Results tagged ‘ Ryan Braun ’

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

Vote Brewers Campaign Hits the Homestretch

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There are just about two weeks left in the VOTE Brewers campaign.  While the last day to vote at Miller Park is Friday, you still have until July 4 to vote online.

The most recent voting returns announced on Sunday had four Brewers among the leaders.  Ryan Braun, Jean Segura, Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy are all within striking distance and all in need of Brewers fans help.

Baseball is a game of numbers, so lets talk numbers why these guys should be All-Stars.  All four players have some pretty incredible numbers.

- Gomez (12 hr/13 sb) and Segura (10 hr/20sb)  are two of seven players in MLB that have double figures in both home runs and stolen bases this season.

- Gomez also is one of six players in MLB that have double figures in home runs, stolen bases and doubles (17).

- Gomez and Segura are on pace to possibly record 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in the same season.  This is something that has only been accomplished seven times in MLB history! Willie Mays in 1957, Jim Bottomley in 1928, Jimmy Rollins in 2007, Jeff Heath in 1941, George Brett in 1979, Curtis Granderson in 2007 and good ole’ Wildfire Schulte in 1911 all have accomplished that feat.  This will be exciting to watch in the second half of 2013.

- Segura is the only player in MLB to have 10 hr and 20 stolen bases this season.

- Lucroy has been on a tear over the last few weeks, as he is tied for third in MLB in RBI since 5/31 with 17 and hitting .389 over those previous 15 games with 3 hr.  Since the beginning of 2012, only Posey (.919) and Yadier Molina (.885) have a higher OPS than Lucroy (.822) among N.L. catchers.

- While Braun is on the Disabled List, he too has been one of the best hitters in baseball, posting the highest OPS among all MLB outfielders at .963 since the beginning of last season.

- WAR.  What is it good for, you ask?  It is a pretty popular stat these days that stands for “Wins Above Replacement.”  It is used to measure the overall value of a player’s contribution to their team.  FanGraphs’ WAR has Gomez leading the National League and second in MLB and Segura ranked ninth in the N.L.

Braun trails the third and final outfield spot by just over 300,000 votes.  Gomez is 11th among N.L. outfielders, just over 900,000 votes shy of jumping into the top three.  Segura is just over 1.2 million votes behind Troy Tulowitzki and Lucroy is nearly 2 million votes shy of Buster Posey at catcher.  Now you might think I’m nuts because of those numbers and the amount of time.

But hang with me and take a look at some simple math here.  This blog post will be sent via social media to Brewers Facebook fans and Twitter followers which we can estimate is just over 750,000 possible people. Now, for argument sake, say our Twitter followers also are Facebook fans, so let’s bring that estimate to 500,000 Brewers social media gurus who follow the team.  If each of you votes the maximum of 35 times on Brewers.com, that will total 17.5 million votes.  Certainly enough to get those four voted in (and the rest of the Brewers!).

Don’t forget to campaign for your favorite Brewers players on social media:

  • #VOTEBREWERS
  • #LOCKINLUC
  • #IHARTNY
  • #PICKRICKIE
  • #VOTEARAMIS
  • #SENDSEGURA
  • #VOTEBRAUN
  • #GOFORGOMEZ
  • #ADDAOKI

The 2013 MLB All-Star Game will take place at CitiField in New York on Tuesday, July 16.  Tune in to the game on FOX.

Brewers fans, show why we are among the best and proudest fans in baseball.  Let’s pass the word around and finish strong in the 2013 MLB All-Star voting campaign! Vote Brewers!

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

Braun Steps Up To Support “Brewers Win, You Win”

It’s been a tough month for the Brewers on the field, there is no getting around that.  In the face of that, Ryan Braun has committed to supporting the “Brewers Win, You Win!” promotion by funding a significant savings on tickets for an upcoming series.

The original promotion called for every Brewers victory between May 1 and May 30 to earn $1 off a Terrace Box ticket for the June 3 – 5 series vs. the Oakland Athletics. With just five victories this month, though, the Brewers outfielder has made a move to make sure that Brewers fans are rewarded despite the team’s struggles.

Regardless of how many wins the team records through the end of the month, fans will be able to buy a limited number of Terrace Box (regularly $24) and Loge Bleacher ($23) seats for just $8 (matching Braun’s uniform number). Braun is stepping up and subsidizing the savings through a financial contribution, which will cover up to 4,000 tickets for each of the three games against the A’s.

Ryan Braun

Ryan Braun

“We recognize that this has been a tough month for all of us; not just the players but also the fans,” Braun said. “The one constant has been the support of the community, and every one of us on the field has tremendous respect for the support we receive from the fans. On behalf of all of us on the field, we want to thank the fans and let them know that we really appreciate everyone being behind us during this rough stretch.”

Tickets for this promotion will go on sale this Friday at 9 a.m. at the Brewers Box Office, by phone at 414-902-4000 or by visiting Brewers.com/winwin.  Fans can buy a maximum of eight tickets at the reduced price, and service charges will apply to phone and online orders.

“Ryan has always been a significant contributor to our Foundation and Community Relations initiatives, both financially and with his time,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We appreciate his contribution to ensure that this remains one of our most popular initiatives, offering a great value for fans.”

For additional information, please visit Brewers.com/winwin.  We are lucky to have Braun wearing a Brewers jersey on the field and he has proved to be a great person off the field as well.  Through promotions like this and his commitment to the Milwaukee community, he is one-of-a-kind.  Here’s to a better June and we will see you all at Miller Park during the series against the A’s!

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

Ryan Braun Teams Up with SURG Restaurant Group and the Froedtert Hospital Foundation

We showcased Ryan Braun’s efforts with Habitat for Humanity on the blog last week and again next week, Braun will take part in an event to help the Milwaukee community.  Along with the SURG Restaurant Group and The Froedtert Hospital Foundation, Braun will help launch a new fund created to help children in the Milwaukee community in time of crisis.

The inaugural benefit will be held Wednesday, May 22, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 8-Twelve MVP Bar and Grill, 17800 W. Bluemound Rd. in Brookfield. Braun will be on hand to offer his support for the fund and to meet attendees of the event after the Brewers-Dodgers game that day at Miller Park.

Ryan Braun

The SURG Restaurant Group Fund for Children, established in April 2013, is a partnership between SURG Restaurant Group and The Froedtert Hospital Foundation.  Grants from the fund will be used for the purchase of toys, videos, games and other needs for children in emergency rooms or waiting rooms at Froedtert. The fund also may be used to support the education of staff working with children at the hospital.

The SURG Restaurant Group Fund is for all children touched by crisis – those who receive services including pediatric radiation oncology, or those waiting for news about loved ones in the hospital’s family center.

“To be a part of such a great cause with the goal to help try and change the lives of our youth in a positive light are an honor and a privilege,” Braun said. “I encourage everyone to try and help us embrace this important issue so we can make a difference in our community.”

Event Details: Tickets are $100 per person, and include food stations and beverages. SURG will also be awarding prizes throughout the evening including items donated by Braun, SURG Restaurant Group and a Grand Prize weekend get away in a penthouse donated by Delton Grand Resort and Spa in the Wisconsin Dells. Braun will be in attendance to offer his support. SURG requests no autographs be solicited.

A portion of the evening’s sales will go to the “SURG Restaurant Group Fund for Children” and The Froedtert Hospital Foundation. Tickets will be available through at http://surgbenefitsfroedtert.eventbrite.com/. Space is limited, 250 tickets are available on a first come first serve basis.

This sounds like a fun event that will allow fans to meet Braun and enjoy some delicious food while giving back to a great community cause.

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

Ryan Braun, Brewers Community Foundation Team Up for Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build

The Brewers today kicked off their “Beyond the Diamond” initiative with a Habitat for Humanity Build-A-Thon.

Players, Brewers Wives and staff will help organizers from Habitat for Humanity and residents of the local community to build a home in a week’s time.  Members of the Brewers organization will also be making special guest appearances throughout the week.

They will join Habitat’s dedicated volunteers and sponsors on a variety of projects in Washington Park which include the following: Building new affordable homes, helping homeowners make needed repairs on existing homes, and increasing community safety.  For the second 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 to kick off the week-long project.  The sun was shining and attendees of the press conference included Braun, Ron Roenicke, Michael Gonzalez and Brewers Wives Karen Roenicke, Kristina Hart, Larisa Fraser and Susan Cutajar.

Tomorrow, the Brewers Wives will work on the site along with Habitat volunteers, sponsors and partner families.  Thursday morning, Brewers Community Foundation 50/50 Raffle sellers will join Habitat volunteers working together to build one of the three new affordable homes being constructed in the Washington Park neighborhood during the “Blitz Build.”  On Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, Brewers front office staff will get in the act and join volunteers from Habitat on the three houses.

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Michael Goelzer snapped some great photos from today’s events in the Washington Park neighborhood.  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.

–JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

Tim’s Tips: Talking Quality At-Bats

Here’s another great tip from 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.

Enjoy!
-Cait

JohnandCait@brewers.com

SHARING BATTING AVERAGES…MAYBE THE WORST THING WE CAN DO FOR OUR PLAYERS

 I know this post is going to be controversial. As a baseball and softball coach for more years than I can remember, I have often made playing decisions and batting order decisions based upon batting average. BA is easy to calculate and the baseball/softball culture has revolved around BA as undeniably the most important offensive statistic. Just yesterday, I picked up the newspaper and read the top 100 high school batting averages in the area. It’s how we keep “score” when comparing offensive players.

And that’s a shame. Let’s suppose a player hammers a line drive at shortstop in his first at-bat (AB). He then advances a runner from second to third in his second AB with a sharp grounder to second base and in his final plate appearance drives the centerfielder to the wall where he makes an over-the-shoulder catch. The batter is 0-3 and his batting average takes a dip.

Do we seriously think that my imaginary hitter’s 0-3 performance was a failure? If we judge him by batting average, the answer would have to be “yes.”

Why do we love to watch Ryan Braun and Jean Segura? Answer: Because they compete in every AB. In other words, they give us “quality” At Bats (QAB). But, of course, a QAB doesn’t always result in a hit. At last count, there are eight guys out there with gloves trying to catch it. More and more coaches are grading hitters’ performances based upon whether or not they give a QAB..and that’s a good thing.

 Ryan Braun is the “poster child” for how to compete in every at-bat. Ryan knows the value of a quality at-bat.

Ryan Braun is the “poster child” for how to compete in every at-bat. Ryan knows the value of a quality at-bat.

Here are several examples of a QAB:

  • Hit the ball hard regardless of whether or not it results in a hit
  • Any seven or more pitch AB that doesn’t end in a called third strike
  • Execute situationally: Sacrifice bunt, suicide squeeze, advance a runner, sac fly, etc.
  • Getting a walk (unless it’s my big bopper taking a walk with two outs and runners on base)

On the other hand, I don’t consider a “handle shot” that falls over second base or a nine-hop “seeing eye” grounder that manages to squeak through the infield a QAB. Get the idea? You can find plenty of QAB charts on the internet if you decide to make the move from away from the almighty batting average. You will find yourself and your players having a much better approach to winning a baseball game when they are equipped with an understanding of Quality At-Bats.

Over the years, one of the sure signs that my team was going badly or about to tumble was when I’d overhear kids talking about their batting averages. The last “swing thought” I want my hitter to have is about what happens to his batting average if he gets a hit or doesn’t. Batting average can be poison for a hitter, but focusing on Quality At-Bats is the antidote

Until next time, “If you’re gonna swing, might as well swing hard.”

-Tim Rappé

Tim.Rappe@Brewers.com

Vote Brewers 2013!

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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.

Beginning today, fans are able to vote online at Brewers.com and beginning Monday, April 29, fans will be able to vote through in-park balloting at Miller Park.

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.

Fans can also show their support for the Crew during this time by downloading cover photos of their favorite players here.

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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.

 

– JOHN

johnandcait@brewers.com

Gifs, Pics and Pies from this Homestand

How does that song go? Baseball, hot dogs, shaving cream pie…. hmm… I’m not sure that’s it, but this week, the Crew sure has had some fun in the dugout after their victories, celebrating with post-game antics.

With the Crew going for 7 in a row today, they sure have made the game look as easy as, well… pie this week!

Take a look at the gifs and an amazing photo from this homestand.

Blake Lalli gets a celebratory pie in the face from Jonathan Lucroy after producing Wednesday's walk-off hit vs. the San Francisco Giants.

Blake Lalli gets a celebratory pie in the face from Jonathan Lucroy after producing Wednesday’s walk-off hit vs. the San Francisco Giants.

Juuuussst a bit outside! Ryan Braun tries to congratulate Carlos Gomez after Wednesday's victory, but Gomez is quick as always!

Juuuussst a bit outside! Ryan Braun tries to congratulate Carlos Gomez after Wednesday’s victory, but Gomez is quick as always!

A pie meant for Ryan Braun after Thursday's victory over the Giants misses and hits FSWisconsin's Mark Concannon.

Carlos Gomez looks to retaliate and a pie meant for Ryan Braun after Thursday’s victory over the Giants misses and hits FSWisconsin’s Mark Concannon instead.

-Cait

JohnandCait@Brewers.com

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