MILWAUKEE -- A season where the Milwaukee Brewers came within a game of the World Series led to high hopes at spring training, headed into the 2019 season. FOX6 News talked with General Manager David Stearns about the high expectations.
"We love being in this position. This is what you work towards. This is what you work for -- to get to the point where you are entering a season with expectations where people around the team, the organization, the fan base, people around the industry expect us to be good and compete, and we had a flavor of this last year too. We understood going into the season last year that we were expected to compete, and we did, and so I think we have some experience with that. We understand there are going to be bumps in the road. This isn't going to be a smooth process. It never is, but we like our team. We are really proud of where the organization is right now and we can't wait for the season to start."
Mike Moustakas and Craig Counsell
FOX6's Brandon Cruz: "For you to get Mike Moustakas back, it seemed to really lift that clubhouse. What does that do for you when you see that reaction, and obviously, the quality of player that you are getting?"
"We know what Mike means to our clubhouse and we know the impact he had on our clubhouse last year. He's one of those rare players who we think carries a significant amount of weight with other major league players. So to be able to bring him back, have that level of camaraderie in our clubhouse, have a player that not only performs on the field but makes us better off of it is something we want to pursue -- and happy it was able to work out."
FOX6's Brandon Cruz: "What are your thoughts now with what you've seen so far with Yasmani Grandal fitting into this room, and especially with the pitchers?"
"I think Yas is working really hard to get to know our pitching staff and that's all you can ask right now with a new catcher, and he understands that's the most important part of his job this spring is to get to know our pitchers -- understand how they tick, understand what they throw, so that when we get into the regular season, he's ready to go -- and he's done a really nice job of that," said Stearns.
FOX6's Brandon Cruz: "How do you assess where things are when your team has been so close and you don't want to mix things up too much, but you know there are pieces that can make you better? How do you go about that without giving away secrets?"
"What we focus on year in and year out is putting ourselves in position to compete for playoff spots. If we do that consistently, we know we are going to have deep playoff runs and we know we will eventually get to our ultimate goal of getting to and winning a World Series. I spend less time worrying about exactly what is going to happen if we get to the playoffs. I spend more time worrying about, how can we best prepare our team to have another successful season and compete for a playoff run deep in September? And then we will let the chips fall where they fall. But understand that we have a unique opportunity here with our young core that is going to be together for a little while to make this a yearly event where we compete consistently into September and October -- and that's our goal," said Stearns.