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Hardy has replaced Scott Podsednik as a favorite of female fans. (Scott Paulus/Milwaukee Brewers). (PHOTO: Allen Fredrickson)

In Sports

On a roster full of young players, Hardy is a leader. (PHOTO: Allen Fredrickson)

In Sports

Until this season, Hardy was known primarily for his defense. (PHOTO: Allen Fredrickson)

In Sports

Fans expect Hardy, Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks to anchor the Brewers' infield for years. (PHOTO: Allen Fredrickson)

In Sports

All-Star shortstop J.J. Hardy. (PHOTO: Allen Fredrickson)

Milwaukee Talks: Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy


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OMC: Did you get to hang out with other all-stars at all? Did you spend time talking to guys in the clubhouse or on the field?

JJH: Not as much as I thought. (Phillies second baseman) Chase Utley had a little party at some bar (the night before the game). It would have been better if it wasn't a sauna in there. It was pretty hot. But, it was still fun. For some reason, I spent a lot of time with the Phillies guys. I don't know why. I started talking to Cole (Hamels) and Aaron Rowand and Chase (Utley). I talked a little bit with (Pittsburgh's) Freddy Sanchez, too. I'd never really talked to him a lot. Brian McCann of Atlanta was cool, too.

OMC: Was it neat to be able to share that with your family?

JJH: That may have been the best part. I'm glad they were able to come and enjoy it.

OMC: You had a game in Washington, flew to San Francisco and had two days of non-stop activity with the All-Star Game. How tired were you after all that?

JJH: I was exhausted. I came home at 2 o'clock that next day and I barely got out of bed. The only time I left my house was to go to Quizno's to get a sandwich.

OMC: You've already eclipsed career highs in a lot of categories. In the coming weeks, you'll set new marks for at-bats and games played. Physically, how do you feel?

JJH: I feel really good. I'm not worried about the physical side of things at all. I feel better than I ever have this late into the season.

OMC: When Billy Hall and Geoff Jenkins are locked in at the plate, or starting to get locked in, it seems like they start hitting balls through the middle of the diamond. What impressed me about your hot start this year is that you were hitting balls hard to all fields. You were getting on top of inside pitches, hitting line drives to the left side and keeping the ball fair. Your timing has to be pretty close to perfect to do that. The $1 million question is "How did you do that and what can you do to get back to it?"

JJH: You just have to be confident and go up there with a plan. I've been jumping at the ball lately. It's like I'm going up there without any plan at all. You can't explain it. You have some bad at-bats and you get to where you don't feel comfortable up there and it's almost like you forgot what it feels like to be hot.

That's what slumps are like. You just have to keep working and wait until you come out of it. If this happened to me last year or two years ago, I'd have been freaking out. I'm not happy about it, but I know I'm going to come out of it.

It's weird how you can go from really feeling good at the plate to feeling totally lost to feeling good again. And, it can change in one at-bat. That's baseball.

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Talkbacks

arks00 | July 26, 2007 at 2:52 p.m. (report)

lost 3 to the Reds..... are we still TRYING to make the playoffs? wtf?

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danno | July 26, 2007 at 10:25 a.m. (report)

I think (T)Yost is getting carried away with platooning players. Council is a liability right now.

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ChateauDweller | July 26, 2007 at 9:52 a.m. (report)

He may be in a slump right now, but at least he doesn't drive a Segway, hang out at Roots, or went to Duke like Capuano!

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