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Attanasio on Yelich and overcoming adversity

@Russ_Dorsey1
September 22, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- Watching the 2019 season has been a roller coaster of emotions for all Brewers fans, and club owner Mark Attanasio has felt the ups and downs with all of Milwaukee. Prior to the Brewers' final home game of the season on Sunday against the Pirates, Attanasio met with

MILWAUKEE -- Watching the 2019 season has been a roller coaster of emotions for all Brewers fans, and club owner Mark Attanasio has felt the ups and downs with all of Milwaukee.

Prior to the Brewers' final home game of the season on Sunday against the Pirates, Attanasio met with reporters to discuss a variety of topics, including the season-ending knee injury to Christian Yelich, the team’s wild September and more.

What has it been like for you to watch the 2019 season unfold?

“Going through the season, I’ll be candid, it’s been difficult. We had very high expectancy this year, and for much of the [season], we were not meeting those expectations, and I found it very difficult. Although, I kept reminding myself before batting practice on the Saturday we played the Cubs [on Sept. 7], I was telling [Brewers manager] Craig [Counsell] and [president of baseball operations] David [Sterns] that if we’re any other business -- at that point we had the seventh-best record in the league or something like that -- that’s middle of the second quarter in money management, [and that's] good performance.

"But we have to be in the top third here. So, I just kept encouraging everybody to do what they were good at and to not change anything about the process or the risk taking. Just keep doing what they were doing, and I had confidence it could work out. It’s certainly worked out.”

What were your emotions after Yelich's injury?

“We all talk about how important Christian is to this organization and the city. The outpouring I got -- I mean literally from around the world -- I had people texting me in Europe and you know it was almost like he had, you know, he had died. And I think maybe what had happened is that it felt like a dream had died for this season, and now it hasn’t, and now the strength of the organization is showing through.”

Was there any concern about attendance falling after Yelich's injury?

“The only concern we’ve had this whole time is for his health. And look, I give credit to Craig and the coaches and the players for the way they’ve pulled together. Teams can go in two directions when something like that happens. They can give up or they can pull together and this group has pulled together.”

Are you happy with what looks like will be another strong year of attendance?

“Attendance is going to be at 2.92 million. That’s just a touch under three [million]. That puts us eighth in Major League Baseball. Again, from when I bought the team 15 years ago, I preached not thinking small here, but we are the smallest market in Major League Baseball. So, to be No. 8, I think is a testament to our fan support. We’ve drawn over 2.5 million fans in 12 out of 13 seasons, and not every one of those seasons was like this, so these fans come out even when things are down. We couldn’t have players like, this year we brought Moose [Mike Moustakas] back and Yaz [Yasmani Grandal] in -- players like that without fan support and sponsor support.”

Russell Dorsey is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter @Russ_Dorsey1.