Score: Scorpions 9, Rafters 5
Weather: Sunny, 92 degrees
Tomorrow: Mesa at Surprise, 2:35 p.m. CT
Brewers In the Box Score: RHP Brandon Kintzler pitched two perfect innings and struck out four…..Hunter Morris, who played first base today, went 1-for-5.
On the Other Team: Scorpions 2B Charlie Culberson went 3-for-4 with three RBI, Culberson is in the San Francisco Giants organization.
Arizona Fall League Brewers History Note: The following six players were the original six Brewers prospects in the first Arizona Fall League in 1992: LHP Brian Dodson; OF Kenny Felder; INF John Finn; LHP Tom McGraw; RHP Scott Taylor, and RHP Robert Wishnevski. None of those players made it to the big leagues as a Brewer. The 1993 group was a little more successful as it included INF Jeff Cirillo and C Mike Matheny.
Fall Fodder: I saw on the marquee sign for Scottsdale Stadium that stadium officials wasted no time in congratulating their Spring Training tenant, the San Francisco Giants, on winning the 2010 World Series…..A reminder to fans to tune in to Saturday’s “Rising Stars Game” on MLB Network at 8 p.m. CT, if you want to see the future of Major League Baseball, this is it, scouts compare the game to the “MLB All-Star Futures Game” during the MLB All-Star festivities in July, except these players are even closer to the Big Leagues…..Tomorrow, I plan on visiting Tony Diggs, Assistant Director – Player Development/Training Center in Maryvale in the morning before Surprise’s game and checking in on the Winter Development Program…..Please e-mail me with any questions you have for Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin regarding any of the players I have written about this week or anything in the Brewers farm system, I will be interviewing him next week as a wrap-up and will take questions from fans as well.
I know it was quite the busy day in Milwaukee today with the official announcement of the hiring of manager Ron Roenicke. I’m sorry to have missed the press conference at home, but from what I hear, everything went well and I’m excited to work with the new manager. Congratulations to Roenicke on his first Major League managerial job and to Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin on the hire.
The show continues here in Arizona today where the Surprise Rafters are again taking on the Scottsdale Scorpions at Scottsdale Stadium under sunny skies and a temperature of 85 degrees.
I talked to second baseman Eric Farris prior to today’s Rafters game. Farris had a solid Spring Training this past year and made the jump from finishing the 2009 season with Class-A Brevard County to starting the 2010 season with Triple-A Nashville.
“The season started out very promising for me,” said Farris–the Sounds Opening Day second baseman. “It was great to be in Nashville and I was playing well.”
Then, after only 21 games into the season, a home plate collision left him with an injured right knee. Farris would miss three months of the season. He is healthy now and making up for lost time this fall in Arizona.
“I’m very happy to be here,” Farris said. “I really need to get some at bats. For me, this is still a part of my season. I’m really not treating this like a fall league; I’m making up for lost time. I’m just working on playing and getting back what I lost this year. I’m healthy and I feel good and now it is just trying to stay that way. Everything is good to go.”
He ended up playing a total of 60 games with Nashville in 2010 and hit .274 (63-for-230) with two home runs and 15 RBI. He made 56 starts at second base for the Sounds.
Farris is playing on a regular basis here (“regular basis” in the Fall League means every other game, Farris has played in 11 of Surprise’s 20 games heading into today) and is hitting .380 (19-for-50) which is good for seventh in the AFL.
“It’s been a pretty good experience so far for me,” Farris said. “Being able to play here healthy and work on things is great. I really like the group of guys I am playing with, we all get along real well. We are winning, I happy with my performance and what I have been learning, which makes it a lot of fun as well.”
Farris played under Surprise manager Mike Guerrero in Brevard County in 2009, so there is a comfort level between the two.
“Eric had a frustrating regular season,” Guerrero said. “For him to make that jump was great and then to have that injury was a blow to the work he put in to move up in the organization. Luckily he is here, healthy and performing.”
