Results tagged ‘ Ken Macha ’

An Event of Their Own: Cait’s Brewers Baseball Basics for Women Recap

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of speaking at Brewers Baseball Basics for Women, presented by Associated Bank, an event designed especially for our female fans who are interested in a behind-the-scenes look at Miller Park and the Brewers front office, as well as additional insight into some nuances of America’s Favorite Pastime. 

In short, the women taking part in the event put on by Brewers Enterprises had signed up for an entire day of fun at Miller Park, beginning at 9am and lasting through the game that evening.

To start their day, the ladies congregated behind the visitor’s dugout, where they were greeted by Vice President of Brewers Enterprises, Jason Hartlund and Penny Foust, Associated Bank CTP Vice President of Treasury Management.

They then heard from Vice President-Assistant General Manager, Gord Ash and Coordinator, Administration- Amateur Scouting, Amanda Kropp. The session covered information on day-to-day operations and the different tiers within the department–scouting, player development and the Major Leagues. The participants had the chance to ask questions and they took full advantage of the opportunity, inquiring about such baseball intricacies such as the infield fly rule, options and waivers and the draft process.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Gord.jpg

Gord Ash speaks at Brewers Baseball Basics for Women.

Next, the women were split up into five different “teams” and headed off to different areas of the ballpark for sessions with women in the Brewers front office.

The teams rotated to visit each of the five sessions, traveling on a behind-the-scenes tour of Miller Park along the way, including a visit to the home clubhouse and a walk around the warning track to the home bullpen, where they reviewed different pitches with Bullpen Catcher Marcus Hanel.

clubhouse.jpg

Tours of Miller Park usually feature a visit to the visitor’s clubhouse, but the ladies had a rare treat– a special trip through the home clubhouse, where they got to see the lockers, weight room, training room and dining room.

The teams heard about the Brewers philanthropic efforts and community events and programs from Cecelia Gore, Executive Director of the Brewers Community Foundation and Katina Shaw, Director of Community Relations and Family Liaison.

Over in the Press Box, the teams learned about broadcasting, in-game entertainment and what it takes to pull-off 81 homes games and a major event like Brewers on Deck from Aleta Mercer, Senior Director of Entertainment and Broadcasting. (For more on Aleta, click here.)

The session with Marcie Pasbrig, the Catering and Sales Manager for DNC SportService and Leslie Bishop, the NYCE Stadium Club and Gehl Club Manager for DNC SportService took place in the NYCE Stadium Club where the teams learned about the catering and hospitality. They also had a chance to sample some of the delicious fare offered at Miller Park.

Miranda Bintley, Grounds Manager was supposed to speak about her job overseeing the playing fields in both Miller Park and Helfaer Field, but she was unavailable because she is soon expecting her first child, so her boss, Grounds Director, Gary Vanden Berg, pinch hit for her and “covered that ground”. (For more on Gary and his crew, click here.)

gary.jpg

Gary Vanden Berg speaks to a team in the home dugout.

As Senior Manager of Advertising and Marketing, I also had the pleasure of hosting a session about our advertising, ticket promotions, social media efforts and general marketing strategy.

Julie.jpg

Our session took place in the Media Interview Room, so fans like Julie Hanrahan had fun posing in front of the backdrop.

v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}

I could tell all of the women in attendance were  big Brewers fans. In fact, I had been asked to touch on the topic of retail in my sessions and  I jokingly said to each group, “Well, I was supposed to talk about retail, but just looking at this group, I see you’re all very familiar with our retail operations!”  Almost every woman there was wearing Brewers gear and it was great to see.

Because I was speaking to the different groups as they rotated through this high-powered lineup, unfortunately, I was unable to attend the other speakers’ sessions. However, the feedback I did receive later from both my colleagues and the attendees was very positive across the board.

“I was impressed with the questions the women asked,” Amanda Kropp commented to me. I agreed. All of the women who attended my sessions came prepared with plenty of great questions and also, valuable feedback.

The groups reconvened for a question and answer session with Brewers Manager Ken Macha, outfielder Joe Inglett and his wife, Kelly, emceed by Brewers TV Analyst Bill Schroeder.

