Coach Tim “Reporting from Spring Training”

The “Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip,” 10 separate weeklong baseball/softball camps that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer for kids ages 6-14, will be back for its second season and so is Tim Rappe. In addition to putting on the camps, last summer executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for the first 2014 installment from Coach Tim!



We often hear that “pitchers and catchers report” may be the most poetic and inspirational four word phrase in a baseball lover’s vocabulary. But I’ve got a better one…”Reporting from Spring Training.” And that’s exactly where I am as I write this.

Every year I make the trip to Maryvale, Arizona to watch baseball. Not so much to watch the games as to watch the guys prepare. My role as Director of the Brewers Baseball Academy is to make sure that what we do at camp in Kenosha, Green Bay, Waunakee, etc., reflects what goes on in our Big League camp. And so I come to Maryvale to watch and listen. Because when you break it down, our week-long instructional camps look a lot more like Spring Training than a day at Miller Park.

After just two days here’s what I see. I see a whole lot of attention being paid to fundamentals. You might think that’s always the case and to a large extent it is. But this camp feels different. There is a focused attention to detail.

The Crew works on rundowns prior to catching the bus to today’s game.

The Crew works on rundowns prior to catching the bus to today’s game.

Today I saw bunt coverage, “first and thirds,” rundowns, PFP, backhands, forehands, outfield drop steps. I watched Carlos Gomez and Aramis Ramirez take about 100 extra cuts after their regular workout. And I see that our pitchers are working together as a group to build a camaraderie and help spot the little things that only other pitchers can identify.

 Lohse helping his co-worker, Gallardo, work through some delivery mechanics

Lohse helping his co-worker, Gallardo, work through some delivery mechanics

I can imagine that to the Spring Training neophyte, all this activity might seem a bit chaotic, but it’s not. There is a purpose and tempo to everything going on.

You could hang up a sign over Maryvale that reads “MEN AT WORK” and that would be spot on. And that’s why I love coming out here. That, and a net gain of about 50 degrees from the frigid temps at home.

In my next post I’ll give you an idea that may be the best thing you can do to help the young player in your life. So break the piggy bank because this idea is going to set you back about $5…no kidding.

Until then, I’m Coach Tim “Reporting from Spring Training.” (sigh) If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.

-Tim Rappé




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