Results tagged ‘ Rickie Weeks ’
Haley Smilow is a 12-year-old budding journalist who has had several interviews published with Baseball Youth Magazine, Junior Baseball Magazine and SI Kids and, in her brief career, she has already interviewed more than two dozen MLB players.
One of those players was Rickie Weeks. Below is a Q&A that was recently published in Baseball Youth Magazine, which is a magazine geared toward youth baseball players, that we thought our readers might also enjoy.
Thanks to Haley for sharing this with us and we wish you the best of luck in pursuit of your passion!
-John and Cait
HALEY: What is your favorite thing about Miller Park?
RICKIE: The fans are amazing and I have spent my entire career in Milwaukee.
HALEY: Are there any other ballparks that you particularly like?
RICKIE: Miami because I was born in Florida and my family is there.
HALEY: What do you think of the tailgating at Miller Park?
RICKIE: It is absolutely nuts and I appreciate the fans’ passion.
HALEY: Have you ever been a part of it?
RICKIE: No, they won’t let me !
HALEY: Which racing sausage is your favorite? What is your favorite sausage to eat?
RICKIE: Chorizo is the man and also my favorite to eat.
HALEY: Have you ever gone down Bernie’s slide?
RICKIE: No but my wife has. I am scared to!
HALEY: Do you have a favorite restaurant in Milwaukee?
RICKIE: Carnevor, I love steak.
HALEY: Are you ever in Milwaukee during the winter and how do you deal w/ the cold?
RICKIE: No, just for [Brewers on Deck] to see the fans and I stay inside as much as possible.
HALEY: If you were not playing Baseball what else could you see yourself doing?
RICKIE: Sports Management
HALEY: Besides being drafted as the number two pick, and winning the NCAA Division 1 batting title twice and your appearance in the 2011 All Star game what other accomplishments are you most proud of?
RICKIE: Wow good question, I would have to say going to the playoffs twice.
HALEY: What do you do before/after games when you are not in Milwaukee?
RICKIE: Get lots of sleep and talk to my wife.
HALEY: Do you have any superstitions or rituals?
RICKIE: I pray before going up to bat.
HALEY: What is the best practical joke you have ever seen?
RICKIE: It pretty lame but putting eye black under the rim of someone’s hat is always funny.
HALEY: What other sports do you like besides baseball.
RICKIE: I love football and basketball.
HALEY: Where does your love of baseball come from?
RICKIE: From my dad.
HALEY: What part of your game can you improve on?
RICKIE: All parts, and work hard and focus.
HALEY: What is your favorite thing to cook?
HALEY: Who are some of your peers that got game?
RICKIE: You stumped me, but I am going to say my brother, Jemile.
HALEY: What do you respect most about your brother?
RICKIE: His hard work and dedication.
HALEY: What about his game?
EICKIE: That he is a switch hitter. I am envious that I can’t and he is very fast.
HALEY: Who would be on Rickie Weeks All-Star Team?
RICKIE: All nine players? Ok how about Prince Fielder, Jemile and the rest of the Brewers.
HALEY: Best baseball movie?
RICKIE: 42, I am a big history buff and Jackie was a big influence of mine.
HALEY: What advice would you give kids?
RICKIE: Stick to your dreams and the sky’s the limit.
Interview courtesy of Baseball Youth Magazine & Haley Smilow
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!
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!
As the NCAA Basketball Tournament gets underway, we’re all feeling a little bit of that March Madness.
And, although both UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison are competing this year, the particular “March Madness” I’m referring to in this case is baseball related.
It’s been an especially long, tough winter and, all across the state, fans are suffering from major cases of cabin fever—and, much worse, Brewers fever. The ailment usually hits a crescendo, a state of madness, right about this time of year.
People started coming down with it in late January at Brewers On Deck. For one fleeting day, we got to see the Crew and get pumped up for the season. Then came Spring Training. Since mid-February, we’ve been teased by the sights of the steady string of warm, sunny days in Phoenix and the green grass, along with the sweet sounds of the crack of the bat, the ball smacking a leather glove, and Uecker‘s voice on the radio. These sights and sounds evoke an almost Pavlovian response from our other senses: We can almost smell the brats on the grill; we can almost taste the peanuts and Cracker Jack; and we can definitely feel the excitement in the air.
We’re now less than two weeks from Brewers Baseball returning to Milwaukee and the madness has hit full tilt. We’re ready for the Boys of Summer to return from Arizona and at least bring a little bit of spring back with them. We’re ready for America’s Pastime done the Wisconsin way, with tailgating, Sausage Races and Bernie’s slides. And the barrel? Oh yes, it’s ready to be rolled out. Just say when!
