Results tagged ‘ Ryan Braun ’

Tim’s Tip: Moment of Truth #3-Bend Your Wrists and Wave Bye-Bye to a Good Swing

The “Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip,” 10 separate weeklong baseball/softball camps that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer for kids ages 6-14, will be back for its second season and so is Tim Rappe. In addition to putting on the camps, last summer executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for more from Coach Tim!

Enjoy!
Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

“MOMENT OF TRUTH #3”

BEND YOUR WRISTS AND WAVE BYE-BYE TO A GOOD SWING

If you’ve been following my last few posts you know that I’m discussing four critical times in the swing sequence. First of all, I apologize for the delay. Academy enrollments have been keeping us running. I’ve labeled these four critical points the Four Moments of Truth. Overly dramatic? Maybe a tad. But after analyzing thousands of hitters, it’s become clear that a breakdown at any of these Moments of Truth (MOT) will severely limit the hitter’s chance for success.

In order to illustrate MOT #3 let’s go back to MOT #1. Check out the angle of Ryan Braun’s wrists at Heel Down.

Braun

The angle of the bat and Ryan’s top hand is just about 90 degrees.

It’s at this moment that so many hitters lay their wrists back resulting in what the Big Guys call “laying off the bat head.” This results in a longer swing (not good). This wrist angle change will result in the back elbow sliding underneath too fast and too early which drops the bat head below the hitting zone. The bat is then making contact at an aggressive uphill angle and the result is a swing under the ball or a top-spin grounder.

Poor Connection

This young hitter has laid his wrists back and caused the bat head to drop too far too fast.

So, what do we want the hitter to do with his wrists as he begins the swing?…nothing. The hitter maintains the cocked wrist angle until they unfold just before contact. Fight the urge to make some kind of an adjustment prior to that.

See how Martin Maldonado keeps his wrists cocked even as his hands pass by his hip.

See how Martin Maldonado keeps his wrists cocked even as his hands pass by his hip.

The wrists explode into the ball at contact…but not before. That’s why maintaining the cocked wrist angle is MOMENT OF TRUTH #3.

In my next post I’ll look at MOT #4… “Roll Your Wrists and Hit the Exit Ramp Off the Hitting Highway.” Until then, if you’re gonna swing might as well swing hard.

 

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

 

 

 

Team Tristan Attends Brewers Game

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 Brahmer

Brewers pitchers Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza pose with Tristan and his family before Thursday’s Brewers vs. Pirates game at Miller Park.

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.

-Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

 

 Tristan

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“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.

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

Brewers Say “Farewell Captain” in Special Pregame Ceremony

Today, we honored Derek Jeter for his contributions to Major League Baseball in a special pregame ceremony at Miller Park that included Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, Doug Melvin, Dick Groch and Mark and Debbie Attanasio.

Jeter01

Photo courtesy of Sara Stathas/Milwaukee Brewers

In recognition of a career well-played, Dick Groch, Brewers Special Assistant to the General Manager, presented Derek with a bronze replica of his Louisville Slugger bat. In 1992, as a scout for the Yankees, Dick recommended that the team select Derek as their first-round draft pick. It was Dick’s pleasure to assist in signing Derek to a Major League contract and it was an honor for him to present the bat to the Yankees all-time hits leader today.

Jeter02

Photo courtesy of Sara Stathas/Milwaukee Brewers

Derek has certainly made his mark in the baseball records and he has made an impact in the lives of young people through his Turn 2 Foundation which supports signature programs that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and toward healthy lifestyles.

Oh behalf of  the Brewers and Brewers Community Foundation, Mark and Debbie Attanasio, along with Doug Melvin and Dick, also presented Derek with a $10,000 check for his foundation.

photo 3

Jeter03

Photo courtesy of Sara Stathas/Milwaukee Brewers

Finally, in addition, Derek was also presented with a stay at the American Club in Kohler, along with a golf trip to Whistling Straits so he can enjoy his retirement.

Congratulations Derek! May you enjoy retirement as much as we have enjoyed your professionalism and play on the field.

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Tim’s Tip: Moment of Truth #2-The First Domino to Fall in the Swing Sequence

The “Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip,” 10 separate weeklong baseball/softball camps that will be held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer for kids ages 6-14, will be back for its second season and so is Tim Rappe. In addition to putting on the camps, last summer executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for more from Coach Tim!

Enjoy!
Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

“MOMENT OF TRUTH #2”:The First Domino to Fall in the Swing Sequence

In my last post I discussed the importance of starting in the optimum stance to generate bat accuracy and power at the point of contact. I labeled that MOMENT OF TRUTH #1. Today’s topic is a bit more controversial. I say “controversial” not because hitting experts don’t recognize that it happens; but rather because some may not give it the same emphasis as we do at the Brewers Baseball Academy. This single move can set up the hitter’s lower half for success or it can betray the entire swing…and it doesn’t come naturally for hitters so we need to teach it. That’s why I think it’s critical.

So, exactly what is MOMENT OF TRUTH #2? So many times I’ve heard baseball people debate regarding the first thing that moves when we launch the bat. Invariably, there is a group that believes that the hitter “just throws his hands” at the ball. Yes, the hitter does do that…but it is by no means the FIRST thing. In fact, it’s the last thing the hitter does prior to contact.

So what’s first? Drum roll please…The inside of the back knee pinches forward and down toward the inside ankle of the front foot. It’s the Knee Pinch that keeps the hitter from spinning on his back foot. It’s the Knee Pinch that launches the back hip, which is the power center. It is the Knee Pinch that prevents the hitter from rising up on his back leg. Yes, it’s the Knee Pinch that launches the hitter’s momentum into the baseball. Important? You betcha.

Take a look at former Brewers sluggers Robin Yount, Ben Oglivie  and Geoff Jenkins. Check out the knee pinch.

Yount Oglivie Jenkins

This next shot is a great overhead of Ryan Braun. If Ryan hadn’t pinched his knee in the way I described, he will spin on his back foot (we used to call this “squishing the bug”) and the back heel will retreat toward the catcher. Clearly, that’s not what’s happening here. Why? Because this is the way it supposed to be done!

Braun Overhead

The Knee Pinch is difficult to teach in the context of this blog. But go ahead and use your DVR the next time Gomez, Braun or Lucroy launches a moon shot. Focus on the back knee and I think you will see exactly what I mean and exactly why I respectfully submit the Knee Pinch as MOMENT OF TRUTH #2.

In my next post I’ll focus on MOMENT OF TRUTH #3…”Bend Your Wrists and Wave Bye-Bye to a Good Swing.” Until then, if you’re gonna swing might as well swing hard.

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

 

 

 

Garza Brewers Player Tees Now Available

This just in: Majestic player name and number tees featuring the Brewers newest acquisition, pitcher Matt Garza.

Garza Tee

These t-shirts are currently available at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park.

If you’ll notice, the Majestic player name and number tees have been updated for 2014. Look closely and you’ll see that the lettering/numbering on the front and back has a real “jersey” look and feel to it:

2014 Player Tee Closeup

This new style of the tees was available beginning at Brewers On Deck; the Team Store currently has players such as Ryan Braun, Khris Davis, Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy and Jean Segura in stock with new additions (such as Garza, which came today) arriving over the next few weeks leading up to Opening Day.

You can also shop online at brewers.com and/or create a t-shirt in the custom shop.

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Ryan Braun, Michael Blazek and Marcus Hanel at Today’s Hunger Task Force Food Drive

Mb-13 BCF-HTF Thanksgiving Social Graphic-Food Drive

It was a very busy and cold morning at Helfaer Field today.  As the Thanksgiving week continued, Brewers Community Foundation teamed up with Hunger Task Force and CBS 58 for a drive-thru food drive in the parking lot.  Since I am finally thawing out from three hours in the sub-20 degree temperatures this morning, I thought I would post some photos from the activities this morning.

Ryan Braun, Michael Blazek and Marcus Hanel were on hand along with a number of Brewers employees collecting food and handing out bobbleheads to donors.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The food drive itself lasts until 6 p.m. tonight, so you can still donate throughout the day.  It was a wonderful event and I was happy to be a part of it.  The generosity I saw throughout the activities this week was awesome.  This community should be proud of the way it gives back.

Don’t forget, you can also help the Hunger Task Force through the online “turkey hands” auction.  The framed, original designs from Brandon Kintzler, Tyler Thornburg, Jonathan Lucroy and Jim Henderson are up for auction now on Brewers.com thru Sunday, December 1 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

20131122-095707.jpg

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

Tim’s Tips: Reflecting on the Summer

If you’ll recall, this past season, we launched the Brewers Baseball Academy presented by Kwik Trip, eight separate week-long baseball/softball camps open to youth (ages 6-14) which were held in various cities across Wisconsin this summer.

All season, in addition to putting on the camps, executive director Tim Rappe provided some baseball tips here on John and Cait…Plus 9 as well. Read on for the latest installment from Coach Tim.

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

TOP SIX THINGS I HEARD THIS SUMMER THAT MADE ME CRINGE

Right out of the box I will admit that just because we wear a Major League uniform doesn’t mean we have all the answers. I am not afraid to question what I believe and have made adjustments in my teaching approach over the years as a result. That being said, I’m also not afraid to go toe-to-toe with things I hear that are fundamentally wrong; especially those that pose a threat to the health of the athlete.

