Found June 19, 2012 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
MILWAUKEE This moment was what Brett Lawrie had wanted from the beginning, from the day the Brewers had drafted him with the 16th overall pick in 2008. He stood at home plate at Miller Park on Monday night and watched the first pitch go through the strike zone and into the catcher's glove. Then, as the next pitch crossed the plate, Lawrie slammed it into the deepest part of center field, over the outfielder's head and into the stands. A home run in his first major league at-bat at Miller Park? It was better than he could've dreamt the night the Brewers had drafted him, the night he decided he would make it to the major leagues as fast as possible, and no one was going to stop him. But that specific dream for his first at-bat at Miller Park had faded away a long time ago. Nineteen months ago, to be exact. That's when the Brewers traded Lawrie for then-Blue Jays pitcher Shaun Marcum in the midst of serious tension between prospect and management and subtle slights from Lawrie toward his old bosses. It was far from the happiest of breakups for Lawrie and the team that had drafted him. After being drafted as a catcher, he had asked to change positions twice from catcher to second baseman and second baseman to third in order to quicken his path to the big leagues, the goal he had set for himself all along. Brewers' general manager Doug Melvin told ESPN's Jayson Stark at the time that he thought Lawrie felt "we were taking his aggressive personality away from him." Lawrie refused an invite to therespected Arizona Fall League and later detailed to Stark that he "needed a fresh start." "That's the way I felt," Lawrie said on Monday. "At the same time, everyone's different and everyone does things different. But you know, I'm glad where I'm at right now." So the Canadian slugger headed back to his homeland as one of the top prospects in baseball, while the Brewers picked up another pitcher in a rotation that would carry them to the National League Championship Series. It was a trade that, by all accounts, seemed to turn out as a win for both sides an unusual occurrence in a sport so loaded with inconsistencies, failed prospects, and overhyped value. "I think the numbers probably bear that out," Toronto manager John Farrell said on Monday. "Where we were in the turn-over-of-the-roster phase and the need for an accomplished and proven major league starter in the Brewers case, yeah, I think it's very easy to say that it was a win-win situation." Still, the thought of what might have been must have crossed a mind or two during Monday's game, as Lawrie's home run soared over Nyjer Morgan's head in the first inning. After that at-bat, Lawrie barreled the next pitch he saw from Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf, blasting it to the wall in left field for a double. A diving stop and tag even showed a glimpse of why the Blue Jays felt he fit their organization best at third base. For Lawrie though, there were no what-ifs. He tiptoed around questions from the Milwaukee media about his departure from the team that drafted him, careful with each of his words. Asked if part of him, deep down, remains a Brewer, he flatly answered, "No." This night was so different from what he likely thought it would be as a wide-eyed 18-year-old draftee, thirsty for his shot at the big leagues. But to Brett Lawrie now, a 22-year-old starting third baseman with more than 100 games of experience at the major league level, his Miller Park debut was "just another game." He admitted plainly that he felt he had "a better opportunity on the table" to play in Toronto. Having been called up to Toronto's major league roster just nine months after being traded, he nodded when asked if the Blue Jays represented a quicker path to reaching his goal of making it in the big leagues. "I guess it worked out that way," Lawrie said. "You don't really know what's going to happen when you move organizations. You've got a whole new group of guys, a whole new group of management and everything is new. You just kind of have to feel it out and just go play, and I figured if I did that, then things are going to work out for me sooner than later." For Lawrie, things have worked out quite well this season, to the tune of a .289 average, six home runs, and 27 RBI. And while it's easy to look at those numbers and question whether the Brewers made the right decision, Marcum's numbers have been similarly impressive. That's been especially true lately, as the Brewers No. 3 starter hasn't lost in almost a month. He's 5-3 this season with a 3.39 ERA in 13 starts. As he said on June 3, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke doesn't question the Brewers' decision to make that trade in the slightest. "We don't win last year unless we do that," Roenicke said then. "It's a trade-off. If you want to win, you've got to do those things." That trade-off came to an interesting peak, as Lawrie stood at the plate, his Blue Jays down one run to the team that drafted him. The fate of Monday's game was on the 22-year-old's shoulders. Brewers closer John Axford had brought it to a 3-2 count, and as a 98 mph fastball zinged over the plate, Lawrie swung with noticeable power. He missed. Both teams claimed the Lawrie-for-Marcum trade was a positive for both sides, and statistically, that claim can be justified. But in their first meeting since a somewhat messy divorce, the Brewers had bested their former prospect and his new team. And for one night, that seemingly even trade 19 months ago felt like it leaned ever slightly in the Brewers' favor. Follow Ryan Kartje on Twitter.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Report: Thornburg will get start vs. Jays

