Author Topic: NL Central  (Read 3672 times)

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Offline packerzrule

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #50 on: March 27, 2012, 09:27:12 PM »
And one of the worst parts is that tonight's(?) game is just going to wet my pallet. And yes, me and my roommate from Seattle are getting up to watch the game at 3 am.

You're a far better man than I sir. 

Good luck to them
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donbedouin

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #51 on: March 28, 2012, 06:05:45 PM »
If it's any consolation, I feel asleep about 4 times during the course of the game

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #52 on: March 28, 2012, 10:26:10 PM »
oh, and packerzrule, I assume you don't mind/encourage if I invite respectable, knowledgeable cub fans here, correct?

Offline packerzrule

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #53 on: March 29, 2012, 07:05:55 AM »
oh, and packerzrule, I assume you don't mind/encourage if I invite respectable, knowledgeable cub fans here, correct?

Please do don.  The more the merrier. 
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Offline packerzrule

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #54 on: March 29, 2012, 07:07:20 AM »
The Brewers had only two serious health issues as the end of camp neared. RF Corey Hart had arthroscopic knee surgery early in camp and RHP Shaun Marcum was set back by shoulder inflammation but both were making solid progress and hoped to open the season on the active roster. The Brewers were still trying to round out the middle of their bullpen, with RHP Tim Dillard and LHP Manny Parra each getting a foot in the door. The pitching looked solid enough to contend for another NL Central title but the offense was spotty at best in exhibition play.

ROTATION:

1. RHP Yovani Gallardo

2. RHP Zack Greinke

3. LHP Randy Wolf

4. RHP Shaun Marcum

5. LHP Chris Narveson

The question mark as the end of camp neared was Marcum, who was set back early in camp by shoulder inflammation that put him two weeks behind the other starters.

Gallardo and Greinke are in essence co-aces, either capable of being the No. 1 pitcher in the rotation. Manager Ron Roenicke is giving the honor to Gallardo because he was the Opening Day pitcher the past two seasons and ended the 2011 season throwing the ball as well or better as any time during his career.

BULLPEN:

RHP John Axford (closer)

RHP Francisco Rodriguez
RHP Jose Veras

RHP Kameron Loe

RHP Marco Estrada

LHP Manny Parra

RHP Tim Dillard

Axford and Rodriguez in essence give the Brewers co-closers, with "K-Rod" slated to handle the eighth inning as he did last season after being acquired from the Mets at the All-Star break. Veras, acquired from Pittsburgh in an offseason trade, was throwing the ball well enough in camp for manager Ron Roenicke to tab him as his seventh-inning pitcher.

Parra and Dillard were battling for the final two spots in the bullpen with the likes of LHP Zach Braddock and RHP Mike McClendon. Parra and Dillard had an edge in part because they are out of minor league options. Estrada is a swing man who fills in for starters when they have health issues, as he did for Greinke and Narveson in 2011.

LINEUP:

1. 2B Rickie Weeks

2. CF Nyjer Morgan

3. LF Ryan Braun

4. 3B Aramis Ramirez

5. RF Corey Hart

6. 1B Mat Gamel

7. SS Alex Gonzalez

8. C Jonathan Lucroy

Manager Ron Roenicke will have to make an adjustment if Hart isn't ready to open the season on time after undergoing minor knee surgery early in camp. In that event, Weeks might move down to the five-hole.

It will be interesting to see how opponents pitch to Braun now that former cleanup hitter Prince Fielder is gone. Ramirez won't be seen as nearly as dangerous, especially to right-handed hitters, and Braun thus could see fewer pitches to hit. Gamel has good pop but Roenicke doesn't want to put pressure on him in his first year as a starter.

RESERVES:

C George Kottaras

INF Cesar Izturis

INF Brooks Conrad

OF Carlos Gomez

OF Norichika Aoki

Barring a late move before Opening Day, Izturis was guaranteed a roster spot as the only legitimate backup to SS Alex Gonzalez. Conrad made himself valuable as a switch-hitter who can play every infield spot except shortstop and also fill in as an outfielder if necessary.

Gomez will start in center against most left-handed pitchers. Aoki was a regular in Japan but it will be difficult for him to find a lot of playing time, barring injuries. Kottaras was more or less the personal catcher for LHP Randy Wolf in 2011 and probably will be so again.






I like the team the way it is heading into the season and believe they will suprise a lot of people.



