Results tagged ‘ Brewers ’
If you’ve been following us on social media, you are probably aware that, leading up to the past two seasons, the Brewers training staff has been incorporating yoga sessions into the players’ various workouts during Spring Training.
Well, this year, that practice extended beyond Spring Training and was added as optional weekly or biweekly workout sessions during each homestand.
“The mental part of baseball is so big. Having these guys experience an opportunity of how to calm their minds when they’re doing active movements is probably the biggest reason,” said Major League Strength and Conditioning Specialist Josh Seligman, who explained why he believes yoga is an important part of the mix. “Then there’s obviously the secondary reason, which is flexibility when the muscle is under tension. It also kind of mixes it up for them and takes them out of their normal system. So, just the comprehensiveness of it. It’s also low-impact, so over a long season, it provides that recovery as well.”
Although optional, several players have seen and felt such great benefits that they have become devoted to a regular practice led by local yoga expert and studio owner, Pamela Bliss.
Bliss began her yoga practice 17 years ago when she became chronically ill, was in chronic pain, and didn’t know where else to turn.
“Yoga saved my life,” Bliss said. “Everything that was previously wrong has been healed. Honestly, what I can do today is a direct result of the practice. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually—I’m a different human being because of yoga. Without my practice, I don’t know how I would manage and balance it all.”
And when Bliss says balance “it all,” she means it. In addition to working with the Crew, she owns YogAsylum, a premier studio in Brookfield where she not only runs the business, but also teaches classes and runs a yoga teacher training program. Oh, and she recently acquired the Milwaukee School of Massage as well. Bliss’s credentials are impressive. She holds an M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology with concentration studies in Ecopsychology; and degrees in Nursing, Yoga, and Ecology. Bliss is also a meditation CD artist, intuitive medium, and inspirational speaker who presents at conferences internationally.
This week, I was fortunate to attend one of Bliss’s sessions to see what the guys are up to and chat with them and Bliss about the benefits of yoga—particularly as it relates to baseball and the players’ performance on the field.
“To me, the list of benefits is endless, but also measurable, because you do see a clear difference,” Bliss said. “Yoga is very experiential. You have to do it in order to receive its benefits. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it, so consistency is very important.”
In the 45-minute sessions for the Crew, Bliss mixes it up for the players. For example, the session I attended included traditional hatha, along with vinyasa flow, and some yin poses (longer holds) incorporated toward the end.
“For the guys, we work on addressing the six directions of the spine, strengthening the core, and really focusing on the hips,” Bliss explained. “By watching their movements, I clearly see the need for and benefit from hip openers, so those are things I make sure we work on every time.”
Bliss works with a wide range of individuals—all walks of life and all abilities—but she says working with baseball players is definitely unique.
“The first time I went down to Spring Training was to get an idea of what the players needed and see how I could help. I have to say it was the first time I had been in a yoga practice where sunflower seeds were being spit and there was all this chatter,” Bliss said with a laugh. “I knew then this was going to be an interesting process! But everyone has been super receptive, super grateful, and the coaches are really happy about it…I know everyone really appreciates it.”
Pitcher Carlos Torres, who is among the regulars in Bliss’s sessions, is a big proponent of yoga as part of his extensive workout routine.
“There are different types of exercise that every team offers. Some of them will even go as far as ballet for agility and stuff like that, but yoga is one that team-to-team–while not every team is going to provide it–every team recommends it,” Torres said.
“As athletes, we’re taught to lift a lot of weights, we’re taught to be strong, we’re taught to be a lot of things, but you have to have strength within that flexibility and if you don’t, it’s useless strength,” he explained. “What yoga does is it builds that strength within that flexibility to actually translate your power that you’ve been working on the entire time to what it is you’re trying to do. For pitchers, it’s throw a ball. For some guys it’s hit, or steal bags and whatnot…. I hope that all teams provide it because I think it’s very beneficial to everybody.”
Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis agrees; he likes the balance that yoga brings to his routine.
