Results tagged ‘ Matt Garza ’

Yoga a “Om” Run with Brewers Players This Season

If you’ve been following us on social media, you are probably aware that, leading up to the past two seasons, the Brewers training staff has been incorporating yoga sessions into the players’ various workouts during Spring Training.

Well, this year, that practice extended beyond Spring Training and was added as optional weekly or biweekly workout sessions during each homestand.

“The mental part of baseball is so big. Having these guys experience an opportunity of how to calm their minds when they’re doing active movements is probably the biggest reason,” said Major League Strength and Conditioning Specialist Josh Seligman, who explained why he believes yoga is an important part of the mix.  “Then there’s obviously the secondary reason, which is flexibility when the muscle is under tension. It also kind of mixes it up for them and takes them out of their normal system. So, just the comprehensiveness of it. It’s also low-impact, so over a long season, it provides that recovery as well.”

Although optional, several players have seen and felt such great benefits that they have become devoted to a regular practice led by local yoga expert and studio owner, Pamela Bliss.

Instructor Pamela Bliss leads some members of the Crew through a yoga practice on the field.

Instructor Pamela Bliss leads some members of the Crew through a yoga practice on the field.

Bliss began her yoga practice 17 years ago when she became chronically ill, was in chronic pain, and didn’t know where else to turn.

“Yoga saved my life,” Bliss said. “Everything that was previously wrong has been healed. Honestly, what I can do today is a direct result of the practice. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually—I’m a different human being because of yoga. Without my practice, I don’t know how I would manage and balance it all.”

And when Bliss says balance “it all,” she means it. In addition to working with the Crew, she owns  YogAsylum, a premier studio in Brookfield where she not only runs the business, but also teaches classes and runs a yoga teacher training program. Oh, and she recently acquired the Milwaukee School of Massage as well. Bliss’s credentials are impressive. She holds an M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology with concentration studies in Ecopsychology; and degrees in Nursing, Yoga, and Ecology. Bliss is also a meditation CD artist, intuitive medium, and inspirational speaker who presents at conferences internationally.

This week, I was fortunate to attend one of Bliss’s sessions to see what the guys are up to and chat with them and Bliss about the benefits of yoga—particularly as it relates to baseball and the players’ performance on the field.

“To me, the list of benefits is endless, but also measurable, because you do see a clear difference,” Bliss said. “Yoga is very experiential. You have to do it in order to receive its benefits. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it, so consistency is very important.”

In the 45-minute sessions for the Crew, Bliss mixes it up for the players. For example, the session I attended included traditional hatha, along with vinyasa flow, and some yin poses (longer holds) incorporated toward the end.

There is something extra-calming about practicing yoga barefoot in the outfield, as well as gazing up to this view in your poses.

There is something extra-calming about practicing yoga barefoot in the outfield, as well as gazing up to this view in your poses.

“For the guys, we work on addressing the six directions of the spine, strengthening the core, and really focusing on the hips,” Bliss explained. “By watching their movements, I clearly see the need for and benefit from hip openers, so those are things I make sure we work on every time.”

Bliss works with a wide range of individuals—all walks of life and all abilities—but she says working with baseball players is definitely unique.

“The first time I went down to Spring Training was to get an idea of what the players needed and see how I could help. I have to say it was the first time I had been in a yoga practice where sunflower seeds were being spit and there was all this chatter,” Bliss said with a laugh. “I knew then this was going to be an interesting process!  But everyone has been super receptive, super grateful, and the coaches are really happy about it…I know everyone really appreciates it.”

Pitcher Carlos Torres, who is among the regulars in Bliss’s sessions, is a big proponent of yoga as part of his extensive workout routine.

“There are different types of exercise that every team offers. Some of them will even go as far as ballet for agility and stuff like that, but yoga is one that team-to-team–while not every team is going to provide it–every team recommends it,” Torres said.

