Results tagged ‘ Brewers ’
FOX Sports Wisconsin’s regular season coverage begins Monday, April 4, with the Brewers home opener against San Francisco — the first of five televised games against the Giants. Coverage will begin at noon with a special one-hour edition of Brewers Live from Miller Park.
Other highlights from the 2016 schedule include: 16 games against divisional rival Chicago Cubs, 18 match-ups against the St. Louis Cardinals and a home-and-home series with the Minnesota Twins scheduled for April 18-20.
Brian Anderson will continue to serve as the primary play-by-play announcer with Matt Lepay joining analyst Bill Schroeder in the broadcast booth for select telecasts. Craig Coshun also will serve as the play-by-play announcer for select telecasts, while continuing his role as the primary host for Brewers Live pre- and postgame shows. Brewers Liveairs before and after Brewers telecasts with Jeff Grayson, Telly Hughes and Sophia Minnaert reporting, as well as analysis from former first base coach Davey Nelson and former Brewer Jerry Augustine.
As previously announced, FOX Sports Wisconsin also will televise a total of 14 Brewers spring training games in 2016. For the complete schedule, click here.
FOX Sports Wisconsin reaches more than 1.5 million homes and telecasts nearly 2,600 hours of locally produced programming per year. For more information on the Emmy Award-winning regional sports network, visit: FOXSportsWisconsin.com
This year in Spring Training, Eric Young, Jr. is rooming with his best friend–his dad, Eric Young, Sr.
Young Jr., 30, is trying to make the club this spring as a non-roster player in camp. In doing so, he looks to join his father as the third father/son pair to play for the Brewers.
Eric Young Sr. played second base for the Brewers from 2002-03 and is now the first base coach for the Colorado Rockies.
“That’s my best friend. We’ve been like that since I was little and I say that if people didn’t know that we were father and son, by the way we interact with each other you would think we were brothers,” Young, Jr. said.
Young, Jr. was in high school when his dad played in Milwaukee and was participating in summer ball, so he didn’t stay in the city as long as he liked, but he says he knows enjoyed his time there.
He also really enjoys Miller Park from his previous visits as a member of the Rockies and also, the Mets.
“I always enjoyed coming to Miller Park. One of the best stadiums in the league. I just think a few years back when I was a Rockie actually, Opening Day against the Brewers, one of my teammates captured a picture of me kind of out on the field by myself I guess lost in my thoughts and had the background of Miller Park and here we are a few years later,” Young, Jr. recalls.
Is it ironic that the day I decided I wanted to be a pro baseball player, I went and watch my dad play for the Milwaukee Brewers against the NY Mets at Shea stadium? Is it ironic that my favorite player,other than my dad, @therealkengriffeyjr is inducted into the hall of fame this year? (Congrats my dude)That's the reason I wore #24 growing up! Now all I see is Jr.24 (rightfully so)…I wonder what number I'll wear this season. I believe in signs everywhere, if you open your eyes to them. This picture was taken by @adamottavino few years back. He caught me in a moment. I had no clue he was there. I wonder what I was thinking about. That's Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers for those who didn't know. Is this all ironic? I personally don't think so. I think everything happens for a reason. So I'll continue to have faith and Continue to believe. 🙌🏾 I'm excited about this opportunity with the @brewers 💪🏾Be Encouraged! #r2bi
Young, Jr. says that his dad gives him advice when he needs it, but also lets him do his own thing.
“It depends. Usually if I come to him, it’s definitely more so life advice and obviously since he played he knows what I’m going through now– the good and the bad and the business side of the game as well.”
While it’s been good to have the family support as Young, Jr. goes through the spring, Young, Jr. is also internally motivated. If you follow him on Twitter and Instagram, you’ll see him using the hashtag, #R2BI, which is one that he created and stands for “Refuse to be ignored.”
“I started that about five or six years ago when I was in Colorado. It’s mostly kind of inspiring myself to let my talent show. You know, refuse to be ignored. So, it’s caught on and been going strong since.”
Up early chasing my dreams, until the day I look back and realize it was reality! 💪🏾 I'm so thankful for every step throughout this journey that includes my failures as well as my successes. They all mold me into the man I am. They will continue to mold me until I become the man I want to be. Blessed beyond measure 🙌🏾🙏🏾 #r2bi
Keep your eyes on Young, Jr. this spring. As he competes for a spot on the roster, you can be assured he’ll #R2BI.
