By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Oct 04, 2011 at 4:29 PM Photography: David Bernacchi

Whether it's Ryan Braun's flair for the dramatic, goofy gestures from animated movies or the many personas of Nyjer Morgan, the Brewers are a fun-loving bunch.

And perhaps even more so than a dominant starting rotation, a fearsome offensive lineup or a lock-down bullpen, the Brewers' chemistry and passion might be the biggest reason the team is on the verge of advancing to the National League Championship Series.

"It's an awful boring team if you have guys with no personalities," manager Ron Roenicke said.

He doesn't have to worry about that.

The Brewers have gained a reputation over the years both for their on-field abilities and their, for lack of a better term, extracurricular. There was the un-tucking of the shirts during the 2008 season, the infamous bowling pin home run celebration in 2009.

Flash forward to the present day and "beast mode," inspired by Prince Fielder's children mimicking the movie "Monsters, Inc.," that's been all the rage. The antics have rubbed some the wrong way, but at the end of the day, it's just the Brewers being themselves ... and having a hell of a lot of fun.

"I think it helps to keep perspective and recognize that we're still playing a game," said Ryan Braun. "Obviously the stakes are higher, everything that happens is magnified. But I think it's important to keep that perspective and try to have that youthful exuberance you have when you start playing baseball. We have fun from the time we get to the ballpark to the time that we leave."

Then, there's Morgan. Or Tony Plush. Or Tony Tombstone. Or ... well, whoever he claims to be on any given day. The first few years of his short career were spent on bad ballclubs in Pittsburgh and Washington.

When he was traded to Milwaukee for a mid-level prospect on March 27, it was as if Morgan – and his many alter egos – had finally found a home.

"I stayed with what I knew how to do, and that's play this game and enjoy it," Morgan said. "And what they say is have fun in this game. Even though I know this is the highest stage, it's just basically -- they always tell you have fun and enjoy what you do. I enjoy what I do and I have fun out there."

Hitting .304 with a .357 on-base percentage certainly adds to the fun. Nobody was quite sure where Morgan would fit in when he was acquired as Carlos Gomez was penciled in as the Opening Day starter in center field.

But Morgan started hot, stayed hot and despite a couple of early injuries, took control of the starting job and never looked back, playing in 119 games and winning the team's high energy player award.

Two of them, actually. One went to Morgan while the other went to Tony Plush. Which begs the question, just who is Tony Plush, anyway?

"We're basically on the stage out there," Morgan said. "And as an entertainer, all entertainers have a (stage) name. For me it's Tony Plush."So basically when I clock in on that field ... as you see right now, I'm Tony Plush. I'm an entertainer and I'm going to make things happen."

Plush's behavior has landed him in hot water at times, especially after a run-in with umpire Joe West in San Francisco and after a incident in St. Louis with Chris Carpenter and Albert Pujols.

"I enjoy him," Roenicke said. "It sounds kind of weird, but I enjoy, even when I get a call from Joe Torre and saying, hey, Ron, incident in San Francisco and you need to talk to him. I bring him in and the conversations are always good. I like him a lot. Not just as a baseball player.

"The conversations that we've had, you know – there's been, I guess, three different maybe little things that have gone on – they're always really good. He's wanting to do the right things."

Those occasions, however, have been rare. And Roenicke has fostered the type of atmosphere in the clubhouse that allows the players to do their own thing, express themselves while still playing the game the right way.

"He understands we're a fun group," said Morgan. "So as long as we can just go out there and just keep having fun. But like I say, control what we can take care of, but just be ourselves, I think we can go far in this thing, here."