Results tagged ‘ Caitlin Moyer ’
Although there are many new faces this spring, this Brewers clubhouse already seems to have a great vibe. There is a lot of positive energy and the players seem to be bonding with ease. Perhaps that’s because the players are finding common interests both on and off the field and building chemistry in new ways.
For example, in addition to the game of chess, many Brewers players seem to be bonding over the game of golf this season.
I recently had another chance to hit the links with some of them this spring at the scenic Lookout Mountain Golf Club.My foursome included Brewers pitchers Chris Capuano, Will Smith and Matt Garza, while the group playing behind us was also comprised of all pitchers: Tyler Thornburg, Michael Blazek, Jeremy Jeffress and Sean Nolin.
While I’ve played with a couple of these guys before, I was surprised that this many players chose to spend their downtime out on the links.
I started chatting with Michael Blazek about it and he explained why he believes it’s such a popular pastime for the players—especially pitchers— away from the field.
“It’s not really about the game of golf. You just go and hang out with friends…. It’s a better way for us to get together away from the field and not think about baseball and have fun at the same time. It just takes your mind off of what you’re doing here every single day. There’s not many things that we can do as a group away from the field….so golf is the easiest thing to do for us and it’s just a good way for us– especially our pitchers, a lot of us golf–and [the course] is just a place for us to kind of get together,” Blazek said.
Thornburg agrees. “A lot of hitters hate golf because they think it will ruin their swing. Plus, position players have to go every day during Spring Training for the most part and when they get a day off they don’t want to spend four hours on a course.”
Capuano is the probably the best golfer in the clubhouse this spring. He says he has about a 4 handicap, and has shot par a couple of time, with his best round being a 67 at the Boulders in Scottsdale. Although, he’s quite modest and is quick to point out that the course was a par 71.
“I feel like he should definitely be better than a 4 handicap,” Thornburg tells me. I concur. While Thornburg shot a respectable 83, Capuano shot a 37 on the front 9 at Lookout Mountain and kept it rolling on the back, although he didn’t get to play all 18 holes.
For Capuano, who started playing golf as a young child while caddying for his dad, he says his favorite part of the game is being outside.
“It’s relaxing,” he says. “Being a pitcher, I really enjoy the satisfaction of hitting a target and I think golf is very similar in the rhythm and timing that’s involved in the golf swing. It’s similar to the throw, and just hitting that target is very rewarding.”
For me personally, I would agree that golf provides a good bonding opportunity. While I enjoy the sport and grew up playing it, outings like these not only provide fun social media content, but they also help me get to know the players better away from the field, which helps when working with them closely over the course of a long season.
And whether it’s fishing or golf, 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.
I hope the Brew Crew is enjoying the first of just two off days this spring!
Looks like some of the #CactusCrew did indeed hit the links yesterday:
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!
This Valentine’s Day, we’re asking you to share your love for the Crew for your chance to win a Valentine’s Day card signed by a current Brewers player.
Here’s how it works:
Log in to Twitter and tell us who your favorite Brewers player of all time is and why using the hashtag #BrewCrewLove and we’ll randomly pick fans to receive a Valentine’s Day card from a member of the current team, such as Jonathan Lucroy, Jimmy Nelson, Will Smith and more!
Past, present, mascot, All-Star or here for a cup of coffee–there is no wrong answer as long as you have a good reason for your love!
For example, for me, my first true #BrewCrewLove was Jamey Wright. Jamey was a pitcher for us right around the time I really started seriously following baseball. I had the chance to meet him during an autograph session and he was really nice, too!
So who was your first #BrewCrewLove? Maybe it was Paul Molitor or Robin Yount. Or maybe you have a current #BrewCrewLove you want to share. Just tell us in 140 characters or less (and attach a photo if you have one!) and you might be randomly selected to get a Valentine’s Day card from the Crew.
My current #BrewCrewLove? You–the fans! We truly do have the best fans in all of baseball.
Happy Valentine’s Day, readers! I love you all!
Yesterday at Brewers On Deck, I had the chance to sit down with top Brewers OF prospect Brett Phillips for a Twitter Q&A.