“As athletes, we’re taught to lift a lot of weights, we’re taught to be strong, we’re taught to be a lot of things, but you have to have strength within that flexibility and if you don’t, it’s useless strength,” he explained. “What yoga does is it builds that strength within that flexibility to actually translate your power that you’ve been working on the entire time to what it is you’re trying to do. For pitchers, it’s throw a ball. For some guys it’s hit, or steal bags and whatnot…. I hope that all teams provide it because I think it’s very beneficial to everybody.”

Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis agrees; he likes the balance that yoga brings to his routine.

“It’s such a long season. We’re active everyday and, swinging as much as we do, that’s hard on your body. Yoga is really good for recovery and just limbering up and staying healthy,” he said. “If I go a few weeks without going, I can definitely feel it. In the offseason, it’s something that I have been trying to implement a little bit more over the last few years and it’s helped, so I think that it’s definitely a good thing.”

Corey Knebel‘s wife Danielle is a certified yoga instructor, so the pitcher is very familiar with the practice, which he has typically incorporated on his own during the offseason.

“This is the first year we’ve done it during the season. For me, I’m really tight. My hips are always tight, my legs are always tight, so it’s good to feel pretty flexible. I feel a big difference this year with it,” Knebel said.

Bliss helps pitcher Corey Knebel perfect his alignment.

Bliss helps pitcher Corey Knebel perfect his alignment.

And, while pitcher Matt Garza also says he reaps the benefits of flexibility, he enjoys the meditative side of the practice as well.

“I do yoga because it helps me control my breathing, it helps me get that under grasp. The stretching part is awesome. It really helps you get deep into stretches,” Garza said. “It used to be the stronger you are in the game, the better you are. It’s now how flexible you are. The more flexible you are, the better you can be in position and play your position. But I mainly like it because of the calming nature of the workout.”

Bliss added, “A lot of times people in general say, ‘It’s just physical,’ but it’s so far beyond that. In order to transcend the physical, you have to put in consistent effort — to invest in yourself to be your very best; what could be more important? That’s where these guys really get it and that’s what got them here; they are all in—that’s what makes this a lot of fun for me. It’s also a huge honor for me.”

And, as someone who is personally devoted to yoga, I was honored to share in this practice with Bliss and members of the Crew, if only for a day. Namaste!

-Cait

@CMoyer

Fun Had By All at Brewers Bowl-A-Thon

Tonight, fans joined Matt Garza and his fellow teammates for the Brewers Bowl-A-Thon, a unique opportunity to pal around on the pins with Brewers players, all while helping raise money for Meta House, a nationally recognized, gender-responsive substance abuse treatment program dedicated to helping women through the progression of recovery.

MB-15_Bowl A Thon-Logo

The event took place at JB’s on 41 and in addition to Matt Garza, the host of the event, among those in attendance were: Scooter Gennett,  Hernan Perez, Keon Broxton, Jonathan Villar, Jacob Barnes, Chase Anderson, Jimmy Nelson, Carlos Torres, Jhan Marinez, Zach Davies, Corey Knebel, Michael Blazek and Bullpen Catcher Marcus Hanel.

Keon Broxton‘s team took home first place overall at the event, while Scooter Gennett had the high score among the Brewers players with a 159 and Corey Knebel had the lowest score of a 71.

A lot of the fun was documented on our Snapchat account, so be sure to add ‘Brewers’ so you don’t miss out! We also ran a Facebook Live stream over on Facebook.

In addition, there were many items included in a silent auction to raise additional money for Meta House, including a special batting practice experience, a Jimmy Nelson autographed jersey, a Bernie’s Slide Experience and more.

Meta House has been blazing new trails in women’s substance abuse treatment since their doors opened in 1963. The agency is noted as one of the first residential treatment facilities in the country designed specifically for women. In 1988, Meta House became one of the first substance abuse treatment centers to include children in the residential setting. Meta House ends the generational cycle of addiction by healing women and strengthening families.

-Cait

@CMoyer

UPDATED 8/26/2016 Brewers Walk-Up & Entrance Music

For players, the song they choose for their walk-up or entrance music is often an important decision. What brief part of a song is going to send a message to the fans—and what do I want that message to be? Do I keep the same song that I had last year? What’s the hit that is going to produce the most hits? Is it a superstitious thing, do I want fans to sing along, or do I just use my favorite song right now?