How will we cope the next two weeks? Well, we’ve got a few more Spring Training games that we can watch and listen to, plus two Exhibition Games at Miller Park. In addition to that, there’s that other March Madness that I alluded to, an entertaining diversion that makes that time until Opening Day go by quicker.
Like most of America, we’re sure you found time to fill out a bracket. That’s why we asked some of the Crew to do the same.
A few of the participants, like Brewers infielder Rickie Weeks and Brewers reliever Rob Wooten, really get into it. Rickie is a big basketball fan and Wooten in particular is a diehard fan of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.
So big, in fact, that he even associates his teammate’s name with a rival team-Zach Duke who has nothing to do with the University, other than sharing a name:
Others, like Brewers pitchers Kyle Lohse and Wei-Chung Wang, really don’t follow basketball all that closely, but it’s still fun to participate in the bracket challenge.
Lohse says he “flipped a coin” and Wang, a 21-year-old from Taiwan, got help from some friends.
But that’s the thing with March Madness– the tourney can be so unpredictable that a basketball fanatic has just as much of a chance as a coin-flipper… or a dog.
Yep, that’s right, we even got the newest addition to the team, Hank the Ballpark Pup, and old friend Bernie Brewer in on the fun.
Bernie emailed their brackets to me this morning, noting for his: “I did an in-depth mascot analysis of each team; noting who I believe would win in a duel… oh and, in case you weren’t aware, I always root for the home team(s).”
Hank also appears to have taken team mascots into account; however, with a Final Four comprised of the Albany Great Danes, Connecticut Huskies, Gonzaga Bulldogs and Wofford Terriers, he appears to have stuck with his species.
“He’s also picked a lot of upsets in the other games… it appears Hank consistently roots for the ‘underdog,’” Bernie wrote. “It’s a risky move for a newcomer, choosing species over his new home teams. But I bet people will forgive him. He didn’t even pick AZ teams to go very far.”
Follow along with Brew Crew Bracketology below and see how their picks “net” 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.
Yep. March Madness has set in.
I’ve got Brewers Fever and the only prescription is more Brewers Baseball.
Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks today was named the Brewers nominee for the 2013 Branch Rickey award presented by the Rotary Club of Denver. This is the first year fans have been able to vote for their choice for the Branch Rickey award and enter a drawing for a trip to the 2013 World Series. Fans can use online voting through Facebook by visiting the Branch Rickey Award website.
Fans may vote as many times as they would like during the Fan Voting period which ends Monday, August 12, 2013 at 12:59 p.m. CT.
Unlike the many baseball awards based on statistics, the Branch Rickey Award recognizes individuals who give unselfishly of themselves to their communities. These men are strong role models for today’s young people. All of the honorees personify Rotary International’s motto, “Service Above Self.”
Year in and year out, Weeks has given back to the Milwaukee community. Weeks has supported the American Diabetes Association, the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, the Beckum-Stapleton Little League and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Wisconsin. He has also contributed to scholarship programs for Milwaukee-area students and, since 2008, has sponsored the “Rickie’s Rookies” ticket program which provides hundreds of tickets and t-shirts to youth groups across the state.
Each Major League team was asked to nominate a humanitarian from their team for the 2013 award. A National Selection Committee, composed of 450 members of the sports media, past award winners, baseball executives and Rotary district governors, has been invited to vote on the nominees. The independent accounting firm of RubinBrown will verify the results. The Fan Vote will be taken into account in selecting the winner.
The Rotary Club of Denver plans to announce the 2013 Branch Rickey Award honoree in mid-September. This year’s winner, along with all the previous recipients, will be invited to attend the Branch Rickey Award banquet on Saturday, Nov. 16, in Denver. The winner will be inducted as the 22nd member of the Baseball Humanitarians Hall of Fame. Presenting sponsor is AMG National Trust Bank.
The late Branch Rickey, known to millions as “Mr. Baseball,” is credited with breaking the color barrier in the Major Leagues in 1945 when he signed Jackie Robinson, the first modern-day African-American player. He also hired the first Hispanic player, Roberto Clemente. Rickey was portrayed by Harrison Ford in the recent Jackie Robinson movie “42.”
Rickey helped develop the farm system in baseball and stimulated the sport’s expansion into more cities. Always an advocate for underprivileged children, he spearheaded the development of the famous “Knot Hole Gang,” to allow kids to attend big league games.