Brett was recently ranked ninth among MLB’s OF prospects and fans were excited to get their questions answered by him, using our special new Q&A app from Twitter, which allows for customized video responses.
Fans submitted questions using the hashtag #AskMaverick and the questions ranged from those such as how he got the nickname Maverick and his role models growing up to some of his favorite things and what he thinks about Milwaukee.
You can view all of Brett’s responses on our @Brewers Twitter feed, but we pulled a few highlights for you, here.
First of all, in case you’re wondering, here’s how Brett got the nickname “Maverick”:
And here’s how he feels about being named to that Top Propect List:
Here’s who Brett looked up to:
Brett dished about his most embarrassing high school moment:
And shared his Frequently-Used Emojis with us (he said his favorite is the one on the top right):
Brett said he hopes to get acquainted with Bernie soon:
And my personal favorite…On Brett’s Twitter profile, he lists himself as a “4th Grade Spelling Bee Finalist,” so one astute fan asked him what word he failed on:
Poor Brett, looks like that word will always haunt him!
We had so much fun with Brett, we were sad to have to wrap-up, but he went on to bigger and better things at the event, like tying in Brewers Jeopardy!
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to give Brett a follow @Brett_Phillips8. We wish him the best and hope to see him back in Milwaukee soon!
Happy New Year, readers!
I start 2016 filled with extreme gratitude for you, the loyal Cait Covers the Bases readers!
Once again, you’ve made this blog a Top 100 MLB Pro Blog (#4 to be exact).
Clearly you have a hunger for Brewers stories and information as congratulations are also in order for fellow Brewers bloggers Adam McCalvy (Brew Beat), #17 in MLB.com Beat Writers; Jeff Levering (Minor Details), #21 in MiLB Pro Blogs; Brewer Nation, #3 in Fan Blogs; and Brewers Farm Report, #29 in Fan Blogs.
To view the complete list of Top MLBlogs, click here.
Thank you again for reading. I look forward to continuing to provide you with more fun and informing content in 2016 and beyond.
Here’s something that will make a Director of New Media very proud: Finding out that Miller Park is the top Instagrammed landmark in Wisconsin!
This news comes from a recent TIME article, which lists the Top 50 Most Instagrammed Places is America.
For the article, TIME had exclusive access to the data from Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app that boasts a user base of over 400 million. From that data, TIME was able to map out the most frequently geo-tagged spots in each of the 50 states.
As Brewers fans, we all know how gorgeous Miller Park is and how lucky we are to have it as the home of the Brewers, so I guess this news isn’t too surprising. Still, I’m also ecstatic that so many of us have taken to Instagram as a form of expression.
Thank you for making us tops; keep snapping those pics!
I hope you didn’t blow your holiday shopping budget on Black Friday and Cyber Monday because the Brewers Clubhouse Sale is coming up this weekend and they’ve got some great deals for every fan on your list.
The popular shopping event is held in the Visitors Clubhouse and will be open to the public Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. New this year, the sale will also be open on Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Today, I got a sneak peek and I’m going to share my finds with you. Think of me like your advance scout for the sale.
Two things you’ll want to take note of right off the bat:
- This year, the sale is organized primarily by SIZE, making it easier than ever before to scour the racks for the best bargains.
- There is also a new pricing system in place at the sale. Instead of items being marked with special sale stickers, instead you will see a color code on the item. These colors indicate the new discounted price. Don’t worry, it will be easy to figure out, as the color codes will be posted all around the space. The best part? This pricing starts at just $.99 for some novelty items. Yep, that’s right. There are some really great bargains this year!
Okay, let’s get to the fun stuff.
One thing you won’t be able to miss when you walk through the Visitors Clubhouse is the big table full of Player Name + Number tees (or “shirseys” as folks sometimes like to call them).
We’ve had a few roster moves over the last couple of months and the Team Store is looking to move the extra inventory. Tees featuring former players, like Carlos Gomez pictured below, are just $4.99.