“It’s such a long season. We’re active everyday and, swinging as much as we do, that’s hard on your body. Yoga is really good for recovery and just limbering up and staying healthy,” he said. “If I go a few weeks without going, I can definitely feel it. In the offseason, it’s something that I have been trying to implement a little bit more over the last few years and it’s helped, so I think that it’s definitely a good thing.”
Corey Knebel‘s wife Danielle is a certified yoga instructor, so the pitcher is very familiar with the practice, which he has typically incorporated on his own during the offseason.
“This is the first year we’ve done it during the season. For me, I’m really tight. My hips are always tight, my legs are always tight, so it’s good to feel pretty flexible. I feel a big difference this year with it,” Knebel said.
And, while pitcher Matt Garza also says he reaps the benefits of flexibility, he enjoys the meditative side of the practice as well.
“I do yoga because it helps me control my breathing, it helps me get that under grasp. The stretching part is awesome. It really helps you get deep into stretches,” Garza said. “It used to be the stronger you are in the game, the better you are. It’s now how flexible you are. The more flexible you are, the better you can be in position and play your position. But I mainly like it because of the calming nature of the workout.”
Bliss added, “A lot of times people in general say, ‘It’s just physical,’ but it’s so far beyond that. In order to transcend the physical, you have to put in consistent effort — to invest in yourself to be your very best; what could be more important? That’s where these guys really get it and that’s what got them here; they are all in—that’s what makes this a lot of fun for me. It’s also a huge honor for me.”
And, as someone who is personally devoted to yoga, I was honored to share in this practice with Bliss and members of the Crew, if only for a day. Namaste!
Tonight, as the Brewers take on the Reds at Miller Park, we are honoring Hispanic heritage in baseball with the 11th- annual Cerveceros Day. The Brewers are wearing special ‘Cerveceros’ (Brewers in Spanish) uniforms and the Reds and wearing Los Rojos jerseys.
Prior to the game, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held their annual Fiesta Tailgate out at Helfaer Field, where Jonathan Villar, Hernan Perez and first-base coach Carlos Subero made an appearance.
During the pregame ceremonies, Jorge Franco, Chairman, President & CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin relayed this special message to fans:
“On behalf of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, thank you for joining us today’s exciting Cerveceros Day here at Miller Park to celebrate diversity. As you can see, our beloved Milwaukee Brewers are in Spanish language attire in honor of our nation’s wonderful Hispanic culture and high-growth population.
Our special thanks to the Hispanic Chamber members and partners througout the state, including this year’s Fiest Tailgaters who joined us today at Helfaer Field. We greatly appreicate may Tom Barret, who joined us today at Helfaer Field. We greatly appreciate Mayor Tom Barrett who year-after-year joins us for this exciting event and who is an outstanding leader and friend to our entire Milwaukee Community. Our express and deepest gratitude to this year’s 2016 HCCW All-Star Partnership Award Recipient, i.e., Johnson Bank, for their outstanding support of the Hispanic Chamber.
Thank you again con un cariñoso abrazo from your Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin!”
The national anthem was led by Salvador Villanueva and a ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Guz Hernandez representing Cerveceros Day.
As part of the fun tonight, we’re also offering Chorizo Nachos at the concession stand near Section 120. The platter will feature chorizo sausage, tortilla chips, queso blanco, pico de gallo and jalapenos.
They have a “holiday” for practically everything nowadays and today is no exception as today (August 13) is National Left Handers Day.
In celebration of this joyous occasion, I caught up with some of the Brewers “lefties.”
Outfielder Ramon Flores is the team’s only true lefty. He bats and throws left-handed and eats and writes with his left hand as well.
The others–well, they mix it up:
Infielders Andy Wilkins and Scooter Gennett both bat left and throw right. Wilkins says he is right-handed at everything except for batting. “My dad told me I started throwing left and batting right and then I switched,” Andy said. Meanwhile, Scooter says he is also a lefty when it comes to golf.
Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis has an interesting story about how he also came to bat left and throw right.
“When I was little, about 3 years old, before I was playing baseball, my parents got me a plastic golf set. That was all I wanted to do all day–hit the plastic golf set around. I ended up wearing the face off of it while swinging right-handed. I guess my parents didn’t want to buy me another one, so I just flipped it around and started golfing left-handed. After that, that’s when I started playing tee ball or whatever and I just felt more comfortable that way.”
I used to play tennis left-handed, but I stopped playing for awhile and now I play right-handed. I used to play street hockey left-handed. Everything else is right handed. My wife is left-handed though, so maybe we’ll have left-handed kids,” Kirk laughed.
And then there’s Jonathan Villar, who admits he is practically ambidextrous. The switch hitter throws right, eats left and says that while he’s better at writing with his right hand, he can also write with his left.
Calling all artistic kids! The Milwaukee Brewers are looking for creative young fans to submit drawings to be featured on the cover of the Brewers’ “Brewers Gameday” program. The “Call to the Pen” contest begins today at 10 a.m. CT, and ends on Wednesday, August 24 at 11:59 p.m. CT. The winner will have his or her design featured on the cover of “Brewers Gameday” during the second to last home series of the 2016 season, September 20-22 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Parents and guardians may download the design template for their children at Brewers.com/calltothepen. Designs must be hand-drawn and stay within the allotted parameters shown on the template. Children must be of age 14 or under to be eligible to participate, and completed drawings may be scanned and uploaded to Brewers.com/calltothepen.
All submitted designs will be reviewed by an internal Brewers committee that will select a winner based on overall appearance, originality/creativity, style and quality of the submission. The winner will be contacted on or about August 25, and will be announced the first week in September.
Along with having his or her winning drawing featured on the “Brewers Gameday” cover, the winner will receive 500 copies of the program with his or her design on the cover, a meet and greet with Bernie Brewer and the Klement’s Racing Sausages and a gift certificate to the Brewers Team Store by Majestic, among other prizes.
Fans can find more information, complete rules and the design template at Brewers.com/calltothepen.
For players, the song they choose for their walk-up or entrance music is often an important decision. What brief part of a song is going to send a message to the fans—and what do I want that message to be? Do I keep the same song that I had last year? What’s the hit that is going to produce the most hits? Is it a superstitious thing, do I want fans to sing along, or do I just use my favorite song right now?
If you’re like me and you’re attuned to the tunes, you probably enjoy seeing this list each year—and updating your iPod playlists accordingly.
DID YOU KNOW? Make sure you download the free Ballpark App! In addition to check-in offers, ballpark maps, game updates and more, one of the really cool features is “Ballpark Music.” Like a song you hear? Check it out on Ballpark–and you can even download it right there! No Shazam necessary!
2016 AT-BAT WALK-UP MUSIC
Anderson – “Lights Come On” by Jason Aldean
Arcia –“Superman Sin Capa” by El Super Nuevo
Braun – “Back on Road” by Gucci Mane ft. Drake
Broxton –“Too Much Sauce” by Future
“New Level” by A$AP Ferg
Carter – “Mr. Carter” by Lil Wayne
Davies – “It’s Tricky” by Run DMC
Elmore – “Nights on Fire” by David Nail
Gennett – “Live your Life” by TI and Rihanna
Maldonado –“Muy Fuerte” by Arcangel Ft Don Omar
Nieuwenhuis – “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner” by Crowder
Nelson – “Like We Own the Place” by Ryan Caraveo
Perez – “Pepe” by Tito el Bambino
Pina – “Vaiven” by Daddy Yankee
Rivera – “Me Reclama” by DJ Luian
Susac – “Feel Good Drag” by Anberlin
Santana – “Se Acabaron los Hombres” by Tempo
“Orto Way” by Atomic
Villar – “Makina” by Los Teke Teke
“Corazon de Seda” by Ozuna
2016 PITCHING ENTRANCE MUSIC
Anderson –“Til the Day I Die” by tobyMac
Boyer – “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith
Davies– “Bulls on Parade” by Rage against the Machine
Garza – “All Eyez on Me” by Tupac
Knebel – “Life in the Fast Lane” by The Eagles
Marinez – “Vengo De Atras en Vivo” by Omega El Fuerte
Nelson – “What Are You Waiting For” by Disturbed
Peralta – The New Day Theme song from WWE
Suter – Theme Song from Jurassic Park
Thornburg – “Locomotive Breath” by Jethro Tull
Torres – “Holy Ghost” by Jeezy
[Please note that these songs can change almost daily; I’ll try to keep this list as updated as possible!]