The Milwaukee community is lucky to have the support of a guy like Weeks. He is a quiet guy off the field and doesn’t look for recognition for his large heart, but he is well deserving of this award.
Today was the Brewers Season Seat Holder luncheon, the second of two such events this season where Season Seat Holders with packages of 20+ games have the opportunity to attend.
The event, which takes place in the Johnson Controls Stadium Club, includes a plated lunch (which was delicious as all food in there is!), a Q &A with Brewers players, and the opportunity to win prizes.
Today, Season Seat Holders were treated to a Q & A with Brewers pitcher John Axford and second baseman Rickie Weeks, emceed by Brewers radio broadcaster Joe Block.
Questions ranged from dealing with adversity and footwork drills to avoid being taken out by the runner advancing to second to favorite baseball movies and clubhouse pranks.
Some quotes and highlights:
Q: If you were stuck on an island, which three players from the current roster would you want to take with you?
Weeks: “Logan Schafer–because he won’t eat all the food; Martin Maldonado because he can cook the food; and…”
Axford: “I’d agree, and add Jim Henderson because he looks a little wilderness-y right now. He would probably be a good forager/hunter.”
Q: You have both faced adversity at times during your careers. How do you deal with it?
Weeks: “I see it as a time to get better. It’s definitely a character builder.”
Axford: “I agree. With social media and increased media attention in this day and age, you just have to try to block it out, realize the person you are and you know what you’re capable of.”
Q: What’s your favorite baseball movie?
Axford: “My favorite from nostalgic point of view is The Sandlot; from a film standpoint, it is The Natural. The lighting and the cinematography is amazing.”
Q: Rickie, how do you feel about having family in MLB? (Referring to his brother, Jemile, who plays for the Oakland A’s.)
Weeks: You don’t often get to share the same sport with a sibling at the highest level. Very blessed.
Sitting at the head table with Rickie and John were some special guests–Mindy and Nathan Skewes from Union Grove, Wisconsin. Earlier this year, Mindy and Nathan were selected as prize winners in our Fan-tastic 40 promotion, 40 Days, 40 drawings, and 40 unique prizes and experiences, all for our Season Seat Holders.
I had a chance to chat briefly with the couple during the event.
“It was great getting to interact with the guys. They were very personable and easy to talk to,” Mindy said.
The couple has a the 20-game Business Plan in the first row of the Club Level and frequently attend games with their 7-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. They’ve been Season Seat Holders for a number of years.
“They were each just 5 weeks old when we took them to their first games,” she noted.
At the conclusion of the event, drawings were held for prizes which included baseballs signed by John Axford and Rickie Weeks as well as Brewers watches.
Thanks to those who came out today; it was great to see some old friends and meet some new ones.
Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory “hits” the road with a traveling interactive experience created for Milwaukee’s Miller Park this weekend. The exhibits can be found down the first base line on the Field Level and next to the Right Field foul pole.
The mobile museum will feature and number of Brewers related items including:
Hank Aaron’s 700th Home Run Bat
Fans will be able to see the bat Hank Aaron used to hit his 700th home run on July 21, 1973.
This A99 model ash bat is 35-inches and 32-ounces, and is one of the significant treasures in the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory collection. The bat is also signed by Aaron.
“Hold a Piece of History” With Bats Used By Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Geoff Jenkins, Rickie Weeks
A favorite with the crowds, “Hold a Piece of History” allows fans to hold bats that were actually used by major league players. For Milwaukee fans, Louisville Slugger Museum Factory will give fans the chance to hold and pose with bats used by Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Geoff Jenkins and Rickie Weeks.
Roberto Clemente Game Used Bat
With the Brewers hosting Pittsburgh, an extra treat for fans will feature a legend with the Pirates, Roberto Clemente. His U1 model ash bat from 1969-1970 will be on display. The bat is 36-inches long and weighs 34-ounces.
Louisville Slugger has been making baseball bats since 1884. Another highlight of the mobile museum includes a fascinating hand-turning lathe demonstration that shows the “old-fashioned” way of carving bats by hand, using the same tools that date back to the 1800s.
Sign Ups for Free Museum Passes and Other Prizes
The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is located in downtown Louisville, Kentucky – less than 7 hours by car from Milwaukee. Louisville is a great weekend getaway, and fans will be able to sign up for free passes to the museum and other prizes.
