April 2013

Bonk Breaker Playing Ball with the Brewers

If you’re like me and you’re training for the Brewers Community Foundation’s annual 5K Famous Racing Sausages Run/Walk and/or the Brewers Mini-Marathon + 10K this season (or if you’re involved in other athletic pursuits and are focused on healthy-eating), you’ll want to listen up–then fuel up.

Bonk Breaker®, the official energy bar of the U.S. IRONMAN® triathlon series,  announced today that it has forged a new partnership with the Milwaukee Brewers and that Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio has become an investor in the company.

Starting on Tuesday when the Brewers return home to face the San Francisco Giants, the freshly-baked, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free nutrition bars will be available at select concession stands at Miller Park as well as at the four Brewers Team Stores. To start, we’ll be carrying the Brewers-branded Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Bonk Breaker for $3.00 each. In addition, Bonk Breaker will provide complimentary Bonk Bites™ (a smaller 1.1 oz version of the Bonk Breaker) for participants at the Brewers “Weather Day,” event next Thursday, April 18.

Bonk Breaker is also participating in the Club’s effort to promote fitness and healthy nutrition in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin.

“Mark is an exceptional individual and will be a terrific resource for the Bonk Breaker team. He’s incredibly committed to fitness and great nutrition personally, and has a real passion for Bonk Breaker – as a product, as a brand, and as a culture,” commented Bonk Breaker Chairman and co-CEO Chris Frank.  “I’m from Milwaukee and have been a huge fan of the Brewers my entire life, and knowing that the Brewers are fueled by Bonk Breaker and that Brewers fans can also enjoy a great-tasting and healthy food choice at Miller Park is incredibly gratifying.  You don’t have to be in the Major Leagues to fuel like a pro.”

“I am proud to invest in Bonk Breaker as there are many common interests in our partnership,” Attanasio said. “Bonk Breaker’s connections to Milwaukee and Wisconsin, as well as their natural ties to professional sports, make this a great fit. I am impressed with the company’s products and vision, and I know that this will be a fun and exciting opportunity for all of us involved.”

Bonk Breaker Founder and co-CEO Jason Winn said, “We’ve experienced tremendous success in the endurance sports world in the past five years, and cheered when some of our Bonk Breaker-fueled athletes brought home five medals from last summer’s Olympic Games in London. It’s equally exciting to see the impact we’re now having in the professional, collegiate, and high school sports ranks as well.”

Bonk Breaker is available in eight energy bars flavors, two high protein bars, and four flavors of Bonk Bites™. Additional information about Bonk Breaker is available at www.bonkbreaker.com and via info@bonkbreaker.com.

Today, our marketing department had fun sampling some of the flavors, including Peanut Butter and Jelly, Apple Pie, Blueberry Oat, and the Brewers-branded Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. The consensus here is that Peanut Butter and Jelly is our favorite. We’ll be anxious to hear what you think!

So, next time you come out to Miller Park, grab a Bonk Breaker and fuel up!

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

About Bonk Breaker®

The official bar of the U.S. IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, Bonk Breaker® was selected as the “Best Energy Bar” by Road Bike Action magazine two years running and the “Best of Competitor magazine for the 5th time in 2013. Owned and operated by Jason Winn and Chris Frank, who are elite-level athletes in their own right, Bonk Breaker’s mission is to create the “World’s Best Nutrition Bars,” a quest that began in 2006 when Jason and his mother baked the first peanut butter & jelly bar in an apartment kitchen. By combining delicious flavors from the finest all-natural ingredients that are gluten free, dairy free, and soy free, the Santa Monica, CA-based company offers a freshly-baked lineup that has grown from 4 products to 14 in the past 3 years. Bonk Breaker® is available in 8 energy bars flavors, 2 high protein bars, and 4 flavors of Bonk Bites. Top professional, Olympic, and elite teams and athletes around the world are fueled by Bonk Breaker. Team Bonk Breaker athletes took home 5 Olympic medals from the 2012 London Games, including a pair by 6-time world champion track cyclist Sarah Hammer. The company also proudly fuels Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker, preeminent professional triathletes Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae, Angela Naeth, and Heather & Trevor Wurtele as well as the Kenda 5-hour Energy Pro Cycling team and Hincapie Sportswear Development Team. Equally important, Bonk Breaker® is the energy bar of choice for weekend warriors, families, and anyone hungry for a tasty and nutritious snack. Visit Bonk Breaker® online at www.bonkbreaker.com  and “like” them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bonkbreakerbar.

