You might not have noticed this but the NHL season ended the other day and the NBA Finals ended last week. Some combination of teams from Chicago, Miami and/or Boston and maybe some place in Texas won. Nobody outside of those cities cared.
The problem with the hockey playoffs is that nobody wants to think about ice in late June unless it's in a gin and tonic. The problem with basketball going into summer is that people don't want to watch a game in a dark arena, even on TV, while the sun is shining outside.
Both hockey and basketball take their playoffs to such ridiculous extremes that fans of any teams eliminated when the season ended or early in the playoff marathon lost interest long ago. See the Bucks, Milwaukee.
This brings us to baseball and my team, the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers had sort of a bad May. They actually had sort of a bad May the way Paula Deen is having sort of a bad June.
My team buried themselves so deeply that there is virtually no chance of baseball in Milwaukee this October. But I still watch every game and we plan on going to Miller Park several more times this season. Even today.
There's just something about baseball that holds fans' interest even when their team has been virtually eliminated from contention with four months to go.
In the Brewers' case, there are plenty of interesting stories to follow. Francisco Rodriguez got his 300th save after being out of baseball at the start of the season. Now, the Brewers have three potential closers in K-Rod, Jim Henderson and John Axford. Maybe they could deal one of them away before the trading deadline for some help in the starting rotation.
Rickie Weeks seems to have broken out of his second consecutive disastrous early season slump. Maybe the Brewers could trade him to a contending team now that he's hot and avoid a third consecutive slow start from him next year. You could argue that he played a big role in killing the team's chances in the last two seasons by blowing countless opportunities to get timely hits early in the season.
And that's just the big picture stuff. Every game has hundreds of strategy decision points. Do you pull the pitcher for a pinch hitter if it's the sixth inning and he's going good? Do you try to steal second if the batter at the plate is in a slump and might ground into a double play? Will the Polish or the Italian win the sausage race today?
Hey, it's a great day for a ball game. We've got a couple of cheap seats in the nose bleeds and we're carrying in our own peanuts. And we're playing the Cubs, the only team in our division who might be worse than us. Is this a great country or what?