For the first time in a while I actually felt like writing a real blog entry and doing one of my favorite, but time consuming, series of entries the "Where'd The Go?" series. This time around I picked a Brewers team since they are finally relevant again. While the Brewers do have the Cubs breathing down their necks in their attempt to break the franchise's 25 year postseason drought, they at least do appear to finally be on their way to their first winning season in 15 years so I will look back at that team.
The 1992 Milwaukee Brewers have always stuck in my mind only because that season they were the only team during the regular season to have a winning record against the A's as County Stadium was always house of horrors for Oakland for whatever reason. The Brewers won 92 games that year under first year manager Phil Garner, finishing four games behind the eventual World Champion Blue Jays in the East. That on the surface would make it sound like a close race but in reality the Brewers were never a serious factor and it was 20-7 September when the Blue Jays were comfortably ahead already that propelled them up the standings. Between June 6th and September 18th the Brewers spent just one day in 2nd place in the East before finally overtaking the Orioles for good on September 19th. This team would have almost the last remnants of the 1982 Harvey's Wallbangers as it would be both Paul Molitor and Jim Gatner's last year with the team and Robin Yount would retire after the following season.
C: B.J. Surhoff (.252/.314/.321, 1.9 VORP, 16.2 Win Shares) - This was Surhoff's final season as a regular catcher as he would only play 33 more games behind the plate, the last coming in 1995 which was also his last year with the club. Signed as a free agent with Baltimore where he'd be a remarkably consistent if not great hitter. They traded him in a deadline deal to the Braves in 2000 but he'd return to the Orioles in 2003 playing his final three years there.
1B: Franklin Stubbs (.229/.297/.368, -2.8 VORP, 6.8 Win Shares) - Stubbs was a former big time prospect for the Dodgers who never lived up to the hype and was toast by age 30. He was actually even worse in '91 (.213/.282/.359) but the Brewers were stuck with him after signing him to a two year contract after his one good season in 1990 while in Houston. Played one more year in the Majors with Detroit. His #1 similarity score is Ken "The Hawk" Harrelson so maybe he has a future as a god awful announcer.
2B: Scott Fletcher (.275/.335/.360, 12.5 VORP, 17.4 Win Shares) - A slick fielding second baseman, this was Fletcher's only year in Milwuakee. Signed as a free agent with the Red Sox where he spent two years and then had his final year in 1995 with Detroit. His main claim to fame is he was a part of the Harold Baines/Sammy Sosa trade in 1989.
3B: Kevin Seitzer (.270/.337/.367, 11.7 VORP, 15.6 Win Shares) - Seitzer had an odd career as his best season's where his rookie year (1987) and his next to last year (1996). Could hit for average, draw a walk, and played a decent third base but never really stood out partly because he had almost no power. Signed with the A's following this year, which I now just remembered, where he struggled. They gave up on him quickly by releasing him in July and went right back to Milwaukee where he started hitting again. Traded to the Indians during his shockingly good age 34 year in '96 in a waiver deadline deal for Jeromy Burnitz and would retire after the following season.
SS: Pat Listach (.290/.352/.349, 36.4 VORP, 20.7 Win Shares) - One of the great mystery Rookie of the Year winners who people years from now, and maybe even today, who look back at old award winners and will ask "Who the hell was Pat Listach?" He beat out Kenny Lofton for the award despite Lofton having the better season and well it would be understatement to say Listach didn't do much of anything else after 1992. Brewers traded him to the Yankees in late 1996 as part of a Graeme Lloyd/Bob Wickman swap but he never played for them. Played one season in Houston before being out of the Majors.
LF: Greg Vaughn (.228/.313/.409, 5.7 VORP, 15.6 Win Shares) - Vaughn was the only legit power threat in the '92 Brewers line up as he led the team with 23 homeruns, Paul Molitor being the only player on the team with more than 10. His breakout year would be the followings season but he was wildly inconsistent for most of his career. Traded in a deadline deal to the Padres in 1996 where he'd have his best year in 1998 when he hit 50 homeruns and finished 4th in the MVP voting. He was then traded after that season to the Reds where he spent one year there, played three seasons in Tampa Bay, and one partial season in Colorado in 2003 before retiring.
