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Making their home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin since the 1970 season, the Milwaukee Brewers are still on the hunt for the first World Series title. More than 45 years in professional baseball has yielded little in the form of tangibles to measure their success. They have made the playoffs three times, including the strike-split 1981 season. Their lone league championship came back in 1982 when the Brewers were in the American League. They lost the World Series that year to the St. Louis Cardinals in five games.
Despite this lack of success, the fans in Milwaukee love their hometown Brewers. Always hoping that this will be their years, they flock to Miller Park each season to watch their squad battle it out in the NL Central against rivals including the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, and Pittsburgh Pirates.
The 2016 season was another disappointment for Milwaukee. A record of 78-83 saw the Brewers end up in fourth place in the division and 25 games back from the NL Central champion Chicago Cubs (who would go on to break their curse and win the World Series). Hoping to buck the trend, Milwaukee hired former Brewer Craig Counsell to be team manager in 2015. While Counsell, to date, has a record of less than .500, he is working hard to turn the tide for this fledgling franchise.
Hoping to get a little help from his roster, Counsell has a cast of currently unproven players with youth and powerful bats on their side. Ryan Braun, who has racked up accolades including former NL Rookie of the Year, NL home run leader, NL MVP, and multiple all-star appearances will lead this team onto the field each night ready for a nine inning battle.
Jonathan Villar returns after a breakout season in which he led the MLB in stolen bases while playing solid defense in the infield. Orlando Arcia is expected to be the starting third baseman, stepping into an everyday role for the team. Travis Shaw, the third base acquisition from the Boston Red Sox, looks to rebound from a tough sophomore season after playing well as a rookie. Andrew Susac will take over as the starting catcher for the Brewers.
The Milwaukee Brewers outfield, consisting of Keon Broxton in Center Field, Eric Thames in Left Field, and Domingo Santana in Right Field combine for less than 400 games of experience going into the season. The management clearly is hoping to catch lightning in a bottle by playing these inexperienced players.
The pitching rotation includes Junior Guerra, Matt Garza, Chase Anderson, and Zach Davies. Along with closer Neftali Feliz, it is hoped that they can keep the score low and give these position players a chance to win games.
Lots of fingers are crossed in Milwaukee right now as the Brewers fans hope the product on the field will finally get pointed in the right direction so that the team can achieve their ultimate goal of obtaining a World Series title. Fan favorites in Milwaukee include Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Cecil Cooper, Rollie Fingers, and Ryan Braun. For more information about the Milwaukee Brewers click here.