Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 6/19/12
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Family of deceased Kyle Field construction worker awarded $53 million by jury

Chris Bosh to miss All-Star Game with calf injury, Al Horford to replace

NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports bringing sports betting in to the light

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia becomes first player ever banned by MLB for PEDs

Eight bold predictions for NBA All-Star Weekend

Iowa athletics department under federal civil rights investigation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

2016 Naismith Hall of Fame finalists announced

Hasselbeck ‘strongly leaning towards playing’ in 18th season

Pitchers to wear new protective headwear in spring training

Klay Thompson: Warriors will shoot for all-time wins record

Bryce Harper 'squashed' beef with Jonathan Papelbon

WWE has record revenue despite perceived troubles

Cardiff City owner tells team to shoot more, because ugly men can marry beautiful women

Report: American Pharoah will make $35 million as stud in 2016

City hosts Tottenham in Valentine’s Day clash

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

Brock Osweiler hopes to remain part of ‘very special’ Broncos

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker