Brewers GM David Stearns on being #1 in the NL Central: “We have a lot guys who care about winning”

Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns

MILWAUKEE — Many Milwaukee Brewers fans saw this season as another rebuilding year, but instead, a group of young players is leading the Central Division!

Brewers GM David Stearns is offering his take on the season so far, and what it means for the team and the organization to be in first place at the All-Star break.

“Well I think first and and foremost, it shows us that we are going in the right path. We are going in the right direction, and we’ve made real strides over the last year-and-a-half in terms of the young talent we have with the organization, and we are seeing that young talent perform at the Major League level, and ultimately that’s what we are here to do. We are here to win games at the Major League level. A lot of these guys have taken steps forward, and so it’s been a great first half, an exciting first half. We have a lot of work left to do. You don’t get any prizes or awards for being in first place at the All-Star break. We need to keep this going until we get to October, but we think we have the talent to do it and it’s exciting to see this group progress,” Stearns said.

MILWAUKEE, WI – JULY 16: Orlando Arcia #3 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a single in the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Park on July 16, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

FOX6’s Brandon Cruz: “Obviously you have expectations in February when camp starts and then as the season progresses. Where are you along the lines of expectation when this started to where you guys are at the break?”

“Well our expectations are pretty constant. We expect our team to continue to grow. We expect this young nucleus of players to continue to gel, and that’s both at the Major League level and the minor league level, and those are our goals entering the season and those goals remain the same. Now when we’re at this point in the season and we are in first place, you do begin to look at what that could mean going forward — and if we continue to play at this competitive level and continue to play this well, there is no reason why this can’t continue at the same time. We have a long way to go, and we are very cognizant of staying focused on each and every day and keeping the expectations that we go out we play hard today and we improve — and as long as we do that, I think we will end up in a good spot,” Stearns said.

MILWAUKEE, WI – JULY 14: Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a grand slam in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Park on July 14, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

FOX6’s Brandon Cruz: “When you were putting this plan together and you took over as the GM, did you envision this team jumping out this quickly and getting to this success? Not thinking you wouldn’t have success, but to the point where you guys are already this season?”

“I didn’t know, and I think I was very honest about — I didn’t know how fast or slow a process like this could take. We’ve talked all along since my opening press conference, Craig and I first discussed our philosophy for this team — that we weren’t going to put any limits on any team and any year, and we said that last year and it was true, and we certainly said that this year and it was true, and this is why — because you never know when a group of players is going to come together. Young players especially are going to take that step forward in their careers and we’ve had a number of young players take those steps forward. When you have multiple players doing it at the same time, when you have a good energy in your clubhouse, when you have players that believe in themselves, it can lead to some really special things,” Stearns said.

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 08: Domingo Santana #16 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a threee run home run against the New York Yankees in the first inning during their game at Yankee Stadium on July 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

FOX6’s Brandon Cruz: “We talked in spring training, and one of the things you said was how this group was already coming together, and you said there was already a connected group. Now, as the All Star break is coming to an end, they seem even more connected than ever. Is that hard to do?”

MILWAUKEE, WI – JUNE 16: Eric Thames #7 of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates after hitting a walkoff home run against the San Diego Padres during the tenth inning at Miller Park on June 16, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Brewers won 6-5 in ten innings. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

“I think some of it is certainly due to the way our coaching staff has worked on the culture of our Major League clubhouse, and some of it is due to the quality of people from a player perspective, that we have in there. We have a lot guys who care about winning. We have a lot of guys who care about each other, and when you have those things and it comes together and you combine that with talent, it can lead to some really nice things on the field and that’s what we’ve seen,” Stearns said.

MILWAUKEE, WI – JUNE 16: Eric Thames #7 of the Milwaukee Brewers (C) is dunked after hitting a walkoff home run against the San Diego Padres during the tenth inning at Miller Park on June 16, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Brewers won 6-5 in ten innings. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)