Guerrero’s presence in the clubhouse has helped Farris adapt to the Fall League.
“Mike makes things comfortable for me,” Farris said. “I played for him a couple of seasons ago. He knows me and I know him which is great. He really pushes us to make the most out of this experience here. It has been a good thing having him here for me and the other Brewers guys on the team.”
Putting a focus on getting stronger is something Farris will work on following the Fall League. At 5-10 and 170 pounds, Farris’ speed is a plus tool. He has five stolen bases this fall (tied for 6th in the AFL) and in his four seasons in the Brewers organizations has tallied 138 stolen bases. This year in Nashville, he had 14 stolen bases in 16 attempts.
“As soon as this is done, I would really like to get stronger and work putting on a few pounds,” Farris said. “My speed is important to me, but at the same time, I just want to stay healthy and get myself strong for the whole season. I want to get in spring training healthy and get into the season healthy.”
Farris was the Brewers 4th round selection in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of Loyola Marymount (Calif.). For Brewers fans who don’t know much him, Farris describes himself as a hard worker, but one who likes to have fun.
“I take the game as serious as anyone, but I like to have fun while doing it because in the end, it is a game,” Farris said. “I don’t want to take it for granted what I’m doing right now. I’m very fortunate to be here, I want to win and I want to contribute to the organization.”
Brewers RHP Brandon Kintzler has had quite a complicated career for someone who is only 26 years old. He joined the Brewers organization in 2009 after his contract was purchased from the American Association St. Paul Saints. Prior his time with the Saints, he missed the entire 2006 season following arm surgery, spent time with Winnepeg of the independent league and with the Padres organization. This year, after pitching in Double-A Huntsville and Triple-A Nashville, Kintzler was called up to the Big Leagues and made his Major League debut in September.
“This year has been a dream,” Kintzler said. “I set goals for myself and after I had surgery in 2006, I set a goal to be in the Fall League in 2007. I know it’s three years later that I am here, but it really has been a great year for me professionally. The fact that I was in the Big Leagues this year and I’m on the 40-man is great. I’m in a good position for next year and being here in the Fall League is really helping continue to develop.”
Kintzler has made seven relief appearances this fall and has a 1-0 record with a 3.60 ERA (10ip/4er), he has struck out nine and walked only two.
“It took me a little bit to get settled, but once I became settled in, I was able to get on a nice roll and everything is going well right now. (Brewers pitching coach) Rick Peterson has had me work on hand movement and took my windup away. My velocity went back up from when I was in Milwaukee which is good to see as well.”
Shortening the delivery of Kintzler and allowing him to hold runners on base was one thing the Brewers staff wanted to work on. He has a different delivery and, according to the Las Vegas native, it has helped him out.
Surprise manager Mike Guerrero said he has been pleased with what he has seen with Kintzler so far this fall.
“He has really shown improvement all season long,” said Guerrero. “Seeing his development from last Spring Training here in Arizona to know is great. He was really pitching well with us in Huntsville early in the season; he continued to improve and was ultimately rewarded with a call up to the Brewers. He throws had and with control and there is always a need for that on the Big League level. His work ethic is something that will always keep him in conversations.”
Kintzler specifically pointed to the pregame workout routine that Trevor Hoffman organized with the Brewers bullpen on a daily basis for the last two seasons as something that is helping him physically.
“The Milwaukee guys stick together when working out (here in Arizona),” Kintzler said. “We have really stuck with Trevor’s routine of running and working out on a daily basis. He really had a big impact on all of us and we really learned a lot from him.”
A routine is something that Kintzler is excited about getting into once the Fall League season is complete. After starting the season in Huntsville, then going to Nasvhille, finishing in Milwaukee and then continuing here in Arizona, Kintzler has had a whirlwind 2010.
“It’s been a grind lately,” Kintzler said. “After this, I want to get in a routine of working out but at the same time, getting a little rest. February will be here fast and I want to be as strong as possible for Spring Training to compete for a job.”
Overall the experience and work Kintzler is getting here is something he is making the most out of and truly enjoying.
“It’s a really fun team, we have a good group. “It’s kind of funny that I’m the oldest guy on the team at only 26, but everyone meshes really well. It was quiet the first day, but everyone really gets along now. We are winning and Mike (Guerrero) really keeps it loose.”
TODAY’S GAME: Surprise is home against Scottsdale today with a 2:35 p.m. (Milwaukee time) first pitch. There are four Brewers in today’s Rafters starting lineup: Logan Schafer leading off and playing centerfield, Eric Farris batting second and playing second base, Caleb Gindl batting third and playing right field and Hunter Morris batting sixth and playing third base. Also playing in today’s game for Scottsdale is Washington Nationals top prospect and the 2010 First overall draft selection, Bryce Harper. Harper is a member of the Scorpions “taxi” squad and since today is a Wednesday, he is eligible to play in today’s game.
For some reason, I found it funny that the first game I saw here in Arizona finished in a tie. I know it is all about seeing players get work and the prospects working on mechanics, but ties are for soccer (and no, I’m not trying to offend any soccer fans out there, I do enjoy soccer)!
Arizona Fall League rules state that if the teams are tied after 11 innings of play, the game will go down in the books as “suspended.” The game will not be made up, but all of the stats will count. Today’s game between Surprise and Phoenix ended in a 2-2 tie. Brewers pitcher Jeremy Jeffress, who earlier in the day was named to the Rising Stars game, pitched two scoreless innings and got out of two jams to keep the game tied.
Jeffress saw his ERA dip to 0.96 today as he struck out two. In the tenth and eleventh innings, he had runners in scoring position with only one out and was able to end both innings without allowing a run to score.
“The Fall League is great,” Jeffress said after the game. “It’s really a great experience for all of the players. You get to battle down here; today’s game was really a battle there at the end. I was happy to pitch in a tough situation like that. It’s those kinds of situations that will really make me a better pitcher. I really love it here.”
Jeffress talked about the importance of his time here in Arizona.
“It’s been going good (in Arizona),” Jeffress said. “I’m just here to get some innings in and work on some pitches and different pitches in different situations. I’m really trying to get my changeup back to where it can be effective, I’m not really sure where I will be next year, but I want to have that just to be sure. It’s a good pitch to have and will help me out.”
Although he has only pitched 9.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League, Jeffress has pitched for Class-A Wisconsin, Class-A Brevard County, Double-A Huntsville and the Brewers, making for a long season–especially after missing most of the 2009 season.
“I’m a little fatigued, but it is good to work through all of this,” Jeffress said. “I went straight from Milwaukee to here, but it has been good. It was good to just stay in the flow of things. I need this work to help me develop into what I want to become as a player.”
JAMES WAIVER CLAIM: Brewers Vice President–Assistant General Manager Gord Ash called me this afternoon to alert me to a Brewers waiver claim, RHP Justin James from Oakland. I looked him up and learned that he was playing in the Fall League this year representing the A’s, ironically, he was at today’s Surprise-Phoenix game as a member of the Desert Dogs. I caught up with him after the game to hear his thoughts on becoming the newest Milwaukee Brewer.
“I found out about the claim just before today’s game,” James said. “When I found out, you know you don’t have control over that stuff, you just want to compete. Being here in the Fall League really opens up a lot of other doors for you as a player and for many people to see you. There are a large number of scouts at every game watching everyone.”
James has bounced around throughout his career between the Reds, Blue Jays and A’s organizations as well as a stint in 2009 in the Independent Northern League with Kansas City. He made his Major League debut this season with the A’s.
“If I’m not pitching for Oakland or another organization, I might as well be pitching for the Brewers. I really am looking forward to being with Milwaukee and I think I can help the organization win. I want to finish up strong here in Arizona with the Fall League, do what I did last year and come back ready to go in Spring Training.”
