Results tagged ‘ Ryan Braun ’
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!
POP AND GLIDE, SEE THE BALL BEFORE YOU STRIDE
In a previous post, I discussed how important it is to have excellent timing and control of the bat if you ever expect to be a good hitter. Now I’m going to discuss a very specific component of timing that is often misunderstood and unfortunately often taught incorrectly.
If you’ve been around coaching for a while you may have heard the expression, “When the pitcher shows you his pocket, you show yours.” That’s a pretty good visual meant to describe the timing of the pitcher lifting his stride leg and the hitter assuming the load-stride phase of the swing. In general, that’s solid advice but I think it’s flawed. Let me explain.
I’ve spent a great deal of time watching video over the years and made it a point at a recent Spring Training game between the Brewers and the Angels to confirm or disprove this critical teaching point. What I saw was exactly as expected. The hitter’s stride foot does not plant until the ball is in flight. If we step too early, the “kinetic chain” is broken and power will be lost…a bad thing. If the stride heel plants a fraction of a second before the swing is launched, there is a maximum transfer of power…a good thing. What makes this especially difficult to achieve is that a 90 mph only takes .44 seconds to reach the hitter. Talk about a small window in which to get “on time.”
So, here’s my problem with the “pocket-showing” strategy. It doesn’t take into account that (a) not every pitcher’s delivery is the same. Some guys are slower to the plate than others and (b) not every pitch is delivered at the same speed. Clearly, if the first guy you face is throwing 60 mph and the second guy is throwing 80 mph, using the back pocket as the timing trigger will almost certainly cause a break in that kinetic chain…a bad thing.
It is better to be early than late but our goal should be to get the front side down on time. If anyone questions that, just ask any pitcher what he’s trying to do to the hitter. His answer: Mess with the hitter’s timing. If that front foot heel comes down too early or too late, advantage pitcher.
So, what is the hitter’s strategy to stay on time? That’s what the on-deck circle is for. Take a look at pro hitters and see them trying to get their timing down before they step in the box. And make sure that when the heel plants you are balanced. Don’t lean back. Don’t get out over your front side. Take another look at Ryan Braun’s picture for a textbook shot of what a hitter should look like prior to the swing. If you were expecting gas (fastball) and got Uncle Charley (off speed) as long as you are balanced with good posture and your hands haven’t leaked forward, you can still drive the ball.
Hitting is about constant adjustment and nothing is more critical and ever changing than proper timing. “Pop and glide, pop and glide. See the ball before you stride” is an old timers’ verse to remind hitters that the foot comes down as the ball is in flight. Still good advice.
Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”
Prior to this Saturday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a special on-field, pre-game ceremony will take place at Miller Park to present Ryan Braun with his 2012 Silver Slugger Award. Fans are encouraged to be inside Miller Park for the ceremony, which will begin at approximately 6 p.m. CT. Brewers President – Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin will present the award.
In addition, Braun will also be presented the “2012 Josh Gibson Legacy Award” by Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. The award is given annually to the home run leaders of both the National League and American League. Braun led the NL with 41 home runs last season.
Here are photos from tonight’s ceremony…
-John and Cait
Today, I went to my very first Spring Training game in many, many years! It was so very exciting!
I got to go down on the field before the game and even sit in the dugout!
I met all kinds of very cool Brewers fans and saw a lot of familiar faces, too.
When Ryan Braun hit that home run early in the game, I was so excited–but there’s no slide at Maryvale so I improvised: I slid down the big grassy hill on the berm instead (and I’ve got the grass stains to prove it)!
Of course, I was also so happy when we won!
After the game, I got in a little Spring Training of my own:
Can’t wait to return again tomorrow!
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.
Brewers fans will have plenty of reason to watch the World Baseball Classic as 14 players from the Brewers organization are scheduled to take part. The full rosters were announced today. Here is a list of Brewers players on WBC rosters:
The Brewers will even be represented behind the scenes during the World Baseball Classic. In addition to the players on the field, Brewers Visiting Clubhouse Manager Phil Rozewicz will serve as clubhouse manager for the Dominican Republic team and Brewers Vice President – Communications Tyler Barnes will serve as a media liaison for games played at Marlins Park in Miami.
KEY DATES IN THE WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC FOR BREWERS FANS
Tuesday, March 5; Brewers vs. Team Canada – Maryvale Baseball Park, 1:05 p.m. (Arizona Time); 2:05 p.m. (Milwaukee Time)
In an exhibition game during the exhibition season, the Brewers squad will take on the Canadian team at Maryvale Baseball Park. There are a lot of Canadian connections in the Brewers organization. Doug Melvin and Gord Ash are both natives along with a number of players on the Brewers roster. Personally, I’m a fan of “Oh Canada” and can’t wait to hear that prior to the game. It will also be interesting to see John Axford, Taylor Green and Jim Henderson suit up in the visiting clubhouse in Team Canada uniforms against their Brewers teammates (I wonder if they will pop in and say hi!?). Rene Tosoni, a name that might not be familiar with most Brewers fans, was signed to a minor league contract by the Brewers recently. The outfielder played with the Minnesota Twins last season.
Friday, March 8; Spain at Puerto Rico – Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan Puerto Rico, 4:30 p.m. (Milwaukee Time)
Hiram Burgos and Martin Maldonado make their WBC debut for Puerto Rico in their native country.
