It’s time to talk about the NL Central: four teams and cities with rich baseball histories… and the Milwaukee Brewers. The NL Central is always fun because it’s almost always a contested division and the teams seem to legitimately dislike each other. So for those of you who want to love or hate this awesome division, let’s do this.
Thing to Love: Javier Baez
He swings out of his shoes, makes great defensive plays, and most importantly for me, he is the consensus best tagger in baseball. The fact that anyone even owns that title is awesome. The fact that he makes it fit is even better.
Thing to Hate: Jon Lester throwing to bases
I know it’s kind of funny watching him throw to bases. It’s crazy that a pitcher as good as him can’t make a simple overhand throw to first. But for whatever reason I just don’t like it. Maybe I’m alone in that but it’s not funny anymore, it’s just sad.
Thing to Love: Joey Votto
I love Billy Hamilton. I’ve said before how much I love fast guys, but Joey Votto is such a good hitter and such a hilariously intense guy that I love him even more. He is a student of hitting, even practicing his swing while on base. In addition to his commitment to the game, he also throws baseballs out of stadiums which I think is hilarious.
Thing to Hate: They’re not what they used to be
They had so many entertaining guys. They had Votto and Frazier manning the corners and hitting dingers. They had Johnny Cueto with the weird turn in his windup. They had Zack Cozart and Jay Bruce playing well under the radar. They even had Brandon Phillips fighting Yadier Molina. Now it’s just Votto, the Reds are boring and I’m sad.
Thing to Love: Travis Shaw
I am certainly biased towards him because he used to play for the Red Sox. But his nickname is “The Mayor of Ding Dong City.” Now I’m not saying you’re a bad person if you don’t love that name, I’m just saying I don’t think you should be allowed to vote.
Thing to Hate: New Logo
Sure, by “new” I mean it’s been their logo since 2000, but their old logo is one of the best in baseball. The glove that’s also a M and a B is a classic. They should just bring it back, and then we can pretend Paul Molitor and Robin Yount are back and maybe we can care about the Brewers again.
Thing to Love: Gregory Polanco
He’s not that good, but I like him. There’s just something about a big guy who cranks the ball once every 100 at-bats that I’m a fan of. It’s probably because Wily Mo Pena played in Boston as I started understanding baseball. Also who doesn’t love sporadic moonshots (please look up my band “the Sporadic Moonshots” on Soundcloud).
Thing to Hate: Francisco Cervelli
He’s a former Yankee, so that’s strike one. He was suspended for PEDs. Strike two. He wore that stupid giant helmet for a while. Strike three.
St. Louis Cardinals
Thing to Love: Carlos Martinez
Some people call him “Little Pedro” and it’s not just because of his last name. This guy is nasty. He’s not that big, but he has great stuff and shows no fear on the mound. Add on the crazy hair and you’ve got yourself an unhateable player.
Thing to Hate: Their smug fans
They always talk about how St. Louis fans are the best. They’re knowledgeable, they conduct themselves the right way, they love their team, blah blah blah. They’re a sporting fan base, not the Peace Corps. They’re Midwestern so they are probably a little more polite, but if St. Louis fans could kindly shut up, I’d be much obliged. Please and thank you.