Gorman ThomasJanuary 5, 2007
Can someone please tell me what the fuck the Brewers are doing in the National League? When I last looked, I mean really looked, back before I got distracted in the early ’80s by the snares of high puberty and the ensuing ceaseless slide down into the ever-increasing ambiguities, ephemera, and obfuscations of adulthood, there was no clearer representative of the American League than the Brewers. They did not steal bases. They did not bunt. They did not send their keg-bellied hungover hurlers to the plate. They did not swat turf-aided fleet-footed triples ‘neath the ceiling of the Astrodome. No. They had the beards and long greasy hair of motorcycle thugs. They guzzled beer and slugged long home runs. They gnawed bulging wads of tobacco and struck out swinging. They listened to Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr. on their way to discharge shotguns at wildlife. They smashed into outfield fences and bought mescaline from hippies before pounding them with tire irons. Didn’t they? I mean, now that they are in something called the Central Division of the National Fucking League I’m not so sure of anything. But I do know I can at least say this: as much as any team was ever one guy, the Milwaukee Brewers in the late ’70s and early ’80s were Gorman Thomas. And Gorman Thomas did not ever play in the National League. Until October 1982, that is, and that was only because by then the Brewers had laid waste to all the American League teams in their path and the only thing left for them to conquer was the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League, which they probably would have done if the majority of games in the 1982 World Series were played in an American League park and not upon the artificial National League turf of Busch Stadium. After those four National League games, Gorman Thomas was never the same, and neither were the Brewers, and come to think of it neither was I.