Standing in front of a tightly packed half-moon of reporters Friday night, Zack Greinke professed his adoration for Milwaukee, and his Brewers teammates.
On his way out the door to Anaheim, he also expressed some admiration.
"I'm gonna miss my time here. It was a lot of fun," he said. "Had a great team, a great group of guys, everyone gets along. It was fun to come to the clubhouse. It's probably surprising that everyone could still get along as good when we're not playing good. Where most teams if you're playing good you get along and if you're not playing good you usually aren't getting along. Here, it's a great group of guys."
He would know.
In his seven years in Kansas City, he went 60-67 in 169 starts as the Royals lost 100 games three times and 682 times overall.
In his 49 regular starts with the Brewers over 2011 and 2012, Greinke went 25-9 with a 3.67 earned run average with a 1.201 WHIP and 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings.
"He did about all we could ask for," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said simply.
In looking over his time in Milwaukee, Greinke looked back on the National League Championship run made last fall fondly, but held himself accountable for the 12 earned runs he allowed in 16 2/3 innings in the postseason.
"I mean, I really feel like I could've done a lot more, especially in the playoffs last year," he said. "I guess everyone could do more but I feel like I'm upset with how that worked out. This year, you could always do more it feels like. But we went pretty far and it was a lot of fun. It was definitely the most fun I've ever had playing baseball."
The natural question to Greinke and Melvin was if the Brewers would go after him, and if so, would he consider returning to Milwaukee.
Melvin smiled and said he couldn't talk about a player on another team while Greinke answered sheepishly.
"Yeah," he said, looking down. "I haven't talked about anything going on with free agency. Like I said, I loved it here so it'll definitely be a possibility."
Milwaukee has long heard players express their affection for the team and the city, but only time will tell if the most important attraction – total dollars offered – make him really want to return.
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