The 2012 Milwaukee Brewers season is finally here, FINALLY. All those cold winter nights...snow storms...sub zero weather...you know how it goes in the upper midwest. Enjoy, the crew is back. Sparky, Ramie Mahklouf, and myself...ready for our 7th year of the Post Game Show. Can you believe it has been 7 years? Back in October of 2005 I was hired by WSSP radio. I was getting back into sports talk radio from the music formats on the FM, and Sparky , myself, and the Program Director met with this idea of a Brewers Post Game Show. I knew it would work, Sparky knew it would work, but the trick was to 'sell' it to the boss. It was a tough sell, but I was granted the opportunity to give it a try. "I don't think you have a snowballs chance of making this thing work, but go ahead" was the response. Well, the phrasing may have been just a touch different, but I need to keep this clean. I used that motivation to do the absolute BEST that I could do. The show is, and has ALWAYS been driven by passion.
It has come to my attention, that some believe the Brewers success has driven the show. That is simply not true. Although I appreciate the fact that it helps, it is NOT the reason our show has been tremendously successful. Sparky and I have known each other since 1994, and in theory, have been doing this show since. Not on a radio stations signal, but over a phone line. In those years we would call each other, after each game, to discuss, gripe, celebrate, etc. We react as fans, then broadcasters. My job is to make sure we talk about what Brewers fans are talking about. What fans are feeling, are the same types of things that we feel. We get upset when Jeff Suppan gives up another game. We celebrated when Ned or Ken was let go. All of these things make the show fun, as well as informative. Other stations are currently trying to do what we do, and does it work? I think that is up to the fans that live in Milwaukee and surrounding areas. I'm a fan first, THEN a broadcaster. I can't wait to talk to you guys this year, and years to come. Now, let’s get to baseball, and what I'm watching for early this year:
Offense: No Prince, but is there enough to cover? There should be. With Ramirez and Gamel you have some foundation of numbers. How high will the numbers be is the key.
Starting Pitching: Can the crew repeat what their starters did in 2011? The talent is certainly there, and they have definitely proven that they CAN do it. Manager Ron Roenicke has determined that getting 'deeper' into games, getting 'length', is a big key to championship type teams. Having essentially three starters in contract years may help too.
Bullpen: Getting that afore mentioned 'length' has been key to the Brewers success in the bullpen. Remember when the plan, and I talked about this on the Post Game Show, was hoping Jeff Suppan or Dave Bush could eventually get 2-3 additional outs per start? It is the key to having a fresh bullpen. When Roenicke has to "get some relievers some work" THAT is a good sign. The back end is set with K Rod and Ax, but what gets the crew to them? Jose Veras was acquired in the Casey McGehee trade and not many people knew much about him. While everybody else didn’t know much, I celebrated while looking at his numbers. Get to know Jose Veras, you'll see a lot of him. The 5th and 6th innings are the question marks. If and when a starter has that short start, who bridges the gap? Loe? Parra? Dillard? The Brewers NEED 2 of the 3 to have good years. However, let’s make no mistake about it there will be additional relievers this year. It should be fun to watch.
Bench: Aoki, Morgan/Gomez, Ishikawa, and Izturis. Key here is, who is the main 'go to guy' off the bench? It wouldn't surprise me if Melvin makes a move to improve this area too.
I look forward to my 7th season on the show, and know this--If there is EVER a time to talk to Sparky, Ramie or myself don't hesitate to contact us...ON OR OFF THE AIR. We are baseball/Brewer fans just like you. I'm smiling, and I'm sure the world and Milwaukee is smiling back. It's time to PLAY BALL!!
This hit home for me. I have been listening to 1250 WSSP since it went on the air. When I found out that there was going to be a 2 hour Brewers post game show I was ecstatic. I have tuned into almost all of them, depending what I had going on. It was nightly listening after the games and still is. The big difference now, I can download the podcast and take it with me, or listen later that night (If Rahmie uploads it, or puts it in the can if you go old school). Thanks to you and Sparky, i know what I am doing for about 5 hours a night, at least 162 times a year, and I couldn't be happier. Pinch me, am I about to go to Miller Park tomorrow? It feels like Christmas Eve to me. Let's Go Brewers. And keep up the awesome work!