There is an old saying, “There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and the Milwaukee Brewers disappointing their fans.” Alright, well maybe that is not exactly how the saying goes, but it sure feels that way for Brewers fans. After getting off to the best 50-game start in franchise history (32-18), the Brewers completely fell apart, traded away their All-Star closer, failed to score four runs in almost half their games, and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2017. If one wants a bright side, the team will finish with a winning record. There was a time where that accomplishment was nothing more than a pipe dream in Milwaukee. Times have changed, however, and fans have been promised more. Unfortunately, those promises have not been kept and there are three truths we fans need to realize.
Harsh Truth #1- Mark Attanasio Will Never Spend the Money Needed to Bring a World Series to Milwaukee
There were plenty of reasonably priced free agents on the market heading into the 2022 season that would have filled holes in the Brewers roster. Instead of signing any of them, Milwaukee signed Andrew McCutchen to a one-year $12.5 million deal. And that was it. That was the big free agent move of the year. In the most Mark Attanasio interview ever, the Brewers owner stated that they “broke the bank” to even sign him. And why? “Because he’s Andrew McCutchen.”
“He’s Andrew McCutchen” might go down as one of the most notable quotes in franchise history
A total encapsulation of the mindset for this whole season.
— John E. C. (@johnnyc1952) October 4, 2022
Listen. I’m not going to go on here and rag on Cutch. Sure, his numbers were far below what they were last season; but he was an incredible clubhouse presence and embraced the city of Milwaukee. I believe that if he had been just one of a few free agent signings, fans may have a different attitude about the Brewers bringing him in. Instead of beguiling it, they would think it was a positive move to bring in a veteran leader.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Cutch was the sole big free agent target. A 35-year old outfielder who spent most of the season as a DH was their idea of a great single free agent target. I’d love to say that it was an error in judgment, that Attanasio will pony up and expand the payroll. But he won’t, and we all know it.
Harsh Truth #2- There Is an Extreme Disconnect Between Brewers Players and the Front Office,
Lorenzo Cain was right. We all remember when the Brewers designated him for assignment on the day he hit 10 years of MLB service and could collect his pension. In fact, we celebrated the team for waiting so long to cut ties with him. In the aftermath, Cain made several statements regarding the relationship between the Brewers players and the front office.
In short, Cain stated that the players do not feel very supported by the front office. He believes that the front office doomed the team by “getting rid of” certain players who were important to keeping team chemistry on the up and up.
It was not just Cain who shared these kinds of thoughts. Starting Pitcher Eric Lauer told reporters that he did not like the way the front office “shrugged off” how players reacted to the Josh Hader trade. Devin Williams, who took over as closer, seemed shocked in the aftermath of the trade. While Christian Yelich echoed the classic line, “In Stearns We Trust,” it is evident that not everyone in the clubhouse agrees.
Harsh Truth #3- Craig Counsell and Christian Yelich Are Not Going Anywhere, but Corbin Burnes Will Be (Eventually)
In my opinion, the first part of this “harsh” truth is not really that harsh. Sure, Craig Counsell is not a perfect manager. However, can anyone realistically name another manager who would have won 86 games with this roster? The fact of the matter is that Counsell consistently leads the Brewers to more wins than most believe they are capable of. While there may be some who want him fired, it is time to realize that it is not going to happen.
Furthermore, Christian Yelich, too, will not be going anywhere. No one is saying that he is the same player that he was before his knee injury in 2019. Indeed, he has been average at best at the plate and well below average in the outfield. However, talks of trading him are uneducated nonsense. Yelich has a full no-trade clause built into his contract. Even if the Brewers wanted to trade him, they cannot.
One player that the Brewers can, and likely will, trade eventually is 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes. According to Burnes himself, the Brewers have not even approached him regarding a contract extension. Milwaukee has already extended young starters Freddy Peralta and Aaron Ashby. Burnes is far and away better than them and will command a huge price tag. By my estimates, he could garner a contract worth $30 million per season on the free agent market. If the Josh Hader situation told us anything, the Brewers (specifically Mark Attanasio) will not pay that. He will be traded before hitting free agency.
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It’s the owners fault, plan as that. With all the revenue he makes throughout the year should have been able to bring in some valuable pitches. The rest of the club did what they had to do. 83 wins isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. If Antenasio can’t afford to do what’s right for this franchise then he needs to find a buyer who will. 10 years of almost doesn’t cut it anymore.
Anastasia needs to sell the team. His true love is soccer anyways…..Mr. money wasn’t an object. What a lie!!
This article is absolutely correct, and I applaud the author and website for having the temerity to publish it. What’s interesting to me is that it has taken so long for someone to finally say item number 1, when the owner has consistently stated he would not run the team at a loss.
People have stated that the Hader trade was strictly about not paying him and there is no doubt that Burnes is going down the same path. This states loud and clear that the Brewers are not interested in winning World Series and only hope to be good enough to give fans hope.