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Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008

Not Bud Light

Jim Cryns on Sports

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Miller Park-It's a Sunday morning in October. Yes, there is a playoff game in Milwaukee, the second in fact, in almost 3 decades. Of course this is something you already know or you're getting far too much fresh air riding your bike on the lakefront. white Brewer towels waved in each section. The fans in Milwaukee did their part, even if the fans in Chicago could not. As if it couldn't get any more warm and fuzzy, the owner's father sang the National Anthem.

It's 9 o'clock in the morning. Nobody else in the park accept a few reporters and vendors. The hum of the air systems, a guy mopping the top of the dugout emblazoned with a huge logo for the NLDS. A few more members of the grounds crew are going about their business, adjusting this, priming that. In short, it's good to be here.

Commissioner Bud Selig spoke with the throngs of media converging on the press box in Milwaukee. He was dignified, playful, and insightful. As he's somewhat of an impartial observer, despite his personal history in this town, it was clear to see Bud's affection for this team. Bud Selig is probably the primary reason this city has baseball. As he said yesterday, it was conceivable we'd be watching teams in other cities playing ball

The Brewers have pulled off the improbable, some may have said the impossible. Leading from the first inning on Saturday night, the Brewers beat the Phillies 2-1. The fans were into the game from the first pitch, never letting up. A sea of complimentary Brewers towels were waved in every section. It's good to see baseball at this time of the year. Bud talked about the economic crisis and the impact it may have on baseball attendance. Once again he was considerate and empathetic with how most people are trying to make ends meet.

Mood was high in the stands, even if expectations were not as high after two miserable showing in Philadelphia. However, the fans acted as if the Brewers were up 2-0 as opposed to the other way around. As though they hadn't checked their email or tuned into SportCenter.

A couple of weeks ago I made a rather innocuous but ill-advised comment about Bud, one that I regret. Despite the fact I'm not speaking to millions with my ramblings, it was a swipe at a guy that didn't deserve the swipe. Here's a guy that fought for baseball in a town where most would have avoided the arduous challenge, or given up when it looked like the chips were stacked against them, which they indeed were. Bud discussed the zero hour for Miller Park, a time which seems like eons ago. It was four in the morning while most of us were snug in our beds. By one vote the stadium was passed.

I hope one day I can be responsible for something as remarkable as Selig. However, other than the part I played in creating my two daughters, I highly doubt it.