COMMENTARY | Wisconsinites have it rough, sometimes. Considering how they have to annually suffer through (at least) five months of winter, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why there are more bars than grocery stores in America's Dairyland.
But it makes summer in Wisconsin so much sweeter. For those year-round sports fans, baseball is the lone sport played for about a three-month stretch, and while there's plenty to do during the summer in Sconnie, having a competitive baseball team doesn't hurt.
Recent years have been kinder to Brewer fans, but there are five distinct reasons why it can be difficult to ride with the Crew.
Their haunted past
The Brewers are in their 44th year of existence, and they have only appeared in one World Series (1982). There's no doubt that '82 was an exciting time for Brewer fans, but the fact that this lone World Series appearance, which they lost in seven games, is what the franchise hangs its hat on is rather depressing.
Milwaukee has only enjoyed 14 winning seasons and four postseason appearances, so the odds have not been in the Brewers' favor when it comes to their chances of making the playoffs year-in and year-out.
Pitching prospect busts
Back in the early '80s, it was the power-hitting ways of Milwaukee that escalated them to respectability, and a generation later, that continues to be what carries the Brewers. But where has the pitching been?
Yes, pitchers like Rollie Fingers, Don Sutton, Pete Vuckovich, Mike Caldwell, CC Sabathia and Zack Greinke played for Milwaukee, but none of those players came through the Brewers' system. For whatever reason, the organization has almost never developed an "ace" level pitcher.
Let's get it trending. Playing in one of the smallest markets in baseball has its limitations, and things got especially ugly in the '90s and early 2000s with Wendy Selig-Prieb as owner of the Brewers. Player development was poor and the money availability wasn't any better, making for an awful product on the field.
Things turned around following Mark Attanasio's purchase of the team, but the Brewers still don't have the luxury of being free spenders and will always be hindered by playing in a small market like Milwaukee.
The St. Louis Cardinals
They beat the Brewers in the '82 World Series. They knocked the Brewers out of the playoffs in 2011. Tony La Russa is a big jerk. And they just swept Milwaukee -- at Miller Park. The Cardinals are just the worst.
Close but no cigar
On the rare occasion that the Brewers reach the postseason, they can never quite get over the hump. Had it not been for an injury to MVP reliever Rollie Fingers in '82, Milwaukee very well may have won the World Series. The Brewers were also two games away from returning to the World Series two years ago, only to see their pitching betray them when it mattered most.
Dave Radcliffe is a resident of a little known Milwaukee suburb who contains an unhealthy amount of knowledge about Wisconsin sports. He has contributed to JSOnline and as a featured columnist among other sites and publications.
You can follow Dave on Twitter @DaveRadcliffe_ .
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