The series against the Cubs was headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
What I mean by “biblical” is Old Testament, real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes! The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!
But then I saw our mustachioed general manager, Doug Melvin, sitting in a club suite with a total poker face. For a while he was sitting next to league commissioner Bud Selig, who was looking confused, as usual. As the maniacal Cubs fans got rowdier with each Brewers miscue, I continued to check up with our leader — still no expression. At this point, we were only a few runs down.
On Wednesday night, at the top of the sixth, Parra gave up two singles and then gave up a triple to Ryan Theriot that drove in Dempster and Soriano. Another 6th inning dismantling. Second one in a row.
As Yost came out to send Parra to the dugout, I was walking through the club level thinking out loud, approaching another row of club suite doors. Doug Melvin steps out muttering something under his breath with some subtle disappointment written on his face. As he stepped out, I simultaneously asked myself, hardly paying attention to Melvin, “What the hell is going on?” To my surprise, Melvin responded without looking to see who asked the question: “I don’t know…”
The next day Miller Park was abuzz with the talk of the possible sweep. The legions of fans dressed in red and blue were as obnoxious as ever. Doug Melvin was in the same club suite as he was the past few days. This time I paid closer attention to his demeanor as the team he has craftily arranged was on the verge of another blow-out loss. He had a baby blue shirt with ivory-colored pants, silk socks, brown loafers, and a neatly trimmed ‘stache. He still had no expression on his face, but there was fire in his eyes.
I took the meaning behind his steely stare to stand for something: Don’t get mad. Get even.
Ed.— The trade rumor I tried to start — J.J. Hardy and Rickie Weeks for Miguel Tejada — apparently didn’t go through.