Here are some of my “favorites” from this past summer…

#1. “Are You Teaching the NEW Way of Hitting?”

Oh boy. Part of my role with the Brewers is to attend seminars, study video, observe Spring Training, and generally keep up with new approaches to teaching our game. 99% of the time, that question is traced to a private instructor or Internet Guru who is trying to make a name for himself by “discovering” something new or renaming something old for marketing purposes. Doesn’t mean they’re wrong…but they do add to the noise that tends to confuse people. We teach hitting the way that Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and for that matter, Miguel Cabrera, swing the bat.

#2. “My Son Plays Travel Ball so He’s Probably Too Good for Your Camp.”

Ugh. Them’s fightin’ words. When you take a look at the resume of our coaching staff and the depth of our curriculum, it’s pretty much impossible to conclude that we can’t help an athlete of any level…unless he comes to camp with the mindset that he doesn’t want to learn.

#3. “Girls Need to Learn a Different Way to Hit Because…Well, They’re Girls.”

I know that statement is not meant to be insulting to softball players…but it is. The male and female bodies get the bat to the ball in exactly the same way. Granted, there are some nuances but girls generate force at the point of contact just like guys. Just ask Jennie Finch, Crystl Bustos, Stacey Nuveman and Jessica Mendoza…probably the best U.S Olympic hitters of all time. Better yet, grab some video as I have and see for yourself. Of course, I’m not referring to slap hitting here.

“You Hit Like a Girl” could be the nicest thing someone could say to you.

“You Hit Like a Girl” could be the nicest thing someone could say to you.

#4. “I Heard You Should Never Use a Batting Tee Again.”

Yikes. There’s that Internet Guru again proclaiming that if you don’t do it his way, at best you are a terrible coach and at worst, a moron. Don’t use tees? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Every professional, collegiate and high school team relies on the tee to isolate swing mechanics before introducing a pitched ball. Statements like that may be a good way to sell a video but it also adds more confusing noise in the market. By the way, I bought video…and I got my money back.

Don’t be so fast to dump the batting tee

Don’t be so fast to dump the batting tee

#5. “I’m Going to Have My Son Throw Every Day Over the Winter to Add MPH’s to His Fastball.”

No. No. No. Sometimes more is not better and when it comes to the “care and feeding” of the arm, it definitely isn’t. The shoulder and elbow need rest in order to repair the strain of the long grind of the spring/summer season. Big Leaguers shut it down after the season and not just to play golf. Since 2000, there has been a 500% increase in elbow and shoulder injuries among young baseball and softball players. Almost all of that is attributed to overuse. Now when I say to shut it down I’m referring to all overhead activity like volleyball, football passing, dodgeball in gym class, badminton, etc. I know that’s not realistic but not throwing a baseball IS realistic. Work on core strength and hammer those difficult-to-work decelerators in the back. You will love the result come spring.

#6. “Coach, Am I Throwing the Curveball Correctly?”

You’re asking the wrong question. Yes, it’s true that a correctly thrown curveball is less stressful on your arm than one thrown incorrectly. And yes, there are some pro’s who started throwing junk very early in their young lives. There are also miles of scar tissue and shattered careers because of the unnecessary harm caused by curves and sliders. As a teacher of baseball and the Director of the Brewers Baseball Academy I will not teach the curve because it plays Russian Roulette with the pre-pubescent athlete. I know that’s controversial but winning isn’t worth the risk. Spot your fastball. Throw a change-up and study hitters’ weaknesses. The “W’s” will pile up.

OK, got all that off my chest. Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Statement From Ryan Braun

The following statement was just issued by Brewers LF Ryan Braun:

“Now that the initial MLB investigation is over, I want to apologize for my actions and provide a more specific account of what I did and why I deserved to be suspended.  I have no one to blame but myself. I know that over the last year and a half I made some serious mistakes, both in the information I failed to share during my arbitration hearing and the comments I made to the press afterwards.

I have disappointed the people closest to me – the ones who fought for me because they truly believed me all along. I kept the truth from everyone.  For a long time, I was in denial and convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong.

It is important that people understand that I did not share details of what happened with anyone until recently. My family, my teammates, the Brewers organization, my friends, agents, and advisors had no knowledge of these facts, and no one should be blamed but me. Those who put their necks out for me have been embarrassed by my behavior. I don’t have the words to express how sorry I am for that.

Here is what happened.  During the latter part of the 2011 season, I was dealing with a nagging injury and I turned to products for a short period of time that I shouldn’t have used. The products were a cream and a lozenge which I was told could help expedite my rehabilitation.  It was a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed and I compounded the situation by not admitting my mistakes immediately.

