OZAUKEE, Wis. — The Major League Baseball lockout quietly approaches the two week mark.
Brothers Owen and Noah Miller of Ozaukee County are experiencing the lockout firsthand. Owen is a major leaguer with Cleveland and Noah is a minor leaguer with the Twins. Their experiences going forward could be different.
Owen says he always dreamed of having his younger brother join him as a professional baseball player, and Noah says Owen is probably his best hitting coach.
At NX Level in Mequon, Cleveland Guardians shortstop Owen acts like he's been through this before.
"I've actually been coming here for the last three years now," Owen said. "This will be my fourth off-season training here. NX Level has been really good."
Owen says he feels like the pandemic helped prepare him for the lockout.
"Just talking to guys around baseball and stuff," Owen says. "Talking to coaches. Talking to our agents and stuff like that. It's just control what you can control. It's crazy, in the pandemic and stuff like that, it kind of prepared us a little bit for this."
The lockout has major leaguers wondering if spring training will start on time. But for Noah, his minor league job with the Twins will roll on, because minor league players that are not on the 40 man roster aren't union members. Therefore, their schedule remains as is.
"I feel like I knew it was kind of coming," Noah says. "I mean it really doesn't affect me too much, because I'm not on the 40-man. But I mean, still it's my game. It's my job. It's still going to affect me in the long run."
Noah would like to be at the Twins sunny Florida facility, but he's putting in good use of his time.
"I've already gained like 10 pounds this off-season," Noah says. "We hit like five minutes away so it's kind of perfect. I mean, it would be nice to go down to Florida and get work in there. But at the same time, this is what we have and this is what we do. We're going to make the best of it."
Owen wants to build upon making his major league debut last season with hope.
"I'm pretty optimistic," Owen says. "I feel like the owners and teams and baseball as a whole will see that you need to play, fans need to be in the stadiums, and players need to be on the field and that's just it. It needs to happen. You need baseball."