If you’re like me and you’re attuned to the tunes, you probably enjoy seeing this list each year—and updating your iPod playlists accordingly.

DID YOU KNOW? Make sure you download the free Ballpark App! In addition to check-in offers, ballpark maps, game updates and more, one of the really cool features is “Ballpark Music.” Like a song you hear? Check it out on Ballpark–and you can even download it right there! No Shazam necessary!

Ballpark App Music

2016 AT-BAT WALK-UP MUSIC

Anderson – “Lights Come On” by Jason Aldean

Arcia – “Guaya Guaya” by Don Omar

Braun – “Back on Road” by Gucci Mane ft. Drake

Broxton “Too Much Sauce” by Future

“Faded” by ZHU

Carter – “Mr. Carter” by Lil Wayne

Davies – “It’s Tricky” by Run DMC

Elmore – “Still Fly” by Drake and Page

 

Gennett – “Live your Life” by TI and Rihanna

Maldonado –“Shaky Shaky” by Daddy Yankee

“Plante Bandera” by Pusho

Middlebrooks– “Father Stretch my Hands” by Kayne West           

Nieuwenhuis “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner” by Crowder

Nelson – “Like We Own the Place” by Ryan Caraveo

Perez – “Pepe” by Tito el Bambino

Pina – “Vaiven” by Daddy Yankee

Santana – “Se Acabaron los Hombres” by Tempo

Villar – “Wicked” by Future

“Corazon de Seda” by Ozuna

 

2016 PITCHING ENTRANCE MUSIC

Anderson –“Til the Day I Die” by tobyMac

Boyer – “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith

Davies–  “Bulls on Parade” by Rage against the Machine

Garza – “All Eyez on Me” by Tupac

Knebel – “Life in the Fast Lane” by The Eagles

Marinez –  “Vengo De Atras en Vivo” by Omega El Fuerte

Nelson – “What Are You Waiting For” by Disturbed

Peralta – The New Day Theme song from WWE

 

[Please note that these songs can change almost daily; I’ll try to keep this list as updated as possible!]

The song played after wins this season is “Good to Be Alive” by Andy Grammer.

And, in case you weren’t aware, in addition to Ballpark, we do keep a list of these songs on brewers.com and try our best to update it accordingly, so you might want to bookmark this page for future reference.

So now, what about you? What’s your favorite, or most memorable Brewers at-bat song? And, if you were a player, what song might you choose as yours?

-CAIT

@CMoyer

Garza Looking Forward to Brewers Bowl-a-Thon on Sunday

This Sunday, Brewers fans will join Matt Garza and his teammates for the Brewers Bowl-A-Thon. Participants will enjoy a unique opportunity to pal around on the pins with their favorite Brewers players, all while helping raise money for Meta House, a nationally recognized, gender-responsive substance abuse treatment program dedicated to helping women through the progression of recovery.

After last year’s fun-filled event, Matt Garza is really looking forward to Sunday.

Matt Garza's pretty good for bowling with his left hand!

Matt Garza’s pretty good for bowling with his left hand!

“The turnout was great and the feedback from everybody there was that they had a great time. It was just fun to see the players with their hair down and letting loose. I think the fans had a great time beating their favorite players, so that’s cool,” Garza said.

With a lot of new faces set to take to the lanes this time around, I asked Garza who he thought might be the best bowler on this year’s team.

“I don’t know. That’s a good question… (Michael) Blazek is someone who is kind of sneaky, but he is returning,” he said. “Out of new guys, I might give it to Jake Elmore. He looks like it could be a trait for him, a tool in his back pocket. He does everything on the field, so maybe he’s an avid bowler.”

As for the worst bowler? Matt says it will probably be him, since he will be bowling left-handed to protect his pitching arm.

But that’s okay because it’s all about having fun and raising money for a great cause: Meta House.

