase and ready to make noise.
The strongest argument for why the Brewers are no fluke -- beyond the dominance of Cordero and the payoff of Suppan's addition -- is that the team, as a whole, has yet to hit its stride. Uecker, who has weathered the club's 15-year misery streak from the booth, said before Tuesday's game, "The thing is that they've had a heck of an April, and I don't think they've played their best baseball. Prince and Rickie and Billy Hall, they're not hitting on all cylinders, and yet the team is still good enough to win."
The stats back up the Ueck's assessment: While Hardy has been hot of late, leading everyday players in OPS, Fielder is batting .273 with six homers but has yet to go on a powerful tear. Weeks is hitting .231. Hall is at .255. Sheets is 2-2 and still finding his form. Capuano is 4-0 but insists he's not throwing well yet ("I haven't gone deep into many games, my walks are up, I'm just pitching average," he said).
And a great wrap-up...."So the Brewers plow through May, hoping that what is still just a hot start, a lot of promise, and a nice story, can maintain momentum and turn them into a real contender."