July 2011

What John Loves About Miller Park

I sometimes joke that some game days here at Miller Park can feel like three days in one.  There is the first part of the day where a lot of my office work and game preparation takes place. The second part of the day includes taking care of some player interviews, pregame media availability and batting practice.  The third part of the day is the game itself.

For that reason, I’m breaking the rules (just like Cait said, we are not eligible to win anyway, I guess there are no rules for us!) a little bit for the “What Do You Love About Miller Park” promotion.  I’m giving you three things I love about Miller Park.  I might also go over 100 words on each entry but again, the rules need not apply.  I’m doing this in the spirit of “What I Love About Miller Park.”

MEDIA INTERVIEW ROOM “B”

After each Brewers win, I coordinate with Cory Provus on a postgame guest for the Brewers Postgame Show on WTMJ-AM and the Brewers Radio Network.  He normally sends me one or two names in the eighth or ninth inning and I will grab one guy and bring them to this small, nondescript room just outside the Brewers clubhouse.  I give the player we choose a couple of minutes to change and catch his breath after the game ends before taking him over.

Media Room B

Players will sit in that chair with the headset on for their postgame interviews with Cory Provus. There really isn't much to it!

When we get to the room, the player will put on a headset and Cory conducts the interview from the WTMJ Radio booth in the press box.  The interview room itself has all black walls, a couple of chairs, and some photo equipment.  The room is always cold.  Why would I love such a small room with no character that no one ever sees?  Because every time I am in that room after a game, it means we have won and I love winning!

MY SEAT IN THE PRESS BOX

I have been fortunate enough to watch over 500 Brewers games during the past six and a half seasons from a pretty good seat.  Although I do miss sitting with my dad or friends in the stands and watching the game like a real fan (I still might sneak down for an inning here or there), there is something about the press box that I have grown to love.

PR Crew

Here is a picture from my spot in the Press Box with my Brewers and Reds Media Relations counterparts. From left to right: Jamey Ramsey, Rob Butcher, Mike Vassallo, myself and Ken Spindler

Miller Park’s Press Box is great.  It is at the perfect level and I can see pretty much everything.  Additionally, there is a special sense of community in the press box.  It is mostly the same group of media every game and it is always nice when we have a special guest.  I love trading stories with my PR counterparts from the visiting teams during games.  I love when friends stop by to say hello.  I love being able to reach over the wall and almost grab cotton candy from the vendors.  I love when foul balls come up and put a hole in the wall (if you have ever been on a tour of Miller Park, you know what I’m talking about).  It becomes like a second home during the season and for that, I love it.

THE DUGOUT DURING BATTING PRACTICE

One of my favorite parts of my day is batting practice.  It normally begins around 4:15 p.m. (for a 7 p.m. game) with manager Ron Roenicke’s meeting with the media.  I enjoy sitting in on these sessions and hearing what is going on with the team.  It is also a nice time to check in with our local media see what they are working on and help them if they need anything.

Media Scrum

Ron Roenicke addresses the media in his daily briefing with the Brewers media corps.

It is a good time also to catch up with players from the opposing team.   Sometimes, Brewers Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Melvin stops down and it is always nice to get his take on things.  Doug has some great ideas and he can get quite candid in those informal media sessions during batting practice.

I look forward to seeing all of your entries in the “What Do You Love About Miller Park” promotion.  Get your entries in soon, time is running out!

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

 

 

What Cait Loves About Miller Park

As we enter the final week of our “What Do You Love About Miller Park?” contest, John and I have decided to share with you what we each love best about the place our Brewers call home– (especially since we’re not eligible to win Season Tickets!).

As many of you have already expressed, there are so many things to love about Miller Park that it is hard to choose just one.  Well, I feel your pain and since I’m not able to enter and therefore not limited by character count, I am going to share more than one  with you.

In no particular order…

I love remembering my Miller Park wedding reception.

I love the fact that I had my wedding reception at Miller Park in what is now the NYCE Stadium Club. People still comment on what a great time they had and as for a backdrop, what else could be more appropriate than a diamond on the Big Day?

I love the Brewers mascots.

I'm sucker for mascots and at Miller Park, we have not just one, but SIX awesome mascots! From Bernie's slide to the Klement's Famous Sausage Race, our mascots are about as unique as they come!