Meta House has been blazing new trails in women’s substance abuse treatment since their doors opened in 1963. The agency is noted as one of the first residential treatment facilities in the country designed specifically for women. In 1988, Meta House became one of the first substance abuse treatment centers to include children in the residential setting. Meta House ends the generational cycle of addiction by healing women and strengthening families.

“It’s huge to me. Children are our future and without the women to take care of them, there’s no reason to even be around. We need strong women to raise strong children–and strong daughters to carry on what we’re trying to build here in our near future. With six kids, I want other kids to have the same opportunities they have and have the same emotional state of mind and not be disrupted by abuse. I like what Meta House does and I’ve always been a huge advocate,” Garza said.

I’ll be there Sunday, so hopefully I’ll see many of you on the lanes! Otherwise, check back to the blog for fun photos and videos from the event.

 

 

Fun Had By All at Brewers Block Party

The Brewers Block Party was held today at Village Park in Elm Grove.

The event featured games and activities for the whole family, as well as appearances from Brewers players and coaches, Bernie Brewer and the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages™. Free hot dogs, soda and potato chips (compliments of Klement’s, Pepsi and Sportservice, respectively) were provided for the first 500 people and the Brewers Treat Truck and merchandise trailer were also be on hand for the festivities.

Here’s a slideshow from the event, courtesy of Brewers Photographer Scott Paulus:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Coaches Darnell Coles and Ed Sedar, along with Brewers alum Jim Gantner and Brewers players Matt Garza, Chris Carter, Jonathan Villar, Carlos Torres, Jacob Barnes, Jeremy Jeffress and Jhan Marinez arrived around 11:45 a.m. and participated in a Q&A session hosted by Brewers radio personality Lane Grindle, followed by an autograph session for the first 1,000 attendees. Fans were also treated to trivia questions for the chance to win prizes.

 

This marks the sixth season that the Brewers have hosted the event, and the first time since 2011.

-Cait

@CMoyer

Fun Times Had at the “Koos for Kids” Event at Hitters Baseball Academy

Tonight, following the Brewers-Padres game, many Brewers players and coaches headed over to the Hitters Baseball Academy in Racine to take part in a special event benefiting bullpen catcher and Racine native Marcus Hanel’s charity–and raised over $55,000 in the process.

Marcus has always had a desire to help children and so, about 12 years ago, he formed “Koos for Kids,” a charity focusing on helping terminally ill and disadvantaged children in the area.

Fans attending tonight’s event received dinner, autographs from Brewers players, entertainment from the Jesse White Tumblers, and the opportunity to participate in auctions and raffles. Of course proceeds from the event went to the Koos for Kids organization, where they are used to give back to the community. 

Over the years, Koos for Kids has been able to help numerous terminally ill children by purchasing them laptops, iPads, zoo passes, airline tickets, animals…whatever it might be that makes their days a little brighter.

Hanel was also excited to announce that Koos for Kids is offering a scholarship program: “ We’ll be giving $2500 each for college to two kids of need in Racine. They will get an opportunity to advance and go to school. It’s a pretty cool thing so we’re excited to implement that.”

Here are some photos from tonight’s event:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Koos for Kids has also purchased over 3000 winter coats for disadvantaged children in the local area, as well as organized and run the Challenger Baseball League, where over 60 children with special needs can come and be part of a team and learn the game of baseball.  And there are countless other ways they have helped the local community, thanks to the support of many businesses and caring individuals.

To learn more about Koos for Kids, keep informed of upcoming events and find out how you can help, click here.

-Cait

@CMoyer

 

JOIN MATT GARZA AT THE BREWERS BOWL-A-THON

The Milwaukee Brewers invite fans to join Matt Garza and his teammates for the Brewers Bowl-A-Thon on Sunday, August 14. Participants will enjoy a unique opportunity to pal around on the pins with their favorite Brewers players, all while helping raise money for Meta House, a nationally recognized, gender-responsive substance abuse treatment program dedicated to helping women through the progression of recovery.

Last year’s event was fun-filled and tickets went fast, so you’ll want to be sure to secure your spot now.

