Sexson returns to Milwaukee

Updated: April 23, 2004, 12:30 PM ET
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- Richie Sexson had a good-natured warning for Ben Sheets when the slugger returned to Milwaukee on Tuesday for the Arizona Diamondbacks' only trip to Miller Park this season.

 Richie Sexson

"I told him if he strikes me out a couple of times, I'm kicking him out of my house," said Sexson, who is renting his area home to his former teammate.

Sheets only struck him out once in Milwaukee's 4-2 win but figured Sexson was going to make him pay for it anyway.

"He's probably going to raise the rent," Sheets said. "But that's all right."

Sexson had something a little harsher in mind for Sheets. "I'm kicking him out," Sexson said.

Sexson chose to stay at the team hotel in downtown rather than at his old pad with his new tenant.

"I wasn't going to stay with him. There's not enough room for all of us and that big slobbery dog of his that he has running around," Sexson said. "It's a bulldog. He's probably slobbering all over my floors."

Sexson, who hit 133 homers in 3 seasons in Milwaukee, was traded to Arizona last winter along with reliever Shane Nance and outfielder Noochie Varner for six players, four of whom were in Milwaukee's starting lineup Tuesday night.

In addition to Chad Moeller, Lyle Overbay, Junior Spivey and Craig Counsell, the Brewers also got starting pitcher Chris Capuano and pitching prospect Jorge de la Rosa from Arizona.

The deal was a boon to both teams. The D-Backs got the power hitter they coveted and the cost-cutting Brewers filled plenty of holes while erasing Sexson's $8.6 million salary from their payroll.

"I think Milwaukee's definitely gotten better from it," Sexson said. "I still root for them, I still check the papers every day to see how they're doing, and call Geoff (Jenkins) as many times as I can to see what's going on because he's one of my best friends."

Jenkins, who signed a $23 million, three-year contract extension after Sexson was traded, said he wishes the economics of the game hadn't separated the two, but it was ultimately in everybody's best interests.

"It was a great trade for us," Jenkins said. "The new guys have fit in great. To get six players, five of whom are playing with us, you say, 'Wow! That's making us a better club.'

"A lot of people look at that as the best trade of the offseason."

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost misses Sexson's power but now has a more versatile lineup that can manufacture runs much better.

"Both teams got exactly what they needed out of the deal," Yost said.

Sexson, who nearly walked into the Brewers clubhouse out of habit and was cheered by the sparse crowd during introductions, said he couldn't be happier in a lineup that packs so much punch.

"We have some great players. In our lineup, there's not one or two guys that can beat you. We feel like we have four or five guys," Sexson said. "So, it's definitely nice to have that cast around you, guys who can produce and drive in runs."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press