MILWAUKEE -- There was nothing like a spot in the postseason to ease Brewers owner Mark Attanasio's pain.Attanasio was absent from the Brewers' champagne celebration in St. Louis because he is recovering from surgery for a torn Achilles tendon. He was forced to watch the final outs of the Brewers'
MILWAUKEE -- There was nothing like a spot in the postseason to ease Brewers owner Mark Attanasio's pain.
Attanasio was absent from the Brewers' champagne celebration in St. Louis because he is recovering from surgery for a torn Achilles tendon. He was forced to watch the final outs of the Brewers' 2-1 win over the Cardinals on Wednesday from home in Los Angeles -- actually in the house next door, in his mother's kitchen.
That victory, coupled with a Dodgers loss later in the night, guaranteed that the Brewers will at worst play in the National League Wild Card Game. When they resumed play on Friday night at Miller Park still aiming to win the NL Central, Attanasio was on hand.
"I am not supposed to put any weight on this," said Attanasio, lifting his walking boot for observers to see, "until mid-October. We're in the eighth inning, [Mike Moustakas] grabs the ball, throws it past first, I'm thinking, 'Oh my God.' And then the Cardinals' pinch-runner tripped, we got him out home, and I leapt off the couch and landed on my feet.
"The doctor wasn't too happy about it. But he said, 'Don't do it again.'"
No promises, Attanasio said.
The Brewers hope they have more celebrations ahead.
"I texted [general manager David Stearns and manager Craig Counsell] after we won, and I said, 'Enjoy the moment and I'll reach out to you guys later,'" Attanasio said. "One of the first things I said [to Stearns] was that it's really quite something, because when I was interviewing him, this was the kind of thing we talked about in the interview. How do we get from where we were, which at that point was pretty low, to today? We never talked about timeline. We talked about process and methodology."
Stearns was hired on Sept. 21, 2015, to replace former GM Doug Melvin, who had already begun the process of trading established players for prospects.
"I told David it was quite an accomplishment," Attanasio said. "We had two losing seasons, and that was it."
Because of his condition, Attanasio couldn't navigate the stairs to his usual seats next to the Brewers' dugout. He planned to watch Friday's game against the Tigers from a suite instead.
He said his pain level, on a scale of 1-10, was about a four.
And what was it Wednesday, when the Brewers clinched?
"I was feeling no pain on Wednesday night," he said.
Ray, Brown honored at Miller Park
Brewers pitching prospect Zack Brown couldn't have picked a better night for his first visit to Miller Park. He was recently named the organization's Minor League pitcher of the year and was honored on the field before Friday's game alongside Minor League player of the year Corey Ray in front of a full house eager to celebrate the team's homecoming.
"It's quite an environment," said Brown, who led Brewers Minor League starters with a 2.44 ERA. "To be here in a pennant race is awesome, and to be here with a teammate you played 140, 150 games with. It's a great time to be together and see the big club working."
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He was talking about Ray, the former first-round Draft pick who bounced back from a disappointing 2017 season to lead the Brewers organization in home runs (27) and stolen bases (37) while ranking second in RBIs (74). He became the first player in the history of the Southern League to lead the league in both homers and stolen bases in a season.
Ray was named Southern League Most Valuable Player. Brown was the league's pitcher of the year despite missing a month with an ankle injury.
Both are likely to advance to the Brewers' new Triple-A affiliate at San Antonio next year. That would put them one step from the Majors.
"I think the challenge is to come back and do better," Ray said.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.