Results tagged ‘ Kyle Lohse ’
We have a special guest with us at today’s game. Thanks to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, today is Zachary Sprader Wish Day at Miller Park.
Prior to the start of the Brewers vs. Nationals game, Zachary took a behind-the-scenes tour of the clubhouse and had the chance to meet with several Brewers players & coaches. He also had the opportunity to meet Bob Uecker in the his radio booth.
Here are a just a few photos from Zach’s special day:
In addition to Zach’s special Day, we’ll be hosting folks from Make-A-Wish Wisconsin again on Sunday, July 13 when the organization celebrates its 30th birthday with an unforgettable tailgate party, chaired by Brewers pitcher, Kyle Lohse. Wish families, volunteers and medical referral sources from all across the state will gather for a party recognizing 30 years of making wishes come true for Wisconsin children with life-threatening medical conditions.
We’re in the fourth inning as I write this and the Crew leads 4-2. Here’s hoping we’ll pull out a win today. Zach said we always win when he comes to games, so I’m feeling pretty good about this one.
By now you probably know I’m an avid golfer, so while I’ll be at Miller Park next week when the Reds are in town, I’ll also be keeping an eye on the second Major of the season… The U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst No. 2.
And speaking of Majors, earlier this season, defending PGA Champion Jason Dufner had time to visit Miller Park as part of a day-long trip to Wisconsin to help promote the 2015 PGA Championship, which will be played August 10-16, 2015, at Whistling Straits in Kohler.
So, while we had him here, we asked him if he would take some swings… not in the batting cages, but rather all around the stadium, taking some fun golf shots from various vantage points.
The team was on the road while Jason was here, but Kyle Lohse found out about his visit via Twitter, where the two ended up exchanging some playful tweets:
If you’ve been following along this season, you know by now that Kyle is quite the golfer himself —and that he’s been known to engage in some friendly bets on the course, including one with me that got him on Twitter in the first place.
Many news outlets and golf publications picked up on the Twitter conversation, but most wrote it off as a funny exchange.
But here’s the thing. Offline, these guys turned it into a real challenge and we’ve got the scoop for you here:
Each golfer participated in five golf challenges around Miller Park, where they got to take four shots each. The best shots from each golfer would be compared for each challenge. The golfer who won the majority of the challenges is declared the overall winner.
1) Dew Deck: Closest to Home Plate (145-yds) :
A tough, elevated par-3 with very little green to work with. Okay, actually no green to work with. Good luck getting your shot to land in the dirt near home plate.
2) Terrace Level: Closest to the Pin (140-yds) :
A similar challenge to the first, but this time you get to land it in the grass.
3) Home Plate: Closest to the Pin (72-yds):
You think you got game? What about a short game? This one’s just a short pitch over the pitcher’s mound, but it’s trickier than it looks!
4) Home Plate: Long Drive (with Restricted Flight Ball):
Sorry, Hank, but it’s time to let the big dog eat. Grip it n’ rip it on this one, boys, because with the restricted flight ball, you’re not going to be able to knock one out of the park. (While we trust your swings, we love our scoreboard a little too much.)
5) Home Bullpen: Closest to Home Plate (120-yds):
This is a short-iron shot from the Brewers bullpen in left field to home plate, again with no green to work with. We know Kyle can hit a catcher’s mitt from 60’ 6” but how about 360’ 6”?
The loser must tweet a photo with text revering the winner.
And now, without further adieu, we give you what I’m calling “The Stadium Shootout”:
Well, it came down to the final shot and it was fun while it lasted, but ultimately, Jason defeated Kyle 1-up. And since Kyle is a man of his word…
Perhaps there will be time for a rematch when Jason returns next summer for the PGA Championship. Along with Kyle and me, there are a number of Brewers players and front office staff who love golf and are very excited for the tournament , which was held in Kohler in 2004 and 2010, to return to Wisconsin. This is Major.
Today, Tristan Brahmer is attending the game with his family and fifth-grade classmates from Owen-Withee Elementary school in Owen, Wisconsin. They are all wearing “Team Tristan” t-shirts because Tristan is fighting a courageous battle against Alexander Disease, an extremely rare and usually progressive neurological disorder.
Tristan is a huge Brewers fan and was very excited to meet pitchers Zach Duke, Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse before the game. In addition, he received signed batting gloves and a signed baseball from Ryan Braun.
We are happy to have Tristan and his team out here at Miller Park today. We hope they enjoy the game and we wish him all the best in his fight against the disease.
Talk About Team Building: Ryan Braun, Brewers Community Foundation Team Up for Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build
This week, Brewers Community Foundation kicked off their “Beyond the Diamond” initiative with a Habitat for Humanity “Blitz Build.”