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donbedouin

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #55 on: March 29, 2012, 02:38:53 PM »
As of right now, I'm picking the Brewers to win the central. Carpenter and Madson's injuries are killer.

Offline packerzrule

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #56 on: March 29, 2012, 04:44:39 PM »
As of right now, I'm picking the Brewers to win the central. Carpenter and Madson's injuries are killer.

You display wisdom beyond your years  :)

Aside from the homer vote, I do agree.  Had both been healthy, it was a veritable crap shoot on what team would come out on top
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donbedouin

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #57 on: March 30, 2012, 02:08:23 PM »
Cubs opening day lineup looks to be:
1. DeJesus 2. Barney 3. Castro 4. LaHair 5. Soriano 6. Stewart 7. Byrd 8. Soto 9. Dempster

Offensive juggernaut

Offline packerzrule

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #58 on: March 30, 2012, 06:06:18 PM »
Cubs opening day lineup looks to be:
1. DeJesus 2. Barney 3. Castro 4. LaHair 5. Soriano 6. Stewart 7. Byrd 8. Soto 9. Dempster

Offensive juggernaut

Believe it or not, I am sad to see Cubs diminished to a shell of their former self.  I was really enjoying what was becoming a solid rivalry between them and the Crew.  Don't get me wrong, they are still division rivals and have always played the Brewers tough, but it seems the clubs are going in opposite directions.

I think you can hang your hat on getting a new GM, a knowledgeable and fundamentally sound skipper and do have some good players in place of which to build the organization on.  I really like that Castro kid - he is the real deal.

Good luck for the season don and I hope you will be successful in bringing some of your comrades over for some good ole fashioned "smack" sessions.

Omnipotent thread?   Ah,  the good old days!

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Offline 44Diesels

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #59 on: March 30, 2012, 06:12:17 PM »
Believe it or not, I am sad to see Cubs diminished to a shell of their former self.  I was really enjoying what was becoming a solid rivalry between them and the Crew.  Don't get me wrong, they are still division rivals and have always played the Brewers tough, but it seems the clubs are going in opposite directions.

I think you can hang your hat on getting a new GM, a knowledgeable and fundamentally sound skipper and do have some good players in place of which to build the organization on.  I really like that Castro kid - he is the real deal.

Good luck for the season don and I hope you will be successful in bringing some of your comrades over for some good ole fashioned "smack" sessions.

Omnipotent thread?   Ah,  the good old days!


And its on !!!!   :)
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donbedouin

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #60 on: March 30, 2012, 08:45:59 PM »
Believe it or not, I am sad to see Cubs diminished to a shell of their former self.  I was really enjoying what was becoming a solid rivalry between them and the Crew.  Don't get me wrong, they are still division rivals and have always played the Brewers tough, but it seems the clubs are going in opposite directions.

I think you can hang your hat on getting a new GM, a knowledgeable and fundamentally sound skipper and do have some good players in place of which to build the organization on.  I really like that Castro kid - he is the real deal.

Good luck for the season don and I hope you will be successful in bringing some of your comrades over for some good ole fashioned "smack" sessions.

Omnipotent thread?   Ah,  the good old days!


Thanks, yeah the Cubs will get good again. Eventually.

Yeah, those Omnipotent Threads were interesting, since for the most part the majority of the posts were at night, all the regulars ended up being all around the same age 16-23. There's a couple of them I still talk to outside of the boards.

Offline packerzrule

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #61 on: March 31, 2012, 08:03:24 AM »
Thanks, yeah the Cubs will get good again. Eventually.

Yeah, those Omnipotent Threads were interesting, since for the most part the majority of the posts were at night, all the regulars ended up being all around the same age 16-23. There's a couple of them I still talk to outside of the boards.

16 - 23?!  Hell,  I have fillings older than that   :)
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BowlorBust2012

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #62 on: April 01, 2012, 06:25:26 PM »
What's up guys.  First post on here, looking forward to some great debates, conversations, and rivalries.  Just to get it out of the way, avid Brewers fan here, "recruited" by Packerzrule from another site we both frequented (insert midget porn jokes here). 

Looking forward to the season getting under way, and HOPEFULLY, another division championship for the team who's team, stadium, and city is devoted to the nectar of the gods.....BEER!

BowlorBust2012

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #63 on: April 01, 2012, 06:26:54 PM »
And as I'm poking around this site getting acquainted..... wth are NGS bucks? 

Offline Fog

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #64 on: April 01, 2012, 10:00:18 PM »
Click on the shop button above buy some items...
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Offline Mercury

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #65 on: April 02, 2012, 03:24:40 AM »
Fog , I don't see any matching chicken feet ( wanted to gift that to BTR), will settle for a chicken pot pie though!
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Offline Mercury

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #66 on: April 02, 2012, 03:26:04 AM »
I shouldn't be here ..a Phillies fan, my bad...Go Phillies Go!!!
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Offline packerzrule

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #67 on: April 02, 2012, 06:11:08 AM »
And as I'm poking around this site getting acquainted..... wth are NGS bucks? 

Not sure.  I think at one time, you could redeem it for merchandise that was purchased by some of the site admins.  I am still learning my way around this site as well so probably wouldn't be that good of a resource for you yet.  In the mean time, you can message 44diesels or greenblood.  They are good people and will gladly help whenever they can.  I'm sure there are others to help as well.
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Offline packerzrule

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #68 on: April 02, 2012, 06:15:44 AM »
PHOENIX -- The Brewers have their entire pitching staff back, and five of their eight positional starters from a team that won a franchise-record 96 regular-season games and the National League Central.

Yet they enter the season as underdogs. Most national prognosticators like the Cardinals, the defending World Series champions, even without Albert Pujols. Or the Reds and their retooled pitching staff. The Brewers appear a solid third.

Perhaps that has something to do with Prince Fielder wearing a Tigers uniform these days.

"That's what it is," said Milwaukee left-hander Randy Wolf. "That's all it is."

Fielder does leave a big hole on the stat sheet: Two hundred home runs in six seasons and change with the Brewers, plus 656 RBIs. A trio of top-four finishes in NL MVP balloting. A fixture in the cleanup spot and at first base.

But while Fielder gets ready for life in the American League, the Brewers enter life without him expecting to contend. General manager Doug Melvin replaced Fielder in the lineup with NL Central lifer Aramis Ramirez, the former Pirates and Cubs third baseman. Replacing Fielder at first base is Mat Gamel, the 26-year-old longtime prospect.

Together, the Brewers argue they could get equal or better production from their corner infielders than they received last season, when third baseman Casey McGehee struggled. They could also improve defensively at those positions, and at shortstop, where Alex Gonzalez takes over for Yuniesky Betancourt.

An improved defense would benefit the pitching staff, with all five starters returning including Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum in contract years. Closer John Axford is coming off a club-record 46 saves, and Francisco Rodriguez returns as baseball's most accomplished setup man.

At least that's the thinking. Whether the formula works will be determined over 162 regular season games, and the Cardinals and Reds and the rest of the NL Central will have their own say.

"I think our team's a pretty good, all-around team," said Greinke, the straight-shooting starter. "We don't have the best pitching staff in baseball, the best bullpen in baseball. We don't have the best anything, but we're solid at everything.

"Our defense is solid; better than last year, I think. Our offense is solid; maybe about the same as last year. We'll see. Everything is slightly above average, across the board, and that's our strength, I think. Nothing's going to carry us, I think."

There are several keys to the Brewers' offseason makeover.

On the pitching side, it could be Jose Veras, the mountainous right-hander acquired from the Pirates for McGehee. He comes off a career year (3.80 ERA, career-high 79 appearances, 27 holds) to fill a seventh-inning role handled capably in the second half of 2011 by veterans LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito. Veras will be the primary bridge from the Brewers' solid rotation to Rodriguez and Axford.

On the offensive side, eyes are on NL MVP Ryan Braun, who is bidding to bounce back from a winter spent beating a drug suspension. His success may depend partly on the hitter behind him, Ramirez, who will not be Fielder, but will be counted on to produce.

Ramirez has batted .300 or better in six seasons, has topped 90 RBIs eight times and 25 or more home runs nine times. The Brewers focused on him early in the offseason and signed Ramirez to a three-year deal.

"They've got the key, and that's pitching," Ramirez said of his decision to sign. "They've got five solid starters."

Greinke sees the Brewers at least seven starters deep. Yovani Gallardo, Greinke, Wolf, Shaun Marcum and Chris Narveson are all back, as is swingman Marco Estrada. The seventh arm is top prospect Wily Peralta, who floundered in 2011 Spring Training, but responded by going 11-7 with a 3.17 ERA between Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville.