There are several packages from which to choose for interested participants, from the simple “Dug-Out Ticket,” which includes admission to the event and complimentary appetizers and beverages, to the “Grand Slam Sponsor Package.” The Grand Slam package includes a bowling lane for up to five guests, shoe rental, sponsorship opportunities, T-shirts, a VIP reception and much more. It also includes five field level tickets to a future Brewers home game and an opportunity to watch the Brewers take batting practice on the field. To top it all off, Matt Garza will take a picture with the group at their lane.

Other great packages such as the “Brew Crew” and “The Batter” include unique prizes and features, all while helping raise money for a worthy cause.

Meta House has been blazing new trails in women’s substance abuse treatment since their doors opened in 1963. The agency is noted as one of the first residential treatment facilities in the country designed specifically for women. In 1988, Meta House became one of the first substance abuse treatment centers to include children in the residential setting. Meta House ends the generational cycle of addiction by healing women and strengthening families.

For more information on the Brewers Bowl-A-Thon, visit Brewers.com/bowling or call (414) 902-4532.

Comedians Visit Miller Park

Comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, along with fellow comics Martin Moreno, Alfred Robles, and G. Reilly, came out to Miller Park early this afternoon to take a little batting practice and to meet with some of the Brewers players and coaches.

Iglesias, who was not at all camera shy, documented the afternoon with photos, video, tweets and Snapchats, much to my pleasure as Director of New Media:

Here are some additional photos from their afternoon at the ballpark:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Iglesias, who also has a show called ‘Fluffy Breaks Even’ on Fuse, is in town for three shows at the Riverside (last night, tonight and tomorrow) and Coach Pat Murphy raised a good question:

For those of you scoring at home, Iglesias also joined us on the field for a first pitch back in 2014:

Everyone from the group was so kind and seemed to have a really great time. It was nice to get the chance meet them and spend some time with them this afternoon.  Good luck with the shows!

-Cait

@CMoyer

It’s National Look-alike Day: Let’s Look at Brewers Doppelgängers

April 20 is National Look-alike Day, so it’s fitting that we’re playing the Twins tonight.

In honor of this “holiday,”I also surveyed some of the Brewers to find out if they ever get told that they look like someone else, or if they think another teammate looks like someone else. Here’s what I uncovered.

I started by approaching the Brewers bullpen as a whole. “Question for you guys. ‘Look-alike Day’ is next week, so I was just curious if any of you ever get told you look like anoth….” I barely got the question out when everyone began pointing at Michael Blazek, who they think bears a striking resemblance to Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals.

Michael Blazek Bryce Harper

Blazek said he has also been told he reminds some people of Kevin Bacon; I also mentioned that to me he looks a bit like Michael C. Hall as “Dexter.”

Corey Knebel Colt McCoy

Turns out Blazek wasn’t the only one in the bullpen who has been told he has a double. Corey Knebel looks a bit like the QB for the Washington Redskins (and fellow University of Texas alum) Colt McCoy, whereas Jeremy Jeffress gets likened to Paul Pierce of the Los Angeles Clippers.

I next approached Scooter Gennett who told me, “No one. I’m one of a kind!” Yes. Yes, he certainly is:

Pitcher Taylor Jungmann has said he’s been asked to sign a Tyler Thornburg card once or twice.  “I’m like ‘Look at the height on the card!'” said Jungmann, who at 6’6″ tall has a good 7″ on Thornburg.

Domingo Santana Tracy McGrady

While Kirk Nieuwenhuis said that he doesn’t think he himself looks like anyone, he does think Domingo Santana looks a bit like retired NBA player Tracy McGrady.

And in talking to Chase Anderson, he told me that’s gotten compared to Will Ferrell in the past. I never would’ve thought that until he mentioned it, but now that he’s said it, I can see the resemblance in his smile and eyes.

Matt Garza Count

Of course most Brewers fans are already aware of the more than striking resemblance pitcher Matt Garza bears to the Count from Sesame Street… so much so that it spawned the Count Garza Gnome Giveaway last season.

“I get ‘the guy from the All-State commercials,'” first baseman Chris Carter responded when I surveyed him. That “guy” is Dennis Haysbert, who also played Pedro Cerrano in the movie Major League for those of you scoring at home.