A crew of more than 100 volunteers has come together in the Washington Park neighborhood this week to launch the Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity’s 30th year of building homes, community and hope at the annual event. During this May building session, Habitat will add six owner-occupied houses to a block that is already home to seven Habitat families–boosting the home ownership rate to nearly 75 percent.
And this week, Brewers players, wives and front office staff are part of the group joining Habitat’s dedicated volunteers and sponsors on a variety of projects in the neighborhood which include the following: Building new affordable homes, helping homeowners make needed repairs on existing homes, and increasing community safety.
For the third year in a row, Brewers Community Foundation is the presenting sponsor of Milwaukee Habitat’s Blitz Build and has teamed up with Ryan Braun and Brewers Wives to lend support through a joint $50,000 donation.
Today, a press conference was held regarding the project and community volunteers worked alongside members of the Brewers organization to build a new home in the Washington Park neighborhood. Ryan Braun, Mat Garza, Logan Schafer and Kyle Lohse exchanged their bats for hammers and were joined by Ron and Karen Roenicke; Brewers Wives Patty Iorg, Melissa Kintzler,Gail Narron, Sarah Lucroy, Kristin Duke, Nichole Bianchi, Katie Wooten, Janelise Maldonado, Jackie Caplinger & Kathleen Reynolds; and Cecelia Gore, executive director of Brewers Community Foundation.
“We are proud to be the lead sponsor of Habitat’s first Blitz Build of the year,” said Cecelia. “Since this partnership started, we have seen how much hard work these families put into building their homes, and also the joy and pride they feel when they become homeowners. We’re excited to be part of that again, and glad that we can provide this opportunity for more families in Milwaukee.
“It’s great to have the chance to give back to the Milwaukee community,” said Ryan. “I’m happy to continue partnering with Habitat for Humanity so that more families have the change to build homes and give their kids a safe place to grow up.”
This is really a great way for the Brewers to kick off “Beyond the Diamond.” It truly a team effort that includes Brewers players, staff and their families.
This Sunday, May 11, the Brewers take on the New York Yankees at 1:10pm and all-fans in attendance will receive our second all-fan giveaway of the season: the Kyle Lohse bobblehead, presented by Toyota.
The bobblehead is posed in his windup and features Lohse’s signature goatee…but not his signature tattoo, as he and his teammates were quick to point out.
Kyle Lohse has a large, distinctive tattoo that runs the length of right forearm up to his elbow, the site of a scar he has from forearm surgery he had in 2010.
Kyle told me that the feathered wing represents “a prayer for power and health,” while the baseball peeling back to reveal a globe underneath it is to remind him “that there is more to life than baseball.”
And so, while none of the Brewers bobbleheads feature any tattoos (for numerous reasons, as I am sure you can understand), this felt like a special case.
So, I enlisted the help of our extremely talented Senior Graphic Designer, Jeff Harding.
“So, ah, Jeff…how hard do you think it would be to draw a tattoo on a bobblehead?” I asked him casually.
“Pretty difficult,” he said. And, knowing me very well after working together for over six years, he followed that up with a suspicious look and a, “Why…what are you thinking?”
And so I explained.
“I’d need a photo of the tattoo,” he countered.
I showed him the photo I had already taken.
Jeff shook his head in defeat. “Okay, but no promises,” he warned.
But boy, did he deliver:
When I presented Kyle with the bobble today, I think he was pretty stoked:
He showed it to a couple of the other guys who thought it was a sticker. Nope. That’s ink, mirroring Kyle’s.
And sorry fans, that’s a special 1/1 limited edition bobble. All of the others to be given away this Sunday feature Kyle in his home white jersey.
By the way, for those of you scoring at home: This is the first bobblehead of Kyle’s career. Yes, the World Series Champion who was drafted in 1996, made his Major League debut in 2001, and has played in six Major League organizations has never before been immortalized in bobble form.
“I guess I finally made it,” he told me with a smile.
For the past few days, I’ve had the Kyle Lohse Bobblehead with me, with hopes of capturing videos of the players talking about it, such as this one from Brandon Kintzler:
Or fun photos of it around the ballpark, such as this one:
After taking the last photo, I was momentarily distracted when someone began talking to me. So, I walked a few steps away, leaving the bobblehead behind.
Kyle chose that moment to emerge from the Clubhouse, walked right over to his bobblehead and picked it up, asking loudly to anyone within earshot: “Um, excuse me….Why is this unattended?”
That’s because he knows that his teammates are just waiting for any opportunity to poke fun at, or play a joke on, him. But before you start to feel sorry for him… don’t.
He’d do the same to them in heartbeat.
It’s that kind of team with that kind of camaraderie, that kind of chemistry. They’re playing great baseball together and having fun–on and off the field.
And so, to further illustrate my point…. this is what happens when you leave promo items unattended in the dugout… in this case, a Kyle Lohse “face-on-a-stick” courtesy of Associated Bank (you can pick one of these up at Miller Park on the Field Level concourse down the first-base side) and this Sunday’s bobble, courtesy of Toyota.
Now we’re down to the Final Four (On Wisconsin!), so we thought we’d post the updated brackets here so you can follow along with Brew Crew Bracketology below and see how their picks are “netting” out.
As you can see, even Hank and Bernie Brewer got in on the fun and Bernie has even correctly picked 3 of the Final Four! He’s got Wisconsin in the National Championship game, so let’s hope he’s right!
If you’ll notice, I filled out a bracket, too. Although I’m a Marquette girl and I’m bummed they aren’t in it, I am cheering Wisconsin on loudly and I really do love the excitement of this time of year–both on the basketball and baseball fronts.
Bracket busted? Never fear. Brewers season is underway!
As we noted last week when Brandon Kintzler served as batboy for the Brewers vs. Royals Exhibition Game at Miller Park… a bet is a bet.
And, while Kyle Lohse may have won the bet on his golf match against Brandon, he wasn’t quite so lucky earlier this spring when he took on Will Smith, Tyler Thornburg and yours truly.
Gather around, kids. This is the story of how Kyle Lohse joined Twitter.
Yes, you read that right. You can now follow Kyle on Twitter: @KyleLohse26 and we suggest you do—be sure to tweet him your messages using #WelcomeKyle, too! Maybe we can even get him trending.
It all started when I went down to Phoenix for Spring Training with the idea of writing stories on what players do with free time in Arizona. Having noticed many of the players tweeting about playing golf, and being a lover of the sport myself, I decided that might be something fun to cover for the blog and our social media sites. I asked a couple of guys about it but was pointed in the same direction each time: “You have to talk to Kyle,” they said.
I started doing a little research and realized that, in addition to being a championship-caliber pitcher, he’s also a heck of a golfer. In 2009, he even made Golf Digest’s list of “150 Top Athlete Golfers,” coming in tied at #33 (with Wisconsin’s own Dan Jansen, oddly enough) and in 2011, he was named one of TotalProSports.com’s list of “11 Best Pro Athlete Golfers,” coming in at #9. He started playing when he was about 19, taking up the sport as something to do in the offseason. He is completely self-taught; he’s never had a lesson and he’s basically a scratch golfer. His lowest score was a 67 at TPC Scottsdale.
So, I talked to Kyle and he was open to playing a round of golf for the good of social media. Little did he know just how much social media he’d ultimately be in for!
All that was left was to come up with some sort of challenge/stakes, as Kyle said, his first hint of smack talk emerging, “to make it interesting so I don’t get bored.”
Now, I’m an avid golfer, but nowhere near Lohse level, so in order to be fair, we decided to set some parameters.
In the past, he’d challenged some of his teammates, with a couple of guys teaming up and playing a scramble against his individual score, so we decided that Will, Tyler and I would play a team scramble format against Kyle’s individual score. It was also match play, meaning we would take our team score against Kyle’s on each hole to determine who “won the hole.” We would not be given any strokes.
“I think that if we beat you, you should have to join Twitter,” I suggested, fitting since not only am I the Director of New Media for the Club and referred to affectionately (I hope) as “Twitter Girl,” but Will and Tyler are also both avid users of Twitter themselves.
“Okay, fine, sure I’ll join Twitter,” Kyle said, shrugging it off. I could tell he didn’t think he’d have to worry about it.
As for Kyle’s bet with Will and Tyler, they agreed upon dinner as their bet—steaks as the stakes.
And with all of that squared away, we were off.
On the first hole, a par 4, our group got off to a hot start with a birdie and Kyle made par; however, we gave that right back with Kyle making a birdie on the second hole.
On the third hole, a par 5, we caught a break—Kyle made a bogey!—but then he quickly made up for it a couple holes later, sticking a shot on the 5th hole, a par 3, within a foot of the pin.
In Kyle’s mind, the 6th hole was a turning point in the match. He said that the fact that I “outdrove” him didn’t bother him as much as the approach shots: “I think if I remember, we had about 151-yds in [Cait’s note: He had 151, we had 150.] and I was hitting a knockdown 9-iron and you were hitting your 3-wood. You got it on the green, which was huge because Thorny hit a line-drive over the green and Will hit his about 7-yds, so I thought I was looking pretty good there, but then you stepped up and put it on the green. That was a clutch hole for you.”
