From the first day they gathered in Phoenix to mid-February, the Milwaukee Brewers talked about playing in October. But the players didn't talk merely of making it to October.
They talked about playing deep into October.
"I've never been on a team that talked so matter-of-factly, beginning in spring training, about doing that," said left-hander Randy Wolf, who played on five different clubs before coming to Milwaukee.
That's the mind-set the National League Central Division champions will take to the field Saturday at Miller Park in Game 1 of the division series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. This is not a team merely happy to be in the postseason.
This is a team that expects to play until most of the leaves have turned colors and fallen to the ground. The unfinished business from 1982 does not seem out of reach to a determined and focused bunch that set a franchise record with 96 victories.
That's how special the feeling is within the organization these days. There is a belief that the postseason stars have aligned, that every move made by general manager Doug Melvin worked to perfection, that keeping Prince Fielder for one more season - if it indeed comes to that - was exactly the right thing to do for a team that admittedly went "all in."
In other words, it's not a pipe dream to ponder the remarkable scene of Commissioner Bud Selig handing the World Series trophy to Mark Attanasio, his successor as owner of the Brewers.