SEATTLE -- Johnny Logan, a four-time National League All-Star, the scrappy shortstop for the 1957 World Series Champion Milwaukee Braves and one of the great characters in Milwaukee's history, baseball and otherwise, died Friday evening. He was 86.
Logan, who had battled kidney ailments for years, was surrounded by family when he passed away at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, which overlooks Miller Park and the former site of Milwaukee County Stadium, where Logan and future Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews were the enforcers for the great Braves teams of the 1950s.
More recently, Logan served as an area scout for the Brewers, and was a boisterous and beloved fixture at home games before his health failed.
"He's one of my best friends, and even though you know it's coming, it's still hard," Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker said. "He's been such a fixture around Milwaukee and with the organization. No matter what he did, he was always a Brewer. He wasn't a Brave, he was a Brewer."
The Brewers honored Logan in June with a star on the team's Walk of Fame at Miller Park. Uecker served as emcee during a ceremony on the field before the Brewers played the Phillies.
"Believe me, this is the biggest honor that I received," Logan said that day. "Getting an honor here in Milwaukee at Miller [Park] is outstanding. To me, I'm proud of being a Milwaukeean."
Logan played in Milwaukee from 1953-61 and appeared in four All-Star Games as a member of the Braves. Logan hit .268 with 93 home runs and 547 RBIs in his 13-year career, leading the league in doubles in '55, winning the World Series in '57 and the NL pennant in '58. He finished his career with three seasons in Pittsburgh, then returned to Milwaukee and made a home there, twice running for Milwaukee County Sherriff in the 1970s.
"He was one of the toughest players I've ever been around," Uecker said. "And a really good shortstop, too. He had a guy alongside him in Eddie Mathews, who was another fireball, you know what I mean? A guy who wouldn't take anything from anybody, and Johnny was the same way. Some of those games with the Cincinnati Reds with Johnny and [Reds second baseman] Johnny Temple -- you knew something was going to happen every time. …
"Johnny has been such a great friend and I can think of hundreds of things that have happened with him."
None of which are printable in full. One of them involved a brand new car and a sausage in the tailpipe.
"Some of the things that we did over the winter months, when I would come home and get all of the guys together," Uecker said, laughing. "Dan [Larrea, the Brewers' traveling secretary] and Tony [Migliaccio, the clubhouse manager] and all the guys in the clubhouse, we'd go to lunch all the time. That was a regular event with Johnny, and I mean, some of the things that we did to enhance the lunches after were fantastic. To this day, until he really got sick there, Johnny would fight anybody in the world."
The Brewers issued a statement:
"Johnny Logan was a longtime friend to Milwaukee baseball. His connection to both the Brewers and the Braves and the Milwaukee community was very strong. Virtually every person associated with the Milwaukee Brewers has been touched by Johnny through his many visits to the ballpark and terrific stories about his time in the game. We will miss Johnny deeply and will never forget his colorful character and personality."
Funeral arrangements will be announced later, according to the club's statement.
"He was a character, but he also was a wonderful player," Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Friday. "Of all the great hitters on those Braves teams -- Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Red Schoendienst, Joe Adcock -- Johnny was one of the best clutch hitters they had. He was a critical part of those great teams.
"Give Johnny credit. After he retired, he stayed here and made his home in Milwaukee. He was a wonderful man, a lot of fun to be with. And he was very loyal to the Brewers. We will miss him badly. I feel really sad."
Out for year, Weeks has to decide on surgery or rehab
SEATTLE -- Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks will decide in the coming days whether to undergo surgery for a torn tendon in his left hamstring, but his 2013 season is over, the club confirmed on Friday.
That diagnosis came after Weeks, injured when he stumbled over his bat running to first base on Wednesday in San Francisco, returned to Milwaukee for an MRI and an examination by Brewers head physician William Raasch. It revealed that one of the three tendons that comprise the hamstring had separated from the bone.
Whether or not he opts for surgery, rehabilitation is expected to take 4-6 months.
"You always feel for guys who have an injury that bad," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Rickie, because the guy is so tough, when he stood up I thought, 'Well, maybe it's not that bad.' He doesn't show any pain on his face. And then you go in and look at it and you just are like, 'Man.' When you start talking about tearing off the bone and stuff, that's bad. I know he still has a decision to make on what he wants to do, to try to rehab it or have surgery."
Brewers head athletic trainer Dan Wright said that this particular tendon -- the semitendinosus -- is sometimes harvested and used in ACL repairs.
"There are athletes out there that don't have them," said Wright, citing Brewers first baseman Mat Gamel's second knee surgery earlier this year. "So, you can rehab them and allow it to scar down and play as is, so to speak, or you can go with the surgical repair. …
"In this case, we're going to leave it up to Rickie to make his decision. We've loaded him with the answers and answered the questions as far as the positives and negatives of each. I'm sure he's going to want to discuss that with his agent and people and decide what the best course is."
The advantage of the surgical option, Wright said, "is it allows you to get back to the normal anatomy, so to speak. That's the advantage -- you try to get the leg as back to normal anatomy as you can. Without doing that, the leg can still heal and function, but theoretically you're working on two-thirds of the hamstring as opposed to the full hamstring.
"Rickie's a strong guy. He's one of our best, most compliant, most dedicated guys. There's no question he's going to make a full recovery."