Both “teams” made par on the 6th, but then Kyle birdied the 7th hole to take his first lead of the day… However, then I came through on the 8th hole, another par 3, hitting a great shot that rivaled Kyle’s on 5:
Will and Tyler let me do the honors. I sank the birdie putt, bringing the match back to even.
“You know there was a string of holes where, if you weren’t there, the boys would have fallen further behind than they were at the time. That one kind of stopped my momentum,” Kyle conceded. “It came down to that and me not making birdie on the next hole when I had 90-yds in on a par 5. I hit it about 5-yds too long and ended up making par, but that’s the kind of stuff that ends up happening out there on the course.”
If Kyle’s ball had landed on the green, there’s a good chance he would have made birdie on #9.
We remained all square through 9.
Then, we made the turn.
We had fun with the GoPro in Spring Training and we even brought it out on the course with us. Here are drives by Lohse, Thornburg and Smith on #10, both at regular speeds and in slo-mo.
The guys even tested out the GoPro, taking this video of one of my shots.
Kyle started off the back with a bogey. He also made bogey on #12. Our team was able to hang in there, making pars during that stretch, and matching Kyle on holes 13-16, but we couldn’t get any more birdies to drop to put him away.
As we neared the end of the round, we started talking about what we’d do if we ended up tied—a chip-off? Putting challenge? Extra holes?
Fortunately, we didn’t need to worry about that. On the 17th, a short par 3 over water, both teams made par on the hole and the match reached dormie—Team Will, Tyler & Cait was two up with one to play and had effectively won the match.
“It always feels good to take down the best,” Tyler said. “Sometimes you have to knock them down a notch. You (Cait) really picked us up on a few holes and were always there for mental support.”
Here was Will’s reaction:
As for Kyle? He was a gracious loser, sticking around for the final hole and a post-round interview.
“I was kind of disappointed. I played well in our round. Really you’re asking kind of the impossible, to beat three people in a scramble, in match play. I think I had you guys in strokes,” Kyle said. “But I could go home at the end of the day and not be upset about that, knowing that I took on three people and almost pulled off the impossible.”
And, when he returned to Milwaukee, he also held up his end of the bargain, and joined the Twitterverse.
“I’m not real happy about the reason why it is happening, but it will be interesting. I’ve never been in on any form of social media, so we’ll see how it goes,” Kyle told me today, after signing up for his account.
“Hopefully sarcasm comes through very well because I have a dry sense of humor and I’m sarcastic at times, so we’ll see what I’ve got.”
When I asked him what he plans to tweet about it, he said, “The random things that go on in the everyday life of a baseball player, I just want to keep it kind of light and fun, or try to anyways.”
As for his bet with Tyler and Will? “I still owe them dinner. We talked about it. We’ll find a good time.”
It was a lot of fun out there on the course, getting to know these guys a little better away from the field. They were relaxed and having a good time.
However, now that the season is underway, there won’t be much (if any) time for golf, but we can all look forward to following Kyle and the rest of the Brewers on Twitter this season. Stay tuned for insights into their day-to-day lives, interesting anecdotes and playful banter among teammates; for a complete Brewers Twitter Roster, visit brewers.com/connect.
Looks like Kyle made good on the other half of his bet to Tyler and Will last night! A true man of his word, indeed.
A bet is a bet. And Brandon Kintzler lost one to Kyle Lohse. That’s why he’s the batboy for tonight’s Exhibition Game at Miller Park vs the Kansas City Royals.
“I’m not nervous at all,” Brandon said. “Whatever entertains the guys to kick off the year. And I can’t wear big-league stuff. I have to wear my own jersey so everyone knows it’s me. In Rookie Ball, you have to batboy, so I have experience. I know to watch the umpire, watch what he needs. I’m probably going to get really tired; it will be my conditioning for the day.”
So what are the events that lead up to this? I sat down with both Brandon and Kyle individually to get both sides of the story, and, okay, I’ll admit it–stir the pot a little. Read on.
You see, it all started in Spring Training at Bob Uecker’s Front Row Classic, when Brandon was in the winning group:
“After that… He popped off that he was just as good as me,” said Kyle, who is basically a scratch golfer and well-known for his golfing prowess in the clubhouse. “He didn’t back down from a one-on-one challenge. Leading up to it, he was even talking smack about how he out-drives me and maybe I might need strokes. I was like ‘Alright. Whatever. Pick a course, we’ll go play it.’ I wanted to be fair, so we picked a course that I hadn’t played, didn’t know anything about,” he said.