MILWAUKEE BREWERS FOX SPORTS WISCONSIN, GREEN BAY PACKERS, MILWAUKEE ADMIRALS & BUCKS ANNOUNCE HOME TEAM SCHOLARSHIP
This is the first time Wisconsin’s professional sports community has come together to award a scholarship to local youth.
Developed to positively affect the lives of Wisconsin’s youth through financial support, the $25,000 Home Team Scholarship is distributed based on financial aid need and is designed to provide Wisconsin’s Youth of the Year finalists with funding to further supplement other scholarships and grants. Each of the Youth of the Year finalists will receive a portion of the scholarship funds.
Since 1947, Youth of the Year has been Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier recognition program, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club teens. Club members who earn the Youth of the Year title embody the values of leadership, service, academic excellence and healthy lifestyles. They exemplify the critical impact that Boys & Girls Clubs have on the lives of young people.
The Home Team Scholarship was formally announced at the Milwaukee Bucks game on February 29, with representatives from all sports teams in attendance:
The Milwaukee Brewers are proud to announce the all-new Brewers Ballpark Pass. You can gain access to every home game in the month of April (excluding Opening Day) for just $49. Tickets will be delivered digitally via your mobile device, and seats will vary from game to game. Seat locations include, but are not limited to: Terrace Box, Terrace Reserved, Loge Bleachers and Loge Outfield sections.
The Brewers Ballpark Pass is a new ticket deal that allows you access to every home game in the month of April. The pass allows you to attend as many games in April as your schedule allows, for one low set price.
The setup is simple. Purchase your pass at brewers.com/ballparkpass and then download the MLB.com Ballpark app for your phone. Two hours before each home game, you will receive a text message alerting you of the seat location you have been assigned for that game.
Your seats will vary from game to game and will be located in the Terrace Box, Terrace Reserved, Loge Bleachers or Loge Outfield sections. You will receive your specific seating location on the day of each game, and you will be able to manage your tickets and enter Miller Park directly from your phone. Fans can purchase a total of up to six (6) passes with one account.
The Brewers Ballpark Pass is fast, simple, flexible and most of all, it’s incredibly affordable. To learn more about how you can get access to every Brewers home game in April for just $49, visit brewers.com/ballparkpass.
Mentor, Example, Friend, Adversary: Brewers Bench Coach Pat Murphy is the Baseball Conversationalist
Each morning in Spring Training, you’ll find me down on the field capturing photos and video of the Cactus Crew’s workouts and practices, documenting them to share on our social media channels for fans back home.
And, while there are a lot of things that are new and different this season—from the structure of the workouts and some unique drills to personnel and many of the players—one thing that’s impossible to miss is the distinctive style and energy that new Brewers Bench Coach Pat Murphy brings to the ballpark each and every day.
After watching him during practice and hearing so many players and coaches speak so highly of him, I asked Murphy if I could sit down with him for an interview—to get to know him better, discuss his coaching philosophy and to try to dig up some good dirt on our skipper.
Most Brewers fans know by now that Murphy, 57, has a long history in the sport at many different levels of the game.
The Syracuse, New York native graduated from Christian Brothers (NY) Academy where he played football, basketball and boxed in addition to playing baseball. He then graduated from Florida Atlantic University, where he also pitched.
After college, Murphy pitched in the minor leagues with the Giants (1982) and Padres (1983) organizations and professionally in Australia for Sydney (1984) and in the Northwest League with Tri-City (1985-86) before embarking on his 25-year NCAA head coaching career, primarily as a Division I Head Coach for Notre Dame (1988-1994) and Arizona State University (1995-2009).
It was during his time at Notre Dame than he met and formed a long-lasting friendship with Brewers Manager Craig Counsell, then his player.
Following his college coaching career, Murphy then returned to the Padres organization where he spent the 2010 season as a special assistant to baseball operations before moving on to manage at Class-A Eugene (2011-12), Triple-A Tucson (2013) and Triple-A El Paso (2014-15).
Murphy became interim manager of the Padres last season, replacing Bud Black in June.
It was in this capacity that Murphy and Counsell – the teacher and the pupil – found themselves back on the diamond together once again last August. Only this time, it was in opposing dugouts as managers at the game’s highest level when the Padres faced the Brewers at Miller Park.
Then, in November after the Padres opted not to retain Murphy, it did not come as a big surprise when it was announced that Counsell would be adding Murphy to his staff as the new Brewers Bench Coach.