Topics covered in that session ranged from what a typical day looks like for a player versus a manager and why the Brewers have been hit by pitches so many times this season to how many games the players’ wives typically attend during a season and what they do while their husbands are traveling on the road.

JoeKellyMacha.jpg

Joe Inglett, his wife, Kelly and Manager Ken Macha take questions from the fans.

The morning concluded with a drawing for special prizes such as holding the finish line for the Klement’s Sausage Race and throwing out the first pitch at that night’s game. Each woman who attended the event also received a gift bag that included a bobble head, a 2010 Brewers Yearbook, a copy of the book, Down in the Valley by Gregg Hoffmann (a history of Milwaukee County Stadium), and a pink Brewers hat from Associated Bank.

The group was then released for a couple of hours before they returned with a guest to Helfaer Field for a special tailgate which included food and drinks, photo opportunities with the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages and appearances by John Axford, Randy Wolf, Zach Braddock, Chris Narveson and George Kottaras. 

The participants and their guests then attended the Brewers-Pirates game at 6:10 pm, where their day of fun was capped off with an 8-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I’m thankful for this great opportunity to spread my love of the game (and my job!) to this group of women and I hope that they had as much fun as I did. 

I also hope that next year, we get even more women to come out to get a glimpse at the women behind-the-scenes at Miller Park and to learn more about the sport that Milwaukee has embraced for years.

 

-CAIT

johnandcait@brewers.com

Brewers at Cubs

Good morning from Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix.  A little on the chilly side today and hopefully the rain will hold off for today’s game at Mesa against the Chicago Cubs.  Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder will have the call on this afternoon’s webcast of the game on brewers.com.  Tune in, I know they will appreciate it, plus it will get you in the mood for baseball.

I have a link for you today as well.  Manager Ken Macha asked me the other day to do some research and find an old Sports Illustrated article for him.  Luckily, I love information and especially historical information, so this was a pretty fun task. 

In the late 1960s, Sports Illustrated did a series on Ted Williams.  One of the final installments was Williams’ take on hitting.  Macha remembered reading the article in high school and wanted to see if it was still out there. 

Sports Illustrated has a fantastic online “vault” of pretty much everything they have ever printed and I was able to find through a couple of searches.  Check it out here.  It is a long read but if you are a baseball fan–especially a young baseball fan who might not know a lot about Williams–or a coach looking for some new insights, this is truly a timeless piece.

Here are some gamenotes for today’s tilt against the division rival Cubs, courtesy of Mike Vassallo:
March 9 at Chicago-NL.pdf.

Brewers Lineup

23 Rickie Weeks 4

30 Craig Counsell 6

27 Carlos Gomez 8

28 Prince Fielder 3

15 Jim Edmonds 7

22 Jody Gerut 9

61 Adam Heether 5

87 Jonathan Lucroy 2

37 Jeff Suppan 1

Cubs Lineup

2 Ryab Theriot 6

1 Kosuke Fukudome 9

25 Derrek Lee 3

16 Aramis Ramirez 5

24 Marlon Byrd 8

12 Alfonso Soriano 7

17 Mike Fontenot 4

18 Geovany Soto 2

36 Randy Wells 1

 

–John

johnandcait@brewers.com

 

 

The Full Squad is Here

It was a pretty busy Friday in Brewers Camp today.  Today was the day that the position players reported to camp meaning the clubhouse was full with Brewers.  Alcides Escobar was the final Brewer to report (and, no that is not a negative thing for him because the team encouraged him to take some time off following his stint in the Venezuelan Winter League) and he participated in some batting practice and took some grounders with the rest of the infielders. 

It was nice to have the entire team together today and the full official workouts begin tomorrow.  The team will have workouts tomorrow through Tuesday and then have an intrasquad game at Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday.

The weather was perfect today, about 70 degrees and not a cloud to be seen.  I have a lot of pictures for everyone today, so I will get right to them.

