To continue the discussion from yesterday:
I heard something marvelous and terrible on the radio this morning. In their last 33 games, the Brewers are 23-10. (Today, after Jeff Suppan does his thing and turns a potential road sweep into a 2-1 series win, that record will be 23-11.) If you're scoring at home, you'll notice the record over the last month is remarkably close to the 24-10 mark that the Crew posted to start last year.
After last year, there were two -- maybe three -- explanations / excuses for a team that started 24-10 checking in with an 83-79 record and puking away an eight-game division lead:
(1) 24-10 was a fluke, and we eventually settled at the near-.500 level where we belonged;
(2) the team was good, but was too green to withstand the rigors of a pennant race;
(3) they fucking choked, thanks in no small part to their dipshit manager.
Obviously, I subscribe to Explanation 3 (with a bit of Explanation 1 sprinkled in -- 24-10 was fluky, but we still should have finished 8-10 games over .500). Explanation 2 is horseshit -- if young players, as a general matter, aren't well equipped for pennant-race baseball, then the Diamondbacks shouldn't have won the West last year, and the Marlins shouldn't have won the Series in '03, and so on.
I think the 23-11 mark over the last month confirms my thinking about last year's team. The team is good. They should have won the division last year, and they spit it up. And King Ned has no business in a dugout.