Everybody around the Brewers, from players to fans, is getting pretty excited about the start we?ve had this season. But we know we still have our work cut out for us and that there?s a lot of season left.
It?s as much fun as I can remember having with this club. Before our current road trip we won nine of 10 games on a home stand. Nothing like that has ever happened in my previous nine or 10 seasons with the Brewers.
This is the best team that I?ve been part of. We?ve got a great mix of young talent with veteran guys. We expect to win. This is the first time in my career I can honestly say we come to the ballpark every day expecting to win.
It?s an attitude we haven?t had here since I?ve been in Milwaukee. It begins at the top with committed ownership, a great general manager (Doug Melvin) and assistant general manager (Gord Ash) who?ve put together the right mix of players and it works its way down from there.
The only thing that can stop us from contending this season is health. If we can keep everybody healthy this team has a great chance of not just getting to the playoffs but winning in the playoffs.
The great thing about our clubhouse is that mix of veteran and youth. We really don?t have any weak links on our team. Literally, the guys on our bench could start for a lot of teams. We have talent and depth. We have a few superstars but, overall, the big advantage we have over the course of a long season is going to be our depth. We have a lot of options.
It seems like we have a different hero every day. We don?t rely on one or two guys, which in turn means everybody feels like they?re part of it. Somebody steps up and does something to help us win almost every day of the week. We feed off of each other.
Most people realize we have excellent starting pitching with Ben Sheets, Chris Capuano, David Bush, Jeff Suppan and Claudio Vargas. But another one of our advantages is that in Derrick Turnbow and Francisco Cordero we have two closers we can rely upon at the end of a game.
These days when I go to the local Starbucks or Einstein bagels to have breakfast people are genuinely excited. They obviously haven?t had a winner in a long time and they want some new memories. They want to identify with a new team and a new era.
The fans seem to especially love the energy our club generates with the talented young players like Prince Fielder and J.J. Hardy and Cory Hart and Rickie Weeks and Billy Hall. They?re hungry, they?re talented and they work hard. All of them are no-nonsense guys who are extremely focused on getting the job done on the field.
I think the fans can sense this by the way they play and by the way they carry themselves. This is a pretty special group of players.
But as good as we?ve played in the early part of the season, I still think we can improve. There?s another level we can reach with our offense. Everyone is pitching in right now but nobody?s been on a real tear yet.
We?re still learning about one another and getting better as a team. That will equate to a lot more wins before it?s all over.