And last but not least, ever since the Club introduced David Stearns as our new GM last fall, fans have been quick to point out that he looks quite similar to a certain 6x Brewers All-Star.

“I got Andy Pettitte a lot when I was in New York and now it’s been Ryan Braun since I’ve been here,” Stearns said with a chuckle.

GM David Stearns and OF Ryan Braun were kind enough to pose for this photo, giving fans the side by side they've been craving.

GM David Stearns and OF Ryan Braun were kind enough to pose for this photo, so fans can compare them side by side.

So, there you have it. Some Brewers doppelgängers in honor of National Look-alike Day. Do you agree with these assessments? Think there’s one we missed? Do you ever get mistaken for a celebrity or athlete (or at least compared to one)? Let me know in the comments below!

As for me, I’ve been told that I look a bit like Renee Zellweger or Leann Rimes. Not sure I really see either one, but they are both lovely ladies, so I’ll take it as a compliment.

Cheers!
-Cait

@CMoyer

 

 

UPDATED 7/22/16: 2016 Brewers Walk-Up & Entrance Music

For players, the song they choose for their walk-up or entrance music is often an important decision. What brief part of a song is going to send a message to the fans—and what do I want that message to be? Do I keep the same song that I had last year? What’s the hit that is going to produce the most hits? Is it a superstitious thing, do I want fans to sing along, or do I just use my favorite song right now?

If you’re like me and you’re attuned to the tunes, you probably enjoy seeing this list each year—and updating your iPod playlists accordingly.

DID YOU KNOW? Make sure you download the free Ballpark App! In addition to check-in offers, ballpark maps, game updates and more, one of the really cool features is “Ballpark Music.” Like a song you hear? Check it out on Ballpark–and you can even download it right there! No Shazam necessary!

Ballpark App Music

2016 AT-BAT WALK-UP MUSIC

Anderson – “Til the day I die” by TobyMac

Braun – “Back on Road” by Gucci Mane ft. Drake

Broxton – “Truffle Butter” by Nicki Minaj

Carter – “Mr. Carter” by Lil Wayne

Davies-“Machinehead” by Bush

Elmore – “Still Fly” by Drake and Page

Flores –“Salida” by Ramon Jr.

Razor Theme Song from WWE

Gennett – “Tear it down” by KBn

Hill – “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix

Jungmann – “Y.M.C.A” by the Village People

Lucroy –“Blasphemy” by Bring Me the Horizon

Maldonado –“Shaky Shaky” by Daddy Yankee

“Plante Bandera” by Pusho

Middlebrooks– “Father Stretch my Hands” by Kayne West           

Nieuwenhuis “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner” by Crowder

Nelson – “Like We Own the Place” by Ryan Caraveo

Perez – “Pepe” by Tito el Bambino

Presley – “Epic” by Faith No More

 

Santana – “Sigo Arriba” by Jay the Prince ft. Jose Reyes

Villar – “Alerta Roja” by Daddy Yankee

“Tu No Te Emboracha” by Hega the Way

 

2016 PITCHING ENTRANCE MUSIC

Anderson – “Neverland” by Andy Mineo

Davies– “Machinehead” by Bush

Garza – “All Eyez on Me” by Tupac

Jeffress – “Jersey” by Future

Knebel – “Life in the Fast Lane” by The Eagles

Nelson – “What are you waiting for” by Disturbed

Peralta – “De Papa a Papa” by Secreto and El Famoso and Lapiz Conciente

Smith –“Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent

[Please note that these songs can change almost daily; I’ll try to keep this list as updated as possible!]

The song played after wins this season is “Good to Be Alive” by Andy Grammer.

And, in case you weren’t aware, in addition to Ballpark, we do keep a list of these songs on brewers.com and try our best to update it accordingly, so you might want to bookmark this page for future reference.

So now, what about you? What’s your favorite, or most memorable Brewers at-bat song? And, if you were a player, what song might you choose as yours?

-CAIT

@CMoyer

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 547 other followers

%d bloggers like this: