Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Brewers and the Suffering Servant

Well, it has been a month since my last post. I'm not sure why, but I haven't felt like saying much lately. There are times when I want to share all of my thoughts with the world, and other times when I just want to live inside my own head. This past month has fallen under the latter category. Regardless, I'm going to try to post more often. If only I could master the art of the short post instead of always writing essays, then it wouldn't be so darn hard to muster the energy.

Along with all the usual stuff, I've spent a good deal of the past month following baseball - listening to it on the radio, reading about it in the paper, and going to games.* Unlike football, which comes around only once a week, baseball is a daily companion. It's a steady presence, without the hype, and that's one of the reasons why I love it so much. Also, the baseball season is in full blossom right now. Gone are the early days of spring, when every team is equal; now is the time for differentiation. My team, the Milwaukee Brewers, started the season hot (at one point, their record was an unbelievable 24-10), but they have cooled-off considerably, losing 14 of their last 19 games. Thankfully, they are playing in the weak NL central, where 85 wins might be enough to take the division. But given that the BrewCrew hasn't finished above .500 since 1992 and hasn't been to the playoffs since 1982, we Brewers fans are trying to keep our expectations low.

On a related note, I highly recommend Kim Fabricius's recent post at Faith and Theology "Ten Reasons why Baseball is God's game." However, I must quibble with his claim (in #8) that baseball's "Suffering Servant" is the Chicago Cubs. While the Cubs certainly have a long history of losing, they play in gorgeous Wrigley field and have a large, nation-wide fan base (thanks in part to season-long coverage on WGN). On the contrary, the pathetic Brewers - who are just as adept at losing as the Cubs - play in almost total obscurity, followed by Wisconsinites only until the beginning of Packer season, after which they are ignored by everyone. Like the suffering servant, the Brewers have "no beauty or majesty to attract us to [them], nothing in [their] appearance that we should desire [them]." They are a team "despised and rejected by men", full of "sorrows", and "familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces [they are] despised, and we esteemed [them] not." Clearly, these words are more applicable to the Brewers than the Cubs.

* Unfortunately, now that I live in Minnesota I'm forced to attend games at the sterile, soul-sucking bubble called the Metrodome, perhaps the worst stadium in all of major league baseball (only Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay can rival its bleakness). I miss Miller Park - hell, I even miss the old County Stadium. And I certainly miss tailgating and those crazy racing sausages!