It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the 2014 season of the Milwaukee Brewers.
It truly was the best of times for most of the season as the Brewers had the best record in all of baseball for quite a long time and except for one day in July when they were tied with the St. Louis Cardinals, they led the National League for more than five months.
Then came the worst of times as September brought an astonishing 17 out of 19 losing skid wherein the Brewers failed in every single aspect of the game. They had no hitting, their pitching went south, and their offense looked pathetic as they committed errors and bone-headed mistakes that even Little Leaguers know better than to do.
Unfortunately, the ship never righted itself. Even when the pitching finally came around and they led the league in the lowest combined ERA, the bats were still silent and they managed a pathetic five wins in 10 games.
The final weeks of baseball season are usually it’s most exciting as any number of teams vie for the Pennant as well as the few Wild Card slots.
And usually, when your team has been leading the league all year long, making the play-offs should be a shoo-in.
Not the Brewers in 2014. Instead of an exciting knuckle-biting finish to the season, they’ve already been eliminated and their fans have been let down. Not that we haven’t been let down before, but not like this. Never like this.
It would have been one thing if the Brewers had dug themselves a big hole at the beginning of the season then slowly, game by game, week by week, scratched and clawed themselves into contention. Then, even if they missed the play-offs, such a season would show the team had grit, heart, a strong desire to win. Fans could have lived with that.
Instead, after a long season at the top, they crashed and burned at the end. The final few weeks it was as if the team had simply run out of steam, as if they didn’t give a damn any more. Basically, the team said, “Screw you,” to all the fans.
In the history of this franchise, 2014 will go down as one of the biggest disappointments ever. We were there. We had it. We had pitching, both starting and bullpen. We had hitting. We had offense. Every aspect of the game was clicking on all cylinders.
Except one. And that’s the reason we lost. How can a team be the best for so long and then suddenly collapse and not recover? Coaching. Specifically, the manager, Ron Roenicke. The man with no emotion. He sits in the dugout showing as much expression as if he were watching paint dry.
When other managers would be inspiring their troops, yelling, cajoling, ranting, raving, thinking of ways to get them back on track, Roenicke sits there like a lump doing what he’s done his entire tenure with the Brewers: absolutely fricking nothing.
The Brewers season is over because of Ron Do-Nothing Roenicke.
The thing is, had the Brewers made the play-offs, Roenicke would have been an easy choice for Manager of the Year. Luckily, however, he showed he not only doesn’t deserve that title, he doesn’t even deserve to coach any more.