CF: Robin Yount (.264/.325/.390, 14.4 VORP, 20.1 Win Shares) - As already mentioned this was Yount's next to last season and he was still a decent enough player but had clearly declined quite a bit since his second MVP season of 1989. Probably could have hung on a couple of more years past 1993 as a back up but decided to retire at age 37. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.
RF: Darryl Hamilton (.298/.356/.400, 27.0 VORP, 18.0 Win Shares) - Dante Bichette actually played more games in right field than any other Brewer but was more of a platoon player as Hamilton saw more action playing all three outfield positions. Adequate hitter, good glove centerfielder, Hamilton spent seven years in Milwaukee. Signed as a free agent with Texas after 1995 where he spent just one season and then signed with the Giants. They traded him a deadline deal ('92 Brewers: Deadline Deal Kings) in 1998 to the Rockies for Ellis Burks which ended being a really stupid trade for Colorado. He'd be traded in yet another deadline deal in 1999 to Mets where he accoding to his Wiki entry he didn't get along with Bobby Valentine and put a "hex" on the Mets after being released in 2001. Now works in the Commissioner's Office shining Bud Selig's shoes or something.
DH: Paul Molitor (.320/.398/.461, 58.7, 28.4 Win Shares) - Still an excellent hitter at age 35, I placed him 4th in my 1992 A.L. MVP Redo. After 15 years in Milwaukee he departed thru free agency to Toronto in 1993 where he had even a better season and placed 2nd in the MVP voting that year. He would have one of the great postseason performances of all-time leading the Blue Jays two a second straight World Championship and winning the World Series MVP. Signed with his hometown Twins after 1995 to finish out his career, retiring after 1998. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.
Bill Wegman (120 ERA+, 48.2 VORP, 15.5 Win Shares) - Wegman pitched 261 2/3 innings in 1992 which I'm guessing didn't do wonders for his arm as he didn't pitch that many combined the next two seasons. Couldn't find much of anything on him but I assume he had problems previously as he made only 13 starts in 1989 and 1990. Out of the Majors after 1995.
Jaime Navarro (115 ERA+, 45.7 VORP, 15.4 Win Shares) - Very erratic, innings eater this was one of Navarro's best years. After a poor year in 1994 he was picked up by the Cubs where he put together a couple of decent seasons. This led the White Sox to sign him to a four year deal after 1996 which ended up being a disaster as he posted ERA's of 5.79, 6.36, and 6.09 the next three seasons. They got the Brewers to take him them off their hands in 2000 but in five starts he had an ERA of 12.74 before they released him. Picked up by the Rockies and was sent to Triple-A but they released him a month later then the Indians gave him a shot but obviously he hadn't had anything left. Bounced around the minors thru 2003.
Chris Bosio (106 ERA+, 34.4 VORP, 13.1 Win Shares) - This was Bosio's last year in Milwaukee. For some reason I remember not liking him and I have no idea why. Anyways he would sign a big money, four-year deal with the Mariners after this season. While he'd be decent the first couple of seasons he was plauged with injuries most of his stay in Seattle and once the contract was up after 1996 so was his career.
Ricky Bones (84 ERA+, 5.6 VORP, 4.1 Win Shares) - Was acquired shortly before the season from the Padres in the Gary Sheffield trade. Played on seven teams in 11 years, Milwaukee was the only place that Bones had an extended stay. Had one good season as a starter in 1994 but by 1996 he was so bad that he was a PTBNL in the before mentioned trade with the Yankees that had Pat Listach thrown in. Pitched just seven innnings down the stretch for the Yankeess giving up 11 runs. Bounced around from Cincinnati, Kansas City (decent year as a short reliever in '98), Baltimore, and finally Florida.
Closer: Doug Henry (95 ERA+, 2.5 VORP, 5.7 Win Shares) - Brewers had a great bullpen in '92 but for whatever reason stuck with Henry as their closer. A late bloomer, Henry made his MLB debut at age 27 the year before and the following season would be his last as a closer. Spent the rest of his career as your typical journeyman, middle reliever as he'd be good one year and bad the next. Traded to the Mets after 1994, went to the Giants in 1997, then to the Astros, back to the Giants, and finally finishing out his career in 2001 with the Royals.