MILWAUKEE -- This trip to Milwaukee is more than just another three-game series for Mariners manager Scott Servais. It’s also a return home.
Servais was born in La Crosse, Wis., and grew up about three hours west of Milwaukee in the small town of Coon Valley, Wis. The Mariners’ skipper says his hometown had about 500 people when he lived there but joked the town has grown "significantly" to around 750.
“We got a few [family members] in today, a whole bunch more tomorrow and then it’s La Crosse day on Thursday," Servais said. "There’s one day a year the people of La Crosse get excited and come to a Brewer game, and they’ve decided to pick it when I was here managing the team. There are about 20-25 charter buses.”
Servais played in Milwaukee nine times during his 11-year Major League career and did damage in his hometown, hitting .308 with an impressive .923 OPS in eight games at County Stadium.
“I was a lifelong Brewer fan, and the only place I had seen a game was old County Stadium before I got to the big leagues,” he said.
“I remember one time, my mom decided we were going to stay at the visiting team hotel. At the time, the California Angels were playing when they had Reggie Jackson. You try to time it when the players might be around and we’d be in the elevator with some of the players, and Reggie Jackson walks in. I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh my God, this is the coolest thing ever.’ Now the security's much tighter than it ever was before, but the things you remember as a kid.”
Haniger improving, ramping up activities
Outfielder Mitch Haniger traveled with the team and has started to increase his baseball activities over the last few days. Haniger went on the 10-day injured list with a ruptured testicle that required surgery on June 7.
Servais noted before Tuesday’s opener vs. the Brewers that Haniger would continue to build up his activity as the week goes along.
“He’ll be out in the outfield a little bit,” Servais said. “He’ll start working toward taking BP.”