Carlos Gomez: Hot-Headed or High-Intensity? by Andrew Dunn-Bauman
Gold Glove Center Fielder Sparks Debate with Brawl in Pittsburgh
We’re three weeks into the season, and the Milwaukee Brewers sit atop the NL Central at an MLB-best 15-5. Everything is peachy in Brewer Nation. Well, almost everything.
Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, Carlos Gomez hit a long fly ball to deep center field, and proceeded to trot towards first and watch the ball fly until it hit the fence. Gomez then picked up the pace around first base and ended up diving into third base safely with a triple. Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole, who gave up the triple, came over barking words not suitable for this blog at Gomez, who promptly hopped up and started verbally retaliating. Gomez was quickly separated from Cole by players and the umpiring crew, and the situation seemed to be under control, even as both benches were emptying. But when Travis Snider came in and said something to Gomez, things got ugly fast.
Gomez took the first swing of the brawl, getting a piece of Snider, who then tackled Gomez and had to be pulled away by Rickie Weeks. Martin Maldonado came flying in and landed a clean punch on Snider as well before the heated players on both sides were finally restrained and cooler heads prevailed.
This wasn’t the first time Gomez got in trouble for admiring a fly ball, though he claims that he thought his triple Sunday was just a hard fly out. Gomez was suspended for one game last September after benches cleared between the Brewers and Braves. He admired a homer off of Braves starter Paul Maholm, and was met by catcher Brian McCann ten feet in front of home plate before the benches cleared and punches were thrown.
All of this history with Gomez begs the question: Is he out of control, or just a passionate player?
I tend to side with the latter. In both incidents, Gomez was technically the “instigator” by watching his fly balls for too long. But both times, a member of the opposing team reacted inappropriately as well. Brian McCann shouldn’t have met Gomez halfway up the baseline during his home run trot, and Gerrit Cole was out of line with the profane language he used toward Gomez.
Gomez plays the game of baseball with a lot of flair. That’s part of who he is as a player. He plays hard, he (almost) always hustles, and he puts on a show. He brings a Richard Sherman-like intensity to the park every night, and as a result, he gets a bit testy when rudely confronted by an opposing player. I’m guessing he also isn’t the only player that takes exception to being sworn at.
I don’t have a problem with the way Gomez plays. At all. Fans come to games to be entertained, and Carlos Gomez arguably does that better than any other player in the league. He was in the wrong to turn the altercation physical by throwing the first punch, and he will justifiably be suspended for his role in this most recent skirmish. But if I’m Ron Roenicke, I’m not telling Gomez to change his approach to the game one bit.
Opposing fans will hate on him, and he will continue to play the game with a higher level of intensity than anyone else on the club. And as long as he keeps contributing to Brewer victories, nobody can fault him for it.
~~Success Versus Cardinals Necessary by Andrew Dunn-Bauman
The Brewers are off to an incredible start to the 2014 season. With a nine-game winning streak already in the books, the Crew owns the best record in the MLB at 10-3. Things have been clicking on all cylinders in Milwaukee, but there still remains a thorn in the sides of players and fans alike: The St. Louis Cardinals.
Monday night the Cardinals rolled into town and robbed everyone in the city of Milwaukee of free burgers, snapping the Brewer winning streak just one game shy of double digits. The loss dropped the Brewers’ record against the Cardinals to 11-24, dating back to the start of the 2012 season.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s far from time to hit the panic button. April has been much kinder so far than I had ever anticipated (minus the weather) for Milwaukee, and I’ll take the best record in the MLB at any juncture of the season, obviously. For fans freaking out about losing to the Cardinals, let’s remember that this squad from St. Louis was slated by almost every pundit to win the NL Central in the preseason. They’re good. Really good. The loss was amplified by the fact that it busted a huge winning streak, but no one could have realistically expected the Crew to sweep the Redbirds.
