Natural wonder: Brewers manager relaxes by river
Looking to relax before Game 5 of the NL division series, Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke took in a little nature near Miller Park.
After the team worked out Thursday, Roenicke stopped by the Menomonee River, which runs just east of the stadium, and talked to a fisherman, who didn't recognize the first-year manager.
"I walked over and asked him a couple of questions and walked down to the river and watched the big old salmon swimming around,'' Roenicke said. "And I stayed there for a while. It was pretty cool.''
The river has a walkway next to it named the Hank Aaron Trail.
"There's salmon all over that river,'' he said.
After leaving the river, Roenicke went home and had dinner with his wife, Karen.
"We all understand what this game means,'' the manager said before Game 5 against Arizona.
Roenicke and the Brewers advanced to the NL championship series with a 3-2 victory in 10 innings Friday.
YOU WERE ALWAYS ON MY MIND: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa counted down the outs Detroit had remaining against the New York Yankees in Game 5 on Thursday night.
He didn't just do it in his head; he did it on Tigers manager Jim Leyland's phone.
"I was watching the game closely,'' La Russa said before St. Louis played Philadelphia in Game 5 of their NL division series Friday night. "And when they went to the bottom of the seventh, I left him a message on his phone, 'You've got nine outs to go.' Then 'six.' Then 'three.' He called me back around 2 or 3 in the morning, so we talked a little bit ago.''
Leyland and La Russa are close friends, and they had something in common. The Tigers knocked off the top-seeded team in the American League. The Cardinals were trying to do the same against the Phillies in the NL.
"The home club, there are a lot of expectations,'' La Russa said. "The Yankees have expectations, the Phillies win 100 games. They have a great club, representing the league, and that's a tough burden.''
PATCHWORK: Joaquin Benoit's appearance in Game 5 of the AL division series Thursday night hit a rough patch before he even threw a pitch.
Benoit entered with one out and one on in the seventh inning wearing a large bandage on his left cheek that covered an infected ingrown hair. After the reliever finished his warmups, Yankees manager Joe Girardi approached plate umpire Ted Barrett and told him he thought it would be distracting to hitters.
"You know, I'm not trying to play a mind game or anything, but it was pretty big band-aid,'' Girardi said. "It's hard not to look at.''
Barrett had Benoit remove the bandage before facing his first batter.
"It was a weird situation for me. I don't make the rules and I had to obey,'' Benoit said. "The umpire came up to me and told me I have to take it off.''
Benoit gave up a couple of hits and walked in a run in the seventh, but the scruffy right-hander gave the Yankees little else. He went 1 2-3 innings and threw 38 pitches, his most since 2008.
"What a tremendous, gutty performance,'' manager Jim Leyland said.
LONG DAY: Phillies manager Charlie Manuel arrived at the ballpark around 10:30 a.m. Friday for a game that wasn't scheduled to start for another 10 hours.
"Seems like I've been here for a couple years,'' Manuel said. "I just got tired of sitting at home. I just wanted to come to the ballpark.''
Manuel usually is one of the first to arrive at Citizens Bank Park. Another early bird is Roy Halladay. He started Game 5 against St. Louis, so he showed up after Manuel.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa also was anxious to get to the ballpark. He chose to stroll through the City of Brotherly Love instead.
"I had a similar experience to Charlie,'' La Russa said. "I was getting tired, so I actually put myself in jeopardy and I walked the streets of Philadelphia and heard quite a bit, but nobody put their hands on me, so I was happy.''
EYES UP: Detroit's 3-2 win over the Yankees in Game 5 of their AL division series received a 6.2 rating and was seen by 9.72 million viewers on TBS, a record for a first-round game on cable television.
Thursday's end to the best-of-five series also was the most-watched first-round game since the Angels' win over the Yankees in Game 5 six years ago, which received an 8.9 rating on Fox and was seen by 13.7 million viewers.
Through the first week, TBS and TNT are averaging a 2.6 rating, down 7 percent from last year's 2.8, and 3.98 million viewers, a 10 percent drop from last year's 4.34 million.
With two more Game 5s in the NL on Friday, TBS hoped to increase viewers. Earlier this week, the rating had been down 15 percent from last year.