“We’re looking forward to a fun weekend of baseball with the great fans of the Brewers. Our team has put together an interactive experience customized especially for this Milwaukee versus Pittsburgh series,” said Anne Jewell, Executive Director at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. “Rarely do we display these artifacts outside of the museum and we encourage Milwaukee’s baseball fans to join us at Miller Park over the holiday weekend,” she said.
Visitors can experience history-in-the-making as you stroll through the factory where world-famous Louisville Slugger bats are created. Award-winning factory tour, newly renovated galleries with interactive exhibits, historic memorabilia, the World’s Biggest Bat, and more. Create a Louisville Slugger bat with your very own name on it, just like the pros. Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, 800 West Main Street, is open Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $11 for adults, $10 for seniors (60+), $6 children (6-12), and free for children 5 and under. For more information, log on to sluggermuseum.com or call 502-588-7228.
Come see a piece of history at Miller Park this weekend and then make plans to head to Louisville to see the real thing!
Brewers fans have the well-earned reputation for filling the ballot boxes with All-Star votes for Milwaukee Brewers players year in and year out. With at least one Brewers player elected to start in five of the last six All-Star Games since 2007, Milwaukee fans demonstrated that it doesn’t take the largest market to be heard as they voted for their favorite Brewers in almost unheard of numbers.
And while it may still be April, it’s time to ramp up and Vote Brewers! Sure it is early, but why can’t we use that time to get ahead in the voting? The Brewers are currently enjoying a nice win streak and this is the time to beat the early rush on voting.
This season, eight Milwaukee Brewers players are featured on the ballot for the 84th Major League Baseball All-Star Game to be held on Tuesday, July 16 at Citi Field in New York City (great All-Star logo again this year by the way, MLB has been knocking it out of the park in recent years with great All-Star logos). Brewers fans will again have the opportunity to show their overwhelming fan support by helping decide which players will be named to the Midsummer Classic through the 2013 MLB In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program presented by Firestone and the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot presented by freecreditscore.com.
Brewers players on this year’s All-Star ballot include C Jonathan Lucroy, 1B Corey Hart, 2B Rickie Weeks, 3B Aramis Ramirez, SS Jean Segura, OF Ryan Braun, OF Carlos Gomez and OF Norichika Aoki.
At Brewers.com, all fans voting 21 or more times for their favorite Brewers will be entered into a drawing to win Ryan Braun’s Miller Park Suite for a night, complete with tickets, food and a personal visit from the 2011 National League MVP. There is a maximum of 25 votes per email address, but new for 2013, fans can cast 10 extra votes by logging in with or registering for an MLB.com account. More information and rules may be found at brewers.com. Additionally, fans voting online will be eligible to purchase Field Outfield, Club Outfield and Terrace Box seats for select Brewers games at a savings of up to 50% (details available after voting at Brewers.com).
Those visiting Miller Park are encouraged to vote early and often via paper ballot at the All-Star Polling District, set up during Brewers home games along the first base concourse. In-park balloting at Miller Park begins on Monday, April 29 and continues through Friday, June 21, comprising 25 home dates. The Vote Brewers! campaign will feature event staff decked out at home games in promotional t-shirts, and signage along the Miller Park fascia and behind the plate. In addition, media partners FS Wisconsin and Newsradio 620 WTMJ will be promoting the initiative on broadcasts, and the World Famous Klement’s Racing Sausages will help distribute voting information around the city. There will also be voting parties staged during the balloting period.
With every 10 ballots turned in to the All-Star Polling District, fans will receive one raffle ticket that will enter them in a drawing for the opportunity to win a collector’s item daily, ranging from game-used memorabilia to player autographs. A drawing will be held during every home game through June 21 and the winning ticket will be announced during the game. Rules will be available at the Polling District.
Ryan Braun narrowly missed being elected a starter for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game after finishing fourth in voting among National League outfielders to Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers by just over 100,000 votes. Braun was later named a starter to replace the injured Kemp.
In 2011, Braun led National League outfielders in voting for the fourth straight season and led all NL players in voting for the first time (5,928,004). He is the only Brewers player to ever be elected to start in four consecutive All-Star Games (did not play in 2011 due to injury). Rickie Weeks was selected to his first All-Star Game as the NL’s starting second baseman and Prince Fielder started and made his third All-Star appearance in 2011. In 2010, Braun and Corey Hart started for the Brewers (Hart was named as a starter after an injury to Atlanta’s Jason Heyward).