But it’s not just former Brewers players tees that are discounted–you’ll also save on older style tees of current players, meaning you can score a Ryan Braun or Jean Segura tee for just $9.99.
Similarly, Sausage Name + Number tees are just $9.99 as well.
If real jerseys are more your style, then you’re also in luck!
We’ve got blank replica jerseys starting at $39.99, blank authentic jerseys starting at $75 and game-used player jerseys starting at $100. You’ll find a mix of styles, including specialty jerseys such as those worn on St. Patrick’s Day, Cerveceros Day and our Negro Leagues Tribute Game.
One cool offering at the sale this year is the ability to purchase a game-used baseball for just $15. Fans can go online and type in the authentication number and find out the story behind the baseball. I’m told that mixed in among foul balls are balls that were hit by guys like Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy.
Speaking of authentic, game-used items, the Authentics section is always one of the most popular spots at the Clubhouse Sale. They’ve got everything from balls, plaques and bats to locker nameplates, bases and hats. These items are extremely limited, so I recommend getting there as early as possible to get the best selection on these items.
Perhaps you have a fan cave at home and want to dress it up with some unique decor? We’ve got signs that have been used in the Team Store and around the ballpark available starting at $5.
There truly is something for everyone at the Brewers Clubhouse Sale, from infants to adults.
Guys: You’re going to be overwhelmed by the selection this year–they’ve got everything from t-shirts and hoodies to golf shirts and sweaters.
And don’t worry, ladies, you’re certainly not left out! Hoodies, t-shirts, tanks and more await you.
Here are a couple of things that caught my eye:
In terms of head wear, there are a plethora of Brewers caps available, starting at $9.99
ANNNNDDDD…. While you’re shopping for merchandise, you can also pick up other Brewers-themed gifts for the fans on your list, including the 2016 Brewers Kids Club Kit.
And don’t forget about Brewers Holiday 4-Packs (which come with a FREE Barrelman ornament!). Members of our Ticket Sales team will also be on hand at the event.
A few more housekeeping details:
Coupons of 10%, 20% and 30% off will be offered to the Brewers Team Store by Majestic for those spending $100, $200 and $300, respectively, at the Clubhouse Sale. These coupons may be redeemed only on the same day of purchase.
The Brewers Team Store by Majestic will feature a variety of activities during each day of the Clubhouse Sale. Fans can register to win one of four prize drawings that will be held at the Team Store each day. Prizes will include shopping sprees and special Authentic Collection packages. For those with cameras, fans can take photos with the Klement’s Famous Racing SausagesTM on December 4 from 10-11 a.m. and with Santa on December 5 from noon – 2 p.m. at the Team Store.
All shoppers can access the Clubhouse Sale by entering Miller Park at the Hot Corner entrance near the Brewers Team Store by Majestic and following the posted directions to the visiting clubhouse. Cash and credit cards will be accepted (no personal checks). Admission and parking is free.
During the offseason, the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. For more information, contact the team store at (414) 902-4750.
It’s been awhile since the last installment of “There’s No Offseason for…”
That’s the series where I aim to dispel what I call “the myth of the offseason” by profiling people and departments across the organization to help you understand what goes on at One Brewers Way during the winter months when baseball is not played at Miller Park.
I recently caught up with Senior Director of Media Relations Mike Vassallo who, at 40, has already been working in the industry for over 20 years.
We sat down to discuss how he got into baseball, the ins and outs of his job (in season and out of season), wrestling and more. Read on.
Ever since he was a little boy growing up in Long Island, Mike says he’s wanted to be in baseball.
“Obviously I wasn’t dreaming of being the Media Relations Director then…. As a kid, I wanted to be a player, like everybody else.”
Nonetheless, the baseball seed was planted and by the time he went off to college, Mike had tailored his aspirations to becoming a baseball announcer, enrolling in the broadcasting program at Oswego State University in upstate New York.
While still in school, a chance encounter with Hall of Famer and then Yankees broadcaster Phil Rizzuto would forever change the path of his career.
It was 1995 and Mike’s stepfather, who works at Pfizer (the pharmaceutical company), had arranged a summer job for Mike at the company, as he so often did, in whatever department needed help.
