Without delving too deeply into what it means to be a fan, I think we can recognize that one develops something analogous to a romantic relationship with players and teams. As delusional as it is to believe people on the ballfield can return any of the affection you direct them, it still hurts to be cheated on. It doesn’t feel like Braun cheated, it feels like he cheated on me. A certain part of my heart wants nothing more than to clutch a sequin-framed 3×5 portrait of Braunie and rock back and forth, mascara running, as “Love Hurts” by Nazareth blasts from my laptop speakers. An autographed University of Miami Braun jersey smoulders in the fireplace. Scribbled sharpie covers my caricatured Braun tramp stamp. My children Ryan and Joseph bang on the front door begging to be let in and fed. My wife, Braunhilda, rots in six separate garbage bags in dumpsters distributed randomly across Dane County. I want to have, you know, a typical breakup reaction to this whole situation.
On Tuesday I attended a Brewers game and sat directly above left field. As tends to happen to a freshly blighted heart, a massive, painful void formed where the blighter used to be. I needed filling. My eyes lustily landed on the first viable replacement for my Braun-abyss: Brewers’ 2009 Minor League Player of the Year Logan Schafer. My crush on the young left fielder formed immediately and without discretion. He grew in my heart so quickly and so robustly I didn’t have a chance to consider his career 77 wRC+. I fell, hard, because I needed him. I was rebounding.
The results, I admit, are not flattering. But they are telling: for anyone who feels the loss of Braun, let Schafer fill your heart:
LOGAN SCHAFER!!!! https://t.co/4IeIaWGk99
— Zach Reynolds (@ZachReynolds00) July 24, 2013
(It is with mild chagrin–like, the kind of chagrin you have when you break the yolk while flipping an egg–that I am not presenting to you today the highly egregious and possibly unsafe COOL Game Scores. I wanted to, but I’ve found that my current occupation (that is, one who is actively searching for an occupation, and also housing, and also the meaning of life, and also attending Brewers games) takes a lot of time. So much time that I am not fully satisfied with the current state of COOL scores (which, I must remind you, are useless). They will hopefully be unveiled next week.)
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