July 2010

Doug Davis: Throwing Strikes On and Off the Mound


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On Sunday, August 8, Brewers pitcher Doug Davis will host a Bowl-a-Thon at Pinstrikes Bowling Center at Bayshore Town Center in Glendale, Wisconsin.  Davis will be joined by Brewers teammates and coaches at the event, where proceeds will benefit the Miracle League of Milwaukee through the Doug Davis Foundation and the Brewers Community Foundation.

The Doug Davis Foundation, whose motto is, “Helping better the lives of children,” started in 2008 with a golf tournament while Davis was playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He established the Foundation to help assist children with various medical, social and family needs. Over the next couple of years, Davis has held more events such as poker tournaments, meet and greets, and special behind-the scenes ballpark tours in addition to what has now become his annual Celebrity/Charity Golf Invitational. The proceeds from some of those events have gone to the Miracle League of Arizona, helping to build a baseball stadium designed for use by children with special needs.

The Miracle League of Milwaukee is a project that the Club has been supporting in various ways this season, including through the Pepsi Refresh Project. Fifteen teams across Major League Baseball are asking fans to join them in making a difference in America’s communities; each Club has presented a proposed community project for support and here in Milwaukee, the Club has chosen the Miracle League, campaigning for fan votes and an ultimate $200,000 grant to fulfill the project. (Click here to cast your vote up to ten times a day until Tuesday, August 17 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.)

Because of Davis’ work with the Miracle League of Arizona, the Miracle League is also something that Davis strongly supports and he will donate the proceeds from the Bowl-a-Thon to the Miracle League of Milwaukee.

“Children, you know, like the song says, they are our future. The Miracle League in particular is very special to me because without it, those kids don’t get to play. They want to be just like the big leaguers they see on TV, with the field and the amenities. To know that you’re sharing your love for the game with them and that you’re helping them, it makes you feel really good inside. And when you see them play and realize the sense of achievement that they get out of it, it is very humbling,” Davis said.

There are a number of different ways to participate in the Bowl-a-Thon, which takes place from 6-9 p.m., following the Brewers vs. Houston Astros game.

Lane sponsorship is $1000 and includes bowling for five people plus a Brewers player, five tickets to a Brewers game, free food and drinks at the event, goodie bags including an autographed baseball, additional autograph and photograph opportunities, plus raffle prizes. The high bowler in each lane will also receive an autographed custom bowling pin. Individual spots are available for $200. 

While the Doug Davis Foundation has held poker and golf events, Davis has never held his own bowling event, though he has participated in them in the past.

While it is Davis’ first time hosting a Bowl-a-Thon, this is not the first time for the Brewers. Most recently, former Brewers outfielder, Mike Cameron, hosted the Brewers Bowl-a-Thon in 2009.


I did a little homework before our interview. Over the past 6 seasons (2004-2009), Davis has been in the top 25 National League pitchers in strikeouts for five of those seasons, including finishing tied for third in 2005, his personal best. In addition, Doug’s current average strikeouts per nine innings pitched (K/9) is 7.98 in 2010.

“Doug, your average strikeouts per nine innings pitched is nearly at 8 for this season. How are you as a bowler? Can we expect to come out and see you throw just as many strikes per 10 frames?” I inquired, being the hard-hitting blog reporter that I am.                                                                                                                       

It’s okay, though. Davis has an excuse. He will be bowling right-handed in the event to protect his pitching arm, especially as he treats his tendinitis.

So, if Davis isn’t overly confident in his own bowling abilities…who is the best bowler on the team?

Players currently scheduled to appear at the event along with Davis are: John Axford, Zach Braddock, Ryan Braun, Chris Capuano, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Joe Inglett, Kameron Loe, Casey McGehee, Chris Narveson, Manny Parra, Randy Wolf, and more.

“So, are you picking Ryan Braun to win it all then?” I pressed.

While Davis has made his prediction, it still sounds like it’s anyone’s ballgame. However, one thing is for certain: On Sunday, August 8, the Miracle League of Milwaukee will be the true winner as the team and fans come out to have a fun time and raise money for this worthy cause.  We hope to see you there!



