Results tagged ‘ Jonathan Lucroy ’
Ever wondered what a 90+ mph fastball looks like from the point of view of a Major League catcher? We were curious, too. So today, we strapped a GoPro camera to the chest of Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy during batting practice as Kyle Lohse took the hill.
Check back in a bit and we’ll have some awesome footage to share!
UPDATE: Here’s a quick glimpse of some of the footage we got today (in slo-mo):
2/25/14 Update: We have more footage from yesterday’s BP:
In case you missed it, yesterday we told you about Hank, a little stray pup who is quickly becoming not just the Brewers unofficial Spring Training mascot, but a valued member of the team.
And, in the last 24 hours, Hank has become a dog in demand! He spent the morning in the Clubhouse and has conducted multiple TV interviews over the course of the day.
Here are some more photos from earlier today (How fitting is it that it’s “National Love Your Pet Day“?):
He also took to the field for practice with his mentor, Yovani Gallardo:
Also, many of you are asking what is going to happen to Hank after Spring Training. Rest assured, Hank’s days as a stray are over, one way or another and he’ll continue to be well taken care of.
For more ”#BallparkPup”dates, follow the hashtag #BallparkPup on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. In addition, for more from Brewers Spring Training in Phoenix, Arizona, be sure to follow the hashtag #CactusCrew.
This just in: Majestic player name and number tees featuring the Brewers newest acquisition, pitcher Matt Garza.
These t-shirts are currently available at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park.
If you’ll notice, the Majestic player name and number tees have been updated for 2014. Look closely and you’ll see that the lettering/numbering on the front and back has a real “jersey” look and feel to it:
This new style of the tees was available beginning at Brewers On Deck; the Team Store currently has players such as Ryan Braun, Khris Davis, Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy and Jean Segura in stock with new additions (such as Garza, which came today) arriving over the next few weeks leading up to Opening Day.
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.
TOP SIX THINGS I HEARD THIS SUMMER THAT MADE ME CRINGE
Right out of the box I will admit that just because we wear a Major League uniform doesn’t mean we have all the answers. I am not afraid to question what I believe and have made adjustments in my teaching approach over the years as a result. That being said, I’m also not afraid to go toe-to-toe with things I hear that are fundamentally wrong; especially those that pose a threat to the health of the athlete.
Here are some of my “favorites” from this past summer…
#1. “Are You Teaching the NEW Way of Hitting?”
Oh boy. Part of my role with the Brewers is to attend seminars, study video, observe Spring Training, and generally keep up with new approaches to teaching our game. 99% of the time, that question is traced to a private instructor or Internet Guru who is trying to make a name for himself by “discovering” something new or renaming something old for marketing purposes. Doesn’t mean they’re wrong…but they do add to the noise that tends to confuse people. We teach hitting the way that Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and for that matter, Miguel Cabrera, swing the bat.
#2. “My Son Plays Travel Ball so He’s Probably Too Good for Your Camp.”
Ugh. Them’s fightin’ words. When you take a look at the resume of our coaching staff and the depth of our curriculum, it’s pretty much impossible to conclude that we can’t help an athlete of any level…unless he comes to camp with the mindset that he doesn’t want to learn.
#3. “Girls Need to Learn a Different Way to Hit Because…Well, They’re Girls.”
I know that statement is not meant to be insulting to softball players…but it is. The male and female bodies get the bat to the ball in exactly the same way. Granted, there are some nuances but girls generate force at the point of contact just like guys. Just ask Jennie Finch, Crystl Bustos, Stacey Nuveman and Jessica Mendoza…probably the best U.S Olympic hitters of all time. Better yet, grab some video as I have and see for yourself. Of course, I’m not referring to slap hitting here.
#4. “I Heard You Should Never Use a Batting Tee Again.”
Yikes. There’s that Internet Guru again proclaiming that if you don’t do it his way, at best you are a terrible coach and at worst, a moron. Don’t use tees? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Every professional, collegiate and high school team relies on the tee to isolate swing mechanics before introducing a pitched ball. Statements like that may be a good way to sell a video but it also adds more confusing noise in the market. By the way, I bought video…and I got my money back.
#5. “I’m Going to Have My Son Throw Every Day Over the Winter to Add MPH’s to His Fastball.”
No. No. No. Sometimes more is not better and when it comes to the “care and feeding” of the arm, it definitely isn’t. The shoulder and elbow need rest in order to repair the strain of the long grind of the spring/summer season. Big Leaguers shut it down after the season and not just to play golf. Since 2000, there has been a 500% increase in elbow and shoulder injuries among young baseball and softball players. Almost all of that is attributed to overuse. Now when I say to shut it down I’m referring to all overhead activity like volleyball, football passing, dodgeball in gym class, badminton, etc. I know that’s not realistic but not throwing a baseball IS realistic. Work on core strength and hammer those difficult-to-work decelerators in the back. You will love the result come spring.
#6. “Coach, Am I Throwing the Curveball Correctly?”