 


P1000527.jpgBrewers Catcher Angel Salome goes over some questions in the visiting clubhouse at Maryvale Baseball Park.  Aleta Mercer and Deron Anderson set up and record short interviews with each player for scoreboard entertainment purposes during the regular season at Miller Park. 
 


P1000559.jpgBrewers Shortstop Alcides Escobar takes batting practice during his informal workout with the team this morning.
 


P1000588.jpgRyan Braun takes batting practice during today’s workout.
 


P1000599.jpgTrevor Hoffman throws a bullpen session during today’s workout as head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger looks on.
 


P1000634.jpgManager Ken Macha addresses a group of Brewers pitchers and catchers at one of the stations during today’s workout.
 


P1000700.jpgLast year’s First Round Draft Pick Eric Arnett throws a bullpen session today.
 


P1000643.jpgInside the Brewers batting tunnel, a group from Froedert and the Medical College of Wisconsin set up sensors to record and analyze the throwing motion of Brewers pitchers.  Today, five pitchers participated in throwing in front of these sensors.  The sensors were hooked up to a computer that analyzed the throwing motion of each player.  The video will then be used by Brewers coaches, players and front office staff to help prevent injuries and improve performance.  Even the smallest adjustment can make for improvement in the delivery of each pitcher.  Players are encouraged to participate, but it is not mandated.


P1000644.jpgOver 40 of these little reflectors were attached to various spots on each pitchers body.  As you can see in the upper right of this picture, they even wore hats with the reflectors.


P1000690.jpgThis is what Dave Bush’s feet and legs looked like before he was ready to pitch.


P1000694.jpgHere is Dave Bush’s left arm with the reflectors.


P1000684.jpgThe computer screen shows little black dots.  Those are what the computer sees after the lights pick up the reflectors.  This is the outline of Yovani Gallardo as he was preparing to pitch.  You guys may think its odd that I didn’t post any pictures of the players actually pitching with all those little reflectors on.  There is a simple reason for that.  In order to get the most accurate reading of the each players body when in the pitching motion, the players had to pitch in, well, their underwear.  I really didn’t want to embarass anyone seeing as I have to work with these guys on a daily basis.  I hope you understand.  This is a family blog!  Anyway, this is the first of five days in which the team is doing this , so maybe there will be an opportunity to show some more photos.
 


P1000746.jpgHere is a “hot off the presses” copy of the 2010 Milwaukee Brewers Media Guide sitting on my desk.  The first shipment of guides came in to Phoenix today.  This is always the biggest offseason project of the Brewers Media Relations Department and it is always an exciting day when the hard copy of the guide is on my desk.  Mike Vassallo, Ken Spindler and I spent a lot of time on this year’s guide and we are happy it turned out well.  Fans can pick up their copy of the guide at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic and the FanZone at Maryvale Baseball Park beginning Monday afternoon.

Tomorrow is the first full workout for the team.  It should be another busy day here as a new routine begins.  I should have some more photos up for you this weekend.  Also, look for a behind the scenes tour of Maryvale Baseball Park in the next couple of days as well.  Some of you have never been able to come out here before and we want to make sure you are able to see what goes on here at Maryvale.  We should have that up for you all next week. 

–John

johnandcait@brewers.com

 

Sights From The First Official Workout For Pitchers and Catchers

This morning was the first official workout for pitchers and catchers at Maryvale Baseball Park.  The weather was cloudy, cool and the rain was on and off, but pitchers and catchers were still able to get in their throwing today. 

Pitchers and Catchers reported to camp on Saturday and yesterday was Physicals and Administrative day which made today the first day of official workouts.

The team took the field around 9:45 a.m. Arizona time and worked out for about two hours.  Pitchers threw bullpen sessions and didn’t take part in any “PFP,” defensive or other conditioning drills due to the wet ground.  Manager Ken Macha addressed the media as he does on a daily basis before the workout and Pitching Coach Rick Peterson led the pitchers in some their normal throwing. 

Some of the position players who reported to camp early participated in some light throwing, took some batting practice in the cages and did some infield work with Bench Coach Willie Randolph

It looks as though the weather will be clearing up tomorrow so the regular slate of activities for pitchers and catchers will be on. 

