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‘We do stuff outside of here:’ Brewers spend time away from baseball catching WWE Raw

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Most people can’t focus on their jobs every hour of every day. And while it’s a game and many are living a dream, baseball players are the same way.

Almost every day of spring training means a lot of work for the players. They're out early in the morning until mid, late-afternoon. But sometimes -- and in some ways -- they get a chance to get away.

“We do stuff outside of here just because every day we're obviously playing baseball,” said Jacob Barnes, Brewers’ pitcher.

From the day pitchers and catchers report, to the end of the regular season, the players on the Brewers are together for nearly nine straight months.

It's usually fun for guys like Jacob Barnes, but there are things that he and his teammates have to do to keep it that way.

Jacob Barnes

"It's almost like a roller coaster. You know, sometimes you'll be winning eight straight games and sometimes, unfortunately, you go through those four or five-game losing streaks. If you can keep that fun atmosphere and not kind of dwell on the negative stuff and keep it loose in the clubhouse, it goes a long way because there are 162 games in the season," said Barnes.

A big part of enjoying the roller coaster ride called baseball, is taking time away. There are common things players do on all teams.

"Normally, we'll go to dinners or something like that," said Barnes.

"If it's a light day, maybe an open tee time," said Brewers' catcher, Jett Bandy.

For others, like Lorenzo Cain, the fun away from the field comes in the form of responsibility.

"I did take my 3-year-old and 2-year-old to karate session yesterday, which started off great. But then the next thing I know, they're all over the place. So, that's a work in progress as well but it's a lot of fun. So I spend a lot of time with my kids. It's something I enjoy doing, just spending time with them and hanging out with them as much as I can," Cain said.

Yet, the team has a small group that found a different way to unwind.

"I went to the WWE last night...met Braun Strowman. Probably the biggest human being I've ever met," said Brent Suter, Brewers' pitcher.

Brent Suter, Brett Phillips, and Eric Thames were just some of the Brewers who took in WWE's Monday Night Raw for respite.

"It's impressive. I mean, the showmanship is really impressive. These guys are like, they're faking, kind of a lot of the hits -- but when they are coming from the top rope and slamming down on each other, that's not fake. These guys are athletes and they get the crowd involved really well. They do a really good job, an entertaining night for sure," said Suter.

However, Suter isn't ready to claim the WWE as his own.

"I'm actually not the biggest fan," Suter said. "They just invited me as a guest I guess, but there's some guys who like it a lot. A lot of the kids, like the guys' kids like it. Like, Manny Pina was sitting right by us and his son was right into it the whole time. He was almost tearing up when one of the guys lost."

 

But was the experience big enough that he now will spend his Monday night's watching Raw?

"I can't promise that. But I definitely know who they are now," said Suter.

Whether it is the WWE, or playing golf, or just video games, the guys do find ways to get away from baseball before they get right back into the grind.