One night that summer, Mike had tickets to the Yankees game and planned to leave straight from work to meet his friend there, but he wasn’t yet entirely familiar with the subway system.
Enter Andy, an older gentleman who worked at Pfizer as a greeter in the lobby and manning the elevators, etc. Andy’s night job happened to be doing the same thing at Yankee Stadium, so Mike and Andy left work together on that fateful night and headed to The House That Ruth Built.
“I brought a baseball with me because I was a big fan of Phil Rizzuto….I knew Andy knew him and I wanted to get his autograph,” Mike recalls.
“So we got to the game and I’m outside the elevator. Phil Rizzuto comes off. Andy introduces me. I get my ball signed. I’m all happy. I step aside to wait for the elevator to go meet my friend and I overhear Phil say to Andy, ‘My assistant never shows up anymore. I think I’m gonna have to get a new one,’” Mike recounts, affecting Phil’s strong New York accent as he tells the story.
The enterprising 20-year old wasted no time.
“I think I might have even raised my hand….I said ‘I’ll do it for free!’ Of course [Phil] was taken aback at first because he had just met me five minutes before, but Andy said, ‘Oh, he’ll do a good job. Give him a chance.’”
And that’s how Mike got his first job in baseball as the personal assistant to Phil Rizzuto. For the rest of the summer, whenever the Yankees were on Channel 11, Mike was happy to be Phil’s gopher, getting him his coffee, keeping score for him during the innings he didn’t announce and whatever else needed to done.
That experience helped Mike get a real internship with the Yankees in 1997 which led to him getting an entry-level job in the Yankees Media Relations department where he worked in 1998 and 1999. (Fun fact: Mike says he didn’t dislike the Yankees, but he was a Mets fan growing up.)
From there, he took a job with the Cincinnati Reds as Assistant Director of Media Relations, where he worked for six years before joining the Brewers as Director of Media Relations in middle of Spring Training in 2006.
As the current Senior Director of Media Relations, Mike’s department includes Ken Spindler (Senior Manager of Media Relations) and Zach Weber (Manager of Media Relations).
These three guys are responsible for handling interviews and media requests, writing press releases, keeping stats and more.
“I kind of forgot about the broadcasting stuff because this worked out so well,” Mike says.
In particular, Mike is the primary contact for interviews with our players, Manager Craig Counsell and General Manager David Stearns.
Mike says that part of his job is not as demanding during the offseason as it is during the season—for the players at least.
“Sometimes in the offseason, it’s actually more demanding because of all the Hot Stove talk, so the requests for GM go up a little bit,” said Mike.
And of course, the stove will be heating up even more with next week’s Winter Meetings, so Mike will be traveling to Nashville with the Brewers contingent.
In season, Mike and his team are responsible for producing the game notes, which is a six-page packet containing updated statistical information and bio information of all the players that comes out for every game during the season.
While there aren’t game notes during the offseason, there is still plenty of stat and bio work to be done.
“I’m the lead writer on the media guide. I do all the bios for the 40-man roster and the non-roster players for the media guide. I’m working on that right now,” Mike said.
Those items will take Mike and his team right up to Spring Training.
For Cactus League play, Mike will typically relocate to Arizona for a good six weeks. However, this year will be a little different as he and his wife Jeana are expecting their first child, a baby boy due February 26.
So instead of heading down in mid-February as he usually does, Mike will wait until about two weeks after Baby Vassallo joins their team to travel down to Arizona to catch up with his staff and the Cactus Crew.
Speaking of travel Mike is also the primary media relations contact that travels with the team, making about three-quarters of the roadtrips during the season.
“My favorite part (of my job) and least favorite are the same thing—travel,” Mike says. “It’s my favorite part because I get to visit all these great cities and stadiums and it’s the least because it takes me away from home and my wife—and kid next year.”
In his two decades working in the field, Mike says the main thing that’s changed his job is social media.
