The Brewers played their last home game on Sunday, September 22 and their last regular season game on Sunday, September 29. On Monday, September 30, the Miller Park grounds crew was very busy tearing up the field to make room for a new playing surface. Wednesday was the first day the grounds crew began to install the new playing surface after a week of preparation.
Over 105,000 square feet of sod was brought in from Graff’s Turf Farm in Fort Morgan, Colorado to cover the approximately 2 1/4 acres of field. It comes to Miller Park on rolls that are 2,200 pounds and are four feet wide and 35 feet long. The sod is fully mature and about 1 1/2 inches thick.
Miller Park’s Director of Grounds Justin Scott spoke about the project.
“The process allows us to bring in some younger, newer turf and remove some old contamination,” said Scott. ”We can fix some issues and improve some things with irrigation. It is just an industry standard procedure that all MLB teams do.”
The old sod was ground up and recycled into top soil.
Scott said he hopes the project of laying the new sod is complete by Friday night. At that point, routine maintenance of the field will continue until late November or early December when he hopes the field will go dormant for the winter.
The last time this project took place was the Fall of 2008.
We will keep you updated with photos of the project!
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, a wrap up of the Brewers Baseball Academy Champions Day.
THE SECRET SAUCE IN EVERY CHAMPION’S RECIPE
At each Brewers Baseball Academy summer camp we have the kids participate in a Skills Competition that measures bat speed, running speed and field/throwing speed. We’ve found that breaking up the instruction with competitive events really spices up the day and the Skills Competition does the trick. Plus, it helps reinforce the very things that we are teaching the kids during the week.
A couple weeks ago, the top 70 scorers from the summer participated in Champions Day at Miller Park. In addition to the 70 competitors, there were another 300+ friends and family members in attendance. It was a gorgeous day, although I wished the grounds crew was preparing the infield for the playoffs rather than re-sodding…but that’s what next year is for.
The focus of this post is to ask whether or not placing kids in the cauldron of competition prepares them for what’s ahead. Trust me; the kids at Champions Day feel the pressure of competing for a trophy in front of a lot of people on the very field their baseball heroes perform. It’s only natural to feel that heart-pounding, sweaty palms, “where’s the restroom” sensation. The big question, of course, is whether or not the performer can park those feelings somewhere they won’t impede their physical and mental performance. Or do they give into them and essentially fall apart at the most critical time?
I submit that champions not only control those emotions but use them to propel his/her performance to new heights. That confidence, that belief in oneself, is the secret sauce in every winner’s recipe.
I think about all the travel tryouts that were conducted throughout Wisconsin in the last 60 days. We measure kids’ running speed. We hit them ground balls and watch the “carry” on their throws across the infield or outfield. We throw batting practice and watch their strokes. What we can’t do is put a dipstick in that part of the athlete that measures their ability to manage stress…to excel under pressure. If we could, I fear that many of us would come up a quart low.
Case in point. If you ever had the pleasure of standing in the third base coaching box you get a real sense of the kids who step into the batter’s box like they own it. It’s as though they lock the door behind them and nothing exists other than the next pitch. These kids will compete for me. On the other hand, I’ve had plenty of kids who stepped into the batter’s box in that same pressure cooker situation and looked as though there was a snake in it.
The remarkable “you can’t beat me” attitude is what separates good from great and it may very well be hard wired in the athlete’s DNA. Although, preparation, experience and multiple “learnable” techniques can make a huge difference. But the “will to win” that we see from the great ones may not be something we can teach. Then again, a few Sunday’s ago class was in session at Miller Park for 70 young athletes from the Brewers Baseball Academy…and they put on a show. You can click here to see the final rankings.
Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”
In mid-August, we hosted an Instagram contest to send Brewers fans to the MLB Fan Cave while the team was in New York taking on the Mets, putting out a call for Brewers fans to share pictures of their personal Brewers Fan Caves.
We received many great entries, but the one that stood out for the judges was Pam Dietz’s Brewers Tiki Hut:
Today, I caught up with Pam and she filled me in on the experience.
“I was pretty excited to find out we won,” Pam told me. “Last year, we started with the tiki hut and since we’re huge Brewers fans, we decided to make it a Brewers/baseball theme and we’ve been adding things here or there, like the retired numbers.”
The family arrived in New York in time to take a tour of the Fan Cave on Friday where they were also greeted by Brewers players Scooter Gennett and Khris Davis.
The family was pretty excited to see Scooter since, living in Appleton, they take in many Timber Rattlers games and had remembered him from his time there. A few years ago, Scooter had even given a broken bat to Jordan, which he was later able to get signed at a Rising Stars game at Miller Park.
During their time at the Fan Cave, Jordan was able to play ping pong with Scooter and Pam also participated in a video shoot.
The family also stayed to watch that night’s game vs. the Mets from the Cave, a 4-2 victory which featured three home runs by Brewers players (Aoki, Davis and Maldonado). This was especially exciting to Jordan, as he got to play Bernie Brewer, sliding down the Fan Cave’s big slide for each one of them.
On Saturday, the family took in the Brewers-Mets game at Citi Field, another 4-2 victory that lasted 10 innings. Their seats were great and they caught Scooter’s eye. He came over to chat and, much to Jordan’s surprise, presented him with another one of his bats to take home as a souvenir.
Being such big Brewers fans, the Dietz family tries to take a family trip to see the Brewers on the road each year, usually around the Fourth of July, So far, they’ve been to see the Crew take on the Twins and the Cardinals.
However, this trip ranks right up there at the top, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
“It was a great trip, an awesome trip,” Pam said.
Thanks, Pam, Tony and Jordan for being such great Brewers fans! And thanks to Khris, Scooter and the staff at the Brewers Fan Cave for providing such a memorable experience.
The Milwaukee Brewers today announced their postseason award winners as voted by members of the Milwaukee Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). A total of eight ballots were cast for each award, assigning five points for first place, three for second and one for third.
Center fielder Carlos Gomez was voted Brewers Most Valuable Player as he received all eight first-place votes (40 points). Shortstop Jean Segura finished second with 18 points.
Gomez, a first-time All-Star selection this season, batted .284 with 24 HR, 73 RBI and 40 stolen bases in 147 games. He was among the National League leaders in triples (T2nd, 10), stolen bases (4th), slugging percentage (7th, .506) and extra-base hits (T8th, 61). Gomez became the first player in franchise history to produce 20+ home runs and 40+ stolen bases in a season. He was the only player in the Major Leagues to accomplish that feat in 2013. The Gold Glove Award candidate also recorded 12 assists in center field, which ranked second in the Major Leagues from that position.
Kyle Lohse was voted Brewers Most Valuable Pitcher as he received all eight first-place votes (40 points). Jim Henderson (24 points), Brandon Kintzler (7) and Yovani Gallardo (1) also received consideration. Lohse, who signed with the Brewers as a free agent on March 25, went 11-10 with a 3.35 ERA in 32 starts during his first season in Milwaukee. He led the team in ERA, innings pitched (198.2) and quality starts (20). He ranked fifth in the National League in fewest walks per nine innings (1.6). Lohse went 10-4 with a 2.91 ERA over his last 22 starts, posting 16 quality starts (139ip, 45er).
Lohse (38 points) was also voted Brewers Top Newcomer, receiving seven first-place votes and one second-place vote. He was followed by second baseman Scooter Gennett (26 points – one first-place vote). Outfielder Khris Davis (7 points) and pitcher Tyler Thornburg (1) were also listed on ballots.
Right fielder Norichika Aoki (34 points) received five first-place votes and three second-place votes to edge pitcher Brandon Kintzler (27 points – three first place-votes, four second-place votes) and earn Brewers Unsung Hero honors. A total of eight players were listed on ballots for this award.
Aoki batted .286 with 8 HR, 37 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 155 games. He ranked among the National League leaders in multi-hit games (T7th, 50) and hits (T10th, 171). He led the team in games, at-bats (597), on-base percentage (.356) and walks (55) while tying Carlos Gomez for the team lead in runs (80). Aoki struck out just 40 times in 674 plate appearances this season, the best ratio in the Major Leagues (16.9).
