MILWAUKEE -- Nyjer Morgan entered Thursday night's game leading the Brewers in batting average and comedic timing.Morgan boosted his average to .343 with a game-winning hit on Wednesday, but it was his postgame performance that made the Internet rounds Thursday morning. Morgan's high-energy chat with FS Wisconsin included an oblique reference to Tony Plush, his on-field alter ego, an explanation -- sort of -- for his tribute to Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, plus the same stunning admission he offered to reporters moments later: Morgan didn't know it was the bottom of the ninth inning when he delivered his decisive double. Then he promised to "bring the pain again" on Thursday and declared, "I gotta go." With that, he sprinted away from the camera. Some of Morgan's teammates -- plus Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a pregame visitor -- laughed their way through Morgan's performance at a clubhouse computer on Thursday afternoon. "How can you not laugh at him?" third baseman Casey McGehee said. "You look at him, and he's just a ball of energy. Even if you look at last night, he didn't say anything bad, it's just funny and it's really not an act, it's just him. You never know what's coming out of that guy's mouth. He's entertaining, for sure." "He's a character," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He's just out there, playing hard, running around, and sometimes maybe he isn't paying attention. ... We've got some personality on this team, and he's definitely one of them. He's a spark in [the clubhouse] and a spark out there in the field."
Future doesn't faze Fielder; focus is on winning
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers slugger Prince Fielder has thus far avoided the sort of slump that seems to strike players in their contract year. Count it as a pleasant surprise for his manager."I figured there would be a couple of times during the season where I would probably have to sit down and talk to him a little bit about it," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "It hasn't happened." It helps that Fielder has been mashing and the Brewers have been climbing up the standings. His first multihomer game of the season on Wednesday night gave Fielder six home runs in his last six games, and 17 home runs this season. That tied Cincinnati's Jay Bruce for most in the National League. Fielder wasn't surprised by his power binge. He often hits homers in bunches. "That's usually what everyone does," he said. "That's how it is. I don't know why." The Brewers have not had meaningful talks with Fielder's agent, Scott Boras, about an extension since early last year, so it appears almost a certainty that he'll hit the open market after this season. Since Boras and the Brewers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $15.5 million, one-year contract for 2011, Fielder's pending free agency has been a non-issue. All sides agreed to make it so. Fielder has answered questions about his status by saying he's under contract for this season and focused only on winning games. "Prince's attitude is exactly what you want it to be -- it's not an issue," Roenicke said. "All he cares about is winning right now. He knows that if he wins, he's going to have a big year and things will work out." It's a significant change from last season, when Fielder got away from his usual strong strike-zone discipline. Former manager Ken Macha surmised that Fielder was frustrated that talks between the Brewers and Boras about an extension had not progressed. This year, Fielder has remained unfazed. "He's always the same," said outfielder Ryan Braun, who's signed with the Brewers through at least 2020. "He's energetic, he's enthusiastic, he enjoys playing the game and he enjoys competing. One of the biggest things about him is that he enjoys competing every day. It's really impressive. People don't realize how much of an impact that has not only on us, but on the opposing team."
McGehee grateful for fans' support through skid
MILWAUKEE -- Casey McGehee wasn't sure what to do when the fans stood up from their seats and applauded him in the seventh inning of Wednesday's game.
McGehee snapped his 0-for-27 streak at the plate with a seventh-inning single, but the third baseman wasn't expecting the ovation from the fans.
"I definitely was caught off-guard, and I didn't really know what to do, to be honest with you," he said. "It was just a sincere gesture, and it definitely meant a lot to me. Equally as much as pulling up to the park the last couple days and people wanting autographs and stuff and all of the encouragement they've had for me has meant a lot."
McGehee said he received a similar type of ovation a few years ago, when he dropped a routine fly ball against the Mets and rebounded to hit a home run. However, Wednesday night's ovation was right up there with some of the most special moments for him regarding the fans at Miller Park.
"It was definitely, definitely appreciated," he said. "Hopefully I can get back to returning the favor and give them something to stand up about besides breaking a long 0-for."
The support he received from his teammates, who McGehee said took the time to encourage him, and the talks he had with manager Ron Roenicke helped him get through the slump. So too did the Brewers' wins.
"It definitely helps and he mentioned that to me the other day," Roenicke said. "When you're going through a slump and the team's losing all the time, you're really feeling it. But it's nice that he can still come in here and laugh and stuff when he's struggling, because he knows the team's winning. He knows he's a big part of it and for us to get to where we need to get to, he needs to get it going."
Reliever Takashi Saito (left oblique) threw a simulated game Thursday afternoon and is scheduled to pitch Sunday at Class A Wisconsin before advancing to Triple-A Nashville. If all goes well, Saito is probably in line to rejoin the Brewers in Boston from June 17-19 or during the team's June 20-26 homestand. ... Double-A Huntsville outfielder Erik Komatsu, first baseman Steffan Wilson and pitchers Michael Bowman, Dan Meadows and Wily Peralta were named to the Southern League All-Star team this week. ... The San Francisco Chronicle reported that a surprising negotiator will handle talks between the Brewers and 30th-round Draft pick Trent Boras, the son of the well-known agent: Trent's mom, Jeanette. Scott Boras told the newspaper that Jeanette Boras will represent both Trent and his older brother, Shane, who was drafted by the A's in the 39th round.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Audrey Snyder is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.