NEVER A LULL IN CONVERSATION
“We’ve had a 25-year baseball conversation,” Counsell said at the time of the announcement. “He’s shown a great ability to impact people. I’ve seen him impact players in college, in professional baseball and in the big leagues. I feel really lucky to be able to get him here.”
New Brewers coach Jason Lane also has a history with Murphy, playing for him in parts of 2014 and 2015 at Triple-A El Paso, and Lane referenced a similar ongoing conversation when I met with him last week.
“We had this bond and great banter back and forth about that game. He became just a huge influence in my life and really showed me a lot of things about who I was as a player and empowered me to help younger guys early on,” Lane said.
When asked about that “conversation,” Murphy explains it like this:
“Your former players become your life. It becomes your life, it’s like your workshop and they teach you. They all have taught me more than I’ve taught them. And I really believe that. That’s the fun part. It becomes just a nice conversation, a nice circle, a nice friendship, a nice relationship. Those guys to me… you know it’s hard to talk about. Those guys mean so much to me,” he said.
There are too many relationships like this that Murphy has made over his career to begin listing names, but it’s safe to say that there’s never a lull in his conversation.
“I’ve learned this game on the fly. I set out to be maybe a football coach…started down that path and really had to learn the game. I played in college and the minor leagues, but now I love the game and I don’t know that I really understood the game back then when I started or when I played, but now I understand the game. I’m just thankful all these guys have taught me the game.”
TALKING THE TALK AND WALKING THE WALK: COACHING
Murphy said that it’s much different coaching players at the Major League level, as opposed to college players.
“These are men that have been through much more usually and they have a pretty good idea in what they want to do, so now it’s more trying to reach them and connect with them so you can help them possibly find their best self more often. I view it like we’re offensive linemen, so to speak… we open the holes for them to run through and gain more yardage,” Murphy says.
However, Murphy doesn’t get hung up on levels of the game when it comes to coaching.
“I take the profession seriously. This is a big, important role, no matter what level you coach at. You’re a mentor sometimes, you’re an example sometimes, sometimes you’re a friend, sometimes you’re an adversary, you know the whole thing, the gambit. It’s important, whatever it is. If it’s genuine, if it’s well-intended, then you could possibly be impactful—possibly. But you can’t look for that. It either happens on its own or it doesn’t,” he says.
So, has he changed his approach from his college or Minor League days?
“I think you better be changing every year regardless of level. I think you have to adjust to the level, you have to stay yourself, and you better keep changing, getting better, hopefully, or evaluating yourself constantly, talking to other coaches…”
Just like he credits his former players with helping him understand the game, Murphy says that learning from other coaches has been something that he’s especially enjoyed.
And that hasn’t been limited to the baseball diamond. Murphy crossed paths with two legendary college football coaches while at Notre Dame—Lou Holtz and Barry Alvarez, so I asked him if he learned anything from those individuals in particular.
“There’s no question. Lou has been a great influence in my life and watching him operate, command a room, command a team, connect with a team….You know, he didn’t coach from power. He didn’t need to. The guys knew his passion and intent and followed him. He was zany and zaniness also came into play.
And Barry—he’s the consummate, genuine guy. I mean, Barry—the players trusted him immediately. They trusted him and they connected with him from day one. He was a powerful leader and he had fun, you know, which was a beautiful thing….and he kept it real. You mention those two guys and that’s as good as it I’ve seen out there.”
PUTTING THE “FUN” IN FUNDAMENTALS
Murphy also likes to keep things fun. He says that the Brewers coaching staff is trying to emphasize to this team that the game doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to be focused on some areas that can sometimes be taken for granted.
“Yes, the fundamentals. But it’s how you convey them that I think is important. I like to keep it fun because people learn better when they’re in that state of mind, you know realizing that when we’re practicing and when we’re preparing it doesn’t have to be drudgery,” Murphy said.
Sometimes, though, he admits, it might need to be drudgery, depending on the situation. And that’s what makes him a great coach—he knows how to get the best out of people.
HARD-NOSED COACH & PLAYER
Murphy says that on the topic of Murphy, Counsell has told the team that “he’ll make you laugh or he’ll make you cry” and many of the players have asked him about a story that is widely told from Murphy’s days coaching Counsell: That one time when Murphy broke Counsell’s nose.