After some secrecy from Brewers manager Ron Roenicke on Monday night as to who would take Shaun Marcum's vacated start Tuesday, it appears, according to his high school baseball team's Twitter account, that big-time prospect Tyler Thornburg will take the hill for Milwaukee against the Blue Jays. "Tyler Thornburg, Riverwood '07, 1st major league start Tues. June...

Ailing elbow causes Marcum to skip a start

MILWAUKEE Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Shaun Marcum, who was set to face off against his former team Toronto in Tuesday night's game, will miss his scheduled start due to tightness in his elbow, according to a tweet from the Brewers. "Very disappointing," manager Ron Roenicke told reporters on Monday. "He has pitched great for quite a few starts now. He's...

Thornburg simply runs out of gas in debut

MILWAUKEE Tyler Thornburg hadn't pitched in ten days and was on his way to play in the Southern League All-Star game before getting the call up to start for the Brewers on Tuesday against Toronto. So he turned his car around after a five-hour drive to Knoxville, made it to an airport, and made it to Milwaukee in a whirlwind, all the while anticipating his first-ever major league...

Brewers 80′s Flight Was Really Stupid

Ryan Braun doing Risky Business for the Milwaukee Brewers 80′s Flight last week = a total fail. Sometimes athletes or teams try to be “cute” of “funny” and it just doesn’t work out. As an aside, Braun should avoid all outfits of the like. It’s easy to see the ‘roids shrunk his package…..

Braun slips to fourth amongst NL outfielders

After initially ranking among the top three in All-Star voting for National League outfielders, Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun slipped to fourth place in the latest voting update, behind Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, who overtook him for the third spot. At time of the latest update, Braun, who started the last four All-Star games for the NL squad, trailed Cabrera by 25,182 votes...

2012 Fantasy Baseball Closer Report – Week 12

With two blown saves last week, Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford has blown as many saves (three), as he did in each of the last two seasons. The main culprit has been control issues which he had in the minor leagues but had not shown up in his first two major league seasons. With 17 walks through 25 1/3 innings of work, he is putting too many men on base to hold a one-run...

Drabek to have Tommy John surgery

Toronto right-hander Kyle Drabek will undergo Tommy John surgery Tuesday and miss the remainder of the season. Drabek felt a ''popping sensation'' in his elbow last week during an outing against the Washington Nationals. Preliminary tests showed Drabek suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) and a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews confirmed the diagnosis...

Blue Jays' Drabek will have second Tommy John surgery

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Kyle Drabek will undergo his second Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, manager John Farrell said on Monday. "Based on the multiple evaluations, I think this was the only option," Farrell told MLB.com. "So in some ways, because of the extent of the injury, it was pretty much taken out of his hands. And the proper road and really best course...

Blue Jays 6, Phillies 2

TORONTO -- Colby Rasmus hit a home run and had three RBIs as the Toronto Blue Jays completed a sweep of the visiting Philadelphia Phillies with a 6-2 win on Sunday. Rasmus also brought in Jeff Mathis for Toronto's last run of the afternoon in the seventh inning, but an error was assessed on the play when right fielder Hunter Pence bobbled the ball so no RBI was awarded. Making...

Toronto beats Phillies to finish of a sweep

TORONTO - With just four wins thus far in June, the next few weeks could determine whether the Philadelphia Phillies are buyers or sellers as the trade deadline at the end of July approaches. Colby Rasmus hit a home run and had three RBIs as the Toronto Blue Jays (34-32) completed a sweep of the visiting Phillies with a 6-2 win on Sunday. The Phillies are heading home for a...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.