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Fowler's gift to 'mates fosters camaraderie

HOUSTON -- Astros center fielder Dexter Fowler, who was acquired in a winter trade with the Rockies, bought each of his teammates and members of the team's staff a bottle of Johnnie Walker Double Black scotch whiskey to toast Opening Day on Tuesday.

Fowler placed a note along with each of the bottles in his teammates' lockers that read: "The future of the team is up to us. Thank you for welcoming me to Houston. Cheers to our next steps together. Keep walking."

"Opening Day presents not only a new start for me, but a fresh slate for my teammates and the entire Houston Astro organization," Fowler said. "At this moment, the past is the past. It's the next practice, the next swing, the next run that matters. I gifted my new teammates a bottle of Johnnie Walker Double Black to celebrate this moment, the opportunity to define ourselves by where we are headed, not where we stand."

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said it was a classy touch.

"He's been in the game for a few years, and it's a good bottle of Johnnie Walker," Luhnow said. "And I'm sure at some point I'll enjoy it a little bit. This is such an important time as a community and [for] the fans and organization to rally together and hope for a great season, and it starts today."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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