Who’s on first for the Milwaukee Brewers this season?
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Spring Training is right around the corner, and most people think the biggest issue in Arizona will be Ryan Braun’s performance, but perhaps the most important issue is who’s on first?
The “Who’s on First” comedy sketch became famous in the 1940s — before the Brewers even existed.
“Who’s on First” is a comedy routine made famous by Abbott and Costello. The premise of the sketch is that Abbott is identifying the players on a baseball team for Costello, but their names and nicknames can be interpreted as non-responsive answers to Costello’s questions. For example, the first baseman is named “Who”; thus, the utterance “Who’s on first” is ambiguous between the question (“Which person is the first baseman?”) and the answer (“The name of the first baseman is ‘Who'”).
If only Abbott and Costello knew how relevant their routine would be to the 2014 Milwaukee Brewers.
Since veteran first baseman Cory Hart signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Mariners, the Brewers have been looking for their new first baseman.
A lot of fans were hoping it would be Ike Davis of the Mets — but the “word on the street” is that the Brewers didn’t want to give up any young pitching for the veteran.
So, the Brewers inked two guys to Minor League deals with invites to Spring Training — former Brewers player Lyle Overbay and veteran Mark Reynolds.
Neither move seems to satisfy Brewers fans — especially since Reynolds isn’t a true first baseman — having played a lot of games at third. However, Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin is standing by the moves.
“The signs of Overbay and Reynolds give us a presence — a Major League presence that we didn’t have last year when Cory Hart was out. There’s still gonna be a number of guys playing there, but we have a little more experience there. It may be a position for a few years as we go through this,” Melvin said.
Speaking of the number of men in the mix, Sean Halton got his feet wet with the big club last year with stints at first base, but the thought of beating out the much older and wiser for playing time doesn’t worry him.
“I’m just trying to be there and be competitive. It doesn’t matter where I’m at. I know it’s a focus of a lot of attention, but you just got to focus on yourself,” Halton said.
While chatting with Melvin and skipper Ron Roenicke, they stated the position will most likely be figured out in Spring Training, but Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio seems to have a front runner.
“They’re gonna figure it out in Spring Training. Mark Reynolds has a lot of experience, as does Lyle Overbay and let’s not forget that Juan Fransisco had 18 home runs in 300 at bats last year,” Attanasio said.
Just because Attanasio named Reynolds first, doesn’t mean the job is his. Reynolds says he doesn’t mind — and actually likes the competition.
“That’s the good thing about the situation. I have the chance to win a job, so I’m going to go out and do everything I can and make it hard for the manager to take my name out of the lineup. Veteran leadership is something that is underrated. I’ve been around a lot of older guys that have brought teams along. It’s so underrated. Hopefully we can get some good, knowledgeable guys to get these young guys along,” Reynolds said.
As for who gets the job, Brewers fans will have to wait and see what happens at Spring Training.