Scooter Gennett was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to take Weeks' spot on the roster and will serve as the regular second baseman, Roenicke said. Weeks will earn $11 million in 2014, the final guaranteed season of his four-year, $38.5 million contract, and has an $11.5 million vesting option that will become guaranteed if he is healthy at end of 2014 and has 600 plate appearances in 2014, or 1,200 plate appearances in 2013-14 combined. Weeks, 31 next month, batted .209 with 10 home runs in 399 plate appearances this season.
Asked whether Weeks' second straight subpar season could lead to an offseason change at second base, general manager Doug Melvin said only that "Scooter will play [the rest of this year] and Rickie is signed for next year. That's where we're at. … There's other issues with the club, other positions. We have people to play there [at second base]."
Roenicke ejected for arguing fan-interference call
SEATTLE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was ejected Friday after arguing a call that temporarily took the go-ahead run off the scoreboard in Friday's 10-5 win against the Mariners.
Carlos Gomez had just scored all the way from first base on an error charged to Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, who allowed a Yuniesky Betancourt grounder to get down the left-field line. But Gomez was ordered back to third when the umpires ruled a fan had touched the ball as it banked off the wall.
Roenicke engaged home-plate umpire Dan Bellino and third-base umpire Tim Welke in an animated discussion that resulted in Roenicke's second ejection this season. The other was April 23 at San Diego for arguing balls and strikes.
"I didn't argue the point that it hit a fan, because I didn't even know if it hit him," Roenicke said. "The home-plate umpire was the only one who didn't see it hit the guy's arm. So, the other three got together, all three of them said they saw it hit the fan. I didn't argue that.
"What I argued was, it didn't affect the ball coming off the wall. [The Mariners] didn't even attempt to get 'Gomey' at home, so he should have scored. So, the one guy who didn't see the play, he's the one who rules the run scores or not. How can they ask him? He didn't see it hit the spectator, so how does he know how the ball comes off? Really, all of them should have got together and said, 'How does that ball get affected, does he score anyway? You don't leave it to the guy at home plate who doesn't see the play."
Roenicke added: "I stayed out too long. I should have got kicked out. I just told him that he took the easy route out, which he did. He took the easy call, which is spectator interference, and you just give the guy a double. That's the easy way, and he took it. I stayed out there too long, because I thought I was right."
With Roenicke banished to the clubhouse, Gomez scored anyway on a bloop single by Jeff Bianchi.
Weeks' injury creates opportunity for Gennett
SEATTLE -- Scooter Gennett's demotion to Triple-A lasted less than 48 hours. He rejoined the Brewers on Friday to be the starting second baseman for the remainder of the team's injury-riddled season.
Gennett, 23 years old and No. 10 on MLB.com's list of the top Brewers' prospects, replaced Rickie Weeks, who was lost for the season to a left hamstring tear.
Considering Weeks' struggles over the past two seasons, even before his latest medical setback, could this represent an opening for Gennett beyond the rest of this year?
"I don't know if you say it is an opening, but there is a great opportunity for him right now to play," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I don't mean that to put pressure on him, to see he has to go out there and play great, hit .300. But, it's a great opportunity for a guy that a lot of people really like and have wanted to give the opportunity to. It's there for him.
"Defensively, we can see what he can do, and we'll see how he handles not just the September callup, where you might get only 15-20 at-bats, but he's going to be out there most every day. I'll move some guys in there once in a while, but most every day, he's going to be in there."
Gennett started Friday against Mariners left-hander Joe Saunders. He had just been optioned to Triple-A Nashville, joining the team in Colorado Springs, just as the Brewers were beginning their game in San Francisco on Wednesday night. In the eighth inning of that game, Weeks was injured running to first base on a groundout.
On Thursday morning, Gennett was informed he was needed back in the big leagues.
"It's unfortunate that I have the opportunity now because [Weeks] got hurt, but at the same time I have to approach it just like I would if he was here," Gennett said. "Do the best job I can, leave it all out on the field and hopefully contribute to the team winning. … I'm used to playing every day, so I don't think it will be a big adjustment."
• The Brewers had originally intended to activate third baseman Aramis Ramirez from the disabled list on Friday, but pushed back the plan in the wake of Rockie Weeks' season-ending injury. Instead of serving as the designated hitter Friday, playing a few innings at third base Saturday and then taking Sunday off, the Brewers opted to wait until Sunday at the earliest, according to manager Ron Roenicke.
"He's fine. He understands," Roenicke said. "The thing is, he's been pushing to get to a certain date that he wanted to be active, and I told him all along: 'That's fine to have that goal, because that's what you should be pushing for, but if things happen and you get set back a couple of days ... We've waited this long, let's just make sure we're right.'
Today kind of was the plan, but I think this gives us a couple more days to make sure he's a little more ready. Maybe by being on his feet a little longer, he won't go through that soreness that you go through, and then when he comes back, he'll be able to play more."
• Friday may have been the Brewers' first regular season game in Seattle since 1997, when Milwaukee was still an American League city and the Mariners played in the Kingdome. But Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker pointed out the team had visited Safeco Field before -- in 2000, for an exhibition game at the end of Spring Training. It was a brief and not particularly pleasant visit -- the Mariners scheduled a day game after the Brewers played the previous night in San Francisco.