"I think our pitching is good enough to [overcome an offensive dip], and I think defensively, we'll save some more runs," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "It's not so much how many you drive in, you just have to score more than they do."

And the offense?

"I think it's basically what we had last year, but we're more solid in the fifth spot if Corey [Hart] is going to be there," Roenicke said. "You subtract Prince from it, but add Aramis, which I like. I like what Aramis is doing.

"We're not going to replace Prince. But there are other things we can do to make up for the loss of what we [got] from him. Aramis is a very good hitter. I really like him in the fourth spot. But it's not fair to say, 'Well, he's got to his 40-some homers.' He's not that guy."

Will he be enough, considering the Brewers' other pieces? The prognosticators don't seem to think so.

By October, we'll know if they were right to focus on Fielder.

"They shouldn't," outfielder Nyjer Morgan said. "But it's all good. We'll fly under the radar at 9,999 feet. We'll go undercover and do what we're supposed to do. We have a solid unit."
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BowlorBust2012

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #69 on: April 02, 2012, 11:55:50 AM »
Typically, I like Mike Hunt (and yes, for those of you outside the Milwaukee area, that is the actual name of one of the major sports reporters for the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel.) but I don't agree with his "in my opinion" piece in this mornings paper on Braun.  Being a Milwaukee guy, he should be helping to put this story to rest, not helping to keep it on the forefront......even if his article was about what he felt Braun should do to put this behind him.  Kind of the chicken and the egg... He wants this behind us, but he writes about putting it behind us, so that puts it directly in front of us again.  I'll copy and paste the article below.  This is from Mike Hunt of JSonline.com




"The Brewers open the season Friday. Along with the usual festivities, St. Louis pitchers are going to pound Ryan Braun inside with impunity unless the leadoff hitters can do a little something about it by getting on base.

Then the Brewers are going to Wrigley Field, where Braun will hear the first of many times just how much opposing fans object to him being free to swing a bat and stand out there in left.

This is just the beginning of the trial by fire that 2012 is going to be for Braun, so you've got to wonder:

Why is the guy making it harder on himself from the start?

Just the other day, after the Los Angeles Dodgers and their supporters were doing their best to simulate regular-season conditions for him, Braun was given yet another chance to explain his side of the story regarding Major League Baseball's only positive-drug-test overturn.

"It's over, man," he said. "I'm not going to back into it. It's not good for baseball, it's not good for us, it's not good for me, it's not good for anybody."

And that would have been an ideal way for Braun to have ended that portion of the interview.

Instead, he went on for another couple of hundred words, revisiting the shadowy tones with which he occasionally tints his speech whenever the topic arises. Such as . . . "The people that are close to me - my friends, my family - know the truth."

You can appreciate that Braun is willing take questions, however repetitive and occasionally pointless they have become. Yet, how it is helping him to respond in such a way is beyond me.

He will have enough problems besides not hitting in front of Prince Fielder anymore. Why compound the challenge to come by allowing his critics to jump all over his story as if it were a hanging curveball?

By being so actively evasive and coy about a story that somehow needs to be put to rest, Braun is only giving his detractors more ammunition to assume he's hiding something.

It is almost as if Braun wants "the real story" as he perceives it to emerge, but not from him. He has already floated the conspiracy theory, but so far nothing has stuck to the person who handled his urine sample. In fact, that line of defense is looking less relevant with the passage of time.

As well as Braun handled himself at his first news conference, in retrospect maybe he would have been better off by not mentioning others at all.

So unless a lawsuit is going to be filed by Braun, what harm would come from him telling the story as he sees it? It's true, no matter what he says, the verbal firestorms that are about to emanate from Wrigley and beyond won't be quelled, no matter what Braun says.

Still, he's down to two choices with this episode. Say nothing at all or completely open up in an effort to explain there was more to his exoneration than a third arbitrator allowing him to avoid a 50-game suspension on a technicality.

Braun said he was "tempted" to reveal more, but he is not doing so for concern that it would cause an even bigger story. He also said that full disclosure on his part "really wouldn't do any good."

Unless he's got something to rival alien autopsies at Area 51, I'm not sure how the story could get bigger than it will be next Monday in Chicago, where the ears of baseball will be gathered to hear the reaction from one of the Brewers' biggest rivals.

A simple explanation from Braun might even help.

As for no good coming from Braun opening up, Brewers fans, who, for the most part are prepared to support him unconditionally, would still like to hear what he has to substantively say on the matter. It is possible some good could come from that."

Offline packerzrule

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #70 on: April 02, 2012, 12:02:53 PM »
unfortunately,  stories like this are going to follow Braun around throughout the season - especially in the local papers of the teams the Brewers play against

Braunie needs to stay focused and have just an "average" year to shut the naysayers up.
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donbedouin

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #71 on: April 02, 2012, 08:14:39 PM »
I need to find some Cub fans for here fast or else I'm going to get overwhelmed with Brewer talk :P

Offline packerzrule

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #72 on: April 02, 2012, 08:58:41 PM »
I need to find some Cub fans for here fast or else I'm going to get overwhelmed with Brewer talk :P

Get some of those rat bastages,  um I mean friends of yours over here brother so we can have some spirited banter   lsab
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Offline packerzrule

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #73 on: April 03, 2012, 11:08:36 AM »
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The reigning Miss America will throw a ceremonial first pitch before the Brewers' Opening Day game, part of festivities announced by the club on Monday.

Milwaukee's season opener is Friday against the Cardinals at Miller Park. Yovani Gallardo is scheduled to throw his first pitch at 3:10 p.m. CT.

First, Laura Kaeppeler, a native of Kenosha, Wis., will throw out the first pitch and Joseph Attanasio, the father of Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio, will follow tradition by singing the national anthem. Kaeppeler will return to perform God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch.
The Miller Park lots will open at noon on Friday, and ballpark gates will open two hours before the first pitch.

Consistent with recent years, the Brewers have arranged for overflow parking at Wisconsin State Fair Park for Opening Day. In the likely event that Miller Park lots reach capacity, fans may take the 84th St. exit from I-94 and enter through gate No. 7. From there, they will see signage and staff directing them to the parking area. A $15 fee will cover vehicle parking, and shuttle services are free. Shuttle services are scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. CT and will run until approximately 90 minutes after the game.

Tickets for the home opener are sold out. Limited seating remains for Saturday's game and tickets are available for Easter Sunday's game against the Cardinals.
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Offline packerzrule

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Re: NL Central
« Reply #74 on: April 04, 2012, 11:41:33 AM »
PHOENIX -- On the first day of batting practice during his winter of discontent, the most talked-about player in baseball broke three windshields. Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun was hitting at Pepperdine University, where cars park in a lot over the left-field fence at their own risk. One unlucky Southern Californian was still in the driver's seat when Braun's baseball arrived.

That was in early February, and even if Braun's Cactus League stat line doesn't show it, his Brewers coaches and teammates have been insisting all spring that Braun brought the same power show to Spring Training. After watching from afar as Braun won the National League MVP Award, then fought -- and won -- an appeal of a drug suspension, those allies are convinced it will be business as usual come Opening Day.

"Have you seen his BPs?" Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said, using the universal shorthand for batting practice. "They're incredible."

Whether Braun turns his quality BPs into quality at-bats under the bright lights of the regular season will go a long way in determining whether the Brewers repeat as champions of the NL Central. They have essentially the same pitching staff but are missing Prince Fielder at the heart of the batting order. Braun is more pivotal a player than ever.

So on a sunny March morning at Maryvale Baseball Park, we watched Braun take batting practice.

Round 1 is about right field. Braun lines four straight pitches the opposite way to the gap, where Brewers pitchers mingle under the late-morning sun.

Rounds 2 and 3 are line drives to all fields. Third-base coach Ed Sedar's first pitch is wide and Braun takes it -- something he does at least once in every round -- then hits the next three pitches to right field, center and then left. Finally, on the final pitch of Round 3, Braun hammers a pitch over the left-field fence, where a lone guy with a baseball glove shags home runs.

In Round 4, that guy is busy. Braun hits three deep drives in one stretch, two that clear the left-field wall and one that strikes the center-field wall, 400 feet from home plate.

"He has as much power as ever," said right fielder Corey Hart, Braun's closest friend on the team.

"He's been the same to me -- still hitting the ball great in BP," second baseman Rickie Weeks said. "It's hard to ask anybody to repeat an MVP season, but I have no doubt that he's going to come out, play hard and have another great year."

Said catcher Jonathan Lucroy: "I guarantee you, when the bright lights come on, he's still Ryan Braun."

Braun has his eye on those bright lights.

"I'll be ready on April 6," he said.


So will the rest of us  :)
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