In 2009, Braun and Fielder joined Trevor Hoffman as All-Stars. In addition to Braun in 2008, Hart was named that year to the National League All-Star team via the Monster All-Star Final Vote. In 2007, Fielder received the second-most votes in the National League en route to his first career All-Star team, becoming the first Brewers player to be voted to the All-Star Game since Paul Molitor was selected at third base in 1988. A complete list of All-Stars in franchise history can be found on page 277 of the 2013 Brewers media guide.
The 2013 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on Sunday, July 7 on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS. Both the National League and American League teams will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers.
Fans can vote for the Major League All-Stars online at brewers.com through Thursday, July 4 at 10:59 p.m. CT.
Last month, I introduced to you Tim Rappé, Executive Director of our new Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.
Along with signing up for the camps and getting excellent baseball instruction there, every so often, Tim will provide some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. See below for his insight on the batting stance!
“MILWAUKEE TWO-STEP”…THE DANCE OF THE GREAT INFIELDER
Time to talk a little defense. Any coach or scout who has to make a decision about which player we draft or keep on our team at travel tryouts knows how difficult that decision can often be. Certainly, we look at arm speed, bat speed, leg speed, position-specific proficiency and the important but intangible, character “make up.” In addition to those attributes, I think it’s fair to say that we all have something that we specifically look for that can make or break that player’s chances of going forward.
Here’s mine. When it comes to judging an infielder I watch their approach to a ground ball…specifically, I watch their feet. I want to see the infielder work him or herself into position to (a) decrease the distance of the throw and (b) increase momentum to the target. Does the infielder come to the ground ball and stop or does he/she come through the ball and continue in the direction of the target? By virtue of this simple evaluation, I will often make the “cut or keep” decision.
And here’s how we teach kids to do this correctly. The feet do not land at the same time as they would when a basketball player does a “jump stop.” The basketball player is deliberately stopping his momentum to his target and converting that to a vertical movement. The baseball and softball player wants to create controlled momentum toward their target.
Before I get into more depth on this subject it’s important to understand that I am describing the action of the infielder throwing the ball from his/her right to left like a shortstop to 1b. It does not apply to the first baseman throwing to 2b or the second baseman throwing to the shortstop covering 2b. Got it?
It starts by working the body into a position where the ground ball is just off his/her left shoulder. Whether the infielder takes two steps or ten steps to charge the ball, the last two steps are: Right Foot followed by Left Foot. This left shoulder positioning and Right Foot/Left Foot movement causes the fielder to receive the ball just to the left of his/her belly button and when the fielder makes a power step to the target, the distance is shortened considerably and momentum gives their throw more “carry.” The infielder has achieved what I want to see..Decreased Distance and Increased Momentum.
A smooth, rhythmic, RIGHT>LEFT>STEP>THROW execution is exactly how an average arm can achieve above average results and the “plus” arm turns into a rocket launcher. And it tells me that the player has been well trained and is ready to advance.
There is another critical positive result from this fielding approach. The fielder who comes to the ball and stops or even worse, sits back and lets the ball come to him/her is sentenced to whatever the last hop is…good or nasty. The fielder who is aggressive and comes through the ball can often control which hop he/she fields. Ever wonder why great shortstops seem to always get good hops? It’s not an accident.
Want to make the team and show that you’ve got the stuff to be a big time infielder? Remember the RIGHT>LEFT>STEP>THROW fielding action.
Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”
This is a new tradition we started last year in the Media Relations Department, giving fans a sneak peek at the cover of the media guide before the guide is actually released. Senior Director – Media Relations, Mike Vassallo, Coordinator – Media Relations, Ken Spindler and I have worked very hard on the guide since last October and now see the light at the end of the tunnel with the project. The guide is officially in the hands of Mario Ziino from Delzer Lithograph in hopes of getting it back in time for the first Spring Training game in a few weeks.
The 2013 Brewers Media Guide cover was created by Brewers Senior Graphic Designer, Jeff Harding. Last year, the Brewers had one of the most powerful offenses in Major League Baseball–leading the National League in runs scored (776), home runs (202) and stolen bases (158). It was the fifth time in franchise history that the team hit 200 home runs in a season. We focused on the offense as an inspiration and Harding and his crew in the Consumer Marketing Department really captured what we were looking for on the cover.
The 2013 Brewers Media Guide will sell for $15 in the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park by mid-March. We will also have copies available at the Brewers Team Store at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix at Spring Training. The guide will also be available in .PDF form sometime in the next ten days. When that happens, I will certainly offer a link for everyone.