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Crew's Suter, Claudio don Clemente's No. 21

@AdamMcCalvy
September 9, 2020

Relievers Alex Claudio and Brent Suter, the latter the Brewers’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for engagement in the community, wore No. 21 with the blessing of the Clemente family on Wednesday as Major League Baseball honored the legacy of one of the game’s great humanitarians. In a Q&A

Relievers Alex Claudio and Brent Suter, the latter the Brewers’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for engagement in the community, wore No. 21 with the blessing of the Clemente family on Wednesday as Major League Baseball honored the legacy of one of the game’s great humanitarians.

In a Q&A with MLB.com earlier this week, Suter made the case for retiring No. 21 across the sport, as MLB did for Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 in 1997. Currently, designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach wears No. 21 for the Brewers.

“I think of a barrier breaker, similar to Jackie Robinson,” said Suter of Clemente. “You know, he was really one of the first Latin American ballplayers through the door and had to deal with a lot of prejudice, a lot of people doubting him, a lot of people pushing him away. He just kept [moving] on with courage, on and off the field.

Roberto Clemente Award: Full coverage

“He was an amazing person, was obviously really involved in humanitarian work, cared about his country, cared about all people. He died trying to give aid to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. What a life, what an example. He is really in many ways similar to Jackie Robinson in terms of his impact in the game, and I really think his No. 21 should be retired throughout all of baseball. Too powerful a person, too powerful a humanitarian not to be retired. I would really push for that.”

Sogard sees starts decline

A number of Brewers position players have been dogged by minor injuries of late, but that’s not what has sidelined infielder Eric Sogard. Instead, it’s been purely a baseball decision, based on the season line of .182/.277/.239 for Sogard, who hasn’t recorded a multihit game since Aug. 4.

Luis Urías has emerged recently as the primary third baseman. Entering Wednesday’s series finale in Detroit, Sogard had not logged a single at-bat since Sept. 2.

“Luis and Orlando [Arcia, Milwaukee’s shortstop], to me, have been swinging the bat fairly well,” manager Craig Counsell said. “We’ve had some off-days here, we’ve had some matchups that, to me, didn’t completely favor left-handed hitters, and because of that we’ve gone with Luis and Orlando.

“We’ll look at it as we go. There’s going to be starts for Eric coming up, definitely, with all the games and doubleheaders [on the Brewers’ upcoming homestand]. There’ll be starts, for sure.”

A Cameron connection

Counsell turned 50 earlier this season, and Wednesday brought another life milestone: He managed against the son of a former teammate after Detroit promoted Daz Cameron, the club’s No. 7 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. Cameron’s father, Mike, was a Brewers outfielder from 2008-09 and, with Counsell, was on the team that snapped Milwaukee’s 26-year postseason drought in ‘08.

“I was actually talking to Ryan Braun earlier about it. I think this might be [a first],” said Counsell. “Brauny and I were texting about this one memory. [Daz] was playing, so oftentimes you don’t get to see him, but I do have one kind of distinct memory of him running around center field. He was probably 10, 11, 12 years old and it wasn’t a stretch to think that he’d be a big leaguer at that time. You don’t see kids run around like that in a Major League outfield -- you could just tell it was something pretty special.

“It’s fun and you’re happy for Mike as much as anything. It’s a thrill for a dad, for sure. That’s how I see it. Maybe that shows I’m old, too, that it’s a thrill for a dad more than anything.”

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram and like him on Facebook.