 

P1000092.jpg

Brewers Manager Ken Macha meets with reporters for his daily media session. 

P1000091.jpgBrewers pitching coach Rick Peterson meets with his pitchers before the first workout.

 

P1000130.jpgLefties Manny Parra (left) and Doug Davis (center) throw their first bullpen sessions of Spring Training while Peterson watches (right).

 

P1000158.jpgYovani Gallardo (left) and Dave Bush (right) participate in today’s workout.

 



P1000282.jpgNewly acquired Catcher Gregg Zaun catches Gallardo’s bullpen session.  If you notice the string in front of the plate, it was installed by Peterson in order to train pitchers to get the ball low in the strike zone.  The string lines up around the low end of the strike zone.

 
P1000346.jpg

Ed Sedar (left), Macha and General Manager Doug Melvin observe the workouts and discuss the first day.

P1000345.jpg

Peterson and Gallardo talk after Gallardo’s bullpen session.

A few of the players are still milling around the clubhouse and finishing their lunch.  The sun looks like it is trying to peak out a little bit which will make for a nice afternoon.  I will have more updates throughout the week from here at Maryvale!

–John

johnandcait@brewers.com

John and Cait Preview Brewers On Deck 2010

 

 

Brewers On Deck_2010 logo.jpgThe Brewers annual fan fest, Brewers On Deck, will take place this Sunday, January 31, but today, John and Cait have a sneak preview of all the fun that is in store for you!  We are going to throw a lot at you in this preview and this map will help you plan your afternoon at the event.

First of all, this year’s Brewers On Deck is bigger and better than ever. The event has taken many forms since it first began at Brookfield Square Mall in 2004. Each year, we learn a little more and try to grow the event to make it bigger and better than even before.  Brewers Senior Director of Entertainment and Broadcasting, Aleta Mercer has again been in charge of organizing this event that has really turned into something no Brewers fan will want to miss.

Last year was the first year that the event was held at the Midwest Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. This year, we’re returning to the same location, but we have two times the space to work with and more attractions to entertain fans once they get in the door.

Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family. There will be autographs and photos from Brewers players and coaches, interactive games and clinics for kids in the Associated Bank Kids Zone, Q&A sessions and game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters, the latest Brewers merchandise (including 40th Anniversary items), and much, much, more.

First of all, everybody loves autographs and the chance to rub elbows with players and coaches from the 2010 team.

With 30 players scheduled to sign at the event, you’ll have lots of choices.  Welcome back some of your favorites, like Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun. Get a jumpstart on the 40th Anniversary Season by purchasing some of the new merchandise that will be available at the event and getting it signed by Brewers great and Hall of Famer Robin Yount. Or, take the opportunity to add new Brewers like Randy Wolf, Gregg Zaun, LaTroy Hawkins or Carlos Gomez to your autograph collection.

Autograph sessions will be staggered during the event, and autograph tickets–ranging from free to $25 each–will be available on the day of the event only. There will be 250 autograph coupons available for each player at the event, and coupons will be distributed one hour prior to each autograph session, so make sure you get there early!

bush.jpg

Dave Bush signs autographs for fans at Brewers On Deck 2009.

The doors to the Midwest Airlines Center open at 10 a.m. and the first autograph sessions begin at 11 a.m. A good tip would be to buy your On Deck tickets in advance if you want to get in an autograph line early. Brewers coaches will be signing free autographs following their Q&A session with fans and select Brewers alumni will also sign free following clinics in the Little League diamond.

It is important to note that cash will be the only form of payment accepted at the pay stations in the autograph area, so make sure you hit up an ATM on your way downtown (there will also be ATMs inside the Midwest Airlines Center). Proceeds from the autographs will go to Brewers Charities and other charitable causes. A full autograph schedule can be found here.

The photo sessions made available to fans are also a great way to capture a great memory with your favorite Brewer. A group of 33 Brewers players, alumni and coaches will appear at three photo stations scattered throughout the afternoon in half hour segments. The photos are free of charge.  We would recommend bringing your own camera to take pictures. The first session will start at 11 a.m. and the last session will start at 3:30 p.m. 

stetterondeck.jpg

Mitch Stetter poses with fans at Brewers On Deck 2009 in the Photo Area.

