A bet is a bet. And Brandon Kintzler lost one to Kyle Lohse. That’s why he’s the batboy for tonight’s Exhibition Game at Miller Park vs the Kansas City Royals.
“I’m not nervous at all,” Brandon said. “Whatever entertains the guys to kick off the year. And I can’t wear big-league stuff. I have to wear my own jersey so everyone knows it’s me. In Rookie Ball, you have to batboy, so I have experience. I know to watch the umpire, watch what he needs. I’m probably going to get really tired; it will be my conditioning for the day.”
So what are the events that lead up to this? I sat down with both Brandon and Kyle individually to get both sides of the story, and, okay, I’ll admit it–stir the pot a little. Read on.
You see, it all started in Spring Training at Bob Uecker’s Front Row Classic, when Brandon was in the winning group:
“After that… He popped off that he was just as good as me,” said Kyle, who is basically a scratch golfer and well-known for his golfing prowess in the clubhouse. “He didn’t back down from a one-on-one challenge. Leading up to it, he was even talking smack about how he out-drives me and maybe I might need strokes. I was like ‘Alright. Whatever. Pick a course, we’ll go play it.’ I wanted to be fair, so we picked a course that I hadn’t played, didn’t know anything about,” he said.
“We wanted a course that we hadn’t played,” Brandon confirmed. And that’s how they landed at Moon Valley Country Club. “I had heard it’s a long, tough course, a lot of target golf.”
Of course, after all of the buildup to the match, they had to put some stakes on it.
“I wouldn’t agree to a bunch of bets, so at the end he said–and I think he was joking–’loser batboys Exhibition Game‘ and I said, ‘Okay, I’ll do that,” Brandon said. “Last time I played with him at his course, he beat me by one hole, and by like two strokes, so it wasn’t like it was going to be an unfair match.”
But this time, their match was not as close. Kyle ended up winning by 11 strokes, shooting a 74 to Brandon’s 85.
“It was definitely my chipping. And sand. I probably gave 8 strokes away from chipping and sand alone,” Brandon lamented. He also chalked it up to a lot of “bad luck.”
“There was one drive where we both hit in the fairway, but mine bounced left into the sand trap. It was literally two feet from his ball. I had a lot of bad luck,” Brandon, who played competitive Junior Golf a little as a teen, explained.
“You know old guys gotta get luck,” he continued, taking a not-so-subtle dig at Kyle, who is 35-years old and six years older than him.
“I outdrive him so, he’s gotta get luck. He needed all the luck he could get….Make sure you put that in there,” he added.
“And Kyle was really nice during the round,” he continued. ” He knows I had a lot of bad luck and he had some good luck, but then he shows up to the field and makes it sound like I was terrible. He even brought in a Championship belt. He said he crushed me, but they don’t know about the round before. He’s just mad because I have the Bob Uecker title. He’s a totally different person on the course and off the course.“
Kyle refutes this. “I show up, I don’t know anything about the course, just like he doesn’t… and I beat him by 11 strokes. There’s not a lot of bad luck that happens when you’re on the fairways or greens, right? So when you’re constantly off the fairways and off the greens, I don’t know if you call that bad luck, or not being able to keep the ball in play. There are two ways you can look at it.”
“I got a couple grays in my beard,” he continued, “But you know, it is what it is. Older, wiser, better? I don’t know. My 74 could have been like a 68 if I had made some other putts. I didn’t miss too many greens. I went into it with prior experience, beating another guy on the team, another ‘young fella’–[Johnny] Hellweg. He popped off about my golf game… I gave him 20 strokes and I beat him by 41 so I went into it knowing…. With Brandon, the third hole was when I knew it was over because it was a driving hole, a par-4, even for me, a ‘short hitter,’ so I hit 3-iron. Just wanted to keep it in play. He hits driver, got lucky that it was in play, then had to play a shot under and through a tree, ended up in a bunker, went from that bunker to 60-yds past the green into a fairway bunker and from that bunker back into the same bunker he was just in, you know, so I knew then that experience was going to carry me through the match.”
As for the belt? Kyle tells me it serves a dual purpose. “I went to the store and picked up a little belt so I could make sure he knew I was the champ, but we have card games in the clubhouse and we have a champion of the day. From now on, that person will get the belt.”