I deeply regret many of the things I said at the press conference after the arbitrator’s decision in February 2012. At that time, I still didn’t want to believe that I had used a banned substance. I think a combination of feeling self righteous and having a lot of unjustified anger led me to react the way I did. I felt wronged and attacked, but looking back now, I was the one who was wrong.  I am beyond embarrassed that I said what I thought I needed to say to defend my clouded vision of reality.  I am just starting the process of trying to understand why I responded the way I did, which I continue to regret. There is no excuse for any of this.

For too long during this process, I convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong. After my interview with MLB in late June of this year, I came to the realization that it was time to come to grips with the truth. I was never presented with baseball’s evidence against me, but I didn’t need to be, because I knew what I had done.  I realized the magnitude of my poor decisions and finally focused on dealing with the realities of-and the punishment for-my actions.

I requested a second meeting with Baseball to acknowledge my violation of the drug policy and to engage in discussions about appropriate punishment for my actions. By coming forward when I did and waiving my right to appeal any sanctions that were going to be imposed, I knew I was making the correct decision and taking the first step in the right direction. It was important to me to begin my suspension immediately to minimize the burden on everyone I had so negatively affected- my teammates, the entire Brewers organization, the fans and all of MLB. There has been plenty of rumor and speculation about my situation, and I am aware that my admission may result in additional attacks and accusations from others.

I love the great game of baseball and I am very sorry for any damage done to the game. I have privately expressed my apologies to Commissioner Selig and Rob Manfred of MLB and to Michael Weiner and his staff at the Players’ Association. I’m very grateful for the support I’ve received from them. I sincerely apologize to everybody involved in the arbitration process, including the collector, Dino Laurenzi, Jr. I feel terrible that I put my teammates in a position where they were asked some very difficult and uncomfortable questions. One of my primary goals is to make amends with them.

I understand it’s a blessing and a tremendous honor to play this game at the Major League level. I also understand the intensity of the disappointment from teammates, fans, and other players.  When it comes to both my actions and my words, I made some very serious mistakes and I can only ask for the forgiveness of everyone I let down.  I will never make the same errors again and  I intend to share the lessons I learned with others so they don’t repeat my mistakes. Moving forward, I want to be part of the solution and no longer part of the problem.

I support baseball’s Joint Drug Treatment and Prevention Program and the importance of cleaning up the game.  What I did goes against everything I have always valued- achieving through hard work and dedication, and being honest both on and off the field.  I also understand that I will now have to work very, very hard to begin to earn back people’s trust and support. I am dedicated to making amends and to earning back the trust of my teammates, the fans, the entire Brewers’ organization, my sponsors, advisors and from MLB. I am hopeful that I can earn back the trust from those who I have disappointed and those who are willing to give me the opportunity.  I am deeply sorry for my actions, and I apologize to everyone who has been adversely affected by them.”

 

Get Your Brewers Specialty Player Tees!

Expand your collection of Brewers player tees by purchasing any of our new 2013 specialty designs, exclusive to Miller Park!

Choose from styles featuring Ryan Braun:

Braun Player Tee

Aramis Ramirez:

Ramirez Player Tee

 Jonathan Lucroy:

Lucroy Player Tee

Plus, two Nori Aoki designs:

Aoki Player Tee

The Braun, Ramirez, Lucroy tees and the Aoki Japanese Koi Fish design (white) are available in adult sizes while the Aoki retro tee (yellow) is available in both adult and youth sizes.

Both regular and specialty player tees retail for $30 each at the Brewers Team Stores at Miller Park, but on Wednesdays (that’s today!), fans can receive $5 as part of our Majestic Athletic Walk-Off Wednesdays promotion.

If you’re not familiar with this promotion, it’s something fun that we’ve been doing for several years now: Every Wednesday home game throughout the season, when you stop in any retail location at Miller Park before the 5th inning and purchase a player name and number tee, you’ll save $5 and if your player has a walk-off hit in that game, you’ll get a FREE replica jersey of that same player, plus tickets! If the Brewers don’t hit a walk off that Wednesday one lucky fan will still win a jersey.

So, if you’re headed to the Brewers vs. Reds game this afternoon, it’s a great excuse to pop into the store and pick up one of our new designs.

Plus, you can double-dip on another promotion we have going on for a limited time: With our Players Autograph Promotion, you will score a free autographed baseball when you purchase $150 worth of official Players Choice product in the Brewers Team Stores. Choose from 8x10s, t-shirts, jerseys and more and when you spend $150, we’ll throw in a free autographed baseball (randomly selected) while supplies last.

Can’t make it out to Miller Park anytime soon? Never fear–there’s also a large selection of player tees available on brewers.com. (Note: Product purchased online does not qualify for Walk-Off Wednesdays or the Players Autograph Promo.)

Happy shopping!

-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 414 other followers

%d bloggers like this: