MILWAUKEE Norichika Aoki could feel his muscles aching, day after day, as the middle of June wore on during his rookie season in America. He was tired -- there was no disputing that -- but for the first time in his career, he didn't know what to do about it.
Aoki had been one of the most consistent players in Japan before signing with the Milwaukee Brewers in the offseason. A three-time batting champion in his native country, Aoki is one of just four players in Japanese baseball history to amass more than 200 hits in a season, an exclusive club that includes Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki.
Aoki was a model of consistency in Japan. And since becoming an everyday right fielder in the Brewers' lineup in May -- making a jump to the American game that many have struggled with in the past -- Aoki had given that same impression. But as the Brewers prepared to face the Blue Jays on June 20 at Miller Park, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke started to notice a change in Aoki.
"I think he's run ou...