MARYVALE, AZ -- Green Bay Packers fans can relate to the idea that defense wins championships. The Milwaukee Brewers are well aware of that as well, and they feel they have that side of things covered this baseball season.
The Milwaukee Brewers were a lot of fun to watch last season, whether you liked hitters or pitchers, but if you liked fielders, the team came up lacking, particularly in the post-season. There is more of a defensive component to this year's roster, especially on the left side of the infield, where Aramis Ramirez projects as a slight upgrade at third base, and Alex Gonzales figures to be a major upgrade at shortstop.
"Gonzo and myself, we're veterans. We know what we have to do. I don't know who's going to play first. They mentioned a few names, but I don't really know. But Rickie, even though he's young, he's got five years in, so we should be okay," Ramirez said.
"I think we're a lot better defensively. People say we're a little better. I think we're a lot better defensively," Shaun Marcum said.
As someone who pitches to contact at times, Marcum is particularly excited about the acquisition of Gonzales, who has been a standout leather man for more than 13 years in the Major League.
"(The improved defense provides) a huge (psychological boost). I got to play with Alex in Toronto a few years ago, and it seemed like that guy got to every ball and made every play, so any time you can have those guys behind you defensively, and have that confidence that if you make a mistake and they hit on the ground, one of those guys is going to get it, that's a huge bonus for us," Marcum said.
"We got a great third baseman, a great second baseman, and I think we got one of the best infields in the National League. Everybody thinks you only make plays with great hitting. I think you can win games when you play great defense," Gonzales said.
The Brewers need only flash back to last year's playoffs to see that you can certainly lose games when you don't play great defense.