In the Fall League this season, James has made six relief appearances of one inning each and has a 4.50 ERA.
“It’s been going well here in Arizona,” James said. “Numbers-wise it might not be the best, but I’m learning a lot and competing. I’m throwing my change up a little bit more because that needs to be a little more polished. I’m just trying to throw strikes more consistently.”
James will remain a member of the Phoenix Desert Dogs for the final two weeks of the Arizona Fall League but will don a Brewers uniform the rest of the way.
TUESDAY WRAP UP
Score: Rafters 2, Desert Dogs 2
Weather: Sunny, 86 degrees
Tomorrow: Scottsdale at Surprise, 2:35 p.m. CT
Brewers In the Box Score: RHP Mike McClendon pitched 2.0 innings and allowed one unearned run on two hits, he also had one walk…..RHP Jeremy Jeffress pitched 2.0 scoreless innings and allowed one walk and struck out two…..OF Caleb Gindl entered the game in the 12th inning in left field, but did not have an at bat.
On the Other Team: Desert Dogs CF Trayvon Robinson had a beautiful diving catch in the sixth inning….Robinson is a prospect in the Dodgers organization.
Arizona Fall League Brewers History Note: Brewers C Jonathan Lucroy had a key hit in the bottom of the eighth inning that helped his team, the Peoria Javelinas, win the 2009 Arizona Fall League Championship.
Fall Fodder: There were no Brewers in today’s starting lineups for the Rafters…..INF Eric Farris entered today ranked third in the league in batting as he is hitting at a .413 clip (19-for-46).
PHOTOS FROM TODAY
Mike McClendon (top) and Jeremy Jeffress (bottom) pitch in today’s game for Surprise.
I made it here safe and sound (thanks to Frontier Airlines for what was probably the fastest flight ever between Milwaukee and Phoenix) after an early morning flight and headed straight to Phoenix Municipal Stadium for today’s game between the Surprise Rafters and Phoenix Desert Dogs.
The big news today from Arizona Fall League was the announcement of the teams for Saturday’s “Rising Stars” game. Named to the team were Brewers RHP Jeremy Jeffress and OF Caleb Gindl. Jeffress currently owns a 1.23 ERA (7.1ip/1er) in six relief appearances this fall.
“For Jeffress, we all know his repertoire,” said Mike Guerrero, manager of the Surprise Rafters and the Brewers Double-A affiliate Huntsville Stars. “He has a Major League fastball and a Major League breaking ball and he has been working on his changeup which has a lot of promise.”
He is holding hitters to a .179 batting average (5-for-28) this fall.
“He is working with a good tempo throughout the fall,” Guerrero added. “He needs to keep learning and specifically keep learning how the hitters play at this level. He has the ability to do that and he has shown so far that he can do that.”
“Gindl is a quality guy, a guy who will give you great at bats,” said Guerrero. “He can really swing the bat and be productive. He has shown he is a good doubles hitter. He is a plus defender with a plus arm.
Both he and Jeffress have really stepped it up a notch during the fall and are deserving of their All-Star nomination. I’m very happy for them, but for the most part, any one of the players representing the Brewers could have been selected. They have shown strong numbers, but at the same time have showed us that they are ready to compete at a high level every day.”
Saturday’s Rising Stars game will be broadcast live on MLBTV at 8 p.m. Milwaukee time. Former Brewers television play-by-play announcer Daron Suton will call the action.
Today’s game is just underway under clear skies in Phoenix. The atmosphere is unique, relaxed like a Spring Training game, but without the same buzz. Behind home plate sit around 25 scouts (more than I have ever seen for any Spring Training or Regular Season game). There are around 200 fans here, more than I expected, but obviously not as many as a Spring Training game. It is a cozy group, but a group that you can tell is interested in seeing the future stars of Major League Baseball. You can follow today’s game via Gameday at www.mlbfallball.com.
I will have a wrap up of the day later this afternoon.
