MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire once said of a young Carlos Gomez, "He irritates people, sometimes me." But this week at Target Field, with Gomez back as a National League All-Star, it was all love.
Gomez heard cheers from fans wearing Twins gear as he traveled through the streets of Minneapolis in a pregame parade before playing in his second consecutive All-Star Game hosted by a former team. Last year, the game was at Citi Field in New York.
"I have a lot of fans wearing my jersey and screaming at me, like, 'We miss you! Come back here!'" Gomez said. "That's really fun to hear that from the fans. Tonight, I have the opportunity to start, and they can see me again."
Those fans voiced their support again during pregame introductions, giving Gomez an ovation rivaled among NL players only by local product Pat Neshek of the Cardinals. Gomez was 0-for-2 in the NL's 5-3 loss to the American League.
He was asked to pick a highlight of this All-Star experience.
"The good part is to come and they mention my name and I run to the line and the good crowd cheers for me," Gomez said. "It's really special, especially when I have my family in the stands."
Crew All-Stars confident in second-half turnaround
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Brewers' All-Stars expressed little doubt Tuesday that the team's pre-All-Star stumbles were not a sign of trouble ahead.
"You don't play good for 80 games and then because of a week or week and a half where you're not playing the way you should, you're not a good team anymore," third baseman Aramis Ramirez said. "We're pretty good. I think we still have the [second-] best record in the National League.
"That's not a fluke. We played well for three months. We have a good team."
The Brewers lost 11 of 12 games before whipping the Cardinals, 11-2, on Sunday to maintain first place in the NL Central. When the team resumes play Friday in Washington, D.C., it will be one game ahead of the Cardinals, 1 1/2 games over the Reds and 3 1/2 games over the Pirates.
"We played pretty brutal those two weeks," said catcher Jonathan Lucroy. "Obviously, we weren't competing at the level we should be at. If we can get back to that high level like the last game we played on Sunday, playing at a high level and having good at-bats, our starters going out there and doing what they do, we'll be OK. Every team has a tough spot in the year. Every one."
He added: "Adversity is good for you."
A loss Sunday would have bumped the Brewers out of first place for the first time since they were 2-2 on April 4. Though 2 1/2 months remain in the regular season, that would have been significant, according to center fielder Carlos Gomez.
"That game we won against the Cardinals meant a lot to us," Gomez said. "To finish in first place in the first half is a really good feeling. When we come back in the second half against Washington, everybody will be relaxed, everybody will be fresh. I think we will do a better job."
It was a good time for an All-Star break.
"Like I've said before, one day for us is like a week for regular people," Gomez said. "We [the All-Stars] only have two days off, but the rest of the team had four days. Everybody will come fresh with more adrenaline and enthusiasm. I think it's going to be fun for us."
Segura on teammates' minds at All-Star Game
MINNEAPOLIS -- Because the All-Star Game prevented him from attending in person, Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez said he sent a surrogate to Monday's funeral in the Dominican Republic for shortstop Jean Segura's infant son who passed away suddenly last week.
Ramirez has served as a mentor to Segura since the Brewers acquired the latter in a trade two years ago, and planned to reach out personally in the next day or two.
"You just have to move on, but, you know, it's tough," Ramirez said. "I can't even imagine what that's like. Hopefully I never have to experience something like that. It's just tough. What else can you say?"
Segura can remain on the bereavement list for five more games. He has been told to return when and if the time feels right.
"We're just trying to support him as best we can," catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "It's a really bad, tough situation that I would never wish on anybody. Brutal, man. There's nothing, really, you can do about it, just when he comes back take him in and support him as best we can. There's nothing you can do or say that will fix it. Nothing."