“We wanted a course that we hadn’t played,” Brandon confirmed. And that’s how they landed at Moon Valley Country Club. “I had heard it’s a long, tough course, a lot of target golf.”
Of course, after all of the buildup to the match, they had to put some stakes on it.
“I wouldn’t agree to a bunch of bets, so at the end he said–and I think he was joking–‘loser batboys Exhibition Game‘ and I said, ‘Okay, I’ll do that,” Brandon said. “Last time I played with him at his course, he beat me by one hole, and by like two strokes, so it wasn’t like it was going to be an unfair match.”
But this time, their match was not as close. Kyle ended up winning by 11 strokes, shooting a 74 to Brandon’s 85.
“It was definitely my chipping. And sand. I probably gave 8 strokes away from chipping and sand alone,” Brandon lamented. He also chalked it up to a lot of “bad luck.”
“There was one drive where we both hit in the fairway, but mine bounced left into the sand trap. It was literally two feet from his ball. I had a lot of bad luck,” Brandon, who played competitive Junior Golf a little as a teen, explained.
“You know old guys gotta get luck,” he continued, taking a not-so-subtle dig at Kyle, who is 35-years old and six years older than him.
“I outdrive him so, he’s gotta get luck. He needed all the luck he could get….Make sure you put that in there,” he added.
“And Kyle was really nice during the round,” he continued. ” He knows I had a lot of bad luck and he had some good luck, but then he shows up to the field and makes it sound like I was terrible. He even brought in a Championship belt. He said he crushed me, but they don’t know about the round before. He’s just mad because I have the Bob Uecker title. He’s a totally different person on the course and off the course.”
Kyle refutes this. “I show up, I don’t know anything about the course, just like he doesn’t… and I beat him by 11 strokes. There’s not a lot of bad luck that happens when you’re on the fairways or greens, right? So when you’re constantly off the fairways and off the greens, I don’t know if you call that bad luck, or not being able to keep the ball in play. There are two ways you can look at it.”
“I got a couple grays in my beard,” he continued, “But you know, it is what it is. Older, wiser, better? I don’t know. My 74 could have been like a 68 if I had made some other putts. I didn’t miss too many greens. I went into it with prior experience, beating another guy on the team, another ‘young fella’–[Johnny] Hellweg. He popped off about my golf game… I gave him 20 strokes and I beat him by 41 so I went into it knowing…. With Brandon, the third hole was when I knew it was over because it was a driving hole, a par-4, even for me, a ‘short hitter,’ so I hit 3-iron. Just wanted to keep it in play. He hits driver, got lucky that it was in play, then had to play a shot under and through a tree, ended up in a bunker, went from that bunker to 60-yds past the green into a fairway bunker and from that bunker back into the same bunker he was just in, you know, so I knew then that experience was going to carry me through the match.”
As for the belt? Kyle tells me it serves a dual purpose. “I went to the store and picked up a little belt so I could make sure he knew I was the champ, but we have card games in the clubhouse and we have a champion of the day. From now on, that person will get the belt.”
“I think of it like back in the day when Tiger dominated,” Kyle told me. “You know, whenever he was in that final group, everyone kind of wilted around him? It was kind of the same thing. That’s what happened to Hellweg and I knew that if I just kept the ball in play–I don’t care if I get outdriven–I’m gonna keep it in play and put it on the green. Not too many bad things can happen when you do that.”
And, long story short, that is how Brandon Kintzler ended up as a batboy for tonight’s game.
But still, Brandon wants a chance at redemption: “I will get a rematch at some point,” he said.
Kyle is not so sure.
“What happens in boxing when the champ defends his title? Do they automatically give a rematch to the other guy, or does he have to fight a few more battles and work his way back up? The way I look at it, he got knocked out in the first round, he’s been knocked way down in status. I’m not even sure he’s third or fourth best golfer on the team right now with the play he put out. After he works his way up, he can challenge me again, but it’s going to be awhile.”
Speaking of challenges… in his interview tonight, Kyle failed to mention another golf match that took place earlier in Spring Training down in Arizona. We’ll have more on that to come here on the blog.
Even Hank and Bernie Brewer got in on the fun!
As the next round begins on Thursday, we thought we’d post the updated brackets here so you can follow along with Brew Crew Bracketology below and see how their picks are “netting” out.
If you’ll notice, I filled out a bracket, too. Although I’m a Marquette girl and I’m bummed they aren’t in it, I do love the excitement of this time of year–both on the basketball and baseball fronts.
Bracket busted? Never fear. Opening Day (true March Madness!) is just 6 days away!