Now, that doesn’t excuse the Brewers from ever beating the Cardinals. Quite the opposite. For this team to contend in the Central this year, they need to be competitive with the Cards. At least close to .500 ball against them. Back in 2011, when the Brewers won a franchise record 96 regular season games, they played the Cardinals even at 9-9. But that was against a weaker division than the NL Central this year (the Astros were still in the NL in 2011, that’s all you need to know). Wins against division opponents will be at a premium this season (minus the Cubs) so the Brewers cannot afford to be handled by the Cardinals if they want to contend for the postseason.
The Crew has two games left in this set against their rivals from Missouri, and if they fail to win either, the Brewer fan base will go catatonic. The team can absorb this kind of result, but players and fans alike feel it’s high time to make a statement. Jonathan Lucroy said on the Bill Michaels show this morning “I feel like we’re better than (the Cardinals) are.” Let’s see the Crew prove it.
For Brewer updates and live tweets from Miller Park, follow Andrew on Twitter @ADBinMKE
(Dallas ) Whether or not Josh Gasser should have hedged up further into Kentucky's Aaron Harrison's face on
Saturday Night will be long debated. On one hand.Harrison has hit from there before with the game on the line, but then if Gasser gets up further, he risks Harrison's blowing by with his quicks and finding a way to tie a game. No blame, sometimes you just have to tip your cap and say Harrison made a big time play.
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you will know that I consdered the Badger loss on Saturday night to be one of the toughest in state sports history. Final Four appearences are one of the toughest accomplishment in sports, especially for a program like Wisconsin, as we all know. The opportunity was there for a national title,espcially with Flordia losing. I feel Wisconsin is better than U Conn. This is what makes the Final Four loss a difficultone to swallow.
More on Chuck and Wickett when I join Mike from Dallas from 8-10 AM on Monday morning.
Its Tuesday and Andrew Dunn-Bauman has his Brewers Blog
Brewer Fans Quick to Forgive By Andrew Dunn-Bauman
Brewers fans all know the saga of Ryan Braun. They know about the cheating, they know about the lying, they know about the 65-game suspension. But on Monday afternoon, it seemed the Brewer fan base chose to forgive and forget all of that, and instead greeted Braun with a roaring standing ovation as he approached the plate for the first time since July 2013.
For a group of fans that sounded decidedly furious with Braun when news first broke of his suspension, it was certainly more than a bit surprising to witness the reception Braun received from his home crowd on Opening Day.
I fully understand that the Brewers have a loyal and diehard fan base. I understand that they want their team to succeed on every level, as they understand that Braun is an integral part of this team’s success. The outpouring of support from the 45,691 fans in attendance was merely a reflection of how badly this city wants the Crew to succeed this year, how badly they have missed warm weather and the boys of summer, and how badly the fan base wants to put the past to rest.
But I do not agree with the standing ovation.
For one at-bat, just one at-bat, the Brewer fan base should have sent Ryan Braun a message. Boos would have been appropriate, and they would have sent that message that the fans and city as a whole is disappointed in Braun’s actions - both the fact that he cheated the game of baseball, and that he lied about it, trying to drag others down in the process. Silence, on the other hand, would have been eery and infinitely more effective. Imagine Braun being announced only for the stadium to fall dead quiet. That would have been memorable and effective.
Instead the crowd roared for Braun every plate appearance, sending the message that regardless of all the wrong he has done to the team and its fans, they are willing to accept him with open arms regardless. Brewer fans have taken loads of criticism for this, both from fans of other clubs and national pundits. Some of it is warranted. Some of it is excessive and uncalled for.
But the important thing is that the warm reception is in the past now. The Opening Day fanfare has passed as a blip on the screen, and it is time to get down to the grind of the season. Braun deserves the support of Brewer fans moving forward, because he needs to succeed for this team to succeed. And they are completely in the right to support him as a member of this organization. The fans missed their opportunity to send a message, plain and simple. Now let’s leave the controversy in the past; it’s time for baseball.