June 2012

15 Weeks Until the Brewers Mini: A Reminder to Play It Safe

With just 15 weeks to go until the Brewers Mini Marathon and just 7 until the Brewers Community Foundation’s Famous Racing Sausages 5K Run/Walk, John, Trenni and I are all in training mode.

As I mentioned in earlier posts, even though I’ve participated in running events before, I’m not an everyday runner. So, in preparation for these upcoming events, I’ve been trying to run more regularly and build up my speed/mileage.

For those of you who know me personally, you know that I have a “Type-A” personality. I am ambitious and like to push myself, which can oftentimes be good when it comes to accomplishing goals and getting things done, but can also, at times, be harmful, such as when I push myself too hard.

In the case of my training, thanks to Trenni’s guidance, I was really starting to enjoy my morning runs and had begun running outside almost every morning. After achieving a personal best time for a 2-mile run, the next day I attempted to run a 5K distance just to time myself and establish a benchmark.

I got about halfway through that run and felt something funny in my left knee. I made it home, but I could tell something was wrong. I took a day off and then tested it out again–it still hurt. Two days after that, it still bothered me, but it didn’t hurt when I walked and I wanted to continue training. However, the moment I tried to run on it, it would buckle. Then I went to play golf and while I walked the 18 holes, I noticed my other knee starting to ache, as well as pain in my elbows.

Worried that I had somehow seriously injured myself, I made an appointment with my doctor before doing any other form of exercise.  She checked everything out physically with my joints, particularly my left knee, which was the primary source of pain, and even ran some blood tests due to my family medical history.

It turned out that everything checked out just fine–it was just a classic case of overuse. I was trying to do too much too soon and, by not giving that left knee a chance to rest after I first tweaked it, I also put myself at risk for further injury by changing my form to compensate for the pain.

I took a week off of running and adhered to the pain medication schedule prescribed my physician and I’m feeling much better now. I was very lucky I didn’t do any serious damage to my knees and I’m ready to get back out there, but this time, I am going to play it safe and really listen to my body.

I hope you learn from my mistakes and take it easy when starting out.

Happy (safe) running!

Cait (& John & Trenni!)


Here’s a recap of our training posts to date:

Brewers To Host “Mini-Marathon” in September, Will Benefit the MACC Fund

20 Weeks To Go Until the Brewers Mini-Marathon!

Getting in Gear: 19 Weeks To Go Until the Brewers Mini-Marathon!

18 Weeks To Go Until the Brewers Mini-Marathon….10 Weeks until the 5K Sausages Run/Walk!

Eat to Compete: 17 Weeks To Go Until the Brewers Mini-Marathon!

16 Weeks Until the Brewers Mini: Happy National Running Day!

4th Annual Davey Nelson Celebrity Golf Classic a Swinging Success

Two weeks ago, I previewed the Davey Nelson Celebrity Golf Classic at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wisconsin and yesterday, I was fortunate enough to play in it.

This was the fourth year of Davey’s tournament and it’s been held at Blackwolf since it’s inception. I was especially excited to be playing the course this year, as the Original Championship Course is the site of the 2012 Women’s U.S. Open (July 2-8).

Indeed, when I arrived at the course, you could see signs of preparations for the Open, from trailers in the parking lots and tents set up around to the property to bleacher structures in the making and merchandise in the pro shop.


Blackwolf Run has two 18-hole courses and for Davey’s tournament, we played the Meadow Valleys course. [For the Open, Blackwolf Run will return to its original single-course configuration, comprised of holes 10-18 of the Meadow Valleys course and holes 1-4 and 14-18 of the River course. That means, when we were on the back nine at Davey’s tournament, we were playing a U.S. Open course!]

Upon check-in, participants were provided with a locker and inside, assorted goodies were waiting for us, including a polo shirt, cap, headcovers and golf balls.

Then, the morning started off with a golf clinic led by American Club golf pros and a putting contest, along with a buffet brunch.

Each foursome in the tournament was paired with a celebrity golfer  to make up a five-person team. Team play consisted of a Scramble Format with team prizes awarded to the top finishers.

Among the many celebrities in the tournament were former Brewers players Jay Aldrich, Jerry Augustine, Sal Bando (also a Brewers GM), Jim Gantner, Pete Ladd, Damian Miller, Willie Mueller (who was also in the movie Major League as “Duke”), Ken Sanders, Gorman Thomas, Greg Vaughn, Paul Wagner and Robin Yount; former UW-Badgers, Derek Engler, Tyler Donovan and Tarek Saleh; Evan Fitzgerald, CBS-58 Sports Anchor; Bruce Froemming, former MLB Umpire; Jason Grimsley, former MLB pitcher; Greg Matzek and Bill Michaels, radio personalities; Greg Meyer, NFL Referee; and Tony Smith, a former Milwaukee Bucks player and current FSWisconsin broadcaster.

My group consisted of Cecelia Gore, Executive Director of Brewers Community Foundation; Fred and Leo, friends of Davey’s from Florida; and our celebrity, former Brewers relief pitcher, Jay Aldrich. Drafted by the Brewers in 1982, Aldrich played for the team in 1987 and 1989; he also played for the Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles in his career. He currently resides in the Milwaukee area and, thankfully for our team, is an avid golfer.

Our fearsome fivesome with the man of the day. L-R: Jay, Leo, Fred, Davey, Cecelia and me.

The tournament was a shotgun start, so our group began on hole 7, a par five, which we promptly eagled. We got off to a really hot start in our round and, with the exception of one bogey, never really looked back.

We had a ton of fun in our group and each member contributed equally, playing to his or her strength. For example, Cecelia made at least three putts for us that were outside of 10-feet. My claim to fame is a (75% of the time) long, straight drive, which, being female, I get to hit from the Ladies’ tees, a considerable advantage on a course like Blackwolf Run. With Fred and Leo being from Florida, they get to play lots of golf, so they had lots of clutch shots; however, I would say Jay was definitely the “pro” in our group.

We finished the day at -8, which was good, but not good enough to win the tournament.

Each hole also consisted of different challenges with opportunities to win various prizes for things like longest drive, longest putt, or closest to the hole. Our team came close on a few of the challenges, but didn’t hold up in the end.

We didn’t mind at all because despite an early threat of rain, we had wonderful weather, a fun day, the chance to play a beautiful championship course and, most importantly, we were helping a great cause: Open Arms Home for Children in South Africa and Brewers Community Foundation. Open Arms is a non-profit organization that provides shelter, clothing, protection and basic healthcare for what is now home to many children orphaned due to the Aids epidemic in South Africa. Davey has served as Board of Director for over four years.

Following golf, there was a reception and silent auction, and then dinner with a live auction. During dinner, we learned more about Open Arms and heard stories about the children whose lives we were helping, all by taking a day off of work to play golf. It was a very touching and moving presentation and I’m so happy that this event has been able to raise money to support the organization, which Davey and many others have dedicated a lot of time and energy into making a success.

For more information on Open Arms, please visit the website at http://www.openarmshome.com.

Here are some more photos from the day and I hope to see you out at the tournament next year! (PS-Any ringers, please ask to be put in my group!)

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Chef’s Table for the Padres Series

The rumors were true, the Chef’s Table for the Padres series will feature Shrimp Tacos.  Each order comes with three soft shell tacos with shrimp, avocado, salsa verde, pineapple-cilatro slaw and a chipotle cream sauce.  These were magnificent.  I highly suggest you try this version of a San Diego favorite.

Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp Tacos

Available outside section 215 on the Loge Level at the Chef’s Table this weekend only.  Each order is $9.50.  Enjoy!  We will be back with a special “Green Week” Chef’s Table for the Blue Jays series, June 18 – 20.



Who will be Top Dog in the Dawg Days of Summer Promotion?

If you know me personally (or follow me on Twitter :)), you know I am a cat person. I don’t dislike dogs, it’s just that I’ve grown up with only cats my whole life and I currently own two, Crash and Cowbell. 

So, needless to say, when I heard about our Dawg Days of Summer Promotion at Miller Park last year, I have to admit I was a little jealous of my canine-loving friends who had the perfect excuse to play dress-up with their pups!

And now, they get to do it again because the Dawg Days of Summer promotion is back!

Now through next Thursday, June 14, submit a photo of your dog dressed in Brewers gear to the Brewers Team Stores, and one lucky dog will win big!

The Grand Prize Winner will get to make an appearance with his or her pooch at the Sunday, July 1 Brewers vs. Diamondbacks game, plus he or she will receive a $250 shopping spree at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic and a deluxe puppy prize pack filled with Brewers gear!

Four runner-up canines will each receive a $100 shopping spree and a special puppy prize pack.

Plus, the first 125 people to submit photos will receive a $5 coupon to use towards their next purchases at the Brewers Team Stores.

Want to get inspired? Check out this slideshow of last year’s top five pooches!

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For complete details, visit the Brewers Team Store by Majestic, located in the Hot Corner at Miller Park near Friday’s Front Row, or call (414) 902-4750.

Have fun and good luck!




What John and Cait Ate: No Small Potatoes Here!

“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:

Baked Potatoes

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.

This week, we played hot potato, as Chef John treated us to selections from the Baked Potato Stand. Located on each level at Miller Park, the Baked Potato stands boast four different types of potatoes: Bases Loaded, Broccoli Cheese, BBQ Brisket and Chipotle Chicken.

Read on for a description, photos and reviews!

Baked Potatoes-$6.75

John: I walk by this stand probably three to four times a day and I have never stopped to try anything. Baked potatoes might seem like a “side” item or just an extra, but the Chipotle Chicken baked potato was a full meal. It started with a regular baked potato and then was topped with shredded chipotle chicken. The next layer was a scoop of salsa, then cheese and finally sour cream. It ended up looking and tasting like a burrito wrapped around a potato instead of a tortilla. It was a lot of food and at just $6.75, it is probably one of the best bargains at Miller Park.  A key to this was that the potato was piping hot and stayed warm for the entire time it took me to eat this.

John tried the Chipotle Chicken potato, made with chipotle chicken, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, sour cream and chives.

Cait: The baked potatoes are easily my favorite ballpark meal. Yes, that’s right–while baked potatoes are usually side dish in my household, the ones at Miller Park are no small potatoes. At just $6.75 each, these Idaho potatoes are a bargain. They’re ginormous and, when topped with a protein like the Chipotle Chicken or BBQ Brisket, definitely make a hearty meal, or at least a great snack to share with a friend. The Chipotle Chicken has been my go-to for the past couple of years, so I decided to try this season’s new offering, the BBQ Brisket. As you can see from the photo, this potato includes generous servings of brisket, cheese and sour cream and is drizzled with a special horseradish sour cream on top of that (which is not very spicy, in case you’re wondering).  The effect is nothing short of amazing, but I still think that my favorite is the Chipotle Chicken.

Cait tried the BBQ Brisket potato, made with smoked BBQ brisket, shredded cheese, horseradish sour cream, and chives.

There were two baked potatoes that we did not sample for this review: The Bases Loaded, which contains butter, bacon, shredded cheese, sour cream, and chives; and the Broccoli Cheese, which, as the name suggests, is made with melted cheese and broccoli. Chef John tells us the Bases Loaded is the most popular of all of the potato types amongst Brewers fans.


(out of 5)

Where To Satisfy Your Craving: These Baked Potatoes can be found at stands located on the Field Level (Section 125), Loge Level (Section 214), Club Level (Section 337) and Terrace Level (Section 431).

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


16 Weeks Until the Brewers Mini: Happy National Running Day!

Happy National Running Day from John, Cait and Trenni!

We’re continuing to train for the Brewers Famous Racing Sausages 5K Run/Walk (July 28) and the Brewers Mini-Marathon (September 22) and we hope you’re planning to join us!

Feel free to share one or both of these graphics on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. to spread the word and show your support for these two great causes!

You can also visit www.runningday.org to create your own badge–whether serious or funny, Brewers-related or not,–then share the link, or what you wrote, with us in the comments field below!

Happy Running!

-John and Cait (& Trenni!)


Here’s a recap of our training posts to date:

Brewers To Host “Mini-Marathon” in September, Will Benefit the MACC Fund

20 Weeks To Go Until the Brewers Mini-Marathon!

Getting in Gear: 19 Weeks To Go Until the Brewers Mini-Marathon!

18 Weeks To Go Until the Brewers Mini-Marathon….10 Weeks until the 5K Sausages Run/Walk!

Eat to Compete: 17 Weeks To Go Until the Brewers Mini-Marathon!

Chef’s Table For The Cubs Series

We played the Cubs at Miller Park less than a month ago and the Chef’s Table featured a fabulous Italian Beef Sandwich.  Although that sandwich was delicious, I knew Chef John and his crew would come up with a new item for this series with the Cubs.  There are so many options to choose from when talking about food and Chicago.

