A Legit "Rivalry" Brewing?

>> Thursday

For the past few years, Milwaukee Brewers fans have considered the Chicago Cubs their fiercest rivals. Sure, the interleague schedule dictates that the official rivals are the Minnesota Twins, but a lack of meaningful division play basically negates any legitimate bad blood between the two teams. Actually, between the fans of the two teams, because - as baseball fans tend to forget - most of the time, players probably don't really care. It's just another uniform, as far as they're concerned.

However, since the Brewers have, for lack of a more accurate term, sucked for the better part of two decades, Cubs hat wearing fans failed to see the point in developing a fierce dislike for the lovable drunks from Milwaukee. After all, the Cubs already have the Cardinals, one of the longest and most storied rivalries in all of baseball. However, in the past handful of seasons, the Cubs have done their fair share of losing as well, along the way helping to make the NL Central probably the weakest division in all of Major League Baseball.

But, in 2007, a new horizon has arrived. The Brewers, on the strength of one of baseball's best farm systems and some savvy personnel moves, have become a legitimate divisional contender and, for the first time in a long time, boast a legitimate major league lineup (no foolin'!). Gone are the days when foolish hope rested on the likes of Turner Ward and Brooks Keishnick. Here instead are the new Brewers, anchored in the lineup by NL home run leader Prince Fielder. However, not to be confused with the Brewers of years past, these Brewers no longer rely on just one player to determine their fortune. Instead, they're getting production from everyone 1-8, boasting one of the NL's best lineups from top to bottom that includes shortstop J.J. Hardy, centerfielder Bill Hall, a resurgent Geoff Jenkins in left field and red hot phenom third baseman Ryan Braun.

The Cubs, after languishing for the better part of two months in the cellar of the NL Central, have surged of late, winning their last six and seven of their last ten. Sure, the bulk of the Cubs' production has come from veterans Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez, but the northsiders have gotten into the youth development game as well, getting production from Felix Pie, and twin Ecksteins Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot. Though the Cubs still sit 7 1/2 games back from the division leading Brewers, there's a lot of season left, and as the old saying goes, "the Cubs don't usually completely shit the bed until September."

Anyway, the bottom line, I guess, is this: if the Cubs and Brewers get hot at the same time this season, awesome. As a lifelong Brewers fan that was born after '82 and too young to vividly remember '92, I'm hankerin' for an old time divisional race. If this is to be the year that the Brewers bust out and finally make the playoffs, it would mean so much more to do it while fighting off a resurgent second half effort from the Cubs. Also, such a race would have great implications for this here blog because, as you, the dilligent reader are no doubt aware, while Nate and I love the Brewers, Vinnie, Mike and Pat bleed Cubbie blue. Zuch is a White Sox fan, though, so I think his hatred of the Cubs evens this thing out 3-3. Anyway, whatever, it'll be exciting, trust me.


Matt 12:58 PM  

Actually, come to think of it, I think we should use a Brewers/Cubs division race to completely tear the blog apart, rendering our posts little more than blatant personal attacks (more than normal) resulting in neither side speaking to the other until like the middle of next January.

Vinnie 1:11 PM  

"A Legit 'Rivalry' Brewing?"?

I would've gone with "A tiny cub of a rivalry blossoming into a full-grown bear." But that's just me.

But yeah, I can't wait til September when the race is tied and we start sending each other text messages containing the words "boo-ya" or "eat it" every time "our" team scores a run.

Mike 1:16 PM  

The real questions though are...

If the divisional race comes down to a one-game playoff, who will replace the YCS member who was certainly offed in the first intra-YCS homicide?


If the Brewers win the Central, will friend of YCS ScottyG give us the exclusive interview/incriminating photos after he pisses his pants?

Mike 2:12 PM  

You could also add Danny into the White Sox camp...or is that the Cubs camp?

Well, now that the Brewers are in first place, I suppose it's only a matter of time before he dons a Brewers hat.

Rickey Henderson 2:29 PM  

Yay, two mediocre teams going at it! Where does one sign up?

Nathan 3:02 PM  

I checked. "Ricky Henderson" is a Mets guy. Rickey, I guess you were to busy watching the Mets choke away their division lead to notice that the Brewers have the best record in the NL. Not to mention legit candidates for the MVP (Prince), Cy Young (Sheets) and ROY (Braun).


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