Monday, August 4, 2008

Consider Me Worried

For the seventh time in nine tries, the Milwaukee Brewers walked away losers in their quest for their first playoff birth since 1982. With the effects of the Cubs sweep still lingering, and my confidence towards the Brewers shrinking, I am officially worried about the 2008 season.

First off, let's mention the game. The Brewers lost 6-3 to the Reds, and are now just 1/2 game up on the Cardinals for the NL Wild Card, and are 5 1/2 back of the Cubs (who were in a rain delay at the time of this writing). All you really need to know is that every Brewers run was scored on a solo home run (Hart, Braun, Cameron), and that Manny Parra had a no-hitter going into the 5th inning until he imploded for 4 runs.

That's where the frustration came in. Now, living the poor life that I'm living right now I currently don't have cable. So when there was an exchange between Manny Parra and Prince Fielder in the dugout, I completely missed it. But that's what the internet is for. As JS Online describes it:

Prince Fielder went after Parra after the two exchanged words at the end of the sixth inning. cameras showed Fielder and Parra talking in the visiting dugout at Great American Ball Park near the bat rack near the left end of the dugout.

Fielder said something to Parra and gestured in the air with his right hand. Parra, who had just been removed from the game, then swiped up his hat and jacket off the bench as he and Fielder continued to walk side-by-side toward the other end of the dugout. Fielder then turned to the unsuspecting Parra and pushed him down hard on the bench.

Fielder then came at Parra again, pushing him hard in the face with both hands. Parra seemed stunned and did not try to defend himself.

Teammates Ray Durham, Ryan Braun and Dave Bush then grabbed Fielder, with pitching coach Mike Maddux joining in, and pushed him down to the other side of the dugout. At the end of the altercation, J.J. Hardy could be seen yelling at Fielder.

Even better, here are the highlights.

Much better than that, Tom Haudricourt was interviewed by Scott Van Pelt!

Well, that's just great. So much for all that clubhouse chemistry that makes being a Brewer so fun. Seriously, could things get any worse for Wisconsin sports fans right now? I mean, it's not like we deserved this, we've never really had any times of prosperity. Sure there was a Super Bowl victory 12 years ago, and the Rose Bowls were fun, but can't we have something break our way for once? We already know the Packers locker room is about to riot on each other with the Favre return, can we avoid that from happening in Milwaukee as well?

Maybe it's not that big of a deal. Sometimes tempers just flare up, especially when you're frustrated. I can't think of too many of my friends that I haven't had some sort of flare up with, so I'm sure Parra and Fielder hugged it out and are fine. Who knows, maybe this will spark the team ala last year's Michael Barrett / Carlos Zambrano incident with the Cubs. But still, fighting in the dugout is really never a good sign.

You know, all year long when they've struggled, I've been able to say, "Well, it's only May. It's only June. It's only July." But now it's August 4th. There are just under two months of baseball left to play, and each game becomes more important than the last one. I'm not going to go into panic mode just yet, but now is NOT the time of the year you want two of your best players scuffling in the dugout.

Hopefully they can show some signs of life tomorrow, but I'm not sure how many people are confident in a Dave Bush vs. Edinson Volquez matchup. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict a win for tomorrow.

Don't let me down, Brewers. I need you right now.

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Ryan Braun, because he just became the second player in MLB history to hit 30 home runs in each of his first two years (Albert Pujols).

In some positive news, Ryan Braun won the NL Player of the Month, and CC Sabathia won NL Pitcher of the Month.

(AP Photo/Al Behrman)


Anonymous said...

Skirmishes like this happen more often than we think, but they normally take place in the tunnels or clubhouse. They either function as the spark that propels a team forward or the anchor of an impending downward spiral. Some Brewer fans are worried because it's been almost exactly one year since the dugout incident involving Johnny Estrada, but that was last year. The chemistry in the clubhouse appears to be better.

Having said all that, I think Prince Fielder needs to grow up. He pouted all through spring training over his contract, avoids the media when he slumps instead of being a man about it, & now flies off the handle at Manny Parra.

Ryan Braun is the true leader of this team.

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