Three stages will be set up throughout the convention hall, featuring programming and other activities for fans throughout the day.

The Brewers Main Stage will feature various question and answer sessions with top Brewers baseball executives, a pair of game shows featuring players and alumni (“Who Wants to Be A Brewer?” and “Brewers vs. Alumni Feud”), a fashion show showcasing the latest Brewers gear and a roundtable discussion with members of the Milwaukee media who cover the team on a regular basis. The game shows were definitely hits at last year’s “Bob Uecker’s Winter Warm Up” and there are some new surprises in store for 2010.

Fans and local media will be introduced to Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez and reintroduced to newly acquired lefty Doug Davis at a press conference scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on the Main Stage. 

The Brewers Interactive Stage will feature the Brewers Anthem Challenge with fans vying for an opportunity to sing the National Anthem at Miller Park, so start practicing hitting those high notes! Also scheduled for the Brewers Interactive Stage is a Q&A session with the Brewers Player Development and Scouting staff as well as a live web chat on brewers.com with Gregg Zaun, Manny Parra and Carlos Villanueva

The Newsradio 620 WTMJ stage will broadcast live from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will feature interviews with Brewers players and coaches. If you are a Brewers fan who cannot make Sunday’s event, the web chat and radio broadcast are two fantastic ways to interact and participate from home.

All proceeds from the event benefit Brewers Charities and other charitable causes, so make sure you stop by the Brewers Charities area at On Deck. This year, they’re hosting a Treasure Hunt, which will feature some hard to find Brewers items for sale. Additionally, Brewers Charities will be collecting food to be donated to the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee. Collection barrels will be set up at the Brewers Charities area in the Midwest Airlines Center, so don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food items with you to On Deck.

Fans will also be able to take part in the Brewers On Deck Scavenger Hunt. If you can locate the four player photos placed strategically around the venue at different attractions, you will uncover a special promotional code that will allow you to purchase tickets online for select Brewers games at a special 50% savings.

To help celebrate the 40th Anniversary season in 2010, fans can visit the Brewers Museum at On Deck to relive some Brewers moments of the past. Watch some of the best plays in team history, check out every team photo in team history, read newspapers from some of the most historic moments in team history and check out some pretty neat artifacts from 1970 through today.

In addition to all of these activities, kids will also have a great time at the batting cages or speed pitch and will be able to stay active in the Home Run Fitness area. Fans can also visit with Brewers sponsors, check out sports memorabilia from collectors in the memorabilia area, purchase a Brewers Kids Club Membership Kit ($25), and pick up Season and Group Ticket information.

There will be so much to do on Sunday, it is hard to list everything. Some other interesting attractions that we want you to check out are displays from four of the Brewers minor league affiliates and the FS Wisconsin stage where fans are offered a chance to be a sports announcer at the FS Wisconsin Sports Desk.

We’re excited that the event is coming up so soon, not only because a great time will be had by all, but also because it means that the start of the baseball season is that much closer.  Something comforting to think about on a cold, January day. If you cannot make the event, we will have a full review here and on brewers.com.

-John and Cait
johnandcait@brewers.com

Brewers On Deck will take place on Sunday, January 31 from 10am to 5pm at the Midwest Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. Advance tickets are just $15 for adults and $9 for kids.

Tickets purchased at the door on the day of the event will be $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under. Cash will be the only form of payment accepted on the day of the event.

Autograph sessions will be staggered throughout the day with autograph tickets ranging from free to $25 (available only at the event).Please note that cash will be the only form of payment accepted at the pay stations in the autograph area. Proceeds from the autographs will go to Brewers Charities and other charitable causes.

There are a variety of parking structures and street lots surrounding the Midwest Airlines Center. For more parking information, please visit www.parkmilwaukee.com.

For an up-to-date schedule of events, or to purchase tickets, click here.

