May 2013

READY “FORE” THE 5TH ANNUAL DAVEY NELSON CELEBRITY GOLF TOURNAMENT?

The Fifth Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament hosted by Brewers Director of Alumni Relations and FOX Sports Wisconsin broadcaster Dave Nelson is scheduled to be held on Monday, June 24, 2013 on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.

Davey Nelson (right) with Craig Coshun at Miller Park.   Photo: OnMilwaukee.com

The Davey Nelson Celebrity Golf Tournament kick off at 10:30 a.m. with a Shotgun Start and will be followed by a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, and dinner.

Last year, I was fortunate enough to attend this event, where I was paired with former Brewers pitcher Jay Aldrich. It was a really fun day for an important cause. You can read my review of the tournament, plus see more photos, here.

Cait and Davey at last year's event.

Cait and Davey at last year’s event.

This year, celebrity guests scheduled to golf in the tournament include current Brewers players and personnel: Gord Ash, Tom Gorzelanny, Garth Iorg, Kyle Lohse, Doug Melvin, Chris Narveson and Ron Roenicke; former Brewers players Jay Aldrich, Sal Bando (also a Brewers GM),  Jeff Cirillo, Geoff Jenkins, Damian Miller, Willie Mueller (who was also in the movie Major League as “Duke”),  Greg Vaughn, Paul Wagner and Steve Woodard; Bruce Froemming, former MLB Umpire; Jason Grimsley, former MLB pitcher; Randall McDaniel, Former NFL player; Greg Matzek, radio personality; Greg Meyer, NFL Referee; Tony Smith, a former Milwaukee Bucks player; and Craig Coshun and Telly Hughes, sideline reporters for Fox Sports Wisconsin. [Celebrity golfers are subject to change.]

And, not only is the field stellar, but the course is amazing as well. In the previous years of the tournament, the outing has been held at Blackwolf Run in Kohler and now participants will have a new challenge as it moves to the Irish Course at Whistling Straits. All of the courses up at Kohler are phenomenal, so you really can’t go wrong.

The Irish Course, which was ranked #39 in Golf Digest‘s ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses for 2013/2014 features “the grassland-and-dunes aspect of the Irish” and is just inland from the  lake and interspersed by four streams.

One unique feature of the course is a flock of Scottish Blackface sheep which roam freely,  harkening back to older times on Scottish links courses, where sometimes sheep were the only “lawnmowers” used.

Cait at Whistling Straits

Cait at Whistling Straits

My dad, at Whistling Straits (he had a "baa-d lie!").

My dad, at Whistling Straits (he had a “baa-d lie!”).

 

Registrations are being accepted as foursomes only and a celebrity golfer will be paired with each group to make up a five-person team. Team play will consist of a Scramble Format with team prizes awarded to the top finishers. The tournament is limited to 30 foursomes and, if you haven’t signed up yet, I’m told there is still space available, but it is moving quickly! Registration fees are $2,500 per foursome.

Besides the tournament itself, a golf clinic led by American Club golf pros and a putting contest will take place at 9:30 a.m., and a buffet brunch will be served prior to play. After golf, there will be a cocktail hour with a Silent Auction followed by dinner and a Live Auction.

For those who do not wish to golf, tickets to the reception and dinner only are available for $150 per person.

An additional preview event has been added on Sunday, June 23rd, consisting of a golf experience at Whistling Straits followed by a cocktail reception and dinner at the Championship Locker with celebrity participants. Rates for the preview event vary pending participation and sponsorship level.

Proceeds will benefit Open Arms Home for Children in South Africa and Brewers Community Foundation. Open Arms Home for Children 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. Dave Nelson has served as Board Director for several years.

For additional information, sponsorship opportunities, or to sign up for this memorable golfing experience visit http://www.brewers.com/davey or contact Meredith Malone at (414) 902-4501 or Meredith.Malone@brewers.com.

Updates on the event can be found on twitter by following Brewers Community Foundation ( @brewerscf ) or on the Facebook: Davey Nelson Celebrity Golf Tournament to Benefit Open Arms.

-Cait

johnandcait@Brewers.com

More about Davey Nelson:

Nelson enters his sixth season as an analyst for FS Wisconsin broadcasts.  He also serves as Brewers Director of Alumni Relations and leads the team’s Speakers Bureau.  In his front office role, Nelson maintains a database of former Brewers players as well as organizes events for Brewers alumni.

Prior to his current role, Nelson served as Brewers first-base coach from 2003-06.  In 2001 and 2002, he was a minor-league outfield instructor.  Nelson began his Major League coaching career in 1981 with Chicago-AL and later spent time coaching in Cleveland, Oakland and Montreal.  In 1980, he was on the coaching staff at Texas Christian University.

Nelson enjoyed a 10-year Major League playing career from 1968-77.  The former outfielder played for Cleveland, Washington, Texas and Kansas City.  He was named to the American League All-Star team in 1973.

Born in Fort Still, Oklahoma, Nelson went on to graduate from Junipero Serra High School in California.  He attended Compton Junior College for one year and Los Angeles State College for two years.  Nelson also served in the Army Reserve for six years.  He currently splits time between Bradenton, Florida and Milwaukee.

What John and Cait Ate: Food Network Mac & Cheese

“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

Food Network Mac & Cheese

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.

Food Network Mac & Cheese

 IMG_6848

$8 for 16 oz cup

Brewers Food Network Mac and Cheese

$8 for the Trio (Includes 4oz Samples of each of 3 Types)

Top: Jalapeno Popper; Bottom Left: Beer and Brat; Bottom Right: Buffalo Chicken

The Food Network has cooked up three specialty Mac n’ Cheese dishes for Brewers fans this season: Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese, Jalapeno Popper Mac & Cheese, and Beer and Brats Mac & Cheese.

First, you may recall the Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese from last season; this is not a new item, but it is a popular one. The mac and cheese is tossed with spicy buffalo chicken and topped with bleu cheese and bread crumbs.

The Jalapeno Popper Mac & Cheese is new this year, but it is not unique to Miller Park. This is a recipe that you’ll find if you visit many other ballparks. The mac and cheese is tossed with jalapenos and cream cheese, then topped with bacon-panko bread crumbs.

Finally, last but certainly not least, is the Beer and Brats Mac & Cheese, which is unique to Miller Park. According to Chef Grant, this is the most popular mac and cheese and we’re not surprised. It’s tossed with bratwurst and local-beer infused cheese sausages, then topped with mustard and bread crumbs.

Fans can order a single-serving of one type of mac and cheese in a 16 oz container ($8), or try a 4 oz portion of all three by ordering the Trio ($8).

Cait:   This is not the mac n’ cheese that your mom used to make. Even if hers was pretty good, this is better, guaranteed. (Sorry, mom!) I already knew I liked the Buffalo Chicken and I will have to say that it is my favorite of the three–it has just the right amount of “kick” to it and that, combined with its texture, meshes very well with the cheese and the bleu cheese bread crumbs. However, while the Buffalo chicken had the right amount of spice, the Jalapeno Popper was just a little too spicy for my liking. Finally, the iconic Wisconsin Beer and Brats Mac & Cheese was also very good; I can definitely see why it is a favorite among fans so far this season! It’s like the grown-up version of hot dogs and mac and cheese!

John: My favorite was the Wisconsin Beer and Brats Mac & Cheese.  The salty flavor of the brats mixed quite well with the cheese and the brat-to-mac ratio was just right.  It doesn’t get more Wisconsin than that!  Buffalo Chicken is wonderful as well and it is always a pleasant surprise when Sharon and Lorraine serve this in the Press Box.  I love Buffalo Chicken sandwiches and this is an interesting take on that popular sandwich.  Again, the ratio of chicken-to-mac made for a good dish.  The Jalapeno Popper had significantly more spice than the Buffalo Chicken dish.  If you are into that kind of spice, try it, but I thought the jalapeno flavor overpowered the mac n’ cheese a little too much.  This is definitely a ballpark friendly snack as it is easy to carry and not messy.

Rating:

(out of 5)

Where To Satisfy Your Craving: The Food Network Cart is located down the left-field line on the Loge Level just beyond Section 222.

Food Network Miller Park

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

Brewers & Twins Turn Back the Clock to 1948

Tonight, the Twins and the Brewers are turning back the clocks at Target Field—all the way back to 1948.

That year, Harry Truman was President, Scrabble was invented,  gas was $.26/gallon and the Brewers wore these uniforms:

1948 Brewers Jerseys

Tonight, both teams are paying tribute to the American Association teams that called their areas  home 65 years ago.

The Twins will celebrate Minnesota baseball history by wearing throwback uniforms of the 1948 St. Paul Saints. That year, the Saints finished 86-68 and were the Triple-A affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The Brewers will play as the 1948 Milwaukee Brewers. That year, the Brewers finished 89-65 and were the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Braves.

Lucroy turns back the clock.

Lucroy turns back the clock.

Yuni in a 1948 uni.

Yuni in a 1948 uni.

What do you think of these jerseys? If you like them, they’re available for sale online at the brewers.com shop.

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Tim’s Tips: Train Your Brain!

Here’s another great tip from 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.

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

TRAIN THE BRAIN THE RIGHT WAY FOR THE BEST BASEBALL RESULTS

In 1994, at the age of 31, perhaps the greatest basketball player of that generation and maybe of all generations decided to quit the NBA and become a professional baseball player. Yes, Michael Jordan, an extraordinarily gifted athlete retired (for the first time) from the NBA and gave everything he had in order to get a shot at the Big Leagues.

Certainly someone with such amazing athleticism and a legendary will to succeed could find his way on to a Major League roster…nope, it didn’t happen. Jordan’s .202 batting average for the AA Birmingham Barons was the beginning and end of his pro baseball “odyssey.”

You see, hitting successfully is not like lifting weights or even running a marathon. Hitting is a complex visual-motor skill that has to be learned. Picking up spin, speed and identifying direction of a pitched ball and then getting the bat to the right spot at the right time requires a skill set that doesn’t happen by accident.

When Michael Jordan’s brain was most receptive to making all the amazing neurological connections necessary to be a skilled baseball player, he was busy learning another sport. The bottom line is that at age 31, Jordan was too old for his brain to make the complex adjustments to play baseball at a high level.

So, you say, “Coach Tim, where are you going with this?” We need to understand there is a time in the life of our brain when it is better suited to learn. Ever wonder why kids can pick up a second language so much easier than us old fogies? The young brain is craving new stimuli and responds accordingly. The older brain is still growing but not with nearly the same appetite as it once had.

That’s pretty much why we work so hard on correct fundamentals at the Brewers Baseball Academy. I swear we can almost hear the brain cells multiplying when we’re around young players. The brain is a blank canvas or as some neurologists call it; an “engram.” Think of the brain as a blank DVD that only records what we send to it. That’s why it is so critical to not only learn the game at a young age, but to learn to play it correctly.

In my opinion and it’s an opinion shared by many others, what separates great baseball players from the rest of us mere mortals is their ability to collect and process data. Fielding thousands of ground balls, throwing thousands of pitches and seeing pitch after pitch after pitch is the data that our brain must collect and process in order for it to learn.

I can’t even imagine how many complex and nearly simultaneous pieces of data a hitter must process as a 95mph heater is hurled at him. To top it off, the body has about as much time as it takes to strike a match to act on the data. And yet, they do it. And they do it because they have observed and processed so much data over their baseball lives that they have achieved a level of “unconscious competency.”

Since data collection and processing is vital in acquiring fine motor skills, it is important that we try to reach game speed when we practice. I know what I am saying is very difficult to achieve at the youth level. But there are things we can do to send the right training messages to our brain.

For starters, use a stopwatch liberally. It’s easy to figure out how fast a typical runner gets down the line so when you are doing infield, put a stopwatch on your fielders and challenge them to get the ball to first base under that time. Turn double plays with a stopwatch and watch the pace of your practices pick up. Practices will not only be more fun but the “data” your players collect will be far more valuable for their developing baseball brains.

Using aids like a stopwatch and a bat speed device can boost the quality of practices and feed the baseball brain with valuable data.

Using aids like a stopwatch and a bat speed device can boost the quality of practices and feed the baseball brain with valuable data.

Another “data collecting” idea I’ve employed in the past is the use of a bat speed measuring device at indoor practices. Here’s a picture of one that I really like and that we use at camp. Wait until you see how much faster your kids swing the bat when each swing is being measured against their last swing as well as their teammates’.

Sports Radar Device

Sports Radar Device

Again, the point is to approach game speed in your training whenever possible so that learning can be optimized. It’s not hocus pocus. There is a scientific, neurological basis for learning baseball at a young age and it is paramount that the training messages we send to the brain are mechanically correct and approach the intensity that the brain/body will be asked to achieve in competition.

In short…Train young. Train right. Play right.

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

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Brewers-Summerfest Promotion Slated for June 6

Everyone knows Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer and since it’s nice and sunny out today, that gives us even more reason to start daydreaming about all the fun coming up in Wisconsin over the next few months: tailgating at Brewers games (#1!), cookouts, concerts, festivals, and of course, Summerfest!

Well, next Thursday, June 6, the Brewers take on the Philadelphia Phillies at 7:10pm and the first 10,000 fans 21 and older will receive a Summefest Fest Flag that includes a weekday admission ticket to Summerfest (a $9 value), which runs June 26-30/July 2-7, 2013.

MB-13 Brewers Summerfest

I’m interested in seeing Phil Vassar, Blues Traveler, Barenaked Ladies on the side stages and I’m thinking about Luke Bryan and or/Tim McGraw for the headliners–what about you? For the complete Summerfest lineup, click here.

To purchase tickets for the June 6 game, please visit brewers.com.

-Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

Participate in #WHIFF Wednesday for your chance to win prizes!

In conjunction with the season-long Head & Shoulders #WHIFF program which benefits the RBI Leagues, MLB has declared that today is #WHIFF Wednesday.

Brewers Whiff Graphic

If there are 200 strikeouts across the League, 5,000 fans can win prizes including MLB.com Shop discounts, MLB.TV trials and Head and Shoulders products. To participate, fans should tweet #Whiff @Brewers for their chance to win, as well as enter online here.

For those unfamiliar with the program, starting on Opening Day, for every “whiff” (strikeout) across MLB during the 2013 regular season, Head & Shoulders with Old Spice is making a $1 donation to the MLB Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI ) program. The RBI program is the MLB youth  initiative designed to give young people from urban and underserved  communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourages academic success and achievement, and teaches important life lessons and values.

MLB fans can take part in the “Season of the #Whiff” on Twitter all season long and help their team & community–the MLB Club with the most tweets each month will earn $10,000 for their local RBI Leagues!

Good luck!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

“Social Media in the Media” Night (#BrewersSMIM) Recap

Last night, prior to the Brewers vs. Twins game, we hosted John and Cait present…”Social Media in the Media” Night (#BrewersSMIM) at Miller Park!

Attendees for this sold out event had the opportunity to take part in a special pregame panel/roundtable discussion in the Brewers media interview room featuring representatives from the local media including:

  • Jon Byman ( @JonByman) News Director for 620 WTMJ Radio
  • Tom Haudricourt @Haudricourt ) Brewers beat writer for The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via phone)
  • Sophia Minnaert ( @SophiaMinnaert ) Milwaukee Brewers & Bucks Sideline Reporter for FSWisconsin
  • Vince Vitrano ( @VinceVitrano ) WTMJ “Live at Daybreak” anchor

In addition, Brewers pitcher John Axford ( @JohnAxford), the first Brewers player to become active on social media, also made an appearance at the event.

The panel discussion included talk about how the media uses social media as a tool to report and to interact with the people that consume traditional media. In addition, here’s a random assortment of things we learned as per the Twitterverse:

1) Tom Haudricourt is, indeed, NOT Lindsay Lohan:

2) According to Sophia Minnaert, the average baseball fan watches 16 minutes of a game on TV

3) How social media is driving readership/viewership/listenership:

4) How media balance the importance of being first vs. being right:

5) Axford likes showing fans his personal side and started #SystemofaDownSaturday:

If you’re interested in checking out more of the conversation from last night’s event, check out Cait’s Storify Story here.

Following the panel, the group moved to the  ATI Club for the game where they enjoyed a buffet and beverages (the brisket was delicious!). The game turned into a 14-inning affair which ended just shortly before midnight, so the attendees got to see two Sausage Races and take part in two 7th Inning Stretches. And, although ultimately, the Crew fell to the Twins 6-5, everyone we talked to had a great time and enjoyed the event and camaraderie.

Here is a slideshow from the night, made up of our photos and yours!

Do you have additional feedback for us? Ideas for next year? Share them in the comments below, send us a tweet, or shoot us an email. We enjoyed talking with you last night in person and we love hearing from you as much as possible.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was great to meet some of our readers in person and to put faces with your Twitter handles.  It is these kind of events that really put the “social” in social media.

Thanks again for coming out! Keep watching John and Cait for information on other upcoming events!

-John (@JStein1981) and Cait (@CMoyer)

Brewers vs. Twins “Follow Off” Updates

In case you’ve missed it, this week, we’re taking our rivalry with the Twins to social media, where we’ve been engaging in some fun Twitter Tug-of-Wars and, most recently a “Follow Off”.

What’s a Follow Off, you ask?

Starting in pregame yesterday, we, along with the Twins, submitted the number of followers we have on the @Brewers and @Twins Twitter accounts. From that time through the end of tonight’s game, we’re holding a running tally.

The team that gains the most followers in this span of time will reward their fans by giving away a prize.

MB-13-Brewers-vs-Twins-Social-FollowOff-NoFS

If the Twins win, they’ll give away a Joe Mauer autographed bat to one lucky follower and if we win, we’ll give away an Aramis Ramirez game-worn jersey from Opening Day to one of our followers.

Currently, we’re trailing just slightly behind the Twins, but I’m confident that Brewers fans will rise to this challenge.

So, for the rest of the day through tonight’s game, make sure you follow the Brewers on Twitter if you aren’t already and encourage your fans to do the same. Also, don’t forget to tune in to tonight’s broadcast and follow @FSWisconsin for updates on the competition.

-Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

 

Braun Steps Up To Support “Brewers Win, You Win”

It’s been a tough month for the Brewers on the field, there is no getting around that.  In the face of that, Ryan Braun has committed to supporting the “Brewers Win, You Win!” promotion by funding a significant savings on tickets for an upcoming series.

The original promotion called for every Brewers victory between May 1 and May 30 to earn $1 off a Terrace Box ticket for the June 3 – 5 series vs. the Oakland Athletics. With just five victories this month, though, the Brewers outfielder has made a move to make sure that Brewers fans are rewarded despite the team’s struggles.

Regardless of how many wins the team records through the end of the month, fans will be able to buy a limited number of Terrace Box (regularly $24) and Loge Bleacher ($23) seats for just $8 (matching Braun’s uniform number). Braun is stepping up and subsidizing the savings through a financial contribution, which will cover up to 4,000 tickets for each of the three games against the A’s.

Ryan Braun

Ryan Braun

“We recognize that this has been a tough month for all of us; not just the players but also the fans,” Braun said. “The one constant has been the support of the community, and every one of us on the field has tremendous respect for the support we receive from the fans. On behalf of all of us on the field, we want to thank the fans and let them know that we really appreciate everyone being behind us during this rough stretch.”

Tickets for this promotion will go on sale this Friday at 9 a.m. at the Brewers Box Office, by phone at 414-902-4000 or by visiting Brewers.com/winwin.  Fans can buy a maximum of eight tickets at the reduced price, and service charges will apply to phone and online orders.

“Ryan has always been a significant contributor to our Foundation and Community Relations initiatives, both financially and with his time,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We appreciate his contribution to ensure that this remains one of our most popular initiatives, offering a great value for fans.”

For additional information, please visit Brewers.com/winwin.  We are lucky to have Braun wearing a Brewers jersey on the field and he has proved to be a great person off the field as well.  Through promotions like this and his commitment to the Milwaukee community, he is one-of-a-kind.  Here’s to a better June and we will see you all at Miller Park during the series against the A’s!

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

2013 Player Entrance Music-Updated 5/28/13

Entering this homestand, here’s an updated list of player entrance music for you.

However, it doesn’t take much for a player to change his tune, so to make sure you’re up-to-date, make sure you download the free MLB At The Ballpark App! In addition to check-in offers, ballpark maps, game updates and more, one of the really cool features is “Ballpark Music.” Like a song you hear? Check it out on At The Ballpark–and you can even download it right there! No Shazam necessary!

2013 AT-BAT WALK-UP MUSIC

Norichika Aoki: “Right Round” by Flo Rida

Yuniesky Betancourt: “No Hay Pa Nadie” by Los Desiguales

Jeff Bianchi: “Tonight” by Jeremy Camp

Ryan Braun: “Still in this” by B.o.B.

Hiram Burgos: “Muevete” by Wisin y Yandel

Marco Estrada: “Sail” by Awolnation

Mike Fiers: “Bulls on Parade” by Rage Against the Machine

Yovani Gallardo: “My Time” by Fabolous

Carlos Gomez: “Started from the Bottom”

Alex Gonzalez: “Zumba” by Don Omar

Kyle Lohse: “Next Episode” by Dr. Dre

Jonathan Lucroy: “Fight Inside” by Red

Martin Maldonado: “Yo Naci pa Esto” by Don Omar and “Me Prefieres Ami’ by Arcangel and Don Omar

Wily Peralta: “Ponteme Melia” by Chimbala

Aramis Ramirez: None (at his request)

Logan Schafer: “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison

Jean Segura: “En Cualto Eh Que Tamo” by Chimbala

Rickie Weeks: “Rich as —-” by Lil Wayne

2013 PITCHING ENTRANCE MUSIC

John Axford: “New Noise” by Refused

Burke Badenhop: “Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent

Hiram Burgos: “Muevete” by Wisin y Yandel

Marco Estrada: “Bodies” by Drowning Pool

Mike Fiers: The Saw Theme Song

Yovani Gallardo: “My Time” by Fabolous

Tom Gorzelanny: “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons

Wily Peralta: “Ponteme Melia” by Chimbala

Francisco Rodriguez: “Sandunqueoso” by Tego Calderon

In case you weren’t aware, in addition to At The Ballpark, we do keep a list of these songs on brewers.com and try our best to update it accordingly, so you might want to bookmark this page for future reference. Last year, I also took most of these songs and turned then into a personal playlist on Spotify. I’m going to try to keep it updated during the season, so join me in listening if you’re like!

So now, what about you? What’s your favorite, or most memorable Brewers at-bat song? And, if you were a player, what song might you choose as yours?

-CAIT

johnandcait@brewers.com

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