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Were the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers the Best Team in History?

February 5th, 2012 at 2:31 PM
By Stephen Rispalje

With news becoming harder to find and attention beginning to surface for Brewers spring training, it is time for a quick blast from the past.  So today we will examine how the Brewers in 2011 measured up to the Brewers from 1982.  So lets blast into the past and take a look.  We will examine the two managers and move through the rotations and eventually the offense.  

Managers: Ron Roenicke vs. George Bamberger: First off in the dugout the comparison between Ron Roenicke and the 1982 manager George Bamberger are a little skewed.  Bamberger managed for five seasons while Roenicke just finished his first season in the dugout.  But i would say that Bamberger was the better skipper at that point.  Unforunately Roenicke had a great duo of talent to depend on, Bamberger was getting assistance up and down the lineup, the 1982 Brewers were more balanced.  Bamberger likely was not trying to learn on the fly like Roenicke this past season.  But to give credit where it is due in regards to Roenicke he is managing at a different time in the game.  And he is in the National League where more decisions are required.  So to review the two managers during the time .  Advantage: George Bamberger.   But give credit to Roenicke he did a great job in his first season and will only do better.  2012 could be better, the team looks more balanced.

Rotations: 2011 rotation vs. 1982 rotation:  The rotation in 1982 was a solid rotation but in the American League in 1982 you should expect a solid and respectable rotation. And statistically the 1982 team only had one starter with an ERA under 4.00, the 2011 team had four starters under 4.00 ERA.  The 2011 rotation was not hyped up as much, but they were not expected to do as well as they did.  A great pitching coach provided the spark.  The Brewers in 2009 and 2010 were near the bottom in pitching and they improved themselves.  Advantage: 2011 Brewers.   Both rotations were good.  1982 was solid but they did not do near the magnitude the 2011 staff did

Closers: Rollie Fingers vs. John Axford: The bullpens are always under appreciated.  But not here.  The bullpens had a huge part in these teams.  But to focus on closers is much easier.  Rollie Fingers was good, but he was injured for the World Series and struggled in the closers role.  And the setup man holds importance to that as well. Late inning relief was suspect at best in 1982.  John Axford had a rough first month but turned the tables quick.  He racked up a franchise record 42 consecutive saves during the 2011 season.  And Francisco Rodriguez pitching in front of him made a lethal late inning combination.  Now when it comes to mustache, sorry Axford but Fingers stache was better.  But reviewing baseball related topics again Advantage: 2011 Brewers.  But both were good.  However many people believe if Fingers was healthy they would have won the World Series. 

Offense: 1982 vs. 2011: Offenses were both outstanding in spots but there were naturally a few weaknesses.  The 1982 team had the likes of Robin Yount and Paul Molitor, but the Brewers had Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.  So this is a tough one.  Braun and Fielder had better seasons, but at what cost.  The 2011 club had less around them.  So Braun and Fielder went so did Milwaukee.  The same cannot be said for the 1982 team.  So sorry guys Advantage: 1982 Brewers.  It all depends on balance and the current Brewers before the off season just did not have it.  

So after reviewing the four main components excluding defense which is tough to review the verdict is too close to call.  Both teamshad their strengths and weaknesses.  So to make it easy on all involved, Advantage: BOTH.  Sorry all but it is too close to call.  The offense was better in 1982 and the manager was more experienced.  But pitching the 2011 Brewers owned that aspect.  So it is a tie. 

Both teams lost.  But the 82' Brewers got further than the 11' Brewers. But the 2011 Brewers lost to a scary and extremely motivated Cardinals team in the NLCS, the 1982 team lost to St. Louis as well but in the World Series. 


Tags: George Bamberger, John Axford, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB, Paul Molitor, Prince Fielder, Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers, Ron Roenicke, Ryan Braun

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