Durham makes himself comfortable
Veteran infielder getting to know new Brewers teammates
ST. LOUIS -- When Ray Durham boarded the Brewers' chartered flight to St. Louis and saw his new teammates for the first time, an instant feeling swept over him.
"Well, the walk down the hall was a little awkward," Durham said. "But once my feet got moving, it was kind of easy from that point."
Manager Ned Yost said Durham will be used on a day-to-day basis and was adamant when he stated Weeks is still the starter.
Having spent less than 24 hours with his new team, Durham said it has been an easy transition thus far because of his familiarity with several of his new teammates. The question for him, though, is will he be able to adapt to his new role as a spark off the bench.
"It is tough," Durham said. "I won't say it's easy. But veteran guys do it. It's just preparing yourself and having the mindset to do it."
Though Yost said he won't push Durham to provide a role as a mentor to Weeks and said, "Rickie doesn't need much help. Rickie's doing fine by himself," Durham said he will reach out to the starting second baseman.
As a young player with the Chicago White Sox in the early 1990s, Durham attributed a large part of his success to players such as Harold Baines, Ozzie Guillen and Robin Ventura.
Without them, he said, he would not be the player he is today.
"I'll be a mentor to him, just because he's a young guy with tremendous upside," Durham said. "I've watched him ever since he came in the league. He has a lot of tools, and once he figures it out, he's going to be a tremendous player in this league for a long time and put up some serious numbers.
"I don't want him to see me as a threat."
Durham did have the ability to veto the trade, but allowed it to go through because it was one of the best possible situations for him. With the Brewers contending, Durham will attempt to collect the one thing that is missing from his 14-year career: a World Series ring.
"That's the ultimate goal for a player -- the chance to go to the playoffs," Durham said. "With this team, I think we've got a chance at the World Series. We've got the talent in here. But, it's great for me not only as a player but as a veteran player. To come to this situation -- what a chance to win."
Lee Hurwitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.