Counsell played for Murphy at Notre Dame from 1989-92. As the story goes, Counsell irked his manager with a series of errors one fall and Murphy ordered him onto a half-frozen field in November to field hot-shot grounders. Not fun then. Drudgery.
One particularly hard-hit baseball took a bad hop, bounced up and broke Counsell’s nose.
“His nose was over here at 4:15,” Murphy recounted to Adam McCalvy, holding his hand on the side of his face, “and then he was back at practice at 5:15 with his nose back in place and said, ‘Hit me some more.’ That taught me everything I needed to know….He was destined to be undenied.”
Murphy won’t bite when I fish for crazy or embarrassing stories from Counsell’s college days, but does provide this telling tidbit:
“I’ll tell you one thing that he’ll hate me saying, but I will tell you. I made the guys write down their goals. I don’t know if that’s smart or not; I don’t know if that’s good coaching or not, I really don’t, but I made the guys write down their goals and I still have that goal sheet. And you guys would… if you could think back and you could see what he wrote, you guys would just shake your head like ‘That’s Craig.’ That quiet confidence…. Really amazing for a kid, for where he was as a freshman to write those things as goals.”
I know Counsell so therefore already know the answer, but I ask anyway: “And did he meet those goals?”
“He met those goals,” Murphy affirms with a nod and a look of pride. “Few people in this lifetime will meet those goals. It’s really incredible. “
Murphy says that while it wasn’t always easy to see all the way through Counsell’s college career, once Counsell got to be a senior, Murphy had no doubt he would go on to do great things in his career. In fact, Murphy boasts that he was once quoted as saying that Counsell would play in the Major Leagues.
“In the Blue & Gold Illustrated at Notre Dame, I said that he would be the next Major Leaguer from Notre Dame because he was so impressive day-in and day-out. He would help you offensively, he was so steady defensively, so steady a personality on the team.
“Looking back, it’s easy to say he worked so hard as a freshman, he handled adversity great as a sophomore, came into his own as a junior but…. but once he got to be a senior, you were pretty certain he wasn’t going to stop getting better. He got better every year,” Murphy recalls.
Murphy says it’s those same qualities that helped Counsell overcome adversity, accomplish his goals, and succeed in his career that will also make him a successful manager.
“He’s not trying to copy anybody. He has a great mind, great vision. He really can link people. He can deal with people on all levels. The very qualities that got this kid from Whitefish Bay that didn’t have all the baseball tools and talent to turn that lack of tools and lack of talent into skills that worked for him at the highest level and championship level ball….That’s the very skill that will make him a successful manager in my opinion because he’s going to find the answer. That’s what’s going to happen, he’s going to find the answer,” Murphy says with confidence.
He continues, “He knows I care about him as a person and he knows I’ve got his back in every situation and I hope I can add something, I hope I can pull my weight because he’s got a special thing going here.”
I would have to agree. That’s certainly the feeling I get out on the practice fields every morning. Although I’m just out there shooting content, I can’t help but leave feeling energized and inspired.
Thanks, Pat, for letting me interrupt your conversation for this interview.
If you’re headed out to Arizona to catch the #CactusCrew this spring, you likely have some questions about what to expect, so I put together a little A-to-Z Guide to help you out, complete with some of my personal recommendations.
One of the most fun parts of Spring Training is the relaxed atmosphere and the ability to often get up close and personal with your favorite Brewers players. While there are not set autograph sessions at Maryvale, you’ll find many players signing near the home dugout on the first base side before games and near the gate in right field near the end of the game.
Maryvale Baseball Park is the home for the Brewers Spring Training games. This award-winning Cactus League facility, nestled in the west side of Phoenix, is a state-of-the-art complex with ample parking and easy access.
The ballpark features a recessed playing field and shaded concourse, which provides an uninterrupted view of the action. The ballpark’s 7,000 seats, plus lush outfield berm, assure an intimate baseball experience in a fan-friendly, relaxed setting. Simply stated, there’s not a bad seat in the house!
Maryvale is also centrally located and this year is only hosting day games, so fans can possibly double up with a night game at another Cactus League venue to maximize the baseball viewing.
BANNERS & SIGNS
Banners and signs cannot be larger than 18″x 24″ and cannot include inappropriate content. NO handles or poles can be attached.
See “Workouts” below.
BINOCULARS & CAMERAS
Binoculars are fine to bring to the game.
You may also bring your camera, but lenses cannot be longer than a driver’s license. Want to share your photos with us? Use #CactusCrew on Twitter and Instagram and you could win prizes!
