Results tagged ‘ Michael Blazek ’
It was a busy morning at Miller Park today as the annual “PLAY Campaign” visited Miller Park giving some local Little Leaguers a memory of a lifetime. Sponsored by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) and the Taylor Hooten Foundation, the goal of the clinic was to educate local youth about how important it is to live healthy and active lives.
Michael Blazek, members of the Brewers Athletic Training staff, Don Hooton, Jr., and over 100 kids from local Little Leagues spent the morning at Miller Park taking part in drills, learning about the proper nutrition needed to compete and the dangers of performance enhancing drugs. The kids were also given positive messages about making healthy decisions and living a more active and healthy lifestyle.
Milwaukee is a yearly stop on the “PLAY” tour and event organizers love coming here because of the enthusiasm of the kids and the organization’s cooperation. Brewers Director – Medical Operations Roger Caplinger and Head Athletic Trainer Dan Wright have consistently played a big part in making sure the kids have a memorable experience with the campaign. “PLAY” was formed in 2004 to raise awareness about children’s health issues and the obesity epidemic in the United States. The Taylor Hooton Foundation joined PLAY in 2008 to merge its anti-steroid education message and generate awareness about one of the fastest growing drugs in America.
A special thanks to Caplinger, Wright, Brewers Strength and Conditioning Coach Josh Seligman; Brewers Assistant Athletic Trainers Dave Yaeger & Kevan Creighton of the Brewers Athletic Training Staff, Don Hooten, Jr. of the Taylor Hooten Foundation, and Joey Vandever of the Henry Schein Cares Foundation, and Erika Bowring of the Brewers Community Relations Department and the parents of the kids who participated in today’s event for making this day so special for the kids involved.
About the PLAY Campaign
Created in 2004 by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS), the PLAY (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth) campaign was formed to raise awareness about children’s health issues and the obesity epidemic in the United States. PLAY has conducted more than 200 events inside all 30 Major-League ballparks, reaching tens of thousands of America’s young people with positive messages about making healthy decisions and living a more active and healthy lifestyle. The PLAY campaign is made possible by the generous support and participation of Major League Baseball Charities, the Taylor Hooton Foundation and the Henry Schein Cares Foundation.
PLAY is a national public awareness campaign of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) in conjunction with MLB Charities, the Taylor Hooton Foundation and the Henry Schein Cares Foundation. The PLAY campaign, which will host events in all 30 Major-League ballparks in 2016, educates America’s young people about the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle. PLAY events run approximately two hours in length with participants divided into groups and rotated through a series of stations. These stations touch on everything from healthy eating, injury prevention, strength and conditioning and education about the dangers of illegal performance and appearance-enhancing drugs.
Today, as part of the Brewers Beyond the Diamond community outreach initiative, we hosted a Milwaukee Habitat garage build at Miller Park.
Ryan Braun, Chase Anderson, Alex Presley and Michael Blazek joined some of the Brewers Wives and staff members to frame the garage that will accompany the Habitat home that Braun and Brewers Community Foundation are sponsoring on North 39th street. The garage will be framed in the parking lot near Helfaer field and will be on display for tonight’s game against the New York Mets. The framed walls will then be transported to the Washington Park neighborhood, on Milwaukee’s near west side, where they will be erected at the home.
Braun and Brewers Community Foundation are sponsoring one of 10 new construction homes Milwaukee Habitat will begin work on in 2016. The Brewers have been involved with Milwaukee Habitat since 2006. In addition to new construction, Milwaukee Habitat will be rehabbing 12 homes and completing 60 repair projects throughout the year; all part of their neighborhood revitalization strategy in the Washington Park neighborhood.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.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.
Although there are many new faces this spring, this Brewers clubhouse already seems to have a great vibe. There is a lot of positive energy and the players seem to be bonding with ease. Perhaps that’s because the players are finding common interests both on and off the field and building chemistry in new ways.
For example, in addition to the game of chess, many Brewers players seem to be bonding over the game of golf this season.
I recently had another chance to hit the links with some of them this spring at the scenic Lookout Mountain Golf Club.My foursome included Brewers pitchers Chris Capuano, Will Smith and Matt Garza, while the group playing behind us was also comprised of all pitchers: Tyler Thornburg, Michael Blazek, Jeremy Jeffress and Sean Nolin.
While I’ve played with a couple of these guys before, I was surprised that this many players chose to spend their downtime out on the links.
I started chatting with Michael Blazek about it and he explained why he believes it’s such a popular pastime for the players—especially pitchers— away from the field.
“It’s not really about the game of golf. You just go and hang out with friends…. It’s a better way for us to get together away from the field and not think about baseball and have fun at the same time. It just takes your mind off of what you’re doing here every single day. There’s not many things that we can do as a group away from the field….so golf is the easiest thing to do for us and it’s just a good way for us– especially our pitchers, a lot of us golf–and [the course] is just a place for us to kind of get together,” Blazek said.
Thornburg agrees. “A lot of hitters hate golf because they think it will ruin their swing. Plus, position players have to go every day during Spring Training for the most part and when they get a day off they don’t want to spend four hours on a course.”
Capuano is the probably the best golfer in the clubhouse this spring. He says he has about a 4 handicap, and has shot par a couple of time, with his best round being a 67 at the Boulders in Scottsdale. Although, he’s quite modest and is quick to point out that the course was a par 71.
“I feel like he should definitely be better than a 4 handicap,” Thornburg tells me. I concur. While Thornburg shot a respectable 83, Capuano shot a 37 on the front 9 at Lookout Mountain and kept it rolling on the back, although he didn’t get to play all 18 holes.
For Capuano, who started playing golf as a young child while caddying for his dad, he says his favorite part of the game is being outside.
“It’s relaxing,” he says. “Being a pitcher, I really enjoy the satisfaction of hitting a target and I think golf is very similar in the rhythm and timing that’s involved in the golf swing. It’s similar to the throw, and just hitting that target is very rewarding.”
For me personally, I would agree that golf provides a good bonding opportunity. While I enjoy the sport and grew up playing it, outings like these not only provide fun social media content, but they also help me get to know the players better away from the field, which helps when working with them closely over the course of a long season.
And whether it’s fishing or golf, or another hobby, it is good to see the guys get a chance to relax and unwind now because we know once the regular season is underway, there will be little (if any) time for those things.
I hope the Brew Crew is enjoying the first of just two off days this spring!
Looks like some of the #CactusCrew did indeed hit the links yesterday:
The baseball season is a long one–162 games in 180 days–and that doesn’t even count Spring Training and all those Cactus League games. In Spring Training especially, players often arrive very early in the morning to get in their own workouts before the scheduled practices and games, so there is often a lot of natural downtime that happens as a result.
As players are going in and out of the workout and trainers’ rooms and eating breakfast, you’ll see groups of guys gather to talk and often play games to pass the time. Sometimes, it’s cards, sometimes it’s dominoes, but this year, there’s been a new game, which is actually quite old, sweeping the clubhouse: chess.
Chess is a sport that improves memory and concentration, enhances creativity and problem-solving skills and exercises both sides of the brain, so this is certainly a beneficial hobby that is having its moment in the clubhouse.
Reliever Jeremy Jeffress is the one who brought in a chessboard this spring after picking up the game over the offseason.
He says it all started over the winter when he visited the home of a friend of a friend who had a board in his living room.
“I was like, ‘Hey, I’ve never learned how to play chess. I’ve got a lot of time right now…..Can you teach me a little bit?'” Jeffress said. “Then he just showed me basically how the pieces move. And then he said I that I’ve got to learn my strategy first–my defensive strategy, then my offensive strategy and then play the best way I know how.”
After that, he was hooked. Why?
“First of all, it’s the competition,” Jeffress explains. “I like that and creating my own strategy–trying to be smarter than the other guy is basically what I like.”
He claims to be a pretty good player in the clubhouse, where there are a lot of guys who either play or are now learning the game.
“Tyler Cravy’s a good player. Taylor Jungmann’s a good player. Michael Blazek and Corey Knebel are just learning, but they are coming a long….. Scooter Gennett, Eric Young and Matt Garza know how to play….almost everybody is playing,” Jeffress says.
“I’ve been learning,” says Knebel, who says he has gravitated to the game because it is something new. “I know where the pieces go and I know a few things, but I’m not winning that often.
When they’re not taking a turn at the chessboard, many of the players are sharpening their skills via the chess mobile app.
It’s not surprising that this game has so many players hooked. Baseball is an inherently strategic sport and all of these guys are highly competitive, so it makes sense that chess is a way to challenge themselves mentally while taking a breather from their day to day physical tasks.
“Right now my favorite app is probably the chess app because we’re playing chess…. Everyone here is playing chess so I’ve got to get better at that,” Blazek says.
Jeffress confirms that he, too, cannot get enough of the chess app. “I play every night before I go to sleep.”
Fans had the chance to play the game Heads Up! (An app made popular by The Ellen Show) with Brewers pitchers Michael Blazek and Corey Knebel over at the Social Media Stage yesterday.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the game, it is similar to a charades or Catchphrase. It’s simply a word guessing game where your friends try to get you to say the word on the screen by giving you hints. Only with Heads Up, you hold the phone above your head and it records video of your friend giving hints. You have sixty seconds to guess as many words as you can.
Michael and Corey played against each other for a couple rounds to warm up and get familiar with the game. Corey had never heard of the game before and thought he was going to play the old kid’s game Heads Up 7-Up on stage instead.
“That’s what I’m working with here,” Michael said, playfully jabbing at Corey.
They picked the category Blockbuster Movies and neither of them fared too well, but when the category switched over to Brewers Baseball, a custom category we designed for Brewers On Deck, the guys performed much better.
We invited this pair of fans up on stage to take on the pair.
After that, the guys tried to guess the clues from the crowd:
Thanks again to Michael and Corey and all of the fans who participated in this segment at the Social Media Stage! I know it was at the very end of the day, so I appreciate y’all sticking around!
P.S.-This game is a really fun, easy party game and it’s only $.99 to download the basic version! You can then add on different decks and even create your own, like we did for this segment. Personally recommend!