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News » Many Brewers' drives snared by traffic jam

Many Brewers' drives snared by traffic jam

Many Brewers' drives snared by traffic jam
The Milwaukee Brewers' late arrival home from San Francisco early Friday led to an unexpected spectacle later in the day in the traffic jams surrounding Miller Park before the home opener:

Angry fans cursing out players as they tried to get to the park on time for the 3:05 p.m. start against the Chicago Cubs.

"It took me an hour and 20 minutes to get here from New Berlin," said infielder Casey McGehee, one of a number of players who tried to drive around cars waiting in line for the parking lots to open only to be greeted with hand gestures and colorful language. "This one lady rolled her window down and was screaming at me."

Because of the team's late return from the West Coast, manager Ken Macha allowed players to report to the ballpark later than normal to get some rest. The problem with that plan was that parking lots did not open until 11 a.m.

The long lines of sitting vehicles made it difficult for many players to get into the ballpark at the time they expected. Three hours before game time, just five players were in the home clubhouse: Craig Counsell, Ryan Braun, Todd Coffey, Chris Duffy and Bill Hall.

Counsell, a Milwaukee native well-known around town, said impatient drivers figured he was trying to cut to the front of the line.

"I tried going around some cars and they moved over to cut me off," the veteran infielder said. "They thought I was butting in line."

Some players said they were tempted to abandon their vehicles by the side of the road and walk the final few blocks to the ballpark.

"Panic mode sets in when you can see the field and you don't think you're going to get there," outfielder Brad Nelson said.

Chicago players reported no real difficulties getting to the park because they arrived earlier to take batting practice on the field. The Brewers skipped batting practice because of their short night.

The Brewers were not thrilled with a schedule that had them playing the home opener on little rest while the visiting club had been in town for more than a day. After playing their game Wednesday night in Houston, the Cubs traveled to Milwaukee and had the entire day off here Thursday.

Nothing that an exhilarating ninth-inning victory couldn't fix.

"It was big for us to find a way to win today, just with the travel and getting home late last night, not getting much sleep, dealing with everything we dealt with," said Braun, whose ninth-inning grounder to short scored Rickie Weeks with the winning run.

"It was really big for us to get the win tonight."

And also nice to get to the ballpark in time to play.

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 11, 2009

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