You’re asking the wrong question. Yes, it’s true that a correctly thrown curveball is less stressful on your arm than one thrown incorrectly. And yes, there are some pro’s who started throwing junk very early in their young lives. There are also miles of scar tissue and shattered careers because of the unnecessary harm caused by curves and sliders. As a teacher of baseball and the Director of the Brewers Baseball Academy I will not teach the curve because it plays Russian Roulette with the pre-pubescent athlete. I know that’s controversial but winning isn’t worth the risk. Spot your fastball. Throw a change-up and study hitters’ weaknesses. The “W’s” will pile up.
OK, got all that off my chest. Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the Brewers have a number of activities to get in the giving spirit.
This afternoon–along with a number of my Brewers front office counterparts–I will be manning the phones for the WISN-TV 12 Food For Families Food Bank from 3 – 5 p.m. We will be at the WISN-TV studios answering phones and taking donations that will benefit the Hunger Task Force.
I’m not sure the phone number to call to donate quite yet, but when I get that number, I will be sure to update the blog. If you call in, make sure to ask for me! I want to make sure those phones are ringing all afternoon with generous donations for the Hunger Task Force. Tune in and make a donation!
Yesterday, Brewers bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel, and his wife, Jill, distributed 300 coats for children at Gilbert Stuart School on Milwaukee’s north side through their “Koos for Kids” organization.
Tomorrow, a number of Brewers staff and players will be at Helfaer Field from 8 – 11 a.m. collecting food for the Brewers Community Foundation, CBS 58 and Hunger Task Force Food Drive. While Brewers personnel will staff the Helfaer Field drop off location in the morning, food can be dropped off at tomorrow between 4:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Each vehicle stopping by to donate food items will receive a Brewers bobblehead, a gift bag and other items while supplies last. A number of Brewers special guests and CBS 58 News Team members will be on hand throughout the day to collect donations.
Finally, don’t forget about another opportunity to help Brewers Community Foundation and the Hunger Task Force through an online auction of player-designed “turkey hands.” Jim Henderson, Jonathan Lucroy, Brandon Kintzler and Tyler Thornburg put their creative talents to work on the traditional Thanksgiving art project of hand-drawn “turkey hands.” The auction will conclude on Sunday at 11:59 p.m. CT.
The Thanksgiving holiday is great time to show how thankful we all are for what we have and a perfect way to do that is giving back to your community in any way that you can. Stay tuned to the blog for updates from the phone bank this afternoon and from the food drive at Helfaer Field tomorrow!
Last week, we told you that Brewers Community Foundation has teamed up with Hunger Task Force to help feed Milwaukee-area families this holiday season with a number of events and opportunities, including collecting donations via the WISN Food for Families Phone Bank (11/26) and hosting a Food Drive at Miller Park (11/27).
We also mentioned that we would be revealing player-designed “turkey hands” across our social platforms this week. In a unique twist for fans and “art collectors” alike select Brewers players put their creative talents to work on the traditional Thanksgiving art project.
We’ve been revealing them all week:
Here’s the final piece of art–can you guess which Brewers player created this gobbler?
The answer will be revealed later today, so stay tuned to the blog!
Following that, beginning at 5pm CT TODAY, fans can bid on the framed, original designs, which will be auctioned off on Brewers.com. The auction will conclude on Sunday, December 1 at 11:59 p.m. CT.
3:00PM CT Update: Today’s Gobbler was designed by Brewers pitcher Jim Henderson! Thanks for following along. Don’t forget you can bid on Jim’s original artwork to help support Hunger Task Force beginning TODAY at 5pm CT on brewers.com.
-John and Cait
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.
If you have been to a Brewers game in the last four years, surely you have seen the Brewers Community Foundation 50/50 Raffle Ticket sellers working the crowd in their bright orange t-shirts. Today, at a press conference to announce the 50/50 Raffle has reached the $5 million mark in sales, the results of one program that BCF and the 50/50 Raffle have benefited was showcased.
The “Miracle League” field is a custom-designed field that features a special cushioned, rubberized playing surface that allows access for the visually impaired and those in wheelchairs. The league allows all children to play organized baseball, regardless of ability. Joe Block hosted today’s press conference at the Miracle League field on 91st and Brown Deer on Milwaukee’s Northwest side.
“The Miracle League is a stellar example of our commitment to identify quality non-profit organizations that are making a difference,” said Executive Director of BCF, Cecelia Gore.
Following today’s press conference, Milwaukee Miracle League players joined Brewers players Marco Estrada, Brandon Kintzler and Jonathan Lucroy on the field for a little exhibition game.
“As a Brewers player, I’m really pleased and honored to be here to represent the team and players today,” Lucroy said. ”It’s important for me individually and my teammates here to contribute to these causes and help others who need it. It gives me a lot of pleasure to do that for others. My teammates talk very highly of the city and the people here. The support we have from the fans and the organization itself is awesome, we love playing here. It is a generous community and we , too, like to give back like so many fans have given back through the raffle.”
The BCF 50/50 Raffle is currently in its fourth season. The raffle eclipsed the $1 million mark for the 2013 season on July 7—the earliest date that milestone has been reached since the inception of the raffle in 2010.