Friday, March 8, Mexico at United States – Chase Field, Phoenix Arizona, 7:00 p.m. (Arizona Time); 8:00 p.m. (Milwaukee Time)
For Brewers fans in Arizona for Spring Training, this is going to be a great day. Catch the Brewers and Rangers at 1 p.m. in Maryvale and then head downtown to Chase Field to see Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Team USA take on Marco Estrada, Yovani Gallardo and Team Mexico.
If you are heading to Arizona for Spring Training to see the Brewers, I would highly recommend fitting in a WBC game into your itinerary. It is a fun atmosphere and a chance to see some players you might not normally see. In addition to Chase Field, games will also be held at Salt River Field at Talking Stick.
For full information on the World Baseball Classic including ticket information, schedules and rosters, click here.
Brewers fans have never been afraid of a social media battle when showing their support for the team and its players. Fans helped Miller Park win ESPN.com’s “Battle of the Ballpark” last summer and are always ready to “Vote Brewers” come All-Star balloting time.
The campaign to get Ryan Braun on the cover of “MLB 13: The Show” is no different. Braun needs your help. Remember that every tweet including the hashtag “#MLB13BRAUN” counts as a vote as well as votes at MLB.com/covervote.
To promote the contest and Braun, a series of videos have been released since Monday on various forms of social media. I have gathered all three videos below. Watch them, share them and enjoy them. I think they are pretty creative. My favorite is “Braunies,” released today.
So remember, you have until 7 p.m. CT tomorrow to vote. Let’s give Ryan a last big push–I know Brewers fans are up for the challenge!
If you are around my age, chances are you grew up playing baseball video games like “RBI Baseball,” “Baseball Simulator 1.000″ or maybe just plain old “MLB” for Nintendo. Video games have come a very long way since then and the producers of “MLB 13: The Show” for Sony Playstation 3 and PS Vista are asking you to get involved with the creation of the latest edition of the game by helping chose the cover. Our own Ryan Braun is one of seven finalists for the cover.
For the first time, fans are invited to take part in a vote that begins today at MLB.com/covervote. Votes for Braun will also be counted on Twitter when the hashtag #MLB13Braun is tweeted or retweeted.
I spoke with Braun this morning and he is pretty excited about the possibility of seeing the Brewers uniform on the cover of the most popular baseball video game on the market.
“It’s an honor to be among the finalists to be on the cover of a video game and it would be exciting to have a Brewer on the cover of this game,” Braun said. “Our fan base has always been extremely supportive and they have shown tremendous enthusiasm in voting for the entire team in All-Star balloting each year. I’ve always been appreciative of that, so let’s do our thing Brewers fans and get a Brewer on the cover of this game!”
Braun followed up his MVP campaign of 2011 with 41 home runs, 112 RBI and 30 stolen bases while hitting .319 last season. He is no stranger to success in fan votes as Braun has been voted in to four MLB All-Star Games by the fans. Brewers fans also know how to get the vote out as well. Remember the ESPN.com Battle of the Ballparks last summer!? Brewers fans definitely showed their hometown pride there as Miller Park came out on top.
Voting begins today and will end on Friday at 7 p.m. CST. Produced by Sony and is exclusively available on Sony Playstation 3 and PS Vista, “MLB 13: The Show” is expected to be released on March 5, 2013, The game captures every detail and mechanic of baseball and is the number-one selling and rated Major League Baseball video game franchise.
In case you missed it, earlier today, the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages and Bernie Brewer surprised fans by treating them to a free Brewers themed donut and small cup of coffee at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Miller Park Way.
Well, today is certainly a day of dozens, as thanks to Jennifer Brilowski, a woman from Stevens Point, the State of Wisconsin has chosen today (12/12/12) as Aaron Rodgers Day.
Jennifer began the Aaron Rodgers Day movement with a Facebook page and today, a number of people and businesses are are participating in events across the state.
The day includes people donning jerseys, parties at local watering holes, stores and even offices, and also a charitable angle: there’s a call for fans to donate $12 to the MACC Fund today, Rodgers’ charity of choice.
Here at the Brewers, we’re happy for Aaron. He’s certainly deserving and today, we’re celebrating by reflecting on our 2012 TV campaign, featuring the Green Bay MVP and our own MVP, Ryan Braun. Thanks again to Aaron for participating and helping make this an award-winning campaign; he was great to work with and funny to boot!
You can view all of the spots here at brewers.com/2012TV, or watch them below:
*Note: Thanks to Aaron, this spot took home the gold award for Best Use of Humor at the Sports Media Marketing Awards.
We had a great time on set with Aaron, who’s a class act, and we wish him and the Packers success down the stretch!
My boss, Kathy Schwab, Senior Director of Marketing, and I are taking a whirlwind tour of New York City this week—we’re here for two different award ceremonies (I’ll post about that tomorrow, after the second event), fitting in meetings with colleagues, and finding time to promote our Brewers Holiday 4-Packs along the way.
With two prestigious events bookending our trip, we decided to make the most of it and headed to Secaucus, NJ on Wednesday to visit Mary Beck, Senior VP-Marketing & Promotion and her team at MLB Network. Neither Kathy nor I had ever made it to these offices and we were so excited to take a tour of the studios. It was neat to see them filming some of the segments for their shows and to learn what goes on behind the scenes. We also had a little fun, as you can see here.
Speaking of MLB Network, make sure you tune in tonight at 5p.m.when the winner of the 2012 National League MVP is to announced. We’re hoping Ryan Braun will be selected for the second year in a row!
More to come from New York-stay tuned!