For this current three-game series against the Cubs, the “Taylor Street Steak Sandwich” will be featured.  This sandwich is a thin, fried steak that is topped with sweet peppers or hot giardinera and then finished with marinara sauce.  It is served on a soft roll and comes with the home made chips.

Menu for the Cubs series Chef's Table

Menu for the Cubs series Chef’s Table

Steaks on the griddle and peppers in the pan.

Steaks on the griddle and peppers in the pan.

The finished product.

The finished product.

This sandwich can be yours for $9.25 and is available as always on the Loge Level outside sections 215 and 216.  It will be available during all three Cubs games this week.



Photos from Brewers MLB Draft War Room

I just stopped up to the Brewers MLB Draft War Room on the Terrace Level of Miller Park.  As expected, the room is buzzing with activity.  Brewers Director Amateur Scouting Bruce Seid was seated front in center of the room, with his support staff surrounding him.

President of Baseball Operations – General Manager Doug Melvin welcomed Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio who arrived with his son, Dan, and fellow Advisory Board Member, Eric Siegel, just minutes before the Astros made the first overall selection.

Another special guest in the room was Brewers pitcher Zack Greinke who has previously expressed interest in following in the footsteps of Brewers Special Assistant to the General Manager Craig Counsell and one day working in the front office.

Here are some photos from the room:

Bruce Seid (r) and National Crosschecker Joe Ferrone in the War Room tonight.

Bruce Seid (r) and National Crosschecker Joe Ferrone in the War Room tonight.

An overview of the War Room.  Behind me is a large screen of the broadcast and three "SmartBoards" with the Brewers preferred players. Not allowed to take photos of the Draft Board! Top secret information!

An overview of the War Room. Behind me is a large screen of the broadcast and three “SmartBoards” with the Brewers preferred players. Not allowed to take photos of the Draft Board! Top secret information!

Doug Melvin talks with Brewers pitcher Zack Greinke who wanted to see the inner workings of the Brewers Draft operation.

Doug Melvin talks with Brewers pitcher Zack Greinke who wanted to see the inner workings of the Brewers Draft operation.

Doug Melvin and Mark Attanasio in the Brewers War Room.

Doug Melvin and Mark Attanasio in the Brewers War Room.

Laptops, "SmartBoards," iPads and  cell phones.  The Brewers War Room featured a lot of cutting edge technology with help from the Brewers MIS Department.

Laptops, “SmartBoards,” iPads and cell phones. The Brewers War Room featured a lot of cutting edge technology with help from the Brewers MIS Department.

Craig Counsell and Zack Minasian in the Brewers War Room.

Craig Counsell and Zack Minasian in the Brewers War Room.

The Brewers will make the 27th, 28th and 38th selections tonight.  The draft is currently airing live on MLB Network.  We expect the Brewers to make their first selection around 8:37 p.m. CT.  Melvin and Seid are expected to address a group of media assembled with me and Brewers Media Relations Coordinator Ken Spindler in the media interview room (I’d take photos of that, but it really isn’t as exciting).  We have pizza, salad and a special MLB Draft cookie (Adam McCalvy has already torn into that) down here!

We will continue to keep you updated on the Brewers Draft throughout the night.



Cait’s Summer Reading List: Reviewing Frank Catalanotto’s Heart & Hustle

Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Frank Catalanotto who lived on Long Island and dreamed of one day playing for the New York Yankees.

Although Frank was never the biggest or the best player on any of his Little League or high school teams, there were two categories in which Frank excelled that led him to realize his dreams: heart and hustle.

Those two characteristics—embodied in the long hours of practice, the discipline he put into his training regimen, and his continuing education as a lifelong student of the game—set Frank apart and eventually paid off, helping make his major league dreams come true.

While he didn’t end up playing for his beloved Yankees, Frank did enjoy a successful 14-year career (1997-2010) playing for the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, the New York Mets, and our very own Milwaukee Brewers.

And as they say, he’s lived to tell about it.

The former Brewers outfielder (2009), who is now retired, recently wrote a book called Heart & Hustle: An Unlikely Journey from Little Leaguer to Big Leaguer and I had both the privilege of reading the book and catching up with Frank about it.

“I never had planned on writing a book until after I retired and my cousin kept telling me that I should write a book because I had a lot of cool experiences and some good stories to share. Once I started writing I couldn’t stop,” Frank told me.   

Indeed, Frank does have plenty of good stories to share in the book—many of which relate to life lessons about things such as the importance of family, persistence, dedication, discipline and routine.

Heart & Hustle contains chapters such as “A Typical Day in the Big Leagues,” “Preparation,” “Slumps” and “Big League Mentality,” most followed by chapter summaries entitled, “Cat’s Keys.”

The book also includes “how-to” type chapters on hitting, fielding and conditioning, complete with suggested drills, and exercises along with pictures to illustrate them.

In my opinion, this book is perfect for any child who dreams of making it to the major leagues and it is a terrific resource for parents and coaches as well.

I also think it has a much broader appeal. I never played ball growing up and I don’t have any children or coach; however, I am (obviously) a big fan of the game and, even though I have been working in the sport for over 10 years, I came away from Frank’s book with an entirely new level of appreciation for the players, especially where it pertains to preparation and the mental aspect of the game.

For example, there is a chapter called, “The Book,” which I found particularly interesting. Throughout his career, Frank carried around notebooks with him wherever he went. In them, he wrote about everything from pitchers’ and umpires’ tendencies to anything else learned from a coach, another player, or just by observing. Frank studied them religiously, using any information he could to get an edge. I think that sometimes, we tend to hold professional athletes on a pedestal, thinking they are all freaks of nature—superhumanly athletically gifted and talented. As you’ll learn from Frank, however, even in the big leagues, these players—who have worked incredibly hard to get where they are— must still try to continue to work on their game and improve. And they can struggle with confidence just like the rest of us.

Out of his 14 years in the Major Leagues, Frank only spent one year with us, so the book doesn’t touch on his time in Milwaukee too much, but he does reference his at-bat song, “Your Love,” by The Outfield, which was a big hit with fans at Miller Park.

Frank notes that he started using the song after Kelly Johnson used it in Atlanta. Gordon Beckham and Eric Byrnes also used it that year (as did Mark Kotsay, when he played with us in 2011).

“I’m not so sure why ‘Your Love’ was such a big hit that summer,” Frank said to me. “I am a big 80s fan and love the song. I thought it would be a fun song to come out to. It was much different than anything that I had ever come out to in the past. It wound up being a really good choice because the fans seemed to enjoy it.”

The book also includes lists of “Cat’s Best,” Frank’s top five in a variety of categories from best ballpark to best post-game spread. You’re going to have to read the book to find out what they are, but I did ask Frank to come up with a list just for us that isn’t included in it:

Cat’s Best Things About Playing in Milwaukee

1. The most passionate fans in the game

2. Miller Park

3. Summerfest

4. The beer

5. The bratwurst

Whether you’re a Little Leaguer, a high school, college or minor league player; a coach or a parent; or just a baseball fan in general, I highly encourage you to read Heart & Hustle this summer. The book can be purchased through Frank’s website at www.frankcatalanotto.comAnd, for a limited time, if you order it directly through the site, he’ll also autograph it for you, making it a great collector’s item and/or gift idea for that special fan in your life.

Read Frank’s book and wish to weigh in? Read another good baseball book recently? Your comments are welcome below!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I love reading, so I look forward to reviewing more baseball books here for you on John and Cait…Plus 9! this summer!



Brewers Debut Fourth Aaron Rodgers Spot

Right before Opening Day, we debuted our 2012 TV spots and let you know that there would be four additional spots featuring Packers MVP Quarterback Aaron Rodgers released throughout the season.

If you’ve been following along, you know that the spots follow Aaron along as he tries to score a spot on our roster during Spring Training.

So far, Aaron’s been showing off his pitching skills. However, his unusual delivery (“Three-Step Drop”),  distracting jewelry (“Glare”)  and, most recently, incessant phone calls while on the mound (“Bad Reception”) have hurt his chances. [Note: You can even listen to some of Aaron’s voicemails here.]

In the current spot (“Best Guy”), released today,  Aaron decides to showcase his hitting prowess.  Take a look:

The final  Rodgers spot will be released in a couple of weeks–so look for the conclusion this story here on John and Cait…Plus 9! In the meantime, you can view the rest of the 2012 TV spots here.

Again, it was a fun TV shoot and we’re very proud of the finished product. Kudos to 2-Story Creative and Metaphystico for their great work! We hope you like the spots as much as we enjoyed working on them!



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