Brauny and the Prince
Duo is treated unfairly
By Adam McCoy
Brauny and the Prince
There are two guys in Milwaukee that know how to play baseball, pretty darn well.
And they have become the best 1-2, or perhaps, 3-4 punch in Major League Baseball over the past four seasons, however, they have seemed to go under the radar in the national media.
I am speaking, of course, of the Milwaukee Brewers Outfielder Ryan Braun and First Baseman Prince Fielder or the tag-team of Brauny and the Prince.
So, why are these Milwaukee guys whom have put up huge numbers over their careers neglected and been the duo that haven’t received the Sportscenter interviews or Foxsports love. Simply, if Brauny and the Prince wore Yankee blue they would be sitting next to the Buster Olneys or Ken Rosenthals of the sports media world, a little more often.
Ever since May 2007, when Ryan Braun joined the ball club, they have dominated like no other batting combo has. Over the past three seasons and their current season the two have combined for a .295 batting average, 262 homeruns, 766 runs batted in and 1203 base hits. Wowsers, right? Well, there aren‘t any two other players in Major League Baseball that have combined for better stats then Brauny and the Prince.
Individually, the guys have been outright ridiculoso. That’s right, I said ridiculoso. Fielder has smashed 178 homeruns over six years and eloquently knocked in 489 runs. Braun has knocked 114 homeruns over and fluently smashed in 368 runs in only four years.
So, why then, why, haven’t they gotten the respect they deserve? Well, two reasons.
The Brewers suck, most of the time anyway, and they play in Milwaukee, which sucks, most of the time anyway, too.
While expected to be playoff contenders every year by local media, the Brewers haven’t done much looking down but rather more looking up in the National Central division. Rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs, typically put a whapping on the BrewCrew every year, leaving us in the dust, and Brauny and the Prince’s historics numbers as well.
The Brewers grabbed the wildcard spot in 2008 for the first time since 1982, but lost to the eventual World Series-winning Philadelphia Phillies.
Losing-major league teams like the BrewCrew, Baltimore Orioles or Kansas City Royals don’t have players in the national spotlight. It just doesn’t help to get national attention when they aren’t winning games and aren’t signing multi-million dollar deals.
Okay, so Milwaukee doesn’t suck, but their market does.
Wisconsin, outside of the historic city of Green Bay, has been home to small-market teams. Milwaukee is no exception. Part of the reason the Brewers have struggled for so many seasons is because they just can’t keep up with payrolls of teams like the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2008, the Brewers traded for pitcher CC Sabathia but were only able to keep him for the reminder of the season. During the offseason, the Brewers offered Sabathia a contract worth $100 million but Sabathia signed with the New York Yankees for $161 million. The Brewers just can’t compete with teams that have a massive payroll.
The small market means limited access and contributes to the losing ways of the BrewCrew. Flat out, if you can’t sign the big-name players and big-talent players, then you don’t win games and no one cares if you have a couple of guys that understand the game except for fans and media paid to care.
The best 3-4 punch in Major League Baseball unfortunately hasn’t been able to master that left uppercut they need to knockout the competition and just may be separately their tag-team soon.
Prince Fielder’s sports agent, Scott Boras, announced recently that Fielder would be looking for a long-term contract in the $200 million range. The voice in my head tells me the Brewers will offer him the usual $100 million long-term deal they offer to all high-price free agents and the 3-4 duo will be in the past—lost forever. And, never remembered by that baseball historian.
It is plain and simple, unfortunately, the tradition of losing and small market just doesn’t appeal to those fellas at ESPN or FoxSports.