Brewed for Her Night Set for May 25

On Saturday, May 25, during the Brewers vs. Pirates game, we’ll be hosting our first-ever “Brewed For Her” event in the Gehl Club at Miller Park, an event geared toward women showcasing multiple products that are sold in the Brewers Team Stores, along with fashion tips, and interactive beauty stations highlighting new Brewers hair and nail accessories.

The event will begin an hour and a half before gates open that day (noon) so that attendees have time to shop the stores and visit vendor booths set up by the Brewers Team Store on the Club Level before the game begins. Various vendors, fashion experts, and beauticians will be on hand during the event to offer advice, give demonstrations and offer product information. Attendees will also be able to purchase items in the Gehl Club that day and those who purchase the new Brewers hair and nail accessories will also have the opportunity to have the beauticians style their hair and nails with them on the spot.

Brewed For Her Night

“We know women love baseball and we wanted to give them a special day dedicated to them. This event will be a lot of fun; we hope they’ll enjoy the new Brewers gear and accessories and get new ideas on how to show their team support not just at the game, but also out on the town,” said Jill Aronoff, Senior Director Merchandise Branding.

Brewed for Her is $115 per ticket and includes:

  • Early entry into Miller Park
  • Your Brewers vs. Pirates ticket in the upscale Gehl Club at Miller Park, which includes an all- you-can-eat buffet and two complementary beverages
  • Access to vendor booths and product displays at the Brewers Team Store on the Club Level
  • Demonstrations by beauticians
  • Fashion tips from experts
  • Ability to purchase merchandise that evening from the Gehl Club
  • A special Brewed for Her gift bag, which includes a t-shirt

I’m planning to attend this event and look forward to talking with many of the attendees as well as grabbing photos to feature here on the blog–I hope to see you there!

Tickets are on sale now at brewers.com/brewedforher or by phone at (414) 902-GAME (4263). You’ll want to hurry as this event is limited to just the first 200 attendees!

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

Famous Racing Sausages Lottery Ticket Available Soon

The Wisconsin Lottery is introducing a new $3 lottery scratch ticket featuring the popular Brewers mascots – the Famous Racing SausagesTM.

Prior to the Brewers vs. Giants game on Tuesday, April 16, a Wisconsin Lottery booth will be located on the Miller Park plaza near the home plate entrance at Miller Park.  Fans will have the opportunity to register for a chance to win a Brewers Suite for 16 guests for the Sunday, June 23 game against the Atlanta Braves. Additional prizes will be awarded at the booth and Klement’s will grill brats while quantities last. This is an exclusive, one-day event.

The $3 Famous Racing SausagesTM scratch ticket will be available at lottery retailers throughout Wisconsin beginning this Friday, April 12. Players will have a chance to win up to $30,000 instantly.  All prizes in the scratch game are cash prizes.

-John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

Score the Ultimate Souvenir at the Authentics Kiosk at Miller Park

IMG_6211

The kiosk features many unique game-used items which change frequently. When I visited the kiosk last weekend, there were many game-worn Design a YOUniform jerseys and caps as well as other memorabilia.  Starting at the 5th inning, the kiosk will carry items from that day or night’s game, available for sale.

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Game-used bases and baseballs can be pre-ordered for any upcoming game. Pre-orders can be taken at the kiosk, by calling (414)-902-4479, or via email gameused@brewers.com

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

Tim’s Tips: Pop and Glide, See the Ball Before You Stride

Last month, I introduced to you Tim Rappé, Executive Director of our new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

Along with signing up for the camps and getting excellent baseball instruction there, every so often, Tim will provide some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. See below for his insight on the batting stance!

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

POP AND GLIDE, SEE THE BALL BEFORE YOU STRIDE

In a previous post, I discussed how important it is to have excellent timing and control of the bat if you ever expect to be a good hitter. Now I’m going to discuss a very specific component of timing that is often misunderstood and unfortunately often taught incorrectly.

If you’ve been around coaching for a while you may have heard the expression, “When the pitcher shows you his pocket, you show yours.” That’s a pretty good visual meant to describe the timing of the pitcher lifting his stride leg and the hitter assuming the load-stride phase of the swing. In general, that’s solid advice but I think it’s flawed. Let me explain.

I’ve spent a great deal of time watching video over the years and made it a point at a recent Spring Training game between the Brewers and the Angels to confirm or disprove this critical teaching point. What I saw was exactly as expected. The hitter’s stride foot does not plant until the ball is in flight.  If we step too early, the “kinetic chain” is broken and power will be lost…a bad thing. If the stride heel plants a fraction of a second before the swing is launched, there is a maximum transfer of power…a good thing. What makes this especially difficult to achieve is that a  90 mph only takes .44 seconds to reach the hitter. Talk about a small window in which to get “on time.”

Braun

So, here’s my problem with the “pocket-showing” strategy.  It doesn’t take into account that (a) not every pitcher’s delivery is the same. Some guys are slower to the plate than others and (b) not every pitch is delivered at the same speed. Clearly, if the first guy you face is throwing 60 mph and the second guy is throwing 80 mph, using the back pocket as the timing trigger will almost certainly cause a break in that kinetic chain…a bad thing.

It is better to be early than late but our goal should be to get the front side down on time. If anyone questions that, just ask any pitcher what he’s trying to do to the hitter. His answer: Mess with the hitter’s timing. If that front foot heel comes down too early or too late, advantage pitcher.

So, what is the hitter’s strategy to stay on time? That’s what the on-deck circle is for. Take a look at pro hitters and see them trying to get their timing down before they step in the box. And make sure that when the heel plants you are balanced. Don’t lean back. Don’t get out over your front side. Take another look at Ryan Braun’s picture for a textbook shot of what a hitter should look like prior to the swing. If you were expecting gas (fastball) and got Uncle Charley (off speed) as long as you are balanced with good posture and your hands haven’t leaked forward, you can still drive the ball.

Hitting is about constant adjustment and nothing is more critical and ever changing than proper timing. “Pop and glide, pop and glide. See the ball before you stride” is an old timers’ verse to remind hitters that the foot comes down as the ball is in flight. Still good advice.

Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Braun to Be Recognized Saturday

Prior to this Saturday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a special on-field, pre-game ceremony will take place at Miller Park to present Ryan Braun with his 2012 Silver Slugger AwardFans are encouraged to be inside Miller Park for the ceremony, which will begin at approximately 6 p.m. CT. Brewers President – Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin will present the award.

In addition, Braun will also be presented the “2012 Josh Gibson Legacy Award” by Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. The award is given annually to the home run leaders of both the National League and American League.  Braun led the NL with 41 home runs last season.

UPDATE:

Here are photos from tonight’s ceremony…

Braun with the Josh Gibson Award.

Braun with the Josh Gibson Award.

Braun and Melvin with the Silver Slugger Award.

Braun and Melvin with the Silver Slugger Award.

Heavy hardware!

Heavy hardware!

-John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

What John and Cait Ate…Ribbie’s Cafe

“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

Hello readers!

We’re really excited to bring back the food review series that we started in 2011: What John and Cait Ate.

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.

Sportservice provides the food and drink concessions for 25 major league sports clients at 23 venues, including 10 Major League Baseball stadiums.  As the exclusive food, beverage and retail provider for Miller Park, Sportservice offers so many concession stands and such a wide variety of food options that fans dashing out of their seats for a quick snack between innings may be missing out on some of the best ballpark bites.

Don’t worry. We’re here to help.

We started the 2012 What John and Cait Ate series with a look at some of the new smoked meat products available at Miller Park. This year, that selection has expanded.  The beef brisket and smoked turkey are both back.  But we looked at some new items available this year.

Smokin’ Delicious!

Today, at our first meeting with Chef John, we were treated to an array of smoked products. Last year, Sportservice acquired a smoker and refine their classic smoked turkey and brisket plates.  This year, they plan on adding specials varying by homestand–it could be anything from Prime Rib, Mahi Mahi Tacos and Leg of Lamb to what we feasted on this time: a 10oz Smoked Pork Chop and the Beer Can Chicken (how appropriate for Miller Park!).

10oz Smoked Pork Chop-$10.00

10 ounce Pork Chops

10 ounce Pork Chops

Add two slices of white bread, some homemade BBQ sauce, a scoop of macaroni and cheese and a pickle and, my friends, you have a meal!

Finished product.

Finished product

John: A sizable portion at 10 ounces, the pork chop is marinated in apple cider brine and a special seasoning, smoked the day of the game. It’s then drizzled with Miller Park’s homemade barbecue sauce.  The meat was very tender and full of flavor.  Served over two slices of wheat bread, the pork chop could be eaten like a sandwich or cut up.  It was a smoked flavor in the meat combined with the tangy sauce that made this meal a good start to the 2013 season.  A healthy portion of delicious mac ‘n cheese on the side was also served.  It is a bit difficult to eat unless you have a table and it is likely that you will need a fork and knife to eat this.

The Beer Can Chicken-$10.00

Good old fashioned beer can chicken!

Good old fashioned beer can chicken!

A generous portion of macaroni and a pickle round out this ballpark meal!

Quite the feast!

Quite the feast!

Cait: With the chicken, you also get a generous portion. It’s marinated with Guinness and slow-roasted on a beer can for two days, seasoned with Old Bay. Like the pork chop,  the meat was very tender and full of flavor. Delicious mac ‘n cheese and a pickle make this into a meal. As John pointed out, the only drawback to this delicious fare is that it can be  difficult to eat unless you have a table as you will need a fork and knife to eat it. However, that’s just one more reason to get to the ballpark early, have your dinner and then get another snack/dessert somewhere around the 4th or 5th inning!

Where To Satisfy Your Craving: Both of these sandwiches are available at the patio outside the right-field corner on the Field Level & Ribbie’s Cafe outside Section 221 on the Loge Level (pictured below).

Rating (out of 5):

4 Sausages

 

 

Well, that concludes our first food critique of 2013. We hope you enjoyed reading it half as much as we enjoyed tasting these new items. We also hope we’ve inspired you to step outside of your brat and beer routine (not that there’s anything wrong with that) next time you’re at Miller Park to check out the wide variety of concession offerings.

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

Bon Appetit!

-John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

$4.04 Tickets Available Tomorrow Only!

Yesterday, I alluded to a special ticket promotion that would be taking place this week. Well, here are the details!

It’s our 4/4 Special 4 Our Fans, presented by Toyota!

Tomorrow, starting at 9 a.m., you can purchase tickets in the Loge Bleachers, Loge Outfield, and Terrace Level for the April 16, 17 and 18 games vs. the San Francisco Giants for just $4.04!

Click here and enter the code “GOFOR404” in the password box to get yours tomorrow.

You’ll have to hurry–offer available while supplies last. Limit of 8 tickets per game.

4/4 Special 4 Our Fans

Enjoy!

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

42 a Must-See for Baseball Fans

Last night, I was privileged to attend a special screening of “42,” the highly-anticipated Warner Bros & Legendary Pictures biopic of the late, great Jackie Robinson, with a special reception for community leaders, hosted in part by Brewers Community Foundation.

42 Movie

The showing, which took place at Mayfair Mall’s AMC Theatres, was one of just three private screenings in the entire country. In addition to Milwaukee, the other screenings took place in Washington D.C. (hosted by Michelle Obama) and in Atlanta, GA (with Hank Aaron in attendance), also last evening.

The movie is scheduled to open in theaters on Friday, April 12, but I’ve got a review for you here, plus details on a play based on Robinson’s life opening in Milwaukee called Jackie and Me.

First, in case you haven’t seen it, here’s the 42 trailer to whet your appetite:

Although the movie is called “42,” referencing Jackie Robinson’s jersey number, this story is not only about Jackie—it’s also about legendary Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey, whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball.

Because, in Rickey’s words, “There is more than playing. I wish it meant only hits runs, and errors-only the things they put in the box score. Because…a baseball box score is a democratic thing. It doesn’t tell how big you are, what church you attend, what color you are, or how your father voted in the last election.”

The movie opens in 1945 and chronicles Robinson’s journey from the Negro Leagues team the Kansas City Monarchs to the Brooklyn Dodgers’ AAA Club, the Montreal Royals and finally to his Major League debut on April 15, 1947 as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers (a date we now commemorate across MLB as Jackie Robinson Day).

I will warn you that there are a few scenes that are tough to watch—but then you remember that this is not just a fictional movie; it’s something that actually happened less than 70 years ago, and you think about how, if it’s so hard for you to watch, how hard must it have been for Robinson to endure?

That’s the feeling the filmmakers are trying to convey. And they don’t just want you to sympathize with Robinson (although that’s a key theme in the film)—they want to illustrate the type of man that he was, how primarily with help from Rickey, his wife, and a reporter named Wendell Smith, he prevailed in the face of the greatest of adversity and went on to not only break the color barrier, but become the 1947 Rookie of the Year and stolen bases champion, a six-time All-Star, and World Series Champion (1955).

Story aside for a moment, the acting in this film is just superb. Chadwick Boseman, a relatively unknown actor, gives an amazing performance as Jackie Robinson and Nicole Beharie, an actress of similar stature is stunning and gorgeous in her role as his wife, Rachel. And although I will admit that I had my doubts when I heard Harrison Ford was playing Branch Rickey (especially after reading this article), he surprised me with a very believable and powerful portrayal. The other actors in the film, particularly those playing Robinson’s teammates or rivals, also did an excellent job. Whether it was someone lovable who sympathized with Robinson and reached out to him; or someone despicable (and there are plenty), you could tell that each character and line of dialogue was specifically chosen by screenwriter Brian Helgeland and really (excuse the pun) hits home.

One of my favorite people in the story is Pee Wee Reese the Brooklyn Dodgers’ All-Star shortstop, portrayed by Lucas Black. His prowess on the field aside, Reese is also famous for his support of Robinson through the most difficult times.

Here's a graphic from the movie's Facebook page, depicting a powerful scene between Reese & Robinson.

Here’s a graphic from the movie’s Facebook page, depicting a powerful scene between Reese & Robinson.

In the movie he says to Robinson, “Maybe tomorrow we’ll all wear 42. That way they won’t be able to tell us apart.”

It’s a moment of levity and a moment of foreshadowing because, as you’re likely aware, each year on April 15, in an inspiring, league-wide effort, Major League Baseball teams observe Jackie Robinson Day. On this day, all players and on-field personnel wear the number “42,” in honor of his indelible legacy and commemorating the historic date when Baseball truly became our national game. This year, because the Brewers have an off-day on Monday, April 15, we’ll celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on April 16 when the San Francisco Giants come to town.

There’s also another Brewers-Robinson connection: First Stage Children’s Theater will feature the play Jackie and Me at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in Milwaukee. It will be performed April 12 through May 5 and Brewers Community Foundation and Rickie Weeks are serving as sponsors of the production. Tickets can be ordered online at firststage.org.

JackieAndMe_2012-13

Now since the Brewers had a game last night, unfortunately none of our players were able to attend the screening. However, in Washington, in addition to the movie’s cast and crew, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals was in attendance on his off-day. He tweeted:

Likewise, some of the Atlanta Braves spent their off-day seeing the movie as well:

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I hope you’ll take our recommendations and go and see this amazing film. I can’t wait to hear what you think. Please share your comments/reviews below.

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

Special Ticket Promo For Brewers Fans Coming…Stay Tuned!

Brewers fans, you’re in luck!  Be on the lookout for details about a special ticket promotion, which will be available for one day only, this Thursday, April 4!

 

Check back here at John and Cait… Plus 9 or on our social platforms for details!

Facebook: facebook.com/brewers

Twitter: @Brewers and @Bernie_Brewer

Pinterest: pinterest.com/brewersbaseball

Instagram: @brewers

Google Plus: +Brewers

 

Cheers!

-Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

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