While the World Series is just wrapping up and the spotlight shining on San Francisco and Texas, a group of around 180 Major League prospects from every team is in Phoenix participating in the Arizona Fall League. Their dreams of playing on the World Series stage are bright as they prepare to take the next step in their professional careers.
The Arizona Fall League is in its 19th year and has been referred to as a “graduate school” of sorts for elite prospects. There are six teams in the league that are made up of prospects from all 30 Major League teams. Players in the league have an opportunity to showcase their talents to an array of Major League scouts, farm directors and general managers.
While it is mostly a league for top prospects, a number of players do have Major League experience. Three Brewers representatives–Jeremy Jeffress, Brandon Kintzler and Mike McClendon–made their Major League debuts in 2010 and are among 22 this year’s Fall League players with Major League experience.
Ten Brewers prospects are currently participating in the league that began play on October 12 and will play a 32-game schedule. Along with prospects from the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals, the Brewers prospects make the Surprise Rafters. The Rafters play in the West Division with their home stadium of Surprise Stadium. Entering today’s games, the Rafters are in first-place with a 10-6 record.
Mike Guerrero, manager of the Huntsville Stars, is the manager of the Surprise Rafters for 2010. Guerrero has been in the Brewers organization as a coach or manager for 15 years. Representing the Brewers on the Surprise Rafters are the following players: RHP Michael Fiers; RHP Jeremy Jeffress; RHP Brandon Kintzler; LHP Lucas Luetge; RHP Mike McClendon; LHP Dan Merklinger; INF Eric Farris; INF Hunter Morris; OF Caleb Gindl and OF Logan Schafer. I have brief capsules on each player below along with links to their AFL bio page.
I’m heading down to Phoenix tomorrow (7 a.m. flight, ouch) to check in with some of the Brewers players who are playing in the league as well as find some stories about how the Brewers Training Center at Maryvale Baseball Park operates in the offseason. I am also going to see how Brewers scouts use the league to evaluate talent. I plan on completing my week by covering the Rising Stars Game on Saturday which is an All-Star Game for the AFL.
All told, over 1,800 former Fall Leaguers have reached the Big Leagues. On Opening Day 2010, the Milwaukee Brewers 25-man roster had 18 players who were Fall League graduates, tied with Philadelphia for the most in the National League and second only to Oakland (21) in MLB. Included in those 18 are All-Stars Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and Corey Hart.
Additionally, four Brewers players who spent time on the Major League roster in 2010 played in the 2009 Fall League: Zack Braddock, Lorenzo Cain, Jonathan Lucroy and Mark Rogers. This shows how close those in the AFL are to making it to the Major Leagues.
I briefly spoke with Lucroy about his experience in the 2009 Fall League.
“I really believe that my experience last year in Arizona helped me get to the Big Leagues this year,” Lucroy said. “You were playing every day with some of the best prospects and getting good at bats against great pitching, facing that competition for over a month, you are definitely going to get better. Not only did it help me as a hitter, but I felt that it helped me as a catcher too because I was working with our pitchers and our coaches.”
Be sure to check in with John and Cait…Plus Nine all week for interviews, photos, stories and videos from Phoenix. If anyone has any ideas for me or questions for any of the players involved or Doug Melvin, please e-mail us and I will see what we can do to get them answered. I’m really excited to travel to Phoenix and write about what is going on with the future of the Milwaukee Brewers.
For more information on the Arizona Fall League, visit the official website for the league at www.mlbfallball.com.
Farris spent most of the 2010 season with Triple-A Nashvile where he finished the season hitting .274 with two home runs and 15 RBI. He was a 4th round selection (131st overall) of the Brewers in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. The infielder missed nearly three months of action after suffering a knee injury on April 29 in a home plate collision. He hit .250 (8-for-32) with 5 doubles, 1 home run, 9 RBI in 10 rehab games with the Arizona Brewers.
Fiers began the season with Brevard County and was promoted to Huntsville on July 4. Overall this season, he went 5-9 with a 3.53 ERA (125ip/49er) in 27 appearances/19 starts. His strikeout to walk ratio was astounding as he has recorded 130 strikeouts and only 32 walks. The right handed pitcher was the Brewers 22nd round selection of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.
Gindl was a fifth-round selection by the Brewers in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft and spent the 2010 season with Double-A Huntsville where he hit .272 with nine home runs and 60 RBI while playing in 128 games in the outfield.
The Brewers’ First-Round Draft selection in 2006, Jeffress made his Major League debut with the Brewers this season. He spent time with Class-A Wisconsin (0-0, 0.00), Class-A Brevard County (0-0, 5.40) and Double-A Huntsville (1-1, 1.26) before joining the Brewers (1-0, 2.70) as a September call up.
Kintzler, a hard-throwing right hander also made his Major League debut in 2010 with the Brewers. He began the season with Double-A Huntsville (1-0, 0.40, 10 saves) and moved on to Triple-A Nashville where he made 22 appearances out of the bullpen (3-0, 2.36 ERA, 6 saves). With the Brewers, he went 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in seven relief appearances.
Luetge was a 21st round selection by the Brewers in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. He split time between Class-A Brevard County (1-1, 2.29) and Double-A Huntsville (3-2, 3.48). Luetge is a member of the Rafters “taxi squad” meaning he is only active for Wednesday and Saturday games during the Fall League but still participates in all other team activities.
McClendon made his Major League debut with the Brewers in August and went 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 17 relief appearances. A 10th round selection by the Brewers in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, McClendon began the season with Double-A Huntsville (1-1, 0.61) and spent most of the season with Triple-A Nashville where he went 4-3 with a 2.44 ERA in 25 appearances and three starts.
Merklinger, like Luetge, is a member of the Rafters “taxi squad.” He spend most of the 2010 season with Class-A Brevard County, going 7-6 with a 3.64 ERA in 25 appearances and 21 starts. He also made one start at each Triple-A Nashville and Double-A Huntsville. Merklinger was a 6th round selection by the Brewers in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.
Morris was a 2010 fourth round pick by the Brewers and was this year’s Southeastern Conference Player of the Year out of Auburn University. He spent the 2010 season with Class-A Wisconsin and hit .251 with nine home runs and 44 RBI.
Schafer spent an injury-plagued season with Class-A Brevard County. He only played seven games this season for Brevard County where he hit .174 (4-for-23) and missed most of the season due to a broken right foot and a sports hernia. He finished the season on the disabled list after being placed on the DL on July 9. He was a 3rd round selection by the Brewers in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
I snapped two quick photos of the scoreboard demolition yesterday and then when I looked again today, I was shocked by the progress. Miller Park is beginning to look quite bare!
Yesterday, the video board started to come down.
Last week, the Miller Park sign came down and early this week, the side panel featuring advertisements was removed leaving only the video board and the matrix board.
Compare today’s photos with the shots that Adam McCalvy talked about last week and we are rolling right along at Miller Park.
This past weekend, five people from our office competed in the Men’s Health Urbanathlon in Chicago. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this event, it is basically a 15K race with a crazy obstacle course mixed in, ending with a stair climb at Soldier Field.
Jennacy Cruz, Manager of Event Services for Stadium Operations participated in the event, as did Jason Hartlund, VP-Brewers Enterprises. From the Consumer Marketing Department (my department), Chris Barlow, Director of Group Sales; Billy Friess, Director of Season Ticket Sales; and our VP, Todd Taylor, all completed the Urbanathlon.
L-R: Chris, Jason, Todd and Billy, geared up for the Urbanathlon.
Because Chris, Billy and Todd are in my department, I had heard a lot from them about the race and the training leading up to it. I was curious: How do you train for obstacles involving concrete barriers, monster truck tires, police barricades, marine hurdles, cargo nets and stadium steps? (Okay, for these guys the last one was pretty easy.)
Hearing about the race this weekend really got me thinking. Over the years, as guys like Ryan Braun, Casey McGehee and Corey Hart have had 100-RBI seasons or guys like Prince Fielder have hit 50 home runs, my other colleagues — the athletes off the field — have accomplished some pretty amazing things as well.
Basically, what it comes down to is that in working in sports, you often find that the athletes aren’t just on the field. Because people who work in sports tend to like sports, consequently they also tend to participate in sports as well.
At the risk of accidentally leaving someone out, here’s a small sample of some of our achievements:
Did you know that we have an Olympian on staff? Dave Tamburrino, Director of Corporate Marketing, was a member of the U.S. Olympic Speedskating Team in 1994 (Lillehammer, Norway) and 1998 (Nagano, Japan). Dave also finished 5th overall at the 1995 World All Around Speedskating Championships in Baselga Di Pine, Italy and was a member of the US National Speedskating Team (1988-1998) and the World All Around Speedskating Championships Team (1994-1998). Wow! I wonder if the rest of the Corporate Marketing department finds it hard to keep up with him. Currently, Dave plays hockey for the Cans Lumberjacks adult league team at the Pettit Center.
How cool is Olympian Dave Tamburrino? Ice cold!
Diny Hurwitz, our Data Analyst, is a cyclist. His first long distance bicycle trip was an 800-mile ride from Rochester, New York, to Bar Harbor, Maine, two months before he turned 16. He’s biked across the United States from Yorktown, Virginia to Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. He’s also traveled from south to north through Oregon along the Pacific Coast and rode a 500-miles loop over three mountain passes through the Colorado Rocky Mountains, reaching an altitude of 12,095 feet at Independence Pass. He’s even accidentally biked on the Autobahn in the Czech Republic during his trip to Central Europe (don’t ask!).
Diny Hurwitz, on a bike trip to Oregon (seen here sporting his Brewers Kickball t-shirt!).
It’s been said that the baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint and it seems like a lot of our staff has taken that quite literally. We’ve got lots of runners in our ranks and it would be really interesting to know how many miles in races we’ve logged collectively. Here are some highlights: Sarah Holbrook, Director of Corporate Marketing, has completed three marathons in Noank, CT, Minneapolis, MN, and Amsterdam, Holland. Teddy Werner, Director of Business Operations, has also run three marathons: Boston, New York City and Chicago. Maggie Aliota, Group Event Coordinator, has completed one full marathon, four half-marathons and one sprint triathlon. Prior to the Urbanathlon, Jennacy, Chris, Jason and Billy had all run numerous races, too.
This summer, I completed my first half-marathon as well (although, my main passion is yoga; I’m proud to say I’ve finally mastered the 8-Angle pose!) and last summer, my boss, Kathy Schwab, Senior Director of Marketing, and I participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, a 60-mile walk over the course of three days in Chicago. We were proud of ourselves for not only completing the event, but for also raising over $5000 for the charity.
Here I am with my boss, Kathy (right) and our mascot, a pink Brewers monkey (appropriately dubbed “Pink Monkey”) after finishing the Breast Cancer 3-Day last August.
In February and March, many people on our staff find themselves down at Spring Training in Arizona, but just because we’re away from home, it doesn’t mean we’re on vacation. We’re still working and our exercise regimens do not take a hiatus. In fact, some members of our front office put themselves through their own version of spring training with extra-tough pre-season workouts. If you take a trip down there to see the Crew, plan to climb Camelback Mountain and you’ll likely see lots of people wearing Brewers gear. I’m proud to say that I conquered Camelback-and my fear of heights-as I climbed the mountain for the first time myself this year.
Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, Arizona: The climb was worth it for this view!
Not counting the experience on the Baseball Operations side, we’ve got semi-pro baseball players in our MIS and Suites Departments. There are company softball games against other local businesses. A kickball team comprised of people who work on the Loge Level. Volleyball and bowling leagues. A men’s pickup basketball league.