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy (33 points) earned the Good Guy Award, receiving six first-place votes and one second place vote. The other first-place votes went to center fielder Carlos Gomez, who finished second with 18 points, and shortstop Jean Segura. A total of nine players were listed on ballots for this honor, the most of any award this season.
Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media announced that Carlos Gomez was named the Milwaukee Brewers nominee for the 2013 Hank Aaron Award.
Fans can vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites. For the fourth straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.
Gomez batted .284 with 27 doubles, 10 triples, 24 home runs, 73 RBI and 40 stolen bases (all career highs) in 147 games. The speedy center fielder was selected to his first All-Star Game and ranked among the National League leaders in triples (T2nd), stolen bases (4th), slugging percentage (7th, .506) and extra-base hits (T8th, 61). Gomez, who was the only player in the Major Leagues this season with 20+ HR and 35+ SB, became the first player in franchise history with 20+ HR and 40+ SB in a season. He led the Brewers in doubles, home runs, extra-base hits, total bases (271) and slugging percentage and tied for the team-lead in runs (80) and triples. In addition, his 12 assists ranked second among Major League center fielders in 2013.
The Hall of Fame panel led by Aaron includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time –Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray and Robin Yount. These Hall of Famers – who combined for 17,629 hits, 8,278 RBI and 1,723 home runs – have all been personally selected by Hank Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League.
Through October 10, fans will have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner from a list comprising of one finalist per Club. The winners of the 2013 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 2013 World Series.
“It is a great honor that Major League Baseball recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each League with an award in my name,” said Hank Aaron. “The game is full of so many talented players today that I am thankful my fellow Hall of Famers and the fans assist in selecting the much deserving winners.”
The finalists for the 2013 Hank Aaron Award are:
|American League||National League|
|Baltimore Orioles||Chris Davis||Arizona Diamondbacks||Paul Goldschmidt|
|Boston Red Sox||David Ortiz||Atlanta Braves||Freddie Freeman|
|Chicago White Sox||Alexei Ramirez||Chicago Cubs||Nate Schierholtz|
|Cleveland Indians||Jason Kipnis||Cincinnati Reds||Jay Bruce|
|Detroit Tigers||Miguel Cabrera||Colorado Rockies||Michael Cuddyer|
|Houston Astros||Jason Castro||Los Angeles Dodgers||Hanley Ramirez|
|Kansas City Royals||Eric Hosmer||Miami Marlins||Giancarlo Stanton|
|LA Angels of Anaheim||Mike Trout||Milwaukee Brewers||Carlos Gomez|
|Minnesota Twins||Joe Mauer||New York Mets||David Wright|
|New York Yankees||Robinson Cano||Philadelphia Phillies||Domonic Brown|
|Oakland Athletics||Josh Donaldson||Pittsburgh Pirates||Andrew McCutchen|
|Seattle Mariners||Kendrys Morales||St. Louis Cardinals||Matt Carpenter|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Evan Longoria||San Diego Padres||Will Venable|
|Texas Rangers||Adrian Beltre||San Francisco Giants||Hunter Pence|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Edwin Encarnacion||Washington Nationals||Jayson Werth|
Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Miguel Cabrera and Buster Posey (2012), Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011), Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Rodriguez and Pujols (2003); Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).
The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.
-John and Cait
Congratulations to our five blog readers who won tickets to the Milwaukee Film Festival’s “An Evening with Paul Attanasio” last week.
We hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did!
For those of you who don’t know, Paul is the brother of Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner, Mark Attanasio and is an award-winning Hollywood writer/producer. He has worked on projects like Quiz Show, Donnie Brasco and House M.D.
On Saturday evening, Paul was a special guest at the Oriental Theatre and took part in a question and answer session where he discussed his career, influences and his thoughts on the film industry today with Artistic and Executive Director of the Film Festival, Jonathan Jackson.