I love tailgating with friends on my days off.

I love tailgating with my friends! (Fortunately, in my position, I do not have to work during every game which allows me time to enjoy games as a fan!)

I love celebrating amazing Brewers victories.

One of my all-time favorite memories was clinching the Wild Card in 2008. It certainly was a wild ride that season and I was so excited to see the Brewers go to the Postseason for the first time in my lifetime. Here's a photo of me celebrating after the game with my colleagues.

I love the camaraderie among fellow Brewers fans.

Here I am down on the field with my friend, Mick, from Australia. I love that Miller Park brings Brewers fans together from across the globe--our beautiful ballpark was the crux of Mick's first trip to the United States last year!

I love that Brewers baseball has become a family tradition.

My parents love Brewers Baseball and it is always great when we can spend time together at Miller Park. Besides my wedding, we've celebrated numerous family milestones at Miller Park, including both of my parents' recent retirements.

So, there you have it. Miller Park.  Fun, exciting Brewers Baseball. Cool mascots. An air of romance. A great place to spend time with family and friends. A place to meet new friends. And most importantly, a place where memories are made that will last a lifetime.

And now it’s your turn to submit your photo and the number one reason why you love Miller Park for your chance to win Brewers Season Tickets for 2012! Hurry, you’ve only got until Friday to visit brewers.com/whatilove and declare your love for our great ballpark today!

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

What John and Cait Ate…Do You Want Fries With That?

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

-Yogi Berra

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it…and try these concessions!”

-John & Cait

This week in What John and Cait Ate:

Do You Want Fries with That?

During each homestand, we will be meeting with John DiMartini, Executive Chef at Delaware North Sportservice/Miller Park to sample some of the latest and greatest Miller Park fare and review it here, for you.

New this year, Sportservice has opened a french fry stand, Pop’s Fry Bar, down the left-field line on the Field Level and this week, Chef John treated us to a variety of gourmet fresh-cut french fries!

Read on for a description, photos and reviews!

Pommes Frites-$4.50

Dipping Sauces- $.75 each

Behold the cone of pommes frites (pronounced pawm-FREEt)! You may think that’s a fancy name, but when you taste them, you’ll understand why they aren’t just called “french fries.” These fries are fresh cut, tossed with kosher salt and fried in vegetable oil, so they contain no trans fat. Although so flavorful that they can stand on their own, Sportservice offers an assortment of dipping sauces to choose from. There’s an Asian-inspired cucumber wasabi, a spicy creole red pepper, a tangy roasted garlic mayo, and the traditional ranch–four flavors guaranteed to appease any palate.

John: Quite a generous portion here!  These fries were very fresh and had the perfect amount of crisp to them.  They are also the basis for all the dishes below.  I’m not a fan of the more traditional thin-cut pommes frites and these fries were cut thick, but not too thick.  The creole red pepper (had a little spice to it) and roasted garlic mayo (the garlic flavor was not overpowering and added the right amount of flavor to the fries) were my favorite of the dipping sauces.

Cait: These pommes frites were light and airy, definitely not overly greasy like fries can often be. I’m a fan of kosher salt, so I appreciate that touch as well. I’m also a big fan of ketchup. In fact, that’s an understatement–I’m one of those people who puts ketchup on my ketchup! The point is, though, that I didn’t need it at all. These fries can definitely stand on their own.  If you’re feeling saucy, however, the dipping sauces are definitely worth a try! Of the four, my favorite was the cucumber wasabi; I found it to be very refreshing. That’s Chef John’s favorite pick as well.  The runner up for me was the creole red pepper which had just a little kick to it. The ranch was good, but it was, well, ranch. I’m not a fan of mayo, so I’m reserving judgment of the roasted garlic mayo.

Rating:

    (out of 5)

Next up…

The Montreal- $7

Blame Canada. These fries get their name from the combination of toppings. In Canada, fresh cut fries covered with gravy and fresh cheese curds are known as poutine; hence, the Montreal. At Miller Park the gravy is of the hearty beef variety and the cheese curds are fresh from Wisconsin.

John: Poutine seems to be somewhat of the rage lately as I see it more and more at various restaurants.  With much respect to my Canadian friends in the organization (Doug Melvin, Gord Ash and John Axford), I had a hard time eating these.  They were kind of heavy to eat on a hot day.  Also, the gravy took away from the crispy texture and natural flavor of the fries.

