PHOENIX - The Brewers logo has been around all offseason. However, the players and team management weren’t with the lockout. So, one big thing that matters to the players and to management, the return of the fans.
"Just to be able to go out and talk to them, you know see the little kids, give them handshakes and sign some balls," did Kolten Wong. "It’s pretty cool just to get back to that."
When baseball returned from its lockout, so did the fans to the Brewers' facility at American Family Fields of Phoenix where Wong welcomed them with open arms.
"It was awesome," Wong said. "You could see the excitement that they were all back out. And you know there was a lot of excitement from the players too."
Josh Hader, who’d spent the offseason in Arizona, was ready for everything and everyone to come back.
"You get to see all the fans," said Hader. "A lot of people come from up north to enjoy spring training. So, it was kind of nice to have everything back to normal."
There will be some fans of the game who aren’t ready to return and that’s understandable to Christian Yelich.
"I think we always have the fans in mind when we’re playing," said Yelich. "I don’t know too much more that we can do besides play hard and try and put a good product on the field and see what we can do. They’re definitely entitled to their opinion, and they feel a certain type of way, I certainly wouldn’t blame them."
"I totally understand any frustration, you know, any kind of resentful or anger, especially people that are already come out to spring and missed baseball or big league baseball here," said Brent Suter. "So, definitely, I feel you. Sorry about that."
Suter, realizing the lockout did impact some people, found his return to spring training as warm as the weather.
"The crazy amount of positive energy coming from fans was a great surprise today, the last couple of days, just really blown away," Suter said. "But Brewer Nation continues to just be the best."
The relationship between the players and fans is one that remains special and important to the game.
"When you’re away from it and it kind of gets taken from you, you realize how important that is," said Wong. "I tell people everyday sign them balls do what you can because one day no one’s going to want your autograph."