“I think of it like back in the day when Tiger dominated,” Kyle told me. “You know, whenever he was in that final group, everyone kind of wilted around him? It was kind of the same thing. That’s what happened to Hellweg and I knew that if I just kept the ball in play–I don’t care if I get outdriven–I’m gonna keep it in play and put it on the green. Not too many bad things can happen when you do that.”
And, long story short, that is how Brandon Kintzler ended up as a batboy for tonight’s game.
But still, Brandon wants a chance at redemption: “I will get a rematch at some point,” he said.
Kyle is not so sure.
“What happens in boxing when the champ defends his title? Do they automatically give a rematch to the other guy, or does he have to fight a few more battles and work his way back up? The way I look at it, he got knocked out in the first round, he’s been knocked way down in status. I’m not even sure he’s third or fourth best golfer on the team right now with the play he put out. After he works his way up, he can challenge me again, but it’s going to be awhile.”
Speaking of challenges… in his interview tonight, Kyle failed to mention another golf match that took place earlier in Spring Training down in Arizona. We’ll have more on that to come here on the blog.
Fans attending Opening Day at Miller Park on Monday now have the unique chance to be featured in an upcoming Instragram-built video project called #MyBrewersOpener.
We’re looking to create a commemorative “InstragraMovie” built solely from hundreds of Instagram photos — YOUR photos depicting YOUR experiences attending Opening Day at Miller Park.
Capture it all — from the time your day starts until the final out. All you need to do is include #MyBrewersOpener in your Instagram pictures on game day and — even better — one lucky Instaphotographer could win four tickets to the Brewers game at Miller Park against the Cubs on April 27, 2014!
These videos are pretty cool, check out this one from last year’s World Series:
So make sure to document your whole day on Instagram, include the hashtag and celebrate the Brewers!
Please note: the official hashtag for Opening Day is simply #BrewersOpener, so use that elsewhere on social media (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) to following the conversation. By adding in the “MY” on Instagram, that’s the best way we can find the photos you’ve meant to share with us/enter in the promotion.
We’ve Heard the Barking: Here’s Your BobbleHank; Financial Donations by Brewers and Players, Adopt-a-Pet and Pet Supply Collection Drive to Benefit Rescue Organizations Also Tied Into Wisconsin Humane Society Day
In response to overwhelming popular demand, we announced today that we are adding a 15th all-fan giveaway to the schedule in 2014: a BobbleHank.
In case you missed it, we teased this announcement earlier this week:
Hank, the “Ballpark Pup,” will be featured as a ninth Bobblehead to be given away to all-fans as part of a Wisconsin Humane Society Day on Saturday, September 13 at Miller Park. The Brewers take on the Cincinnati Reds that evening at 6:10 pm.
Tickets to the game are available now through Brewers.com, at the Miller Park Box Office, and by calling 414-902-4000.
A portion of the proceeds from tickets sales for that game will be donated by the Brewers to the Wisconsin Humane Society’s “Hank Fund,” a pool that benefits stray animals in their care transferred from the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission, as well as stray animals at the WHS Ozaukee and Racine Campuses. Brewers players have stepped forward and also will contribute to the fund.
“We had Hank down here with us for almost a month, and he became one of the most popular guys in the clubhouse,” said Brewers pitcher Brandon Kintzler, who actively supports the Wisconsin Humane Society through financial contributions and participation in other initiatives. “We wanted to do something special to benefit other animals who are stray, homeless or have other needs, and there’s no better cause than helping build this fund.”
The team, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Humane Society, will sponsor numerous initiatives that evening, including an Adopt-a-Pet event on the Miller Park concourse where fans can meet four-legged friends available for adoption. In addition, all weekend long fans are encouraged by Brewers Community Foundation to bring new pet supplies that will be distributed to area rescue organizations as part of the “Drive for Charity.” Items that will be collected include canned or dry puppy, cat and kitten food; dog and cat toys (no stuffed toys, please); dog and cat treats; dog harnesses; cat litter; stainless steel food and water bowls. Those donating will receive a special commemorative pin with Hank’s likeness to mark the occasion.
“Hank has crossed every demographic and is so much more than just a sports or pop-culture phenomenon,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We’re seeing that his story can brighten everyone’s day, but it also greatly benefits these worthy organizations that do so much good in our community.”
Hank first appeared at camp on February 17, the day of the first workout for pitchers and catchers. The Brewers have worked closely with the Arizona and Wisconsin Humane Societies since that first day, and their staff provided counsel on how best to care for Hank’s basic needs as he adjusted to his new surroundings. Hank’s circle of caregivers in Phoenix worked tirelessly to ensure that he had the best care possible until his “forever home” was determined.
“Our heartfelt gratitude to the Milwaukee Brewers and our local community cannot be overstated,” said Anne Reed, President & CEO of the Wisconsin Humane Society. “Hank has inspired us all with his storybook tale, and we so appreciate this generous donation, as well as the opportunity to showcase homeless dogs on Adopt-a-Pet Day.”
Hank made frequent appearances at Spring Training games in a concourse booth, where fans lined up for an opportunity to have their photo taken with Hank in exchange for a voluntary donation to the Humane Society. Through these and other opportunities, Hank has already helped raise thousands of dollars to support the cause.
Hank arrived in Milwaukee on March 16 on a Southwest Airlines charter flight and made his Miller Park debut last week as merchandise bearing his image was released at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic. Twenty-percent of sales of Hank merchandise will be donated back to the Wisconsin Humane Society’s “Hank Fund.”
For a complete list of the 2014 Brewers All-Fan Giveaways, click here.
-John and Cait
Earlier this year, we announced plans for several new additions to Miller Park in 2014 and, today, with just five days left before the #BrewersOpener, we were ready to show some of them off.
Here’s something we are both personally psyched about: the arrival of AJ Bombers. The popular restaurant and bar – with locations in Milwaukee and Madison – will occupy the outside space formerly known as the Plaza Pavilion, along the west side of Miller Park near the right-field gate.
AJ Bombers will offer cheeseburgers, egg rolls, tater tots, shakes, custards, specialty concrete mixers and more. The menu will also include homestand specials, such as city-themed burgers as well as player-favorite burgers. Stay tuned to the blog as we will continue to update the new menu items AJ Bombers will rotate in throughout the season.
To start off the season (beginning at this weekend’s Exhibition Games), AJ Bomber’s special custard concrete concoction is “Bernie’s Concrete: The Cracker Jack.” It’s custard mixed with beer, caramel, salted peanuts and caramel corn—and it’s delicious. Here’s Bernie, enjoying his tasty treat:
Brewers Authentics Kiosk
- A new custom portable millwork display for the Brewers Authentics Collection (game-used items) has been added along the first base side of the Field Level concourse behind the Klement’s Grand Slam Grill. Follow @MILAuthentics on Twitter for updates on the latest game-used merchandise available!
- This is a great place to get that unique gift idea. Did the Brewers play on a date that is special to you? Wedding day? Birthday? Anniversary? First ever game? You can purchase game-used items from that day at this location.
Brewers Team Store by Majestic Expansion:
- The Brewers Team Store by Majestic, located in Miller Park’s Hot Corner, underwent a 300-square foot expansion which accommodates a larger footprint for “Brewed for Her” merchandise and apparel.
- In addition to the new AJ Bombers fare, here are some new pizzas & wraps fans can expect to see at Miller Park this season. Stay tuned to the blog for “What John & Cait Ate” concession reviews on these items and more all season long!
Earlier this month, we told you that TGI Friday’s at Miller Park was undergoing renovations. It’s now complete and looks great! The newly-redesigned Fridays has a fun, energetic vibe with a dramatically redesigned bar.
Toyota Territory Redevelopment
- The Toyota Territory in right-center field has undergone development from a private group amenity to a destination open to all fans in attendance at Miller Park. The renovated Toyota Territory has been converted from what was previously a 24-person private group space into an area capable of entertaining over 100 fans. At 1,493 square feet, the Toyota Territory will offer a unique view to take in a game.
Other new additions to look forward to in 2014 include the following:
- Unlike the statues that surround Miller Park’s Home Plate Plaza, the new Bob Uecker statue will be in the last row of the Terrace Level at Miller Park. The statue will pay tribute to the popular Miller Lite “All Stars” ad campaign which featured Uecker’s famous tagline, “I must be in the front row.” The statue will sit atop the Uecker Seats in Miller Park’s Terrace Level (Section 422), and will feature an open seat next to it, allowing for a perfect photo opportunity. The statue was designed by Brian Maughan, the artist of the four statues outside Miller Park on the Home Plate Plaza.The Uecker Statue will be unveiled on April 25.
- The “Brewers Wall of Honor” will commemorate Milwaukee Brewers players, coaches and executives who played prominent roles with the organization. The Wall of Honor will be a permanent exhibit on an exterior Miller Park wall adjacent to the Hot Corner entrance. Honorees will be recognized with a bronze plaque affixed to the wall, with their image and a brief synopsis of their Milwaukee baseball career etched onto the marker. The plaques are designed by Matthews International, designers of the plaques for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.The Wall will be unveiled in June.
East Lot Tailgate Pavilions
- The East Lot Tailgate Pavilions have been refurbished with new wood fascia and signage.
- Three flag poles (one 25-foot flag pole and two 20-foot flag poles) have been installed on the landing behind Section 238, which is located beyond the left-center field wall. The American flag will fly on the 25-foot flag pole, while the Wisconsin State flag and a Brewers flag will fly on the 20-foot flag poles.
- The Miller Park scoreboard is the same, but detail-orientated fans might see some cosmetic differences with the in-game graphics. Here is a sneak peak of how the board will look during a game.
- Approximately 150 flat screen televisions have been installed throughout the Miller Park concourses, replacing existing CRT televisions, to provide fans with the HD feed of the game.
Also on the construction front, the home clubhouse underwent some minor renovations, including the addition of three lockers in the coaches’ locker room and an expansion of the players’ dining room area. Other improvements to Miller Park include updates to the executive office lobby, new flooring in the Brewers Team Store at the Home Plate Gate, the addition of grow lights throughout Miller Park and the installation of a fire suppression system in the scoreboard control room and IT server room. In addition, the infield and outfield playing surface was replaced with new sod in October.
The Toyota Territory, Brewers Team Store by Majestic expansion and Authentics Collection kiosk was designed by Uihlein-Wilson Architects. Design work for AJ Bombers was handled by Flux Design.
- John & Cait
Making the team is one thing. Signing a contract is another.
Today, we presented Hank with an official contract, which he carefully reviewed. We hoped he wouldn’t drag his tail because we think we got the pick of the litter.
But not to worry, after careful consideration, he “paw”-tographed it, giving it his stamp of approval.
We just announced the ceremonies and special events for Monday’s Opening Day, a 1:10 p.m. start vs. Atlanta. A reminder that tickets are sold out for Monday’s Opening Day, but tickets do remain for the other two games of the Atlanta series.
The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by a trio of Wisconsin-born Olympic heroes from the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Matt Antoine, born in Prairie du Chien, Wis., was a bronze medalist in the Skeleton competition. Brianna Decker, from Dousman, Wis. and Jessica Vetter, from Cottage Grove, Wis., were each members of the USA women’s hockey team that won the silver medal. Decker now is on the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team and Vetter is a graduate of the university. It will be an honor to have these great athletes on hand to kick off the 2014 season.
An Opening Day tradition will continue Monday as Joseph Attanasio, father of Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio, will sing the national anthem.
All fans in attendance Monday will receive the always popular 2014 Brewers schedule magnet (honestly, is there a refrigerator in Wisconsin that doesn’t have one!? It is a staple for all summer plans.)
Here are some other key notes:
- When Tweeting about Opening Day, please use the hashtag #BrewersOpener.
- Parking Lots open at 10 a.m. on Monday.
- Gates to Miller Park open at 11 a.m. on Monday.
- If you do have tickets to Opening Day and are planning on driving to and parking at Miller Park, it is recommended that you plan ahead. Fans may buy parking passes in advance for all home dates at Miller Park through the Miller Park box office, Brewers.com or by phone at 414-902-4000. Parking passes for Opening Day are available, but in limited supply.
We are looking forward to a fun day! See you Monday!
-JOHN and CAIT
All of the votes have been tallied for the Brewers “Create a Commercial” contest and, in a close race, Jesse Jirik from Milwaukee has been declared the winner. His commercial submission titled, “Yes,” received the most votes among three other finalists in a fan vote which took place at Brewers.com/commercial from March 10-23.