Now in its fourth season, tickets for the BCF 50/50 Raffle are sold for just $2 throughout Miller Park from the time gates open during every Brewers home game. For each game, half of the net proceeds are given to a lucky fan and the other half benefits Brewers Community Foundation. Some of the non-profit programs previously supported by the Foundation include Arts at Large, Beckum Stapleton Little League, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, COA Youth and Family Services, Felix Mantilla Little League, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast, Hunger Task Force, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity, Make-a-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin, Sojourner Family Peace Center, Susan G. Komen of Southeast Wisconsin, UPAF, United Way, YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, and YWCA.
“We’ve raised $1.4 so far this year to date, which is about $75,000 more than this time last year,” Gore added. ”I would say this has been a grand success. We have the nicest raffle sellers I could ask for and they know that their efforts assist BCF with our ability to provide grants to more than 200 non-profit organizations.”
The press conference also featured a former 50/50 Raffle winner. Theresa Porter, won the 50/50 Raffle on Opening Day in 2012 and took home over $20,000. She took her family on a trip and continues to buy tickets at every game she attends. That, in turn, convinces her entire row to buy tickets because she tells the story of winning the raffle at every game she attends. Also, she is a breast cancer survivor herself and knows the importance the 50/50 Raffle to the Milwaukee community.
“After seeing the Miracle League Field here, it shows how this raffle really helps,” Porter said. ”As a breast cancer survivor, I feel that I too have benefited from what the raffle does on both ends.”
Through BCF, Mark and Debbie Attanasio continue their pledge to have the Milwaukee Brewers serve as leaders in the community. The BCF 50/50 raffle provides one of many opportunities to make a difference. Brewers Community Foundation harnesses the pride, passion and commitment of Brewers fans, players and other supporters to positively impact the lives of children and their families in Greater Milwaukee and Wisconsin.
Brewers Community Foundation, Inc. is the official charitable arm of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Expand your collection of Brewers player tees by purchasing any of our new 2013 specialty designs, exclusive to Miller Park!
Choose from styles featuring Ryan Braun:
Plus, two Nori Aoki designs:
The Braun, Ramirez, Lucroy tees and the Aoki Japanese Koi Fish design (white) are available in adult sizes while the Aoki retro tee (yellow) is available in both adult and youth sizes.
Both regular and specialty player tees retail for $30 each at the Brewers Team Stores at Miller Park, but on Wednesdays (that’s today!), fans can receive $5 as part of our Majestic Athletic Walk-Off Wednesdays promotion.
If you’re not familiar with this promotion, it’s something fun that we’ve been doing for several years now: Every Wednesday home game throughout the season, when you stop in any retail location at Miller Park before the 5th inning and purchase a player name and number tee, you’ll save $5 and if your player has a walk-off hit in that game, you’ll get a FREE replica jersey of that same player, plus tickets! If the Brewers don’t hit a walk off that Wednesday one lucky fan will still win a jersey.
So, if you’re headed to the Brewers vs. Reds game this afternoon, it’s a great excuse to pop into the store and pick up one of our new designs.
Plus, you can double-dip on another promotion we have going on for a limited time: With our Players Autograph Promotion, you will score a free autographed baseball when you purchase $150 worth of official Players Choice product in the Brewers Team Stores. Choose from 8x10s, t-shirts, jerseys and more and when you spend $150, we’ll throw in a free autographed baseball (randomly selected) while supplies last.
Can’t make it out to Miller Park anytime soon? Never fear–there’s also a large selection of player tees available on brewers.com. (Note: Product purchased online does not qualify for Walk-Off Wednesdays or the Players Autograph Promo.)
Today, I had the pleasure of meeting Craig and Matt Steichen, the father-son duo behind Operation Warrior Wishes, a nonprofit organization that honors wounded veterans with VIP experiences and trips to sporting events across the country.
Craig and Matt had been traveling to different football stadiums, making it to one or two each year in an attempt to see them all when they had the idea to see them all in one year.
Their first thought was “Is that possible?” and after they realized it was (others have done it before), they decided they wanted to make it really special.
So, the pair teamed up with the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization which raises awareness and enlists the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to select wounded veterans to accompany them on their journey.
Last season, they accomplished their goal, visiting all 32 NFL Stadiums and bringing joy to veterans from coast to coast.
But they didn’t stop there. Now, they’ve founded Operation Warrior Wishes and they’re expanding their reach.
“I’ve made it my lifelong mission,” Matt told me.
Today, Miller Park became Operation Warrior Wishes’ 11th MLB Ballpark when Craig and Matt brought BJ Ganem, Brian Stoltenberg and Ken Oliver out for the Brewers vs. Cubs game.
“It’s not about us,” Matt, who is a banker by day, said, “It’s what these guys do for us. That’s what matters.”
“The whole idea is to pay it forward,” Craig added.
BJ, Brian and Ken are all retired Marines from Wisconsin. BJ was one of Craig and Matt’s first guests on their original journey, joining the pair for a Packers game last year. He helped connect them with Brian and Ken through his work with the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, facilitating their visit to Miller Park.
For Brian, this was his first trip to our stadium.
“It’s really awesome,” he said of Operation Warrior Wishes and the experience they helped provide, “It really gets you on an emotional level. You can’t really put it into words.”