Milwaukee rookies host 'BrewersFest' during team's final road stop of '13
NEW YORK -- Khris Davis and Scooter Gennett will never forget their last stop of their first Major League Baseball season. The rookies arrived Wednesday in the fashion capital that is New York for this final series against the Mets dressed as Rainbow Brite and a diaper baby, respectively.
"It was pretty cold," Davis said, "because I had a short dress and my arms were showing all-out. It was pretty cold on the plane. When we got to New York, it was freezing. We got to walk around a little bit and just enjoy it."
"I don't know why Khris is saying he was cold," Gennett countered. "I was in a diaper and he was in a dress. But yeah, it was cold. Other than the cold, I had a good time. It's always a good time, always fun when the team can kind of get together and have a few laughs. It's also paying our dues. Hopefully next year we'll be in better outfits."
It got even better on Friday, when the pair started the final weekend of the season by hosting a "BrewerFest" sausage cookout for fans on the street at the MLB Fan Cave in Greenwich Village. Curious pedestrians walked up to eat and asked who the guys were wearing Brewers jerseys and aprons. Polka music blasted onto Broadway, and the pair led a loud rendition of fans in "Roll Out The Barrel."
"It's pretty special, just coming out and doing something for them," Davis said. "That's what it's all about. We enjoy them as much as they enjoy us."
"That was a great time," Gennett said. "Tailgating in New York is probably something I'll always remember. Seeing the fans interact is always a special thing, this was a good time to do it."
The Fan Cave is a place where Major League Baseball likes to showcase young players the public needs to know more about, and this was a great example. These are two players who have seized opportunities brought about by adverse circumstances, Davis replacing the suspended Ryan Braun in left and Gennett taking over second after Rickie Weeks' injury.
Since Aug. 5, Gennett is batting .364 (55-for-151), which leads the National League during this stretch. He has a legitimate shot at opening next season at second.
Davis is batting .287 (33-115) with 10 homers and 25 RBIs in just 40 games since rejoining the team on July 23 after Braun was suspended. He has a combined 23 homers this season at the parent and Triple-A levels. The club likes him so much, there is speculation of shifting Braun across the outfield next spring and keeping Davis in left.
"I'd like to hit 30 homers, get to that point and see where it goes," Davis said of his hopes for next season.
Davis signed a baseball on the autograph wall inside, and naturally, he chose the ball right next to one signed in April by "Chris with a C" Davis of Baltimore, as Gennett poked fun at him. Gennett played ping-pong with Brewers fans. Both went down the slide, and then they made the "BrewersFest" video that will be released in coming days at MLBFanCave.com.
These are the final days of a first MLB season for both, and when asked what they have learned most so far from being in the big leagues, both said that keeping the fun in it -- as they did before Friday's Mets game -- is going to be a priority.
"What I've learned is, a lot of guys tell me: 'Don't forget to have fun and don't take it too seriously,'" Davis said. "It's still the same game I played from T-ball to now. You just have to go out there and have fun."
"Once I had the opportunity to get called up earlier in the year and then got sent back down, I think that was a good learning experience for me," Gennett said. "Just getting my feet wet a little bit in the big leagues was the biggest thing. Getting the opportunity to come back and improve on more of an everyday basis of what I can do. I had a good time.
Then Gennett said: "Like Khris said, having fun never stops. I think some people lose sight of that, and usually that's when you're out of the game, when you're not having fun anymore. So really learning what not to do, what to do, and just having fun."
Davis and Gennett have more in common than their rookie status in the Brewers' lineup. They are each the sons of Major League scouts. Davis' father, Rodney, is a Dodgers scout and previous scouted for the D-backs. Gennett's father, Joe, use to scout for the Astros.
"It was pretty special, because growing up, my dad would let me skip school and go to the ballpark or watch a baseball game," Davis said. "I always thought that was cool. Just being around the game and being around players helped a lot with my father being a scout."
"My dad was a scout for a year or two, but he stopped around when I was born to be there for me," Gennett said. "Just the experience of things he learned throughout scouting. The big thing for me was getting down to Florida, being able to play every day and getting better. He realized that. He had the Ohio area for scouting. He realized how tough it was for his players to keep playing and get better. He didn't want that to happen to me, and I think that was instrumental in me being able to play every day."