Results tagged ‘ Ryan Braun ’

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  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  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!


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 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.


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.


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.



 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

Vote Brewers 2013!

MB-2013 Vote Brewers-FB Cover Photos-GENERIC

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 Ballot presented by

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 and beginning Monday, April 29, fans will be able to vote through in-park balloting at Miller Park.

At, 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 account. More information and rules may be found at 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

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.

MB-2013 Vote Brewers-FB Cover Photos-Braun

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 through Thursday, July 4 at 10:59 p.m. CT.



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.


Brewers Season Seat Holder Event Held at Miller Park This Morning

After last night’s exciting win over the Cubs, Yovani Gallardo, Jonathan Lucroy, Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun, Dave Nelson, my colleagues and I were all on hand early this morning for a special Brewers Season Seat Holder event for those who paid for their 2013 season tickets in full by the November 15 early renewal deadline.

Here are some photos from this fun event.

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It’s always a pleasure to get to meet so many of our most loyal fans; we hope you had a wonderful time!


Tim’s Tips: Busting One of Baseball’s Biggest Myths

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!




I confess. Years ago I preached the importance of swinging down on the ball. It sure made sense when you consider that the hands start at shoulder height and have to hit a ball that is obviously lower than that. So swinging down seemed to make a ton of sense and we sure didn’t want to encourage the dreaded uppercut.

But even as I taught the “swing down” concept, there was something gnawing at me that kept whispering that this just didn’t make the most sense. But I trusted my eyes and the advice that had been passed along to me. Isn’t it true that much of what we teach is because that’s how we were taught? The really good news is that most of that which is passed along remains true. Swinging down on the ball is not one of them. Here’s why:

The top of the pitching rubber is set at 10 inches above the ground. Most baseball pitchers throw the ball from an overhead position. The instant the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand, gravity begins to do its thing and a 90 mph pitch decelerates at about 1 mph every seven feet. When the ball crosses the plate it’s traveling diagonally down at about -10 degrees.

So, Coach Tim, what’s your point?

My point is that because the ball is traveling downward when it crosses the plate does it really make sense to swing down to make solid contact? The ANSWER: It doesn’t make sense at all. And thanks to high-speed video we can confirm that, at the point of contact, the ideal swing should be 7 to 10 degrees tilted upward. In other words…an uppercut. Getting the bat head on the same plane as the ball is undeniably the best way to “square up” a pitch. Video confirms that our major league hitters swing up at contact. Braun uppercut

If you are hearing this for the first time, I realize that it may challenge what you were previously “sure” of. New video technology has rocked many of our traditional beliefs. But here’s why you don’t necessarily have to change a thing about how you coach, even armed with this new information. If you are teaching the correct starting position, correct hand path and proper finish, the likely result is a slight uppercut at contact. Mission accomplished.

The uppercut that we see from our young hitters that ends up in a pop up, a top-spin grounder or a whiff is the result of a severe 15-30 degree uppercut that does not match up with the downward angle of the pitch. At the Brewers Baseball Academy we don’t teach kids to uppercut. We teach the correct positioning of the body and the proper swing sequence. The resulting path of the bat head is where it should be…traveling about 10 degrees upward at contact.

The irony is that we want a slight uppercut but we don’t teach kids to uppercut because you will not like the result. Teach proper swing mechanics and the result will be more balls hit on the “screws.” Whether or not you decide to continue to shout out “SWING LEVEL!” to your hitters is up to you. But now you know the truth.

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

-Tim Rappé

Tim’s Tips: Pop and Glide, See the Ball Before You Stride

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!



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.”

-Tim Rappé

Braun to Be Recognized Saturday

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 AwardFans 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…

Braun with the Josh Gibson Award.

Braun with the Josh Gibson Award.

Braun and Melvin with the Silver Slugger Award.

Braun and Melvin with the Silver Slugger Award.

Heavy hardware!

Heavy hardware!

-John and Cait


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