Consistent with our game-day carry-in policy at Miller Park, fans may not bring any cans, glass containers or alcohol into Maryvale. Soda, water or juice must be in factory-sealed plastic bottles. Fans may bring food items into the stadium using appropriate containers.
Bags, purses, fanny packs or soft-sided coolers must be 16 by 16 by 8 inches or smaller and will be searched.
Hard-sided coolers are not allowed in the ballpark.
Guests MAY carry-in the following items:
- Still-photography cameras (Compact)
- Jackets or blankets after being patted down or searched
- Banners, signs and flags without an attached pole (items cannot be affixed in any way to impeded the view of other fans). (See above).
All permitted items will be inspected at the gates prior to entry.
Guests MAY NOT carry-in the following items:
- Drum Sticks
- Noisemakers, whistles, air horns, musical instruments (plastic horns vary per event)
- Glass bottles, metal cans, etc.
- Professional camera equipment, video cameras, tripods, etc.
- Animals (except service animals)
- Weapons, explosives, pepper spray, tear gas, etc.
- Fireworks, slingshots, smoke bombs, laser pointers, etc.
- Large bags, large backpacks, suitcases, briefcases, beach bags, etc.
- Water guns, toy/replica weapons, squirt bottles, soap bubbles, etc.
- Beach balls, Frisbees, balloons, brooms, skateboards, roller blades, skates, etc.
- Flags/Signs larger than 18″ x 24″
- Sticks, poles, rods, drum sticks
- Confetti or streamers
Just like at Brewers games, there will be many concession stands open for fans to purchase food and beverage. The Klement’s Racing Sausage Sampler ($9) and the Napa Valley Noodles ($7) are popular menu items at Maryvale.
Fans bags are subject to search upon entry to Maryvale Baseball Park.
Gates to the ballpark will open at 11:30 a.m. for the 1 p.m. games, subject to change.
There are two major gates at Maryvale. Avoid lines by familiarizing yourself with the different gates around the ballpark and plan to arrive early. All attendees will be required to go through bag check.
MARYVALE BASEBALL PARK
See “Ballpark” above.
Parking lots open at 9 a.m. for 1 p.m. games. Parking is available day of game for $5.
The stadium is equipped with a number of ADA parking spaces. Maryvale Baseball Park is an award-winning ADA facility.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION & DROP-OFF
Special Needs Drop-Off: There is a Special Needs Drop-Off area right outside of Gate A (entering off of 51st Avenue). Golf carts are available for transportation as well.
Uber and Taxis will also pick-up and drop off at this area.
Guests may not exit and re-enter Maryvale using the same ticket, but hand stamps are available at the gates.
The great thing about the Cactus League is that all of the ballparks are relatively close to one another, so it’s always a short drive to catch the Cactus Crew! Here’s a great page that has lots of information on the other ballparks and what to expect.
There’s no roof at Maryvale, but no reason to worry either because the weather is generally beautiful this time of year. The average low in March is 54 degrees (though it’s only “chilly” early in the mornings or later in the evenings) and the average high is 77 degrees. We’ve been experiencing a bit of a warmer spell so far this spring, so pack your shorts and bring your sunscreen!
The parking lots at Maryvale will open at 9 a.m. and, just like at Brewers games, tailgating is permitted. Keep in mind that gates to the ballpark will open at 11:30 a.m. and the games are scheduled to start at 1 p.m. There are no portable toilets in the Maryvale parking lots.
THINGS TO DO
Disclaimer: The following is a list of things that I personally like to do in Arizona. It’s not endorsed by the Club, paid for by the Phoenix CVB, or anything official.
Baseball: Even if the Brewers aren’t playing at Maryvale, you can still catch them on the road, or take in another game between two different teams at another facility. Nobody ever said they had too much baseball.
Day Trips: While many Brewers fans are coming to Arizona solely for the baseball, there are also lots of things to see and do just outside of Phoenix. If you have the time, you could easily take a day or two and go to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Flagstaff, Tombstone, Jerome, Carefree, or other spots close by.
Hiking: There are many great hiking trails and mountains to climb in the Phoenix area. The most popular spot is probably Camelback Mountain, but I’ve also tried Piestewa Peak (“Squaw Peak”), the White Tank Mountains, and Tom’s Thumb. Hikes range from easy to difficult, with a payoff of beautiful scenery and a sunset if you time it just right.
