Milwaukee Brewers 2014 Season Preview to Debut on FOX Sports Wisconsin this Thursday

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.

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Tim’s Tip: Update Your Coaching Effectiveness for Just $5

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!

Enjoy!
Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

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.

Every coach should consider using video as a teaching tool

Every coach should consider using video as a teaching tool.

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

8)     Cheap

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.

-Coach Tim

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Hank Becomes Official Resident on National Puppy Day

You’re all probably wondering: “How did Hank spend National Puppy Day?”

Well, this afternoon, the Ballpark Pup made a trip to the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) to get his official Milwaukee County dog license. We’re proud to report he is now an official resident!

He has a shiny green tag and the papers – complete with a paw-print signature – to prove it. Hank continues to do very well at his forever home, and loves running around the Brewers offices.

Meanwhile in Phoenix, word seems to be getting out that Maryvale Baseball Park is the place to be for strays needing attention. “Arrow,” so named for the arrow-shaped mark on his back, wandered onto the Brewers Minor League fields this morning and is now being bathed and fed by Brewers staff. Arrow appears to be something of a Chihuahua and Beagle mix.

Arrow wandered onto the Brewers Minor League fields this morning and is now being bathed and fed by Brewers staff.

Arrow wandered onto the Brewers Minor League fields this morning and is now being cared for by Brewers staff.

Wheels are in motion to find his family and failing that, we’ll help get him to a good home.

 -Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

Get Your 2014 Brewers Specialty Player Tees; Plus, Save with the Brand New “Moon Shot” Markdown Promotion!

Expand your collection of Brewers player tees by purchasing any of our new 2014 specialty designs, exclusive to Miller Park!

Choose from styles featuring:

Scooter Gennett

Scooter Gennett Tee

Scooter asked for a universe/stars-type “out there” theme. The front is an eclipse and his name/number are “moon texture.”

Carlos Gomez

Carlos Gomez Tee

The front of this tee is “dirty” because Gomez plays hard, making great catches and sliding into the plate. The back is Go Go catching a fly ball as a tribute to his Gold Glove award from 2013.

Jean Segura

Chef Segura Tee

Segura likes to cook and is known by some as “Chef Segura,” so we combined a tailgate theme with Segura cooking.

Jonathan Lucroy

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This one doesn’t need a lot of explanation, it’s just pretty cool.

and Bob Uecker!

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The Uecker tee plays off of his iconic plaid sport coats and, of course, the fact that he’s a broadcaster.

These specialty player tees are exclusive to Miller Park and are available in men’s sizes SM-XXL (sorry, no women’s or youth tees in these styles).

Both regular and specialty player tees retail for $32 each at the Brewers Team Stores at Miller Park, but fans may find the prices reduced as part of the brand new Moon Shot Markdown promotion.

MB-14 Moon Shot Markdown-Facebook

The Moonshot Markdown promotion replaces the Walk-0ff Wednesdays promotion we’ve had in the past, giving fans more opportunities for greater savings.

With the Moon Shot Markdown, during each home game at Miller Park, each time a Brewers player hits a home run, fans are eligible to receive $5 off that player’s name and number tee (including the specialty tees shown here–sorry, guys, doesn’t look like the Uecker tee will be included).

So for example, if Jonathan Lucroy hits a home run, his t-shirt goes from $32 to $27… if he hits two dingers in the game, you’re down to $22 and so on and so forth.

Just another thing to look forward to this season at Miller Park, but you might want to snap up one of these player tees before the season starts as I’m sure they’ll fly off the shelves faster than a Go Go moon shot flies out of Miller Park!

Can’t make it out to Miller Park anytime soon? Never fear–there’s also a large selection of player tees available on brewers.com. (Note: Product purchased online does not qualify for Moon Shot Markdown.)

Happy shopping!

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Nominate an All-Star Teacher to Represent the Brewers at the 2014 All-Star Game!

Major League Baseball, PEOPLE magazine and Target are looking for outstanding teachers!

PRINT_ONLINE_CLUBS LOGO

Building off of previous years success for “All-Stars Among Us” and “Tribute for Heroes”, Major League Baseball will be partnering with PEOPLE magazine and Target in 2014 to honor our nation’s teachers.

The joint initiative entitled “Target presents PEOPLE All-Star Teachers” will celebrate baseball’s commitment to education and generate excitement for the All-Star Game on FOX. The program will culminate in a celebration of thirty teachers, one to represent each Club, at Target Field with a pre-game moment during the 2014 Midsummer Classic on FOX.

Now through May 6, fans have the opportunity to nominate a teacher to represent their favorite Club on AllStarTeachers.com. MLB, PEOPLE and Target will pare each group of nominees down to three teachers per Club with fans voting online for their favorites June 5-29. Following the fan vote, 30 teachers, one representing each Club, will be selected to attend the 2014 All-Star Game. All 30 teachers will be integrated into the All-Star Week festivities and honored with a moment during the pre-game ceremony at the All-Star Game.

-Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

 

 

Brewers Fever Leads to March Madness

As the NCAA Basketball Tournament gets underway, we’re all feeling a little bit of that March Madness.

And, although both UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison are competing this year, the particular “March Madness” I’m referring to in this case is baseball related.

It’s been an especially long, tough winter and, all across the state, fans are suffering from major cases of cabin fever—and, much worse, Brewers fever. The ailment usually hits a crescendo, a state of madness, right about this time of year.

People started coming down with it in late January at Brewers On Deck. For one fleeting day, we got to see the Crew and get pumped up for the season. Then came Spring Training. Since mid-February, we’ve been teased by the sights of the steady string of warm, sunny days in Phoenix and the green grass, along with the sweet sounds of the crack of the bat, the ball smacking a leather glove, and Uecker‘s voice on the radio. These sights and sounds evoke an almost Pavlovian response from our other senses: We can almost smell the brats on the grill; we can almost taste the peanuts and Cracker Jack; and we can definitely feel the excitement in the air.

We’re now less than two weeks from Brewers Baseball returning to Milwaukee and the madness has hit full tilt. We’re ready for the Boys of Summer to return from Arizona and at least bring a little bit of spring back with them. We’re ready for America’s Pastime done the Wisconsin way, with tailgating, Sausage Races and Bernie’s slides. And the barrel? Oh yes, it’s ready to be rolled out. Just say when!

How will we cope the next two weeks? Well, we’ve got a few more Spring Training games that we can watch and listen to, plus two Exhibition Games at Miller Park. In addition to that, there’s that other March Madness that I alluded to, an entertaining diversion that makes that time until Opening Day go by quicker.

Like most of America, we’re sure you found time to fill out a bracket. That’s why we asked some of the Crew to do the same.

Tom Gorzelanny, hard at work on his bracket.

Tom Gorzelanny, hard at work on his bracket.

A few of the participants, like Brewers infielder Rickie Weeks and Brewers reliever Rob Wooten, really get into it. Rickie is a big basketball fan and Wooten in particular is a diehard fan of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

Wooten lives just south of Chapel Hill, N.C., and attends as many as 10 Tar Heels home basketball games per season before heading to Spring Training.

Wooten lives just south of Chapel Hill, N.C., and attends as many as 10 Tar Heels home basketball games per season before heading to Spring Training.

So big, in fact, that he even associates his teammate’s name with a rival team-Zach Duke who has  nothing to do with the University, other than sharing a name:

Others, like Brewers pitchers Kyle Lohse and Wei-Chung Wang, really don’t follow basketball all that closely, but it’s still fun to participate in the bracket challenge.

Lohse says he “flipped a coin” and Wang, a 21-year-old from Taiwan, got help from some friends.

Wei-Chung Wang getting help filling out NCAA bracket from interpreter Jay Hsu and clubhouse attendant Ben Wilkes.

Wei-Chung Wang getting help filling out NCAA bracket from interpreter Jay Hsu and clubhouse attendant Ben Wilkes.

But that’s the thing with March Madness– the tourney can be so unpredictable that a basketball fanatic has just as much of a chance as a coin-flipper… or a dog.

Yep, that’s right, we even got the newest addition to the team, Hank the Ballpark Pup, and old friend Bernie Brewer in on the fun.

Bernie emailed their brackets to me this morning, noting for his: “I did an in-depth mascot analysis of each team; noting who I believe would win in a duel… oh and, in case you weren’t aware, I always root for the home team(s).”

Hank also appears to have taken team mascots into account; however, with a Final Four comprised of the Albany Great Danes, Connecticut Huskies, Gonzaga Bulldogs and Wofford Terriers, he appears to have stuck with his species.

“He’s also picked a lot of upsets in the other games… it appears Hank consistently roots for the ‘underdog,’” Bernie wrote. “It’s a risky move for a newcomer, choosing species over his new home teams. But I bet people will forgive him. He didn’t even pick AZ teams to go very far.”

Follow along with Brew Crew Bracketology below and see how their picks “net” out.

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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.

Yep. March Madness has set in.

I’ve got Brewers Fever and the only prescription is more Brewers Baseball.

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

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!

Enjoy!
Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

COACH TIM “REPORTING FROM SPRING TRAINING”

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

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

 

 

 

TGI Fridays at Miller Park Gets a Facelift

Earlier this month, we informed you that the TGI Fridays at Miller Park was undergoing renovations as part of a new contemporary design being implemented at Fridays restaurants throughout the country.

Now, we’ve got photos of the finished project here for you!

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The newly-redesigned Fridays has a fun, energetic vibe with a dramatically redesigned bar as the focal point of the restaurant, complemented with favorite Fridays menu items.

The project included interior modifications and upgrades, new brick wall surfaces, updated finishes and décor and lighting improvements.  The modernized bar features a new granite surface with stainless steel rails, LED accent lighting, custom wood paneling at the bar back (accented by multi-color LED lighting), columns wrapped with subway tile and new seating.  The project also included exterior façade enhancements at the entrances located on the field level concourse.

The new redesign is tailored to the Milwaukee community and location, and is part of a larger re-imaging campaign that Fridays will roll out over the next three years.

Other Miller Park improvement projects underway for 2014 include a redeveloped Toyota Territory, Brewers Team Store by Majestic expansion, a new Authentics Kiosk, the addition of an AJ Bombers facility, the new Brewers Wall of Honor, a Bob Uecker “Last Row” statue, refurbishment of the East Lot Tailgate Pavilions and new flat-panel televisions on the concourses.

-Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

DNR Days Return to Miller Park for 2014

One cannot talk about Wisconsin traditions without including the great outdoors, and that starts with activities such as hunting, fishing and Brewers baseball.  In celebrating these great traditions, the Milwaukee Brewers and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have partnered once again to create a ticket deal exclusive to Wisconsin’s 1.5 million Hunting or Fishing license holders.

You’ll enjoy special savings on Brewers tickets–$26 for Field Outfield and $17 for Terrace Box—and each ticket purchased includes a blaze orange Brewers cap.

MB-14 DNR Days-Social Graphic-Lucroy

 

The offer is available for the following games:’

Friday, April 25 Brewers vs. Cubs @ 7:10p

Monday, May 26 Brewers vs. Orioles @ 1:10p

Tuesday, June 24 Brewers vs. Nationals @7:10p

Thursday, July 24 Brewers vs. Mets @7:10p

Saturday, August 23 Brewers vs. Pirates @6:10[p

Friday, September 12 Brewers vs. Reds @7:10p

Sunday, September 28 Brewers vs. Cubs @ 1:10p

To take advantage of this offer, visit brewers.com/DNR and have your DNR Hunting or Fishing License Transaction Number ready.  (Note: If you do not have your transaction number, please contact the DNR at (888) 936-7463.) Those who do not have a Wisconsin DNR Hunting or Fishing License can purchase one for as low as $5 through the Wisconsin DNR or select retail locations.

-Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

Brewers Announce Partnership With Shatterproof

The Milwaukee Brewers and Brewers Community Foundation today announced a partnership with Shatterproof, a national organization that is committed to protecting children from developing addiction to alcohol or other drugs and ending the stigma and suffering of those affected by this disease. 

 On May 6 at Miller Park, when the Brewers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Brewers will celebrate “Shatterproof Day” and Brewers Community Foundation will present a grant to the organization.  Shatterproof staff will be at Miller Park distributing literature to raise awareness for the cause, and a representative from the organization will toss the ceremonial first pitch that evening.

That same day, Shatterproof will host the “Shatterproof Challenge” in downtown Milwaukee, where approximately 80 participants will rappel down the side of the Hyatt Regency hotel. Brewers outfielder Logan Schafer will autograph a baseball for each participant and Brewers representatives will be on hand to support the initiative. Those who would like to learn about how they can participate in this event can do so at https://secure.shatterproof.org/page/content/milwaukee-2014/.

“We appreciate the work that Shatterproof does to address the issue of addiction in our society,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “The work that it does is critical, not just to prevent addiction before it has a chance to take hold, but also to battle the stigma attached to the disease.”

Shatterproof was founded by Gary Mendell after he lost his son, Brian, to the disease of addiction.  Shatterproof is building an organization to educate and empower families, educators, healthcare providers, legislators and others to address addiction on a national scale. For more information on Shatterproof, please visit www.shatterproof.org.

–John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

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