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Marc Newfield is the perfect Brewer: young, talented and not
eligible for arbitration. The 24-year-old leftfielder is going
to be an important player in Milwaukee for years to come,
provided he makes it past July 31. That date--the last day to
trade players without securing waivers--has been a dicey one for
Newfield. On July 31, 1995, the Mariners shipped him and
reliever Ron Villone to the Padres for pitcher Andy Benes, whom
Seattle needed for its pennant push. Then last July 31, with San
Diego in the National League West race, Newfield, Villone and
pitcher Bryce Florie were swapped for Milwaukee slugger Greg
Vaughn. "Being in the wrong place at the wrong time on two
teams," says Newfield. "They were two teams that needed to win
now, and they went out and got veterans. Being traded for guys
like Benes and Vaughn is a compliment."

This year the Brewers are making their own push to win, and they
figure that Newfield can help them do just that, even though he
has only 614 big league at bats. He has crossed over from being
a prospect to what Milwaukee general manager Sal Bando calls an
untouchable. "Marc is the kind of guy we're all about," Bando

Newfield impressed the Brewers not only with his numbers--he hit
.307 and drove in 31 runs in 49 games with Milwaukee--but also
with how he handled himself in the late innings. He beat the
Twins with a 12th-inning homer, crushing an outside pitch to the
opposite field, and he foiled Indians closer Jose Mesa in the
11th with a two-out single that drove in a runner from third. "I
knew exactly what he was going to do--try to bust me inside with
a fastball," Newfield says of Mesa. "So I stepped in the bucket
and pulled it. That was a good at bat."

Newfield must continue to work on driving those inside heaters
if he is to develop into the 30-homer man that his size (6'4",
205 pounds) suggests he could be. He also is an average fielder
who has difficulty going back on balls, frailties he discusses
as disarmingly as another flaw--one that didn't wind up in an
advance scout's report but on a police blotter.

On Sept. 27, as the Brewers were about to start their final
series of the year, against the Tigers, Newfield, from
Huntington Beach, Calif., was arrested at his suburban Detroit
hotel after signing for a courier package that police reports
said contained two ounces of marijuana. "A couple of friends
from home and I were going to have a little so-called party," he
says. "I'd been doing stupid things with my friends in the
off-season when I was in the minors. I deeply regret it. But it
made me smarter. I don't do that anymore."

Newfield, who pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of
possession, spent two days doing community service near Detroit
after Christmas. He shoveled snow for six hours on the first
day. On the second, one of the officers recognized Newfield, so
he wound up signing baseball cards and talking. If he stays
smart at the plate and off the field, the Brewers are betting
that everyone soon will know Newfield.




2B Fernando Vina
Lack of patience led to .342 on-base percentage

3B Jeff Cirillo
Future star batted .325 with 15 HRs and 83 RBIs in 1996

1B John Jaha
First Brewer since Cecil Cooper to hit .300, 30 HRs and 100 RBIs

DH Dave Nilsson
Batted a major-league-leading .359 against righthanders

RF Jeromy Burnitz
At last, a Milwaukee outfielder with a rifle arm

LF Marc Newfield
Potential 30-HR man should provide needed pop in lineup

SS Jose Valentin
Terror on offense (24 HRs, 95 RBIs) and defense (37 errors)

CF Gerald Williams
Just four RBIs in 26 games after being acquired from Yankees

C Mike Matheny
Only nine RBIs after All-Star break last season

Ace Ben McDonald
More hits allowed than IP for first time since rookie season

Closer Mike Fetters
22 of his 32 saves came on the road in '96


Phil Garner, who has a 359-386 record as Brewers manager since
taking over on Oct. 30, 1991, is fifth among active big league
skippers in tenure, behind Tom Kelly (Twins), Cito Gaston (Blue
Jays), Bobby Cox (Braves) and Mike Hargrove (Indians). In the
NFL, NBA and NHL, only four coaches have been in their jobs
longer than Garner: Marv Levy (Bills), Jerry Sloan (Jazz), Marty
Schottenheimer (Chiefs) and Phil Jackson (Bulls).