 
 -CAIT

To participate in the event or for more information, visit brewers.com/community, or contact Greg Harris with the Doug Davis Foundation at (847) 924-6140 or via e-mail at gharris@dougdavisfoundation.org.  For more information on the Miracle League of Milwaukee, please visit www.miracleleaguemilwaukee.org.

  

Craig Goes To Bat Ticket Package On Sale Now

I wanted to fill you all in on a very special ticket package called Craig Goes to Bat for Prostate Cancer, supported Associated Bank. For just $149, fans can purchase a ticket to the Gehl Club at Miller Park for the Friday, July 23 game vs. the Washington Nationals at 7:10p.

Fans taking advantage of the offer will be able to enjoy the full buffet in the Gehl Club, including two complimentary glasses of wine or beer. Fans will receive their Counsell autographed bat on the night of the game.

Proceeds from this event will flow to Brewers Community Foundation, the official charity of the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, and all donations will be specifically earmarked for Prostate Cancer Foundation.

I hope you all will come out to Miller Park to join Craig Counsell and Associated Bank in supporting such a wonderful organization and cause!

 

-CAIT

johnandcait@brewers.com

Brewers Fans Come from the Land Down Under

G’Day Mates!

Last December, John and I received an e-mail from a reader named Mick Floyd from Melbourne. It was official. Our blog had gone international.

On the other side of the globe, Mick had grown up a big Brewers fan ever since Australian native Dave Nilsson was signed by the team back in 1987.  Nilsson was a catcher for the Brewers at the Major League level from 1992-1999 and also became the first Australian to play in the MLB All-Star Game when he represented the team at the Mid-Summer Classic in 1999. Nilsson went on to represent Australia at the Olympics in 2000 and 2004 and at the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006.

In a country where a wicket-keeper is more popular than a catcher and cricket automatically refers to a game rather than a chirping insect, Dave Nilsson had turned Mick on to America’s pastime and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Mick wrote to us to tell us that he enjoyed reading our blog and also to say that he was planning his first trip ever to the United States in the summer of 2010, making Milwaukee the crux.

I replied to Mick and, over the next couple of months, we traded a few e-mails. It turned out that besides our love for the Brew Crew, we had a few other things in common. Mick is close in age to me and has a marketing/communications job, too. I gave him some tips on where to stay and what to do when he got here.

In this time span, a friend of mine was sent to Australia for work. Besides his colleagues, Jason didn’t know anyone else in Australia. The only person I’d ever “met” from there was Mick, so I put Jason in touch with him via e-mail and Facebook. Although the two never ended up meeting in person, they traded messages and Mick was able to help Jason better understand some of the Aussie customs and direct him to some of the must-see attractions. Jason was grateful to Mick for his help and I decided that if he was willing to help a friend of mine (me being someone he barely knew), he must be a pretty good bloke.

As Mick’s trip approached, we e-mailed each other a little more and his plans became more solid. Since he was mostly asking me about the Brewers and things to do in Milwaukee, until this point, I had never really grasped the entirety of his trip.

I found out that Mick and his brothers Chris and Daniel were not just coming to the States to visit Milwaukee for a week and then going home. While seeing the Brewers play was the catalyst for the trip, the Floyd brothers kept tacking on other things that they wanted to see.

“We kept saying, ‘Well, while we are here…’,” Mick said, as he told me about their SEVEN WEEK tour of North America.

While they were here, indeed. They were starting their trip in New York and joining a Contiki Tour with about 50 others through Boston, Quebec, Montreal,  Toronto, Cleveland and Chicago. From there, they would hop off the tour and make their way to Milwaukee, where they would stay for a week on their own. Then from Milwaukee, they were traveling to the West Coast and joining another tour, which would take them to San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Francisco.  Oh yes, and then…

“We’ve got a little cruise to Mexico after that, too,” Mick said.

They were seeing the U.S. from sea to shining sea and their trip was taking them to parts of North America that I’ve never seen before. I was truly fascinated by this endeavor and now could not wait to finally meet these mates.

Mick, Chris and Daniel arrived in Milwaukee on Friday, June 25 and the first thing on their agenda was to see the Brewers-Mariners game at Miller Park. I went down to meet them at their seats and found three guys in their mid-20′s completely decked out in Brewers gear. 