Cait: Out of all of the fries, these were my least favorite, but perhaps this is an acquired taste, eh? On their own, the fries and cheese curds were both very good, but I don’t put gravy on my mashed potatoes, so I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t enjoy it on my fries or on the cheese.

Rating:

(out of 5)

 

 

 

 

Garlic Fries- $7

Chef John’s personal favorite and Miller Park’s best seller, these garlic fries are seasoned with fresh chopped garlic, parsley and olive oil.

John: Those Brewers fans who are headed to San Francisco’s AT&T Park this weekend for the Brewers-Giants series will definitely notice the smell of garlic fries in the air.  Garlic fries are famous and AT&T Park and no longer will you have to travel to the Golden State to try them as you can now get them at Miller Park!  The smell is quite overpowering but the taste was very good.  I have always enjoyed cooking with garlic as I believe it adds to the taste of any dish.  The fries kept their crispy texture with the garlic/olive oil seasoning.  I definitely enjoyed these, but please brush your teeth when you are done!

Cait: The garlic fries are tied for my favorite fries, but if you’re going to the game on a date, make sure you split these with your significant other because they are very, er, aromatic.  In fact, just sitting in the same row as these fries would probably be enough to help Buffy slay those vampires, but it is so worth it because they are delicious. Plus, I reason (well, rationalize) that with all of garlic’s purported health benefits, these fries must not only taste good, but also be good for me!

Rating:

(out of 5)

 

 

Chili Cheese- $7

Zesty chili, creamy cheddar cheese sauce and chives top these fresh cut fries.

John: If you are looking for the most bang for your buck, these will fill you up fast.  I love chili and make my own from scratch at home, but chili cheese fries have always been a little overwhelming for me.  This particular version was great and the flavors worked very well together.   It was very messy, but with a fork and knife and some patience, you are in for a treat.  I wouldn’t have these on a July afternoon at Miller Park, but they sure would taste good in October–for many different reasons, of course!

Cait: The portions on all of these fries are very generous; these are no small fries!  In particular, with the chili, these fries were like a meal and demanded to be consumed with a fork. Thus, I found myself getting full quite quickly. I could never eat this entire order by myself, but I think they would be great to share!

Rating:

(out of 5)

Smothered & Covered- $7

These fries are reminiscent of a loaded baked potato and with creamy cheddar cheese sauce, sour cream, crumbled bacon and chives, the term “smothered and covered” is an understatement.

John: I have always enjoyed potato skins so these were definitely one of my favorites.  The fresh cut fries along with the perfect amount of cheese, bacon and sour cream made for an awesome ballpark snack for two.  Not quite the complete meal that the chili cheese fries were, but still a great combination of flavor.  All of these dishes are delicious because they all start with good fries.  The good fries are what makes all of these dishes worth a shot.

Cait: These fries tied for my favorite. They tasted like potato skins and each bit had just the right ratio of ingredients. Again, you’ll need to grab a friend or two and some forks because this messy treat is super-sized.

Rating:

(out of 5)

Where To Satisfy Your Craving: All of these fries can be found at Pop’s Fry Bar, located behind Section 129 on the Field Level (near the Brewers Team Store by Majestic in the Hot Corner).

What about you? Do you have a favorite ballpark snack? Want to dispute our reviews? A question about concessions? Something you’d like to see featured here? Post your comments below!

We’ll be back with another edition of What John and Cait Ate during the next homestand and until then, stay cool and…Bon Appetit!

-John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

Want to Win 2012 Season Tickets? Tell Us What You Love About Miller Park!

At the beginning of the season, we were pleased to introduce our “What Do You Love About Miller Park?” advertising campaign for 2011, which was designed to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of our beloved ballpark through declarations of love.

There are so many things we love about Miller Park that it is hard to choose just one. But if you’re Ryan Braun and you have the tremendous power to hit home runs that help lead the Crew to victory, then it’s understandable why the thing he loves best is making Bernie Brewer go down his slide in left field. It’s the 10th Anniversary of Miller Park and we’re still finding new things we love about the place Ryan and the Crew call home.

