November 2013

Ryan Braun, Michael Blazek and Marcus Hanel at Today’s Hunger Task Force Food Drive

Mb-13 BCF-HTF Thanksgiving Social Graphic-Food Drive

It was a very busy and cold morning at Helfaer Field today.  As the Thanksgiving week continued, Brewers Community Foundation teamed up with Hunger Task Force and CBS 58 for a drive-thru food drive in the parking lot.  Since I am finally thawing out from three hours in the sub-20 degree temperatures this morning, I thought I would post some photos from the activities this morning.

Ryan Braun, Michael Blazek and Marcus Hanel were on hand along with a number of Brewers employees collecting food and handing out bobbleheads to donors.

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The food drive itself lasts until 6 p.m. tonight, so you can still donate throughout the day.  It was a wonderful event and I was happy to be a part of it.  The generosity I saw throughout the activities this week was awesome.  This community should be proud of the way it gives back.

Don’t forget, you can also help the Hunger Task Force through the online “turkey hands” auction.  The framed, original designs from Brandon Kintzler, Tyler Thornburg, Jonathan Lucroy and Jim Henderson are up for auction now on Brewers.com thru Sunday, December 1 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

20131122-095707.jpg

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

Tim’s Tips: Reflecting on the Summer

If you’ll recall, this past season, we launched the Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) which were held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

All season, in addition to putting on the camps, executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for the latest installment from Coach Tim.

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

TOP SIX THINGS I HEARD THIS SUMMER THAT MADE ME CRINGE

Right out of the box I will admit that just because we wear a Major League uniform doesn’t mean we have all the answers. I am not afraid to question what I believe and have made adjustments in my teaching approach over the years as a result. That being said, I’m also not afraid to go toe-to-toe with things I hear that are fundamentally wrong; especially those that pose a threat to the health of the athlete.

Here are some of my “favorites” from this past summer…

#1. “Are You Teaching the NEW Way of Hitting?”

Oh boy. Part of my role with the Brewers is to attend seminars, study video, observe Spring Training, and generally keep up with new approaches to teaching our game. 99% of the time, that question is traced to a private instructor or Internet Guru who is trying to make a name for himself by “discovering” something new or renaming something old for marketing purposes. Doesn’t mean they’re wrong…but they do add to the noise that tends to confuse people. We teach hitting the way that Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and for that matter, Miguel Cabrera, swing the bat.

#2. “My Son Plays Travel Ball so He’s Probably Too Good for Your Camp.”

Ugh. Them’s fightin’ words. When you take a look at the resume of our coaching staff and the depth of our curriculum, it’s pretty much impossible to conclude that we can’t help an athlete of any level…unless he comes to camp with the mindset that he doesn’t want to learn.

#3. “Girls Need to Learn a Different Way to Hit Because…Well, They’re Girls.”

I know that statement is not meant to be insulting to softball players…but it is. The male and female bodies get the bat to the ball in exactly the same way. Granted, there are some nuances but girls generate force at the point of contact just like guys. Just ask Jennie Finch, Crystl Bustos, Stacey Nuveman and Jessica Mendoza…probably the best U.S Olympic hitters of all time. Better yet, grab some video as I have and see for yourself. Of course, I’m not referring to slap hitting here.

“You Hit Like a Girl” could be the nicest thing someone could say to you.

“You Hit Like a Girl” could be the nicest thing someone could say to you.

#4. “I Heard You Should Never Use a Batting Tee Again.”

Yikes. There’s that Internet Guru again proclaiming that if you don’t do it his way, at best you are a terrible coach and at worst, a moron. Don’t use tees? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Every professional, collegiate and high school team relies on the tee to isolate swing mechanics before introducing a pitched ball. Statements like that may be a good way to sell a video but it also adds more confusing noise in the market. By the way, I bought video…and I got my money back.

Don’t be so fast to dump the batting tee

Don’t be so fast to dump the batting tee

#5. “I’m Going to Have My Son Throw Every Day Over the Winter to Add MPH’s to His Fastball.”

No. No. No. Sometimes more is not better and when it comes to the “care and feeding” of the arm, it definitely isn’t. The shoulder and elbow need rest in order to repair the strain of the long grind of the spring/summer season. Big Leaguers shut it down after the season and not just to play golf. Since 2000, there has been a 500% increase in elbow and shoulder injuries among young baseball and softball players. Almost all of that is attributed to overuse. Now when I say to shut it down I’m referring to all overhead activity like volleyball, football passing, dodgeball in gym class, badminton, etc. I know that’s not realistic but not throwing a baseball IS realistic. Work on core strength and hammer those difficult-to-work decelerators in the back. You will love the result come spring.

#6. “Coach, Am I Throwing the Curveball Correctly?”

You’re asking the wrong question. Yes, it’s true that a correctly thrown curveball is less stressful on your arm than one thrown incorrectly. And yes, there are some pro’s who started throwing junk very early in their young lives. There are also miles of scar tissue and shattered careers because of the unnecessary harm caused by curves and sliders. As a teacher of baseball and the Director of the Brewers Baseball Academy I will not teach the curve because it plays Russian Roulette with the pre-pubescent athlete. I know that’s controversial but winning isn’t worth the risk. Spot your fastball. Throw a change-up and study hitters’ weaknesses. The “W’s” will pile up.

OK, got all that off my chest. Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Call Me Maybe?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the Brewers have a number of activities to get in the giving spirit. 

This afternoon–along with a number of my Brewers front office counterparts–I will be manning the phones for the WISN-TV 12 Food For Families Food Bank from 3 – 5 p.m.  We will be at the WISN-TV studios answering phones and taking donations that will benefit the Hunger Task Force.

I’m not sure the phone number to call to donate quite yet, but when I get that number, I will be sure to update the blog.  If you call in, make sure to ask for me!  I want to make sure those phones are ringing all afternoon with generous donations for the Hunger Task Force.  Tune in and make a donation!

Yesterday, Brewers bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel, and his wife, Jill, distributed 300 coats for children at Gilbert Stuart School on Milwaukee’s north side through their “Koos for Kids” organization.

Tomorrow, a number of Brewers staff and players will be at Helfaer Field from 8 – 11 a.m. collecting food for the Brewers Community Foundation, CBS 58 and Hunger Task Force Food Drive.  While Brewers personnel will staff the Helfaer Field drop off location in the morning, food can be dropped off at tomorrow between 4:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. 
 
Each vehicle stopping by to donate food items will receive a Brewers bobblehead, a gift bag and other items while supplies last. A number of Brewers special guests and CBS 58 News Team members will be on hand throughout the day to collect donations.

Finally, don’t forget about another opportunity to help Brewers Community Foundation and the Hunger Task Force through an online auction of player-designed “turkey hands.”  Jim Henderson, Jonathan Lucroy, Brandon Kintzler and Tyler Thornburg put their creative talents to work on the traditional Thanksgiving art project of hand-drawn “turkey hands.”  The auction will conclude on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. CT.  

The Thanksgiving holiday is great time to show how thankful we all are for what we have and a perfect way to do that is giving back to your community in any way that you can.  Stay tuned to the blog for updates from the phone bank this afternoon and from the food drive at Helfaer Field tomorrow!

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

 

Online Registration for Drumstick Dash Closes Today!

In case you haven’t heard, the second annual Drumstick Dash is coming to Miller Park this Thursday, November 28, at 8:30 AM. The Drumstick Dash 5K presented by Sendik’s Food Market is a 3.1 mile run/walk and will begin and finish at Miller Park. The race is open to all ages and will benefit Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. Nonperishable food donations will be collected race day and monetary donation opportunities will be available prior to the event.

On race day, volunteers and staff will be donned in turkey hats and there will be inflatable turkeys onsite, plus festive cutouts for photo opportunities. Participants are also encouraged to dress up in their best Thanksgiving Day costume.

“Thanksgiving Day is the single largest running day in the country and the Milwaukee community is coming together for a continued Milwaukee family tradition,” said Vision Event Management President, Jeff Graves.”

Online registration for the 2nd Annual Drumstick Dash 5K presented by Sendik’s Food Markets is still open through today at 11:59 p.m. at DrumstickDashMilwaukee.com.

Onsite registration will be available from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday and race morning from 7:00 – 8:15 a.m. at Miller Park. Food and monetary donations will also be accepted at this time. For each $1 or nonperishable food item donated on site, participants will receive a raffle ticket for prizes provided by Sendik’s.

“Participating in Drumstick Dash is a great way to help those who don’t have a hot meal to share with family on Thanksgiving. Your food and monetary donations will ensure that children and families struggling with hunger will have reason to be hopeful this holiday season,” said Bonnie Bellehumeur, president of Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

-John and Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Early Entry Opportunity: Brewers Annual Clubhouse Sale

Last week, we filled you in on the details of the Brewers Annual Clubhouse Sale, will take place on Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7 from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. at Miller Park. The sale features savings up to 75% on sale merchandise items and gives fans a behind the scenes look at Miller Park as it is held in the visiting clubhouse.

As always, John and I will get a sneak peek at some of the items on sale and will give you a full preview of the sale here on the blog, so look for that to come next week once they’re all set up….And, like last year, we are offering a special opportunity to gain early entry into the sale! That’s right, the first 100 readers to e-mail us at johnandcait@brewers.com will have the opportunity to come to Miller Park on Thursday, December 5 from 5-5:30 p.m. We know how a lot of the items are limited and the line is pretty long on Friday morning, so we wanted to show our readers how much we appreciate their support by extending this offer to them.  Send your e-mail to us and we will have your name on a list at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park and you and one guest will then be able to visit the Clubhouse Sale on Thursday night.

UPDATE:  Sorry, friends, this opportunity received overwhelming response and entries are now closed! If you were selected, you’ll receive an email containing instructions by 7pm CT today. If you didn’t email us in time, no sweat, you still have all day on, Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7 to shop to your heart’s content!

Shoppers can access the Clubhouse Sale by entering Miller Park at the Hot Corner entrance near the Brewers Team Store by Majestic and following the posted directions to the visiting clubhouse. Cash and credit cards will be accepted (no personal checks). Admission and parking is free.

For more information on the Brewers Clubhouse sale, click here.

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

Think Spring With The Brewers Road Crew!


It’s still November and the winter chill is just beginning to bite us, but it is never ever too early to think about Spring Training with the Brewers.  The Milwaukee Brewers and Brewers Enterprises have announced plans for the Fifth Annual Brewers Road Crew Spring Training Trip.  This one-of-a-kind opportunity will again be offered to fans looking to join the Brewers at Spring Training as they prepare for the season in Phoenix.  Nearly every facet of the March 12 – 16 trip will be handled for guests as Brewers Enterprises will arrange all details of the stay.

If you have always wanted to visit Spring Training, but never made the trip to Arizona, this is a perfect opportunity.  Spring Training is a great time of the year and there is no better way to make the experience special than the Brewers Road Crew Trip.

As part of the experience, fans will enjoy two games at the Brewers Spring Training home, Maryvale Baseball Park, and one Brewers “road” game against the San Diego Padres at Peoria.  The trip will bring travelers face-to-face with members of the Brewers broadcast team, members of the Baseball Operations staff, and even former Brewers players and coaches through special receptions and tailgate parties.

Guests will stay four nights at the Hilton Embassy Suites (Biltmore) which features an outdoor, heated swimming pool, whirlpool, exercise room, on-site restaurant and complimentary shuttle service to Biltmore area attractions.  Guest rooms are two-room suites with a wet bar, microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker and two flat-screen televisions.  Complimentary made-to-order breakfasts and late-afternoon cocktail and hors d’oeuvre receptions are offered daily at the hotel.

As an added bonus, fans on the trip will receive a ticket to Opening Day at Miller Park on Monday, March 31, 2014 as the Brewers take on the Atlanta Braves.

Space is limited to eighty (80) guests and the travel packages are on sale now.  The price for a single traveler is $2,495 and the price for a couple (double occupancy) is $4,295.  Each additional guest per room is $2,150.  For more information and to reserve your spot, please call 414-902-4174 or visit brewers.com/roadcrew.  The full list of package inclusions follows:

- Non-Stop Round Trip Airfare from Milwaukee to Phoenix 

- Hotel Accommodations for four nights at Hilton Embassy Suites (Biltmore)

- Transportation to and from the airport, hotel and Spring Training complexes

- Tickets for three (3) Spring Training games

-          March 13, 2014 vs. San Diego Padres (Peoria)

-          March 14, 2014 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (Maryvale)

-          March 15, 2014 vs. Cincinnati Reds (Maryvale)

- Made-to-order breakfast each morning

- Cocktail & Hors d ‘Oeuvres Reception hosted each night by the hotel

- Private Welcome Reception

- Tailgate Party before a game with visits from Brewers alumni, minor league prospects and staff

- A ticket to Opening Day at Miller Park (March 31, 2014 vs. the Atlanta Braves)

- A Brewers gift bag

 Additional opportunities available for guests to win on the trip:

-          Run the Sausage Race or hold the finish line at a Spring Training game (Maryvale)

-          Throw out a 1st pitch for a Spring Training game (Maryvale)

-          Pairs of Brewers 2014 regular season game tickets

-          Watch the game from the broadcast booth (Maryvale)

-          Autographed memorabilia

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

Drive Thru Food Drive to be Held at Helfaer Field Wednesday; Other Ways to Help Feed Milwaukee

Last week, we told you that Brewers Community Foundation is teaming up with Hunger Task Force to help feed Milwaukee-area families this holiday season with a number of events and opportunities.

Mb-13 BCF-HTF Thanksgiving Social Graphic-Main-2

We just wanted to remind you about the many options you have to help as we approach Thanksgiving.

PHONE BANK

The Thanksgiving week will begin with the WISN 12 Food For Families Phone Bank on Tuesday, November 26.  A number of Brewers staff will work the phones, collecting donations that will benefit Hunger Task Force. [Stay tuned for more to come on this from John!]

MILLER PARK FOOD DRIVE

Brewers Community Foundation, Hunger Task Force and CBS 58 will host a food drive at Miller Park on Wednesday, November 27.  Food can be dropped off at Helfaer Field at Miller Park on November 27 between 4:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. 

Mb-13 BCF-HTF Thanksgiving Social Graphic-Food Drive

Each vehicle stopping by to donate food items will receive a Brewers bobblehead, a gift bag and other items while supplies last.  A number of Brewers special guests and CBS 58 News Team members will be on hand throughout the day to collect donations.

ONLINE AUCTION

In a unique twist for fans and “art collectors” alike, Brewers Community Foundation is helping raise money for the Hunger Task Force through an online auction of player-designed “turkey hands, which we revealed via our social channels earlier this week.

The framed, original designs from Kintzler, Thornburg, Lucroy and Henderson are up for auction now on Brewers.com thru Sunday, December 1 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

20131122-095707.jpg

-John and Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Guess the Gobbler #4

Last week, we told you that Brewers Community Foundation has teamed up with Hunger Task Force to help feed Milwaukee-area families this holiday season with a number of events and opportunities, including collecting donations via the WISN Food for Families Phone Bank (11/26) and hosting a Food Drive at Miller Park (11/27).

We also mentioned that we would be revealing player-designed “turkey hands” across our social platforms this week. In a unique twist for fans and “art collectors” alike select Brewers players put their creative talents to work on the traditional Thanksgiving art project.

We’ve been revealing them all week:

Monday’s gobbler was created by Brandon Kintzler!

Tuesday’s gobbler was created by Tyler Thornburg!

Wednesday’s gobbler was created by Jonathan Lucroy!

Here’s the final piece of art–can you guess which Brewers player created this gobbler?

Mb-13 BCF-HTF Thanksgiving Social Graphic-4-Guess

The answer will be revealed later today, so stay tuned to the blog!

Following that, beginning at 5pm CT TODAY, fans can bid on the framed, original designs, which will be auctioned off on Brewers.com. The auction will conclude on Sunday, December 1 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

3:00PM CT Update: Today’s Gobbler was designed by Brewers pitcher Jim Henderson! Thanks for following along. Don’t forget you can bid on Jim’s  original artwork to help support Hunger Task Force beginning TODAY at 5pm CT on brewers.com.

photo (1)

-John and Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Brewers Pick Up Off-Field Awards

A little pat on the back for the Brewers front office as the club recently picked up a four awards as a result of advertising and marketing campaigns.

For the second consecutive year, the Milwaukee Brewers picked up two awards at the 2013 PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards in New York City on Tuesday.

The Brewers were awarded the “Gold” in the “Best Print, Poster or Outdoor” category for the Milwaukee Brewers Countdown to Opening Day (#SEEUAPRIL1) advertising campaign.  This particular marketing effort featured an ongoing countdown to the 2013 Brewers Opening Day at Miller Park on April 1.  The campaign was capped off with an ad seen here.

The team received the “Silver” in the same category for the Brewers Community Foundation What Is Good? campaign. This campaign, created by 2-Story, highlighted the non-profit organizations that Brewers players, fans and others support through contributions to Brewers Community Foundation. An example of one of the What Is Good? ad can be seen here.

Both Brewers awards came in the “Teams” category.

“We are honored to be recognized for a second consecutive year, and we’re proud of the creative efforts of our marketing team that went into completing these campaigns,” said Rick Schlesinger, Brewers Chief Operating Officer.

Last year, the Brewers picked up two awards for their 2012 television advertising campaign.  The overall campaign picked up the “Silver” award in the “Television/Video: Best TV/Video Campaign” and the Glare spot received the “Gold” award in the “Television/Video: Best Use of Humor” category.

The 2013 PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards recognizes the best and brightest in sports media marketing, promotion and design.  More information can be found at www.promaxbda.org.

In addition, Captivate Digital Cinema, the filmmakers of the 2013 Brewers commercial campaign, won two Emmy Awards at the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences ceremony for the Chicago/Midwest chapter, which was held recently in Chicago. The awards were for the Brewers 2013 television spots.

The 2013 Brewers commercial campaign won “Best Commercial Campaign” and the Game Day Experience film won for “Outstanding Achievement in Sports Program Feature/Segment.”  Producer Amy Johnson accepted the awards for Captivate Digital Cinema.

“On behalf of the Brewers, I congratulate Captivate Digital Cinema for being recognized with the Emmy Awards for its extraordinary work on our Brewers commercials,” said Schlesinger.  “While working in conjunction with our marketing efforts, the commercials provide a unique behind-the-scenes view of the team and capture the excitement that our fans bring to Miller Park on a regular basis.  We look forward to working with Captivate Digital Cinema again in 2014 to integrate the excitement of Miller Park and Brewers Baseball into our multi-platform marketing programs.”

The Miller Park Experience film can be viewed here: http://wapc.mlb.com/mil/play/?content_id=25724855.  For more information about Captivate Digital Cinema, visit http://captivatedigitalcinema.com.

– JOHN AND CAIT

johnandcait@brewers.com

Guess the Gobbler #3

Last week, we told you that Brewers Community Foundation has teamed up with Hunger Task Force to help feed Milwaukee-area families this holiday season with a number of events and opportunities, including collecting donations via the WISN Food for Families Phone Bank (11/26) and hosting a Food Drive at Miller Park (11/27).

We also mentioned that we would be revealing player-designed “turkey hands” across our social platforms this week. In a unique twist for fans and “art collectors” alike select Brewers players put their creative talents to work on the traditional Thanksgiving art project.

Monday’s gobbler was created by Brandon Kintzler!

Tuesday’s gobbler was created by Tyler Thornburg!

 

Mb-13 BCF-HTF Thanksgiving Social Graphic-3-Guess

3:00PM CT Update: Today’s Gobbler was designed by Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy! Thanks for following along. Don’t forget you can bid on Luc’s original artwork to help support Hunger Task Force beginning tomorrow at 5pm CT on brewers.com.

Mb-13 BCF-HTF Thanksgiving Social Graphic-3-Reveal

Such concentration!

Such concentration!

 

-John and Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

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