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Anne in the Stands: Brewers fever

Anne in the Stands: Brewers fever

What a difference a year makes
With the Brewers monopolizing headlines not only at home but around the country, I've noticed these impressive effects:

• Everywhere I go -- grocery store, gas station, corn stand or the airport -- people of all ages are wearing Brewers hats and shirts. I love that.

• My buddies, who don't know what a 6-4-3 double play is and can't name another team in our division besides the Cubs, are suddenly eager to talk baseball. I love that, too.

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• My stadium is crowded with cheering fans. I love that even more.

• Hordes of people like to park in my favorite section of the stadium lots. I don't love that. As I hike from my parking place in no-man's land past jillions of cars and squads of tailgaters, a couple of thoughts occur. First, will I remember where I parked? Next, I acknowledge that sellout crowds pay for talent on the field.

Oh Pain, oh agony, oh what you do to me: A confession from the depths of a baseball funk
This morning my computer announced I was protected against 182,701 threats. I suppose I should feel good about that, but what I really need is a magic potion for pitchers who can't get the ball across the plate and for batters who can't get a hit with men on base. It wouldn't hurt to get my team immunized against the haunting presence of the Chicago Cubs.

You could call my affliction "baseball funk." When the Brewers win, birds sing. The grass is green on my side of the fence. Life is good. I even like how I look in the mirror. But when they lose, the sky's gray. The flowers in the back yard lose their colors. I can't hit a tennis ball, I can't spell and everything I put on makes me look fat. The gloom lingers until Prince Fielder hits another homer, T-Bow aces three batters in the eighth and Francisco Cordero closes out the ninth with just eleven pitches.

As I agonize over every pitch and every at-bat, I wonder if I'm crazy to love my team so much that my husband prefers to stay out of my way for awhile after a loss. He calls it "serving time in the penalty box," to mix in a winter sport metaphor. I'm lucky he's so tolerant.

The other day, Mark, the man who sits in front of me at Miller Park, counseled me not to panic over losing streaks or pitching meltdowns. "It's a long season," he said. "Just hang in there."

I'm taking his advice by enjoying the summer weather and all the other aspects of my life, and by remembering the many great games we've seen this season. I'll hang in there to cheer on Prince, J.J., Johnny, Derrick, Corey, Ryan, Geoff, Damian, Ben, Cappy, Dave, Yovani, Tony, Craig, Billy, Kevin and the rest of the team.

No matter what happens.

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