For love of the game

Nobody comes back from two Tommy John surgeries. Even if someone does, they don’t regain their form. Yet Chris Capuano recently made a start for the Helena Brewers, fighting hard to get back to the bigs. He was an All-Star once, no doubt, but he's been quoted recently as saying his fastball has lost 5 mph. And while Trevor Hoffman has shown Brewer Nation what a solid change-up and location control can do for you, I think we can all agree that Cappy is not Hoffman. So why am I rooting so hard for him to make it back into a Milwaukee Brewer's uniform?

I think the bottom line is I’ve fallen into the recliner of the lost season. There’s no chance left for playoffs, and things have been bad long enough to numb me to the pain of a loss, so the only thing left is to kick back and make up my own excitement. Its something the Brewers themselves have taken to doing. Look no further than Prince and Co.’s shockwave stomp on home plate after his walk-off home run on Sunday. Some looked down on the act as immature, but I see a group of guys making the best of an unfortunate situation.

In fact, that’s where many Brewers fans are finding themselves right now. If you throw a “How bout them Brewers?” to the average sports fan in Wisconsin, its pretty common to hear a response of “Who cares? Its football season.” And while I can’t blame them, I can’t say I’m one of them. Tonight as I write this I'm dreading tomorrow's off-day. So are we masochists, those of us who can't let go? Why do we follow a team playing what is essentially pointless baseball, and poorly at that?

I say its the moments. Its the chance for the triple play and the walk off home run. When we at the Tap put together our favorite Wisconsin sports moments, not all of them were championships. Some of them were rhinestones in the mud--happenings that brightened an otherwise murky season. They are the reason we watch every pitch, every down--that chance to witness a memorable slice of history and be able to say, "I remember that."

So maybe Cappy’s plight is one that appeals to me at this point in the season. In all likelihood his career has very few meaningful innings remaining. But he keeps plugging away for love of the game of baseball. There may not be a championship in his future, or even another All-Star nod. But he might find a rhinestone.


  1. I feel compelled to offer stats... Cappy's pitched a total of seven innings this year, 3 with Arizona and 4 in two starts for Helena. He's struckout seven and walked two with an ERA of 2.57. Capuano in 2010! Cross your fingers Brewer Nation!

  2. You make some excellent points. I always thought that the true baseball fan watches because they just enjoy the game. Sure it would be nice to have a playoff team every year, but sports doesn't always work out that way. I will still watch as many games as I can the rest of the year. Besides it could be worse, I could be a Cubs fan. Thanks for the update on Cappy. Go Brewers!!