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L to R: Mick, Daniel and Chris Floyd

 

“We found the Team Store!” Mick exclaimed when I commented on their caps and jerseys.

They’d also come bearing gifts. Mick handed me a scarf and said “I heard it gets rather cold in Milwaukee, you might need this.”

It turned out it was a team scarf, for Carlton, of the AFL. That’s the Australian Football League, not the Arena Football League, for those of you scoring at home.

Australian Rules Football, or “footy,” is quite different than American Football and Carlton is the “best” team, Mick assured me.

By sheer coincidence, Australian pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith, who was one of Dave Nilsson’s teammates at the 2006 WBC, was starting for the Mariners that night. That wouldn’t prevent them from cheering on the Brewers though, Mick told me. They’d come too far for this. The Crew ended up winning that game 8-3 and the Floyd brothers had a great time at the game.

I really enjoyed talking with Mick. He had a lot of questions for me, such as “What is Crackerjack?”–he had grown up singing the song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” but had never known what he was singing about– and how the Klement’s Famous Sausage Race began. We talked about the team and the ballpark. I also learned just as much from him, including the fact that my imitation of an Australian accent is “bloody awful” (crikey!) and my personal favorite– that things that have gone awry have now “gone pear-shaped.”

Mick had come to America with the primary purpose of seeing his Brewers play, so he made the most of his time in Milwaukee, coming to four games during his stay: the game that Sunday (where he was very psyched to get his Cecil Cooper Bobble Head), that next Tuesday vs. the Astros (he was excited that he got to see Yo start) and then again on Wednesday (where he finally got to try Crackerjack–let’s just say he was a bigger fan of our brats).

The Floyds had been to Fenway, Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, the Rogers Center and Wrigley before they made it here, but they were very impressed by Miller Park– and by Milwaukee in general. Besides coming to the games, Mick and his brothers had a great time down at Summerfest and enjoyed the brewery tours among other things.

“It’s a pretty cool place, Milwaukee!” Mick said.

I was glad that Mick enjoyed his time here and I was sad to see him go, but alas, he had to head out to the West Coast. By now, Mick’s trip of a lifetime is winding down and soon he’ll be back home in Melbourne. I know we’ll definitely keep in touch and who knows–maybe one day I’ll return the visit with a trip to the Outback!

-CAIT

Keeping Score in High Definition

When it comes to sports, there is nothing like the game on the field to get me excited.  But there are a couple of other things in sports that have always interested me: uniforms, logos, stadiums and scoreboards.  When I visit a stadium or arena for the first time, one of the first things I like to check out is the scoreboard.  Each and every scoreboard is unique in its own way and Miller Park will be no different come next season.

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Here is what the scoreboard will look like with full video.  Use the retired numbers on the ring of the roof to put the size of the new board in perspective. 

 

The Brewers will enter the “high definition era” in 2011 with their scoreboard that will make fans feel as if they are enjoying the action from their living room.  The new scoreboard will measure 5,940 square feet.  Compare that to the current 1,296 square foot video board and 2,432 square foot black and white matrix board, and we are talking a huge upgrade.

Next season, Miller Park will be home to the third-largest scoreboard in Major League Baseball.  The only larger scoreboards will be Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium (8,900 square feet) and Phoenix’s Chase Field (6,200 square feet).

Milwaukee-Brewers-Left-Fiel.pngHere is a look at the scoreboard from down the left field line featuring in-game “panels” that provide various statistical information during the game.  The full color will make many of the stats really pop. 

Also, Miller Park will be home to the third, true 1080, high definition scoreboard in baseball and only the fifth in existence in all major sports venues in the United States.  The others include Yankee Stadium and Target Field in MLB, Cowboys Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and American Airlines Center, home to the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.  I have seen the scoreboards at Cowboys Stadium and American Airlines Center in person and both are absolutely stunning.  The HD experience in-stadium is second to none; it really is comparable to your HD set at home, crystal clear graphics and replays.

The new Miller Park scoreboard will measure approximately 54 high by 110 feet wide.  To put it in perspective, let’s say you walked into your local electronics store and wanted to buy a flat screen television the same size as the Miller Park scoreboard.  You know, how it goes, your buddy gets a 52-inch screen so you need to get a 54-inch screen.  Well, if you wanted a flat screen the same size as the one at Miller Park, you would have to ask for a 1,470-inch screen.  That comes out to 122 feet 6 inches measured diagonally.  That is quite the big screen. 

Daktronics Inc. will design, manufacture and install the scoreboard with Mortenson Construction of Wisconsin serving as General Contractor.  The scoreboard project will also include renovations and upgrades to parts of the Miller Park audio system as the stadium’s video and audio consultant, Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon and Williams is working on the project.

Every year during the Brewers offseason, the team works hard to keep Miller Park up to date.  It is hard to believe that this is already the tenth season that the team has played here and yet it seems like yesterday President George Bush and Commissioner  Bud Selig were on hand to open the new park.  The scoreboard will be a great improvement to the fan experience at Miller Park and one that every fan will be able to appreciate for many years to come.

Here are some numbers on the new scoreboard:

- Currently the video board features 133,624 pixels.  The new board will have a staggering 2,358,720, an increase in resolution of 18 times.

- It would take nearly 1,500 37-inch flat panel televisions to fill the area of the new scoreboard

- The technology involved in the scoreboard–called Daktronics HD-15–allows the capability of 4.4 trillion shades of color (Can you even imagine 4.4 trillion colors!?  I remember going to grade school and being overwhelmed with my box of 64 crayons!)

- Daktronics has installed scoreboards in 26 of the 30 MLB stadiums and worked with the Brewers on the LED ribbon boards and out of town scoreboards installed in 2006
 

7/10 Social Media in the Media Event will be Rescheduled

Thanks for your interest in our “John and Cait present… Social Media in the Media” event.

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel the event for this Saturday, July 10. If you’ve already purchased tickets for the July 10 date, a Brewers ticket representative will be contacting you shortly.

But don’t worry–we’re already working on rescheduling the event for another date, so keep your eyes and ears open.

You’ll hear it first from us!

- John and Cait
johnandcait@brewers.com

John and Cait present….Social Media in the Media!

Hey Everyone!

It’s John and Cait here and we’re excited to tell you about a really cool event we’re hosting on Saturday, July 10 prior to the Brewers vs. Pirates game: John and Cait present…Social Media in the Media!

For just $99, fans will have the opportunity to purchase individual tickets in the AirTran Airways Landing Zone and the tickets will include a special pre-game panel/roundtable discussion featuring people from the sports industry as well as local media who use have had success with social media and use it in their everyday lives.

You’ll hear from:
Trenni Kusnierek
Reporter for MLB Network (@trenni)
Nick Monroe
Senior Sales & Retention Executive for the Milwaukee Bucks (@nmonroe)
Jeff Sherman
President/Co-Owner of OnMilwaukee.com (@ShermanJeff)
Joe Sorge
Founder and President at Strategic Venues and Concepts and Co-Author of #Twitter Works
…and more!
 
We’ll be your hosts for the event and it will take place in our Media Interview Room, so you’ll get to go behind-the-scenes at Miller Park.

Tickets for the AirTran Airways Landing Zone are normally only available for group purchase, but through Social Media in the Media, we’re giving fans this special opportunity to purchase them individually. The tickets also include a pre-game buffet that begins when the Miller Park gates open and ends one hour after the first pitch, plus unlimited soft drinks and two beers per adult.

Fans will have the opportunity to ask questions at the event, but if there are any questions you’d like to submit ahead of time, please e-mail us at johnandcait@brewers.com. You’ll want to purchase your tickets early since the event will be limited to approximately 50 fans.

Click here to purchase your tickets today! 

John and Cait present…

Social Media in the Media

Saturday, July 10
4:05 p.m. Miller Park Gates Open
4:15 p.m. Meet in the AirTran Airways Landing Zone at Miller Park, where you will be escorted to the Media Interview Room
4:30-5:30 p.m. Social Media in the Media Panel Discussion
6:10 p.m. Brewers vs. Pirates Game

We hope to see you out at Miller Park on July 10!

- John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

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