Gagne fondly remembers time in LA

Gagne fondly remembers time in LA

MILWAUKEE -- So much attention was paid to Eric Gagne's sudden reinstatement as the Brewers' closer on Tuesday night that no one bothered to ask him one of the easiest questions:

What was it like to face the Dodgers for the first time?

"It was something," Gagne said Wednesday after shagging balls in batting practice. "You talk about positive thoughts, there were a lot of positives there [in Los Angeles]."

"Still," he added, "you want to show them what you can do. That's what I tried to do, and it was a good feeling."

Gagne was a Dodger from 1995, when he signed as a non-drafted free agent, to 2006, when he departed after two years marred by injury that followed three years as one of the greatest closers in Major League history. He saved 152 games in 158 chances from 2002-2004, including a record 84 in a row, and won the National League Cy Young Award in 2003.

He departed via free agency and signed with Texas in 2007, was traded to Boston in July and then signed with Milwaukee in December. Gagne is earning $10 million this season.

"It was just time to move on," he said of leaving L.A. "I wanted to close and I wasn't willing to go back and be hurt again for a third year. That was going to be tough."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.