Mike is also responsible for writing all the baseball-related press releases—roster moves, injury updates, etc.—and he says, “I can’t remember the last time that I did a press release about a trade where it wasn’t already on social media. I feel like our press releases now just confirm what’s already all over social media, whereas in the past, we’d write the press release and that’s how people would find out.”
While social media presents some challenges from that side of things, along with generating false rumors and making things tougher for Baseball Operations, etc., Mike is quick to point out that it’s also a positive thing (which is good since you know, I’m the Director of New Media and all).
“Whenever we have a player or a manager do an interview, I put it right there on Twitter….How would we get the word out so quickly in the past?”
Speaking of Twitter, that’s another part of Mike’s gig. Since he’s the first to know about roster moves and injury updates, as well as TV/Radio interviews, etc., he’s able to assist us in the New Media Department by putting that information up on Twitter right away. But it doesn’t stop there.
Known amongst the media for sprinkling the game notes with interesting tidbits, such as these….
Mike has great access and often helps us capture some great moments for social media as well:
With so much to cover and traveling on a smaller percentage of road trips, I definitely appreciate Mike’s creativity and contributions!
Another thing you might not know is that Mike has a hand in some of the music that ends up being played at Miller Park.
“I’m pretty much the person that collects the players’ music for the scoreboard, which is kind of fun because sometimes I suggest songs to them and they use them,” Mike said.
[For those of you who don’t know what we’re talking about, check out the list of Brewers walk-up music.]
Because he’s sometimes seen as the conduit for getting those song selections to the scoreboard folks, Mike’s also been able to marry one of his other passions with baseball—wrestling.
“I’ve liked it since I was 10 years old. 1985 Wrestlemania was the first one and it’s just something I never grew out of I guess…. I think we all have our guilty pleasures. I just take it for what it is. I just find it really entertaining,” Mike says.
So, oftentimes those songs Mike suggests to players involve wrestling.
“I’ve had quite a few over the years. The first one was Tim Raines, (an outfielder) with the Yankees. He was the first person that I remember approaching and saying, ‘Hey why don’t you use this song?’ and it was a wrestling song,” Mike said.
And that’s how Rock Raines started using The Rock’s theme song for a time.
Among the Brewers that he’s converted, Mike counts Todd Coffey (Ultimate Warrior), Nori Aoki (Fandango), Lyle Overbay (Adam Rose), and Shane Peterson (New Day).
“There have been probably at least 10 players over the years,” Mike says.
In his 20 years in the sport, Mike’s certainly experienced a lot, but among the things that stand out most for him include various Postseason appearances.
“I got spoiled right off the bat…We (the Yankees) won the World Series in 1998 and 1999,” said Mike.
But while he cherishes his Yankees World Series ring, he still counts the Brewers Wildcard season in 2008 among his fondest memories.
“It was awesome being part of that because we hadn’t made the playoffs in 26 years, so it was just real exciting but in a different way. With the Yankees it was just expected every year…. It was exciting but it wasn’t as exciting as ’08 where we just came out of nowhere and the whole thing when CC was here, that was a great experience,” Mike said.
Of course, 2011 ranks right up there for Mike as well—winning the division, Nyjer Morgan’s walk-off hit in Game 5 of the NLDS, etc.
But for Mike, many of his favorite memories are off the field, too—the relationships he’s made and maintained over the years.
“It’s all the friendships,” Mike says. “I get to hang out with Bob Uecker on the road. It doesn’t get better than that.”
Indeed. We may not have a true offseason in baseball, but we’re lucky to be surrounded by great people who share our same passion and help make long hours go by quickly.
To keep up with Mike both in-season and during the offseason, follow him on Twitter @MikeVassallo 13.
Stay tuned for more “There is No Offseason” profiles. Is there anyone in particular that you’d like me to highlight? If so, please let me know in the comments below!
The votes are in and we’re pleased to reveal the winners of this year’s #BREWITCHED pumpkin-decorating contest!
Congratulations! These three winners will receive a Brewers prize pack, which includes two tickets to Brewers On Deck and a baseball signed by Jean Segura.
Thank you to all who entered. We hope you had a safe and happy Halloween!