Even if the Milwaukee Brewers were coming off a World Series championship I’d still be against giving them $290 million in taxpayer money to fix up their stadium. But this is a team that has no intention of spending its own money to get anywhere near the World Series. If they won’t invest in their own team why should we invest in them?
The club ended any pretense of caring about winning when they traded Josh Hader and his big future contract and got essentially nothing in return. The team had a small lead in the AL Central at the time of the trade last summer and they ended up missing the playoffs by one game. Had they kept Hader they would have made the cut. That deal had nothing at all to do with what was best for the team or its fans and everything to do with the owners’ bottom line.
Then the Brewers spent the off season trading down for a collection of guys who once showed promise, but not so much anymore.
And what are they doing with their remaining star players? Insulting them. They went to arbitration with their Cy Young pitcher Corbin Burnes over a measly $700,000 on a $10 million contract. In arbitration hearings they blamed Burnes for not making the playoffs, never mind the front office’s Hader debacle. They won the arbitration and were able to keep their pocket change. Great.
The business model of the out-of-town owner group is clear. Keep Milwaukee fans punching above their weight for attendance and all the attendant purchases of over-priced beer and hotdogs and the latest jersey of the month. Make some money most years and then, of course, get the big payoff when you sell the team. The owners will literally make billions on that sale whenever it happens.
And, in the meantime, they’re adding insult to injury by holding up the state for $290 million to spruce up American Family Field. Gov. Tony Evers should be ashamed for including that outrageous proposal in his budget. At the very least he should have left it out and made the Republicans put it in in exchange for something worth having, like paid family leave.
This would be hard enough to swallow if the Brewers’ owners were investing in their own ball club and trying to reward their loyal fans with a pennant. Instead they’re taking us for bush leaguers. Evers is proving that we are.