All season long, we’re be celebrating our great ballpark and all of the things that make our very own Brewers experience so unique by highlighting the things that our players, fans and yes, even our mascots, love best in our print, online and outdoor ads.

And now, we want to hear from you. In the past 10 years, millions of fans have passed through the gates and many memories have been created, so we’d like to invite you to join us in an interactive contest as you tell us: What do YOU love best about the place your Brewers call home? It could your favorite memory, food, place to take in the game, or just what keeps you coming back again and again.

Just share your story here in 100 words or less, accompanied by a photo of you and family or friends at Miller Park and we’ll send one lucky winner back out to the ballpark again and again on us with two (2) 20-Game ticket packages for the 2012 season.

Other entrants are also be eligible to win great prizes, such as: four tickets to the Gehl Club for the Tuesday, August 30 game vs. St. Louis; one autographed John Axford jersey and bobblehead; one autographed Shaun Marcum jersey and ball; four tickets in the AirTran Airways Landing Zone for the Monday, September 26 game vs. Pittsburgh, or a $100 shopping spree to the Brewers Team Store by Majestic.

You’ve only  got until Friday, July 29, so get ready to fall in love all over again with Miller Park as you take a trip down memory lane and then post your entry!

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com


Congratulations, Prince!

Congratulations to Prince Fielder on becoming the first player in Brewers history to be crowned All-Star Game MVP by lifting the National League to victory with a booming 3-run home run in the 2011 Midsummer Classic!

He’s made Brewers history and he’s made us proud!

P.S.- Fans, you can look for this image as a full-page ad in tomorrow’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel!

-John & Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

Official T. Plush Brewers Jersey T-Shirts on Sale Now at Miller Park

In a short amount of time, Nyjer Morgan has not only made a splash on the field for the Brewers, but he has quickly become a fan favorite in Milwaukee.  He gets game winning hits (and follows it up with priceless postgame interviews) and he tweets as his alter-ego “Tony Plush.”  He plays hard every play and he has an electric personality.

Brewers fans can now join “Plush Nation” by taking home an official T. Plush #2 Brewers jersey t-shirt.  Available now exclusively to the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park, the shirt sells for $30 and Morgan (and Plush) are very excited about it.

Nyjer Morgan shows off his T. Plush t-shirt.

Nyjer Morgan shows off his T. Plush t-shirt.

“Tony loves the smooth look of this shirt,” Morgan said.  “I just can’t wait to see Plush Nation wearing these shirts at Miller Park and on the road and throwing up their ‘T’s’ for Plush.  Take no imitators, this is the real deal.”

The black shirt comes in adult sizes and features the Brewers script on the front along with an airbrush-like “T. Plush 2″ design on the back.  This shirt is a definite “must have” for any Brewers fan.

Knowing the popularity of Morgan, I can imagine these t-shirts will be quite popular.  I even caught a couple of players walking around the clubhouse wearing the T. Plush shirt earlier this afternoon!

T. Plush shirt

These shirts are a new addition to the other new Brewers jersey t-shirts that  have been on sale at Miller Park since the beginning of the year (see my previous post from March on the shirts).

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

Congratulations to our 2011 All-Stars!

 

A Nice Roof Over Our Head

Any resident of Milwaukee can tell you that with the constantly changing weather conditions in this area, you never know what to expect.  It could be 85 degrees and sunny in Brookfield, but 60 and foggy on the East Side.

Along with that uncertainty about the weather, comes some uncertainty about the roof at Miller Park.  We often get phone calls and e-mails about the status of the Miller Park roof for games.  Will it be open?  Will it be closed?  What should I wear?

Beginning yesterday, the Brewers opened up a toll-free hotline for fans that is updated to give information on the status of the Miller Park roof that will be updated on a daily basis.  Brewers Senior Director – Stadium Operations Bob Hallas will update the status of the roof on the hotline.  He said he plans on having the status for a night game by noon and for a day game, he hopes to have the hotline updated by 10 a.m.  Of course, as weather changes, Hallas will keep the hotline updated with new information that will serve as a guideline for fans.

The hotline number is as follows:

1-800-774-8587

 

There are also plans in the works to have brewers.com updated to reflect such changes in the roof position.  We will keep you updated on those developments as they are implemented.

– JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 444 other followers

%d bloggers like this: