MILWAUKEE -- First-timer Mat Gamel is among eight Brewers position players on this year's All-Star Game ballot, which was unveiled on Thursday afternoon in Kansas City.There were no surprises. Candidates include catcher Jonathan Lucroy, first baseman Gamel, second baseman Rickie Weeks, third baseman Aramis Ramirez, shortstop Alex Gonzalez, and outfielders Ryan Braun, Nyjer Morgan and Corey Hart. Online balloting begins on Friday at MLB.com. Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or using a mobile device -- until Thursday, June 28, at 10:59 p.m. CT. Braun, Gonzalez, Hart, Ramirez and Weeks have made previous All-Star teams. Braun has been voted to the National League's starting outfield four years running, and Weeks was also voted to the starting lineup last year.
Plush explains thought behind dash home
MILWAUKEE -- Nyjer Morgan said that the stop sign he ran through on Wednesday night on the way to scoring the winning run was not a stop sign at all -- he said it was really a "deke" for the Dodgers.But there's also a very good chance that Morgan was just trying to "deke" reporters. It's a tangled web these Brewers weave. "Never underestimate the sneakiness, guys," Morgan said with a laugh. Here are the facts: Morgan entered Wednesday's game as a pinch-runner, with the score tied at 2 in the 10th inning. He picked a perfect spot to steal second base when Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier twirled a curveball to the plate, and he took third when the throw from catcher A.J. Ellis sailed into center field. A pair of walks loaded the bases before Ryan Braun hit a high popup to Matt Kemp in very shallow center field. Third-base coach Ed Sedar, positioned down the line by design so he had more time to read Kemp's catch, threw up the stop sign. Morgan went anyway. Manager Ron Roenicke planned to talk things over with Morgan before Thursday's series finale with the Dodgers, but he is by no means upset; he just wanted to hear the thought process behind taking such a bold risk. "Sometimes you want a player to instinctually do things that he sees," Roenicke said. "And even when it doesn't work out, we have to be OK with that. ... If Nyjer took off and went because he says he saw Kemp catch that ball flat-footed, I'm fine with it." That is, indeed, what Morgan said prompted his decision to go. Asked whether he saw Sedar's stop sign, he said, "I'm going to say the head was down. I had my head down and just figured, 'Let's go for it.'" Morgan politely disagreed with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who said emphatically that Morgan should have been called out by plate umpire Mike DiMuro. Morgan looked at replays, too, and argues that his right knee touched home before Ellis applied the tag. "I was in there," Morgan said. "I knew I was safe." He also knew it was time to get going. Thursday's series finale was scheduled for just after noon CT to accommodate thousands of schoolchildren attending the Brewers' annual "Weather Day." Morgan was back in the starting lineup on Thursday, looking to build on his dash home, as he carried a .125 batting average into the game. "Gosh, it felt good," he said of scoring the winning run. "It was just something, a little something to help me out a little bit."
Of his slow start, he said, "I've got the funks. It's just part of baseball. I guess my funk last year was my April, too, when I battled through all of those injuries. My character is getting tested right now, but I'm still the same person, even though things stink. For sure, I know Dr. Freeze ain't going to stay around too much longer."
Brewers battling against a clubhouse bug
MILWAUKEE -- Cameras caught Ryan Braun in a coughing fit while the Brewers' celebrated Wednesday's walk-off win, evidence of a second wave of illness sweeping through the clubhouse.The first came in Spring Training, and the latest has bitten such players as Braun, right fielder Corey Hart, reliever Francisco Rodriguez and Thursday's starter, Randy Wolf. "There's a lot of guys who aren't feeling too good, so it's there," said manager Ron Roenicke, who has been fighting his own bug for weeks. "I don't know if it's the same thing that went through us in Spring Training or not, because it seems to me that somebody keeps having it, and it keeps dragging this thing on. I don't know if it's something different or not."
Loe to miss games to attend funeral
MILWAUKEE -- Reliever Kameron Loe will miss three games beginning Saturday so he can attend his grandfather's funeral in California.Loe will be placed on the bereavement list during his absence, so the Brewers can call up a bullpen replacement from Triple-A Nashville. One candidate is right-hander Mike McClendon, who is on the 40-man roster and was the final reliever cut from camp. Loe first shared his grandfather's story this week with Twitter followers. Howard E. Pound, 92, passed away on Tuesday. He was an All-American in football and basketball at Michigan State, and the recipient of two Purple Hearts for service in World War II before raising four daughters. "My dad left when I was young, so he was like a father to me," Loe said. "When I was a kid, he bought me every piece of sports equipment I had, and I can count on my fingers the number of my games he missed from age 5 to 20. He was my biggest supporter. He was a great man." Loe expects to rejoin the team on Tuesday.
Experience at Miller Park seventh most affordable
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers ranked seventh on Team Marketing Report's annual "fan cost index," which measures the most affordable experiences in baseball. The index measures the price of four average-priced adult tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one car, two game programs and two adult-size adjustable caps.That cost at Miller Park for 2012 is $171.52, compared with the MLB average of $207.80. "Our goal is to give every Brewers fan a variety of options for entertainment when they come to Miller Park, and we're proud to feature a number of affordable packages for families," COO Rick Schlesinger said in a statement.