Jirik will get the chance to direct and/or star in a professional commercial that will air at Miller Park, on FOX Sports Wisconsin during a Brewers broadcast, and online. He will also receive a Brewers prize package including game tickets and a Brewers director’s chair.
In Jirik’s winning commercial, a man takes his advice and cues from a beloved Brewers Bobblehead (who always seems to agree with his decisions) – much to the chagrin of his wife. View Jesse’s original submission here.
The commercial will be produced at the beginning of the season by the Madison-based production company, Provideo. A debut air date is to be determined based on production schedules.
Stay tuned to the blog for updates!
Thank you to everyone who submitted their ideas and congratulations, Jesse, we can’t wait to work with you!
Even Hank and Bernie Brewer got in on the fun!
As the next round begins on Thursday, we thought we’d post the updated brackets here so you can follow along with Brew Crew Bracketology below and see how their picks are “netting” out.
If you’ll notice, I filled out a bracket, too. Although I’m a Marquette girl and I’m bummed they aren’t in it, I do love the excitement of this time of year–both on the basketball and baseball fronts.
Bracket busted? Never fear. Opening Day (true March Madness!) is just 6 days away!
This Thursday, March 27, the Milwaukee Brewers 2014 Season Preview will debut on FOX Sports Wisconsin at 1pm CT, prior to the #CactusCrew game vs. the Cincinnati Reds at 2:05p CT.
Here are some behind-the-scenes pics, a preview of the preview, if you will!!
Be sure to tune in on Thursday, March 27 at 1pm CT to catch the preview, followed by the final Brewers game in Arizona before the Crew heads back to Milwaukee for two exhibition games at Miller Park this weekend.
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 another installment from Coach Tim!
UPGRADE YOUR COACHING EFFECTIVENESS FOR A WHOPPING $5
In my last post I promised a $5 suggestion that could have a profound impact on your child’s baseball/softball life. Read on…
Inside Miller Park sits Joe Crawford, our Coaching Assistant/Digital Media Coordinator, amid a bank of laptops and video screens that would make NASA jealous. Joe’s job is to record and catalog every pitch and every at-bat (both ours and theirs) for players and coaches to review as needed. While baseball, on the field, has remained relatively unchanged for the past century, our ability to dissect every aspect of a player’s performance upside down and inside out has changed exponentially.
While the level of digital sophistication at the MLB level is understandably off the chart, there are very affordable options for parents and youth coaches. For my money, with kids’ fascination with all things video, their tendency to be visual learners and the sheer speed of pitching and hitting actions, everybody should use video to help their kids.
Video. That’s my strong suggestion. Video may be the single biggest new asset a parent/coach can bring to the field. Kids love watching themselves and coaches love the “proof is in the video” credibility they get when players finally “see” what you’ve been telling them all along.
At our Brewers Baseball Academy we record the swing of every player, analyze it, and email it out sometime after the camp. It’s an unbelievably valuable tool to extend the camp “classroom” beyond the 30 hour camp week.
If you are the analytical type and need to research all the products in the market feel free to “Google” away. You may come up with better options…and there are tons of options. Here is my summary of what I think you should be looking for:
1) Easy to learn. I want my guys to be great baseball coaches, not computer whizzes.
2) Analysis must be work on iOS and Android tablets and smartphones
3) I must be able to narrate, telestrate and run back and forth in slo-mo
4) I want side-by-side player comparison ability
5) Easy to share
6) Cloud-based so that email systems won’t reject large files
7) Smart tech company that will keep improving their product
DISCLAIMER: The Brewers Baseball Academy has no financial interest or any other interest in promoting one app over another. In fact, if you come up with a better selection, I’m all ears.
I have found that Coach’s Eye (www.coachseye.com) meets our needs quite nicely. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that the cost of Coach’s Eye is a whopping $4.99.
In 2014, video is too cheap, too easy and too powerful to ignore. In my next post I will reveal my first of four “Moments of Truth” that can make or break an at-bat. Oh yeah, I’ve identified these four “Moments of Truth” by doing over 2,000 swing analyses…on video.
Until next time, if you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.