 

Brewers Winter Meetings Wrap Up

The 2010 MLB Winter Meetings are in the books.  A productive week for the Brewers in Indianapolis came to an end today, officially with the Rule V Draft held earlier this morning.

The Winter Meetings are more than a time when teams get together, discuss free agents and trades.  The meetings are now sort of a winter festival in which teams don’t only plan for the game and the players on the field, but also give a chance to plan the business side of the game.  It is basically a cold weather gathering of baseball–there is everything baseball except for the game itself on the field.

My Winter Meeting experience was quite enjoyable.  We took steps to make our team better, I learned a lot and I caught up with old friends while making some new ones.

On the baseball side of the Winter Meetings, each team has a suite in one of two hotels.  Teams gather their baseball operations staffs in the suite and basically draw out plans for the upcoming season.  They consider free agents, field trade requests from other teams, talk to scouts and meet with agents.  The suite is kind of like the central location for each team–a home base of sorts for the week.  Many of these meetings begin around 8:30 a.m. and can last into the wee hours of the morning.

suite.jpg

The Brewers Baseball Operations staff in their meeting room suite.

Our suite was in the Westin Hotel in Indianapolis and housed the Brewers daily meetings involving around 10 members of the Brewers baseball operations staff.  The staff was well prepared heading into the meetings, having a good idea of what each team has and what each team needs in case the Brewers were approached for a trade.  At around 4:30 p.m. each afternoon, Brewers Media Relations Director Mike Vassallo and I would escort any media members up to the suite to talk to Doug Melvin and Gord Ash.  There, Doug would recap the day for the media.

douggrodmeeting with reporters.jpg

Here Doug Melvin and Gord Ash meet with writers in their daily media session.

Not only do our local media meet with Doug Melvin on a daily basis, but each manager does a round table session with media in the media room.  Ken Macha met with the writers on Tuesday.  Before he met at the round table, he did a quick interview on the MLB station on Sirius/XM and sat down with MLB Productions.  If you follow our twitter account (@brewercom), you may have received a heads up that Melvin was on the MLB Network’s Hot Stove show last night.

macharoundtable.jpg

Brewers Manager Ken Macha discusses the team with reporters at the Winter Meetings.

dougmlbnetwork.jpg

Doug Melvin joins the MLB Network crew for an interview on Wednesday.

While these team meetings are going on, the other “meetings” of the Winter Meetings take place.  The Major League Public Relations departments have three days of meetings.  In those meetings, we listen to speakers, take surveys and adjust media rules for the upcoming season.  This year, one of our hot topics was dealing with social media and the proliferation of such sites as Facebook and the growing Twitter craze.  It’s really a good opportunity to see what some of our peers are doing in the industry.  Each market is a little different and it is interesting to hear the problems and challenges of each team.

prteamphoto.jpg

A “team photo” of the National League PR Staffs.

Other groups that have meetings include the Baseball Writers Association of America and the Professional Baseball Association of Trainers.  The Winter Meetings are not only for the Major League teams.  The Minor League teams host a large convention during the week that includes a trade show, various speakers and symposiums and a Minor League job fair. 

 
There is a little time for fun during the meetings.  Last night, we caught a Pacers game at Conseco Fieldhouse and there are always receptions and dinners going on that allow everyone to meet and talk baseball socially. 

pacersgame.jpg

Mike Vassallo, Jim Misudek of the Atlanta Braves and I following the Pacers-Blazers game.

On the field, we made steps to making the Brewers a better team and I think the Winter Meetings were successful for the Brewers.  I really cannot go into detail as to what went on, but Doug Melvin and his team has done a great job of improving the team for the 2010 season and beyond.  A lot of the buzz around the meetings involved the Brewers and some of the moves the team considered.  Things will develop in the weeks ahead and I think Brewers fans will be excited about some of the results.

As I write this, I should be on my way back to Milwaukee.  No, I’m not on one of those fancy planes with WiFi, but instead, I’m stuck at the airport in Indianapolis.  Hopefully we will get “the bird off the ground” shortly and I will return home!

– John

johnandcait@brewers.com 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 439 other followers

%d bloggers like this: