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WAUKEE -- Dale Sveum had a chance to chat with Bob Uecker, catch up with Rickie Weeks, and talk to Brewers general manager Doug Melvin before Friday's game, his first at Miller Park as the manager of the Cubs.
After playing for the Brewers from 1986-91 and then being part of the coaching staff for the last six seasons, Sveum now is on the visitor's side.
"We had a good time playing against him the first series we played in Chicago," Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy said. "I don't expect anything different. I know they're going to come out and battle us and give us a good run like they did last time."
When the two teams played at Wrigley Field April 9-12, the Brewers won three out of four. On Friday, the Cubs and Brewers entered the series tied for last in the National League Central.
For Sveum, it was nice being back on familiar turf.
"The past is the past now," he said Friday. "It seems weird that you're not part of it anymore, especially when you come to this stadium.
"I spent a lot of years in this city and the old stadium and the new stadium," he said. "It's a part of you, there's no doubt about it. It's nice to come back for a few days and see everybody."
Both the Cubs and Brewers like to use defensive shifts, so that will make the series interesting.
"It's fun when we have this little chess match back and forth," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "[Sveum] knows what we're going to do, I know what he's going to do. I like it. I like that challenge."
So does Sveum.
"I learned a lot from [Roenicke] last year and respect him a tremendous amount," Sveum said.
Lucroy isn't surprised to see Sveum managing now.
"I've heard guys talk about how he was going to be a manager somewhere eventually, whoever it was going to be," Lucroy said. "And then it ended up being the Cubs. He has that manager mentality.
"Whenever he was on the bench, I'd always hear him talking about in certain situations what he would do," Lucroy said. "That manager attitude was always in there."
Said Roenicke: "He's a good guy, he works hard, he does things the right way. And I enjoy that. I enjoy that way more than somebody that's over on that other side that I may not have that kind of respect for."