'Mi amor': Adames kisses, sweet-talks bat

The Brewers shortstop was willing to try anything to break out of his slump

July 26th, 2021

MILWAUKEE -- Willy Adames, bat whisperer.

Stuck in his first hitting slump since coming to the Brewers in a May trade with the Rays, Adames took to sweet-talking his beloved baseball bat in the early innings of Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the White Sox at American Family Field.

“My love, my love, let’s go, let’s go. Wake up,” Adames pleaded in Spanish, cradling the bat and kissing it.

Adames happened to be mic’d up for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball’s first visit to Milwaukee since 2013, so fans got a glimpse of the lengths to which players will go to snap a slump. The 25-year-old shortstop leads the Brewers in every hitting category since joining the team on May 22, but after going hitless in his first two at-bats on Sunday, he was 0-for-15 to begin Milwaukee’s homestand.

Then, a good break. Adames’ infield grounder in the sixth inning, initially ruled an error, was changed to an infield hit. The bats must have been listening.

It’s not the first time Adames has provided dugout entertainment. On Saturday night, he climbed the dugout steps and riled up Milwaukee’s first sellout crowd in two years until Rowdy Tellez took a curtain call after his second home run of the night. And the night before that, Adames stopped Tyrone Taylor as the rookie outfielder went to the plate with the bases loaded and told him, “This is going to be your moment.” Taylor hit his first career grand slam.

“Willy’s the man, man,” Taylor said.

“Willy's thinking about others as much as he's thinking about himself, and to me, that's leadership,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That's a great example.”

A few weeks earlier in Pittsburgh, Adames spooked his skipper when he slid down the dugout rail after hitting a home run in a win over the Pirates. It was part of an 11-game winning streak that propelled Milwaukee to its perch atop the National League Central.

“My heart skipped a beat, but it was impressive. It was creative,” Counsell said. “I'm rolling with Willy, man. He seems to have the right answer for a lot of things right now.”

Now, if the bats would just start listening to him again.