The song played after wins this season is “Good to Be Alive” by Andy Grammer.
And, in case you weren’t aware, in addition to Ballpark, we do keep a list of these songs on brewers.com and try our best to update it accordingly, so you might want to bookmark this page for future reference.
So now, what about you? What’s your favorite, or most memorable Brewers at-bat song? And, if you were a player, what song might you choose as yours?
Today was the Brewers Season Seat Holder luncheon, the second of two such events this season where Season Seat Holders with packages of 20+ games have the opportunity to attend.
The event, which took place in the Skyy Lounge, included a plated lunch, a Q &A with Brewers players, and the opportunity to win prizes.
Today, Season Seat Holders were treated to a Q & A with Brewers pitcher Chase Anderson and Pitching Coach Derek Johnson, hosted by Brewers radio broadcaster Jeff Levering.
Questions for Johnson ranged from the first conversation a new pitching coach will have with members of his staff, to specific questions about his favorite pitcher, pitch counts and more, while questions for Anderson centered around pitcher/catcher relationships and his bullpen work.
In his first year with the Club, Johnson talked about establishing relationships with his staff. He talked about reached out to each of the pitchers right after he accepted the position, with the goal of helping them feel comfortable as fast as possible.
“Really that was the reason for the phone call,” he said, “To try to figure out where these guys are at, what they want to do, and how can I help facilitate that.”
When asked about his favorite pitcher, Johnson said, “The guy that pitches every night. I don’t have a favorite; I can’t have a favorite. My favorite pitcher is the guy that’s on the mound for the Brewers at any given time. You root for them equally. You live and die with them.”
From the pitcher’s point of view, Anderson talked about his bullpen work with Johnson. “We try to focus on one thing and try to get better at that. If you try to focus on everything then you are going to mediocre at all of it, but if you focus on one thing then you can get good at that.” Anderson then turned to Johnson and asked, “What’s that thing you say, DJ? Be great…?”
“Be great at what you’re good at. I’ve only told him that like 700 and something times,” Johnson laughed.
Anderson also stressed the importance of the pitcher/catcher relationship. “I think that is super important. Maybe the most important relationship we have on the baseball field. When you’re in a game, your relationship between a pitcher and a catcher is huge. There are game when I’m pitching well; he just puts a sign down and I throw it to that spot. He trusts me and I trust him.”
Thanks to those who came out today, fun was had by all.
Brewers Wives Announce Online Basket Auction; Wives to Sell Baskets Filled With Their Husbands’ Favorite Things
Brewers Wives are excited to announce an online auction that will feature baskets filled with members of the Milwaukee Brewers favorite items. The baskets will be available for purchase in an online-only auction from Monday, August 8 through Sunday, August 14. The baskets are created by Brewers players and coaches’ wives and each basket contains at least one item autographed by their husband.
All proceeds will benefit Meta House, which has assisted in women’s substance abuse treatment since 1963. Located in Milwaukee, the residential treatment facility is designed specifically for women. The center provides inpatient, residential treatment, a tiered outpatient program and a transitional living community. Meta House provides a vast array of services and treatment options that help participants address all of the issues they face as women and mothers.
To bid and view the baskets, interested fans should go to www.brewers.com/wives