We found the retrospective to be informative and incredibly interesting. Paul had attended Harvard Law School before he got an internship at the Washington Post. There, he ended up having the opportunity to audition for the role of film critic. At the young age of 24, he was selected and spent three years in the job.
During the event, Jonathan read an excerpt from a review Paul had written on the 1987 Sylvester Stallone movie, “Over the Top” and Paul laughed along with the audience as he admitted to being quite green and having ”two gears”–one condescending and sarcastic about the film and one highly praising and glowing. Read Paul’s review of “Over the Top” here.
But Paul says he learned a lot during his time as a film critic and considers it his education in the industry. He made a lot of connections and he was able to develop his writing skills as well. He left the Post when producer Jerry Bruckheimer gave him a screenwriting job.
Flash forward to today and Paul’s been nominated for just about every industry award there is, including the Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe.
The audience was treated to clips from Paul’s movies and TV shows, followed by his insight into certain elements of the plot, characters, dialogue and more.
Toward the end of the evening, Paul looked ahead to his next projects, including reading the opening scene for The Vatican, a project he is working on with Showtime.
Finally, the audience had a chance to ask their own questions of Paul as the evening concluded.
Were you in attendance on Saturday night? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Have any recommendations for films that we can still have a chance to check out between now and Thursday, when the Festival wraps up? Please share!
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Film Festival, we hope you can get there this week. More information on the festival including ticket information for all events can be found here.
–JOHN AND CAIT
Last Saturday, over 7,000 participants from 41 states turned out at Miller Park for the second annual Brewers Mini-Marathon, (with a 10K added on this year!). For the most part, runners had great weather–a beautiful fall day that got just a little warm toward the end of the race.
The scenic course took runners past the Palermo’s Pizza Factory, the Harley-Davidson Museum, Marquette University, the Mitchell Park Domes, the Miller Valley, Saz’s Restaurant, through Miller Park with a loop on the warning track and ended just outside the front of the ballpark.
Congratulations go out to Scott Mueller of Pewaukee, Wis. who finished the Brewers Mini first overall with a time of 1:13.50–a pace of 5:38! The women’s top finisher was Dani Fischer of Madison, Wis. with a time of 1:18.30. If you’ll recall, Dani was our top female finisher last year as well; she beat last year’s time by 19 seconds! For the 10K, Aaron Nodolf of Menomonee Falls, Wis. was the top finisher with a time of 34:20.
If you ran one of the races, or if you want to see how your friends and family finished, detailed results can be found here.
This year, we also asked you to submit your photos on Twitter and/or Instagram using the hashtag #BrewersMini. We pulled a few of our favorites and included them below. Enjoy!
[To see more images that Cait has pulled into a Storify story click here.]
Congratulations and thank you to Jason Hartlund, Tai Pauls and the Brewers Enterprises crew; the over 750 volunteers; and John Cary and the MACC Fund for helping with what turned out to be a fantastic day.
Please feel free to leave your comments below about this year’s race and make plans for next year’s event that will take place on Saturday, September 20, 2014. For those of you who read our blogs about training for the race, we hope your enjoyed today and look forward to seeing you next year!
– JOHN AND CAIT
Brush up on your movie trivia cinema buffs! We have a special trivia contest for you today!
The Milwaukee Film Festival was kind enough to donate five pairs of tickets to Saturday’s “Evening With Paul Attanasio” as a part of the ongoing film festival. We decided to host a little movie trivia contest for our readers to distribute the tickets.
We have come up with five questions based on baseball movies and the first five people to correctly answer all five questions correctly will win a pair of tickets to Saturday’s event, “An Evening With Paul Attanasio.” The event takes place at the Oriental Theatre on Milwaukee’s East Side at 7:30 p.m. Please e-mail your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will announce the winners tomorrow! Good luck!
1. What was the score of the game when Rick Vaughn made his Major League debut in the movie Major League?
2. Scott Hatteberg hit a pinch-hit walk-off home run to win the 20th consecutive game for the A’s in 2002. Who did he pinch hit for?
