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"We Few, We Happy Few,
2003-01-31 16:18
by Mike Carminati

"We Few, We Happy Few, We Band of Stiffs"

"Your Milwaukee Brewers. It's coming together."

My friend Mike sent me this Milwaukee Journal article on the Brewers new ad campaign, which uses this motto as its unifying theme. It seems that the Brewers are no longer striving for excellence or even mediocrity, they just hope to be entertaining to the fanbase. Given the car wreck that the 2003 Brewers promise to be, there should be a fair share in attendance, slowing down to check out the carnage.

No clarification is made during the ad as to what the "it" is that is coming together. Though first Brewer president Ulice Payne weighs in:

I know how the people of this city stand behind their teams. I know how they cheer for every win and cry for every loss. But you can't build a winner overnight.

Evidently, building a loser can be done in a Milwaukee minute. He continues:

I also know that it's been way too long since you've had a parade on Wisconsin Ave. And it's about time we started building a team that deserves a parade.

OK, agreed. So start already. This is a team that lost its best position player in Jose Hernandez to free agency and has answered by signing the likes of Royce Clayton, Todd Ritchie, and John Vander Wal, all on Ulice "I Can't Pronounce It Either" Payne's watch.

Next up is Ned "I'm a Manager Because I Was a Worse Catcher Than Donnie Scott" Yost, who aw-goshes his way through the second commercial.

In his ad, Yost talks of his love of the game, and the challenge of molding a team. He says his team won't win all of its games, "but I can promise you this entire team will do everything we can to win you back."

Look, I'm sure these players will try their best, but they just aren't very good. It's not their fault. Blame God, blame it on Cane, but don't blame it on me. The Brewers management knows this. They chose to people this team with replacement-level players at replacement-level prices. That's why the Brewers suck. It's all about money, not even baseball decisions. The baseball decisions are already made. They are incidental. Just field a team and wait for the great big Yankee welfare checks to arrive. Pay your catcher with food stamps. Who cares? And then tell your constituency that all you need is heart. Hypocrites! The Indians in the Major League never won a championship and the Fish never saved Pittsburgh. They were pretend, but so are the 2003 Brewers, so maybe they're reading the same script and expect to win the same way.

In the printed ad, the Brewers add insult to injury pointing out that Milwaukee was na´ve enough to have built these shmendriks their own stadium two years ago:

"You will see players that will play hard, or they won't play at all," the ad copy reads. "After all, Miller Park is your stadium, the Brewers are your team, and you deserve to get your money's worth. . . ."

Of course, the players will be gone if they don't play hard. They are fungible, replacement-level, dime-a-dozen scrubs. They "don't cost nuttin', " in the words of John Blutarsky, to begin with. But at least we get an explanation as to Hernandez's disappearance: he didn't play hard enough. When last year's manager, Jerry Royster, benched him at the end of the year to avoid the final embarrassment of his breaking the strikeout record, they were actually sending a message to the team. Don't play well, or else. Wasn't that it? Don't try to win because this team isn't trying, inspirational music written by local musician Kevin Sucher and arranged by Warren Wiegratz. Isn't that the message that they are still sending out? Well, the message I'm sure got through, and the Brew Crew will happily comply in 2003 and for years to come.


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