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NL Central: Piece of history
I spent last weekend at Miller Park, not to check in on the first-place Brewers but to be around in case Barry Bonds smacked home runs 754 and 755. A short word about Bonds before we dive into some NL Central news: Some talking heads are saying that he better break the record at home because there's going to be bedlam if he does it on the road. But if the crowd in Milwaukee is any indication, the response may be a lot more tame than people think.
The booing by the Brewers faithful each time Bonds stepped to the plate last weekend seemed more dutiful than vicious. They booed but rose in expectation, with eyes wide open, when Bonds flew out to center on Friday. They booed but snapped photos on nearly every pitch to the old slugger. And when Bonds was intentionally walked for the first (and only) time in the series on Saturday, they booed again.
"It's kind of weird here because everyone doesn't like him but everyone wants to be here for the home run," said Matt Borgo, a 23-year-old med student who sat expectantly in the rightfield seats at Miller Park on Sunday with a glove in hand. "This is still history, and we all want to be part of it."
Still, the would-be home run king, even as the hallowed milestone is at last so near, remains as joyless as ever in his pursuit. He scowled at the media, he never acknowledged the Milwaukee fans that cheered him when he emerged each day for BP. Indeed, as Updike once wrote, "Gods do not answer letters."
Anyway, onto the Brewers: Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio -- whose brother Paul, by the way, penned two all-time great movies, Donnie Brasco and Quiz Show -- says that "there's room in the team's budget" to acquire help before the July 31 trading deadline. I think Milwaukee's going to need help in order to secure this division. The Cubs, who have a superior run differential to the Brewers', are for real, and Milwaukee needs more firepower in the lineup. (Jermaine Dye, perhaps?) Since the All-Star break the Brewers were 12th in the National League in runs scored and 11th in on-base percentage. "I think they need a hitter," says an advance scout. "[Yovani] Gallardo has been huge for them, and they'll be fine when Ben Sheets comes back."
If you were Doug Melvin, what would you do? Would you trade Derrick Turnbow for a big bopper? Can the Brewers hang on without making a deal?
Labels: NL Central
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