3. What year did The Sandlot take place?
4. Jackie Robinson’s #42 was retired by Major League Baseball in 1997, can you name the first and last Brewers players to wear 42?
5. Who was the Opening Day pitcher for the Rockford Peaches in A League of Their Own?
-JOHN and CAIT
Today at Miller Park, Brewers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin held his end of season press conference. The 45 minute session touched on a number of topics about the 2013 Brewers and what the off-season and future hold for the team.
In addition, the Brewers Media Relations Department released the annual end-of-season notes packet! Always a popular piece of information to get Brewers media (and now fans) through the off-season, the end-of-season notes has everything you need from a statistical standpoint.
You can click this link for the: End_of_Season_Notes.
Here are two videos from two videos with some highlights of what Melvin had to say:
There are a lot of signs that the entire organization is looking ahead to 2014. As Cait mentioned earlier, the field renovation is already underway, the baseball ops department is looking ahead and here in media relations, we will soon get started on the 2014 Media Guide!
With the Brewers season over, Brewers fans (and employees like myself) find themselves with a little more free time on their hands. Milwaukee is a great city and has a lot of activities to fill that void including an event that began late last week, The Milwaukee Film Festival.
Now you are probably thinking to yourself, ‘Why are John and Cait selling me on the Film Festival? What do they know about films?” I am not promising I am a movie expert by any means. I am your average fan of movies, but I just wanted to shed some light on an event that is fun and exciting in town. I also love some of the unique theaters in Milwaukee like the Oriental and Downer—both showcased throughout the festival. We are lucky to have an event like this in our city and I am happy that the Brewers recognize the importance of culture like this by sponsoring the festival.
Last Thursday, the Film Festival hosted its annual Opening Night Party at the Discovery World Museum on the lakefront. It was a great event with a lot of energy and excitement. A live performance from local singer/songwriter Evan Christian was featured along with the Milwaukee debut of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble came from New York City to perform and can be seen in Brothers Hypnotic, a featured film at this year’s Milwaukee Film Festival. They brought the house (or tent) down with their hip hop and jazz combo that filled the room with unique sounds.
Another part of this year’s film festival that is close to the Brewers is “An Evening With Paul Attanasio.” Paul is the brother of Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner, Mark Attanasio and is an award-winning Hollywood writer/producer. As a part of a special event this Saturday at the festival, Paul Attanasio will be honored. He has worked on projects like Quiz Show, Donnie Brasco and House M.D.
The event will take place at the Oriental Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Paul Attanasio will discuss his career, influences and his thoughts of the film industry today. I’m guessing he might also talk a little Brewers baseball as he closely follows his brother’s team.
Cait and I will be at Saturday’s event so if you have any questions about Paul Attanasio’s previous film projects or the industry in general, let us know and we will pass the question on to him and get it answered for our wrap up.
As a part of the Brewers Community Foundation sponsorship of the Milwaukee Film Festival, weekday Education Screenings for area elementary, middle and high school students have been made possible. Each day finds nearly 1,000 students at the Oriental Theatre for an incredible cinematic experience–complete with the Brewers Famous Racing Sausages to greet them on the way out!
I do have a list of movies that I would like to see before the festival ends next week (click here for a complete schedule). Again, I’m no expert and am not pretending to be a critic, but these films looked interesting to me and I thought I would share:
Muscle Shoals – Thursday, 7:00 p.m. Fox Bay Cinema Grill
Earth – Friday, 7:00 p.m. Oriental Theatre
Google and the World Brain – Friday, 7:30 p.m. Fox Bay Cinema Grill and Wednesday, October 9, 7:30 p.m. Downer Theatre
2001: A Space Odyssey – Saturday, 10;30 p.m. Oriental Theatre (I’ve seen it before, but never on the big screen!)
12 O’Clock Boys – Monday, 7:15 p.m. and Thursday, October 10 Oriental Theatre
More information on the festival including ticket information for all events can be found here.
What is your favorite baseball movie of all-time? Vote below or if I forgot your favorite, let us know in the comments section below.