Restaurants: So many restaurants, so little time! I’m a big fan of the Fox Restaurant Concepts spots. I’ve eaten at almost all of these places and have never been disappointed. I especially like True Food Kitchen! Another great spot is Don & Charlie’s. It’s a popular place because the food is good and the atmosphere is amazing. Sports fans will spend extra time gazing at the memorabilia. This place gets extremely busy, so be sure to plan ahead. I’ve had delicious Latin cuisin and margaritas at The Mission in Scottsdale. Don’t forget to order the made-to-order guacamole for your table! For dessert, my favorite spot is Churn. Their ice cream is fantastic. Expect a line out the door.
I could do a whole blog on dining choices alone, so tweet me (@CMoyer) if you need any other recommendations, or if you have one to share—I’m always looking for new places to try!
Shopping: There is a lot of great shopping in Arizona. Here’s a link to a great article that sums them up. Fashion Square is probably my favorite. I’m also a fan of the Tanger Outlet Mall in Westgate.
Tours & Events: While you’re here, you could always catch a tour of Chase Field if you want to check another ballpark off your list. I’ve also taken a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, Frank’s Arizona home (his other home is in Spring Green, Wisconsin!), which was very cool. Other than that, I’d check out the VisitPhoenix.com for some good ideas on other sites to see or events that might coincide with your trip.
Please check brewers.com for ticket availability. You may also contact the Milwaukee Brewers Ticket Office at (800)-933-7890. Tickets are not sold by phone through the Maryvale Box Office. See also “Will Call” below.
From downtown Phoenix:
- Take I-10 west
- Exit 51 Avenue north
- Turn Right
- Enter stadium parking lot on 51st Ave. between Thomas Rd. and Indian School Rd.
In average low for Phoenix in March is 54 degrees (though it’s only “chilly” early in the mornings or later in the evenings) and the average high is 77 degrees. We’ve been experiencing a bit of a warmer spell so far this Spring, so pack your shorts and bring your sunscreen!
Picking your tickets up at Will Call? Will Call is located at Maryvale Ticket Office which is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets will be released with proper photo identification only.
On gamedays, gates to the ballpark open at 11:30 a.m. (Subject to change.) Generally, the Brewers will be taking batting practice until about noon CT prior to the 1 p.m. games. For road games, fans can still watch the Cactus Crew practice beforehand at Maryvale as gates to the ballpark open at 9 a.m. and workouts will generally happen on the Main Field from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
If you have any other questions, please call the Maryvale Ticket Office at 623-245-5500.
I hope to see you down here in Arizona! If you’re making it out to a game, let us know!
The Great Pumpkin is fake. Paul is dead, Elvis lives, and man never walked on the moon. Sometimes myths and conspiracies have no end, no hard proof to end the debate.
But not today.
Through the wonders of advanced technology and modern medicine, baseball and dog lovers around the world can now rest easy. There is only one Hank, The Ballpark Pup.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine William S. Rice of Lakeside Animal Hospital, who has cared for Hank since his arrival in Milwaukee in the spring of 2014, confirmed the identity of Hank in an examination yesterday. Dr. Rice compared original and current dental records, which were a match. In addition, a microchip implanted in Hank when he moved from Arizona was scanned yesterday, and identification number matched Hank’s registration in the database.
For a second opinion, another scan was performed this morning by Dr. Nancy Weiss, Wisconsin Humane Society Veterinary Director, which reconfirmed that Hank is…Hank.
“Every day at the Wisconsin Humane Society, we see animals transform from scraggly strays to healthier, stunning pets simply because of excellent care and good grooming,” said Anne Reed, President and CEO of The Wisconsin Humane Society. “In Hank’s case, it’s evident that his transformation is solely due to the loving care he receives from his family. In addition, Hank was microchipped and a simple scan of a chip can reveal an animal’s identification. This technology not only helps to reunite lost animals with their families, but in Hanks’s case, verifies that he is indeed the true Hank.”
The conspiracy stemmed from a post on BrewCrewBall.com that alleged that Hank was an impostor after comparing photos from the spring of 2014 to more recent images.
“We couldn’t ignore the dissimilarities, and while we all had a good laugh at the theory, we wanted to take the steps to reassure everyone through absolute proof that there was no Hank double,” said Rick Schlesinger, Brewers Chief Operating Officer. “Hank is part of the Brewers family, and if anything, the interest in today’s story shows how one stray dog can capture the hearts of a community. Along those lines, we knew that this would be a great opportunity to work with our friends at the Wisconsin Humane Society to deliver important messages about animal care, tracking and adoption.”
Hank’s story dates to February of 2014 when he wandered into the Brewers Spring Training complex in Maryvale, Arizona. Hank quickly became a fixture at Brewers camp, participating in workouts and becoming a media star on an international level. He moved to Milwaukee later that spring and was adopted by the family of Brewers Vice President and General Counsel Marti Wronski.
His rise to fame included being named “Dog of the Year” at the nationally televised World Dog Awards in 2015. And just last week, he appeared on stage at the request of Cesar Millan, “The Dog Whisperer.”
If you’ve been reading the blog long enough, you probably know that, in addition to baseball, I have a passion for golf.
And, for the past two seasons, I’ve had the pleasure of accompanying some of our pitchers to the golf course during their downtime and this year was not an exception.
The baseball season is a long one–162 games in 180 days–and that doesn’t even count Spring Training and all those Cactus League games.
However, the pace is different in Spring Training. While the games are still important, the time down here is very much about taking a look at different players, trying out new things, working out the kinks and building team chemistry.
With two weeks of practice before the Spring games begin and with the bulk of the Cactus League games being day games, that also gives players a little more free time before they go back to work in Milwaukee and the grind sets in.
On this Brewers roster, you’ll find many of the pitchers in particular hitting the links when they have time to spare so I joined Will Smith, Corey Knebel and Tyler Thornburg at the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale.
If you’ll recall, the Westin Kierland is where Kyle Lohse, Will Smith and I played last year and where got to try out their ultra-fun Golfboards.
They also have Golf Bikes, which, even though we didn’t ride them for the round, looked like a lot of fun:
Before we hit the links, the players gathered to test out drivers on the range, using ProFIT, which uses Doppler radar technology to help check club head speed, ball speed, launch angle, spin rate and accuracy. Tyler Haynes, Head Teaching Professional at The Westin Kierland Golf Club, was on hand to give the guys tips and tricks to help improve their golf game.
Given that baseball is a numbers and angles game, too, the guys were quite into it.
Following that experience, we headed out to the course:
Of the group. Corey played the best and shot an 80.
It was a lot of fun out there on the course, getting to know these guys a little better away from the field.
Whether it’s golf, fishing, or another hobby, it is good to see the guys get a chance to relax and unwind now because we know once the regular season is underway, there will be little (if any) time for those things.
Special thanks to Westin Kierland (and Troon Golf) for letting us hack on your course!
On Sunday morning, Matt Garza was a little bit more tired than usual, but managed to pull through it and give it his all during the team’s workout, plus stick around to participate in a photo shoot for our marketing department.
It was at that shoot that Matt mentioned something offhand that I found to be incredibly sweet.
The reason he was so tired on Sunday? Because he’d had a crazy previous 24 hours.
You see, after practice on Saturday, Matt hopped on a plane and headed home to California so he could attend an annual Daddy-Daughter dance with his two oldest girls, Sierra, 10 and Savannah, 6.
“It’s really important to them, so every year, I make my way home for just a night and then I get back to work the next day.”
“It means the world to them. They get all dressed up, they do the whole hair thing, the makeup thing….Not too heavy on the makeup though, I’m not really a fan of that,” Matt said speaking like a true dad.
“They loved it. It’s something that brightens their year. I’m a big family guy, so whenever I can do something for them, you know it’s anything I can do to help them out.”
Brewers fans will recall that, after being shut down for the season, Matt left the Club in the middle of September last year to be with his wife Serina, who was pregnant with twins and on bed rest at the time, and help take care of his family. In addition to the oldest girls and the twins (Gianna and Maddox), Matt and Serina have a son, Matthew II, 13; and a daughter, Summer, 3.
“The twins came a little later than expected, but they came out healthy and happy. They’re big. They’re moving. Their growth month to month still shocks me. Even after six [kids], it’s still amazing how fast they grow and how their brains react to certain things on a daily basis.”
Last year, when asked what motivates him to play hard, Matt had said his family and that still rings true. “I love this game, but I love them a lot more. My motivation is just to make sure they have a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs and food on table. That’s my job as a dad and a provider.”
Do his kids love baseball?
“They love their dad. They’d be happy if I did whatever as long as I come home.”