This kickball team, comprised of many people from our Loge Level, is playing for the championships next week.
Mention the words “P-90X” and you’ll have no trouble finding someone who’s been there, done that. And although we’re pretty busy during most of Wisconsin’s best golfing weather, there’s a good number of people (including me) who take advantage of any time they have to hit the links. We’ve got a former basketball coach on staff and people into dance, tennis and snowboarding.
Again, these are just the things I’m aware of. If I did an official office poll, I’m sure I’d find some more surprises.
So there you have it. The Brewers athletes off the field, a pretty competitive bunch!
What about you, readers? Comment below and let us know what cool feats you’ve accomplished!
The Milwaukee Chapter of the Basball Writers Association of America today announced their Brewers 2010 Award Winners this morning. Candidates received five points for a first-place vote, three points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.
The team Most Valuable Player was Casey McGehee who received a total of 19 points including three first-place votes. McGehee finished his second full season in the Big Leagues with a .285 batting average along with 23 home runs and 104 RBI. He was among the National League leaders in RBI (6th), hits (9th, 174) and doubles (10th, 38).
McGehee edged out Rickie Weeks, who had 16 points, and Corey Hart, who finished with 14 points.
Yovani Gallardo was named the Brewers Most Valuable Pitcher. Gallardo, named to the 2010 National League All-Star team, recorded his second straight 200+ strikeout season and finished with a team-high 14 wins. Gallardo had 26 points in the voting, topping John Axford who recorded 22 points.
Axford swept the voting in the Top Newcomer Award garnering all six first-place votes. Axford turned in an 8-2 record with 2.48 ERA and 24 saves. His 24 saves were the most ever by a Brewers rookie and his fantastic season as the Brewers closer brought him in National League Rookie of the Year conversations.
The Unsung Hero Award went to pitcher Kameron Loe who finished with 14 points in the voting. Loe began the season at Triple-A Nashville and joined the Brewers on June 1. He went 3-5 with a 2.78 ERA in 53 relief appearances after being called up. He struck out 46 and walked only 15 in 58.1 innings of work. Loe edged rookie catcher Jonathan Lucroy by one point for this award.
One of our favorite awards in the Brewers Media Relations Department, the Good Guy Award, went to Trevor Hoffman who finished with 19 points. Hoffman made history on the field this season, but also was an asset to the Brewers clubhouse. Hoffman served as a leader and mentor to many of the younger Brewers players and always made himself available to the media, win or lose. The future Hall of Famer beat out Craig Counsell, who was the two-time reigning Good Guy Award-winner, by four points for the award.
I pose this question to the readers of John and Cait…Plus Nine, what would your ballot have looked like for the 2010 Brewers Award Winners? Do you agree with Milwaukee’s BBWAA writers? If you need help with stats or information, check out my blog from last week with the season wrap-up notes. E-mail us with your top three choices for each of the five awards listed above and we will see what the fans have to say. Also, if you have any ideas for new award categories, let us know and maybe we can create the first-ever John and Cait…Plus Nine Brewers Team Awards. Get the red carpet ready.
The Brewers Media Relations Department today sent out their 2010 End of Season Notes and Stats Wrap Up. This file was sent out to the media and I am making it available for fans here via .PDF. It is the most complete and official wrap up of of the 2010 season and includes all sorts of stats and numbers from the Brewers all the way down through the Minor Leagues. If you are like me and love the Brewers and information, this packet is for you.
Also, stay tuned to John and Cait…Plus Nine over the next couple of weeks for some special reports from the Arizona Fall League. I will be heading down to Phoenix during the first week of November to check out what some of the Future Stars of the Brewers are doing in Arizona. I’m hoping to provide you with some insider information from the Arizona Fall League and get the readers involved by having players and Brewers Baseball Operations Staff answer your questions about the team.
Have a great weekend!