MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' famous racing sausages were put to work Thursday as the team marked a symbolic start to baseball season. The second of two moving trucks packed with everything from baseballs to filing cabinets to those sausage costumes -- after they participated in a photo op -- departed the Miller Park loading dock bound for Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, where Brewers pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training on Feb. 18. "The sausages are always willing to help out wherever they can," joked Brewers spokesperson Tyler Barnes. "They get a little exercise, a little training for the season."
That season begins in Milwaukee on April 6 against the Cardinals, who ended the Brewers' 2011 season in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. First comes Spring Training, which begins with the Brewers' first pitchers and catchers workout on Feb. 20 and the first full-squad workout on Feb. 25. Most of the baseball equipment was already in Arizona, in time for the team's fantasy camp at Maryvale Baseball Park. The second truck that left Thursday was packed with administrative items for the team's baseball operations and Minor League staffs, down to the couch for director of team travel Dan Larrea's office. "We basically move our whole operation from here at Miller Park down to Maryvale Baseball Park," said home clubhouse attendant Matt Smith. "The second truck ... will take a lot of personal luggage for our employees, medical files, all of our video coaching equipment. Basically, all of the behind-the-scenes stuff that makes the operation run down in Phoenix." It's a key year for the Brewers in Phoenix. The team has the option to leave Maryvale Baseball Park after this Spring Training if it does not get the improvements it wants from the City of Phoenix. The Brewers have trained at Maryvale since 1998 and operate a year-round rehabilitation facility there.