I took a day off work last week to see a Milwaukee Brewers game at Miller Park. My experience watching the Crew lose, 9-2, to Atlanta fully tested the axiom that the worst day at the ballpark beats the best day at work. Access to Secret Stadium Sauce was the deciding factor.
Late in the game, as Trevor Hoffman was padding his fat earned-run average, I headed to the Brewers Team Store in search of a Casey McGehee "shirsey." It's a T-shirt that looks like a jersey, including the player's number and last name on the back. The Brewers' variety mainly comes in navy blue, but powder blue throwback designs are also available.
There were plenty of Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Trevor Hoffman models, but no McGehee. "We kind of start out with the ones we think are going to be stars," I was told.
With eight straight losses going into Wednesday night's game in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee doesn't have many stars right now, and Fielder and Hoffman certainly aren't among them. But McGehee, in his second year with the Brewers, is hitting .322 and leading the team with eight home runs and 35 RBIs (he had 66 in all of 2009). That puts him among the top offensive third basemen in the majors.
Lack of a shirsey isn't the only shame. McGehee is making just $427,500, about 6% of Hoffman's salary. This Tuesday in Cincinnati, McGehee went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs. Hoffman took the mound in the bottom of the ninth and promptly gagged the game away, giving up three runs on four hits.