NEW YORK -- Mark Attanasio was born and raised in the Bronx, and found it somewhat surreal Tuesday to be standing on the field at Yankee Stadium as the owner of the visiting team."It's nice that it's a first-place team," the Brewers' principal owner said. Nice, but nonetheless a little bit strange. Attanasio, Milwaukee's principal owner since 2005, grew up in the Pelham Bay neighborhood and attended his first Yankees game on Opening Day 1966, a 2-1 loss to the Tigers. Attanasio pointed to the spot in the center-field bleachers where he sat and then caught himself -- he was standing in new Yankee Stadium, not the one he visited as a boy. Debbie Attanasio, Mark's wife, has even more vivid memories of attending Yankees games as a child. Her mother and grandmother grew up three blocks away at the corner of Cromwell Ave. and Jerome Ave. "I went to a lot more games than Mark did," she said. The Attanasios have already been through one Brewers-Yankees series, when New York visited Miller Park in Interleague Play in 2005, and Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker introduced the owner to then-Yankees manager Joe Torre. This time, Uecker introduced his boss to former Yankees slugger Reggie Jackson, one of Attanasio's boyhood heroes. "Something like this, you kind of take it all in after the fact," Attanasio said. "When we made the playoffs [in 2008], it registered after the fact. If I could get a moment to focus, I could probably soak some of this in. It's hard to believe that our team is here and it's in first place."
Gamel returns to Brewers as first baseman
NEW YORK -- He might not get to prove it during the Brewers' weeklong run in American League ballparks, but Mat Gamel said his transition to first base has been a success."Honestly, it's a lot less stressful," Gamel said Tuesday after joining the Brewers for the first time this season. "I'm sure it's less stressful for everybody." The Brewers recalled Gamel from Triple-A Nashville on Monday afternoon because they wanted the extra bat for road series against the Yankees and Twins, and Gamel was the team's designated hitter at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Whether Gamel sees any action in the field this week, manager Ron Roenicke said, depends on whether Prince Fielder decides he wants to do any designated hitting himself. "I enjoy first base," Gamel said. "I'm a lot more comfortable over there than I ever was at third."
- 131 wins
- 121 wins
Gamel began his professional career as a third baseman, but has always been a prospect because of his bat. He's a career .304 hitter over parts of seven seasons in the Minor Leagues while playing third base, the outfield corners and now first base, and has been especially consistent this season after the Brewers moved him to first.
Fielder is a free agent after the season, and Gamel is the Brewers' insurance policy at that position. General manager Doug Melvin said Tuesday that the club has no plans to move Gamel back to third base, where the big league incumbent, Casey McGehee, is struggling to get on track this season.
"I like [first base] a lot, being involved, being able to pick up teammates by picking balls out of the dirt," Gamel said.
He joined the Brewers with a hot bat. Gamel was on an eight-game hitting streak at Nashville, with home runs in each of his last three games.Entering Tuesday, he'd already made 167 Major League plate appearances over three seasons, but has yet to break through as a big league regular. Gamel will turn 26 on July 26 and is a father of two daughters, the youngest of whom was at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night with Gamel's wife, Julianne. Gamel said he does not waste time pondering the future. "I'm definitely ready to be here for good," Gamel said. "It's a tough lineup to crack, especially with the positions that I play. You've got a lot of good players that are playing those positions. You just have to wait until it's your time.
"Especially with Prince, that's a guy you don't want to see leave the organization. If you're a Major League player, you'll be there with somebody. I'm not thinking about , I'm thinking about this year."
Brewers bring Braddock back to bullpen
NEW YORK -- The Brewers wanted a left-handed bullpen arm for their series against the Yankees, and decided Zach Braddock had done enough on and off the field during his 12-day demotion to deserve the nod.Braddock, optioned to Triple-A Nashville on June 15 after reporting late on a number of occasions, re-joined the team at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday and resumed his role as the team's only lefty reliever. He was a potentially important piece against New York, which fielded three left-handed hitters and three switch-hitters in Tuesday's starting lineup. "He had to go out there and pitch, to get people out, and then [fulfill] the responsibility of being on time," general manager Doug Melvin said. "It's not like he's two hours late or anything." Melvin said the tardiness issue was separate from Braddock's trouble this season with a sleep disorder. "Once that was all taken care of, then you have a responsibility not to be five or 10 minutes late," Melvin said. "It's important for him to be on the club the whole time, not just this series. He and [John] Axford helped turn our bullpen around last year."
General manager Doug Melvin said the Brewers had yet to field interest from other clubs about Sergio Mitre, one of two relief arms removed from the bullpen since the Brewers swept the Twins over the weekend. Mitre was designated for assignment, and if no other clubs are interested and the Brewers try to assign Mitre to the Minors, he has enough service time to refuse and collect the roughly $430,000 left on his contract.
Right-handed reliever Marco Estrada left Tuesday's game in the sixth inning after taking an Alex Rodriguez comebacker off his left foot. Because the Brewers were already playing one reliever short, Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke spent time Tuesday night discussing whether a roster move was in order before the series continues on Wednesday. "We may have to," Roenicke said.