Lawrie returns to face team that drafted him

Lawrie returns to face team that drafted him

Lawrie returns to face team that drafted him
MILWAUKEE -- Once one of the Brewers brightest young prospects, third baseman Brett Lawrie played his first Major League game at Milwaukee's Miller Park on Monday as a member of the Blue Jays. He hit leadoff for Toronto and homered in his first at-bat.

"It's been kind of a wild road, but I finally got here," he said.

Lawrie was traded to Toronto in late 2010 as part of the deal that brought starter Shaun Marcum to Milwaukee. He spent two seasons in the Brewers' Minor League system after being selected by the team in the first round of the 2008 Draft.

Although Lawrie and his former organization didn't leave on the best of terms, he said he doesn't have any extra motivation for this week's Interleague series. Instead, he's only focused on winning, which doesn't surprise those who know him.

"He wants to be known as a guy who plays his butt off, and he doesn't need everybody to like him," said Brewers infielder Taylor Green, a Double-A Huntsville teammate in 2010. "That doesn't come into the equation for him. He just wants to win games, and he plays the game unbelievably hard."

Blue Jays manager John Farrell said the trade that brought Lawrie to Toronto was a win-win for all involved, but he's "excited" to have the 22-year-old third baseman on his team. And even if Lawrie won't admit to being even a little bit more excited than usual for a three-game series against the Brewers, Farrell said he wouldn't blame him for giving a little extra.

"You see it many times over," Farrell said. "The players come back to play for the first time in the city in which they were drafted, even though he never played at the big league level here, there's going to be some emotions that run because of that."

For Lawrie, a native of British Columbia, he's simply happy to have realized his Major League dream with the Blue Jays.

"I think it was just a good opportunity for me to begin my career, and thankfully I got an opportunity to do it as a Canadian and do it in Toronto," Lawrie said. "I couldn't be happier where I am right now, and everything went pretty smoothly."