Results tagged ‘ Will Smith ’


The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired right-handed pitcher Phil Bickford and catcher Andrew Susac from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for left-handed pitcher Will Smith.  The announcement was made by General Manager David Stearns.

Bickford, 21, was selected by San Francisco in the first round (18th overall) of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.  He entered the 2016 season ranked by Baseball America as the third-best prospect in the Giants organization.  He is currently ranked by as the top prospect in their organization (65th overall in baseball), and appeared in this year’s All-Star Futures Game in San Diego.

Bickford this season went a combined 5-6 with a 2.71 ERA in 17 starts between Class-A Augusta (11gs, 3-4, 2.70era) and Class-A San Jose (6gs, 2-2, 2.73era).  He has held opponents to a .208 batting average (70-for-336, 5hr) with 105 strikeouts in 93.0 innings pitched.  He made his professional debut last season, going 0-1 with a 2.01 ERA in 10 starts with the Rookie Arizona Giants.  He produced 32 strikeouts in just 22.1 innings pitched as he held opponents to a .169 batting average (13-for-77, 0hr).

Susac, 26, was batting .273 (57-for-209) with 8 HR and 36 RBI in 58 games at Triple-A Sacramento this season.  He has Major League experience with the Giants, batting .240 (53-for-221) with 6 HR and 33 RBI in 87 games from 2014-15.  Selected by San Francisco in the second round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Susac was a member of the 2014 world champion Giants.

Smith, 27, was acquired by Milwaukee from Kansas City on December 5, 2013 in exchange for outfielder Norichika Aoki.  He went 9-8 with a 3.28 ERA and 1 save in 181 relief appearances as a Brewer, including 1-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 27 outings this season.

Miss ’90s Night at Miller Park? As if!

Break out the neon, overalls and flannel, throw on your Walkman, and head to Miller Park as it transforms into County Stadium for ‘90s Night.


On Saturday, it’s time to party like it’s 1999 as the Brewers will wear their throwback home white uniforms with the blue and green crossed bats logo when they take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Miller Park will feature a number of tributes throughout the evening, including music from the era, special in-game features and more.


Fans who purchase this special 90s Night ticket package will also receive a limited-edition ‘90s-themed Will Smith player T-shirt. Ticket packages for the event are $19 for Terrace Reserved or $40 for Loge Outfield Box. To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit


UFC Band will be playing a ’90s set list on before the game on Saturday at Friday’s Front Row from 4:40-6:10 and for about 30 minutes post game.

There will also be a Fresh Prince-themed throne available for photos on the Terrace Level near Section 435.

In addition to the fun-filled night, the Brewers will offer special food items at the yard. Fans can enjoy donuts with strawberry icing and multi-colored sprinkles for only $3 at the concession stands near sections 106 and 424.

90's Donut

The Brewers will also offer a 90s inspired Candy Bag, featuring Ring Pops, Warheads, Gushers and Airheads, all for $5 at the concession stands located by sections 126 and 227.

90's Candy

And! Very exciting news: Miller Park is one of the first venues to get its hands on the recently relaunched Crystal Pepsi! We will be selling it at the Grab N’ Go on the Field Level near Sections 119 and 123. Please note it is limited supply, so you’ll want to hurry!

Crystal Pepsi

In addition, Brewers Team Store is stocking some ’90s Player Tees and caps:

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So, like, don’t miss out on ’90s Night at Miller Park. It’s gonna be all that and a bag of chips!


Will Smith & DJ Jazzy Jeffress Prep for ’90s Night at Miller Park

Break out the neon, overalls and flannel, throw on your Walkman, and head to Miller Park as it transforms into County Stadium for ‘90s Night. On Saturday, July 30, it’s time to party like it’s 1999 as the Brewers will wear their throwback home white uniforms with the blue and green crossed bats logo when they take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Miller Park will feature a number of tributes throughout the evening, including music from the era, special in-game features and more.

Fans who purchase the special ‘90s Night ticket package will also receive this limited-edition ‘90s-themed Will Smith player T-shirt, which is inspired by the popular ’90s TV Show, “The Fresh Prince,” which stars the actor Will Smith.

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Speaking of which, in case you missed it, recently pitcher Will Smith and his bullpen mates have extended a video invitation to the actor  in hopes of getting him to attend the game, but so far, they have not heard back.

And that brings us to the latest effort in support of the #WillMeetsWill campaign–Will Smith and Jeremy Jeffress (with the help of Brewers Team Photographer Scott Paulus) have recreated photos of Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff, who formed the famous hip hop duo that was popular in the late ’80s and the ’90s, producing such hits together as “Summertime,” and “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeffress:

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Will also got in the Fresh Prince spirit:

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As you can imagine, these two BFFs had a blast during this shoot. Here’s a look at some behind-the-scenes footage:

Tickets for the event are $19 for Terrace Reserved or $39 for Loge Outfield Box, not including inflation! Get yours at



Dear Will Smith…Attempt #2

Brewers reliever Will Smith’s quest to meet the actor Will Smith continued late last week as the pitcher recruited a couple of his fellow bullpen mates to help him make a video.

If you’ll recall, back in Spring Training 2014, Brewers pitcher Will Smith penned a letter to “the other” Will Smith–as in the actor, producer and songwriter, Will Smith….yeah, that guy–inviting him to come visit him in Milwaukee.

Well, that never came to fruition, but with ’90s Night on the horizon and these awesome shirts on tap as a giveaway with our special ’90s Night Ticket Package, Will thought that this time, he might get a response.

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One can only hope!

Be sure to join in the #WillMeetsWill campaign on Twitter and Instagram to see if we can organize our efforts and get Will Smith out to Miller Park this summer to meet his namesake.




Fun Times Had at the “Koos for Kids” Event at Hitters Baseball Academy

Tonight, following the Brewers-Padres game, many Brewers players and coaches headed over to the Hitters Baseball Academy in Racine to take part in a special event benefiting bullpen catcher and Racine native Marcus Hanel’s charity–and raised over $55,000 in the process.

Marcus has always had a desire to help children and so, about 12 years ago, he formed “Koos for Kids,” a charity focusing on helping terminally ill and disadvantaged children in the area.

Fans attending tonight’s event received dinner, autographs from Brewers players, entertainment from the Jesse White Tumblers, and the opportunity to participate in auctions and raffles. Of course proceeds from the event went to the Koos for Kids organization, where they are used to give back to the community. 

Over the years, Koos for Kids has been able to help numerous terminally ill children by purchasing them laptops, iPads, zoo passes, airline tickets, animals…whatever it might be that makes their days a little brighter.

Hanel was also excited to announce that Koos for Kids is offering a scholarship program: “ We’ll be giving $2500 each for college to two kids of need in Racine. They will get an opportunity to advance and go to school. It’s a pretty cool thing so we’re excited to implement that.”

Here are some photos from tonight’s event:

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Koos for Kids has also purchased over 3000 winter coats for disadvantaged children in the local area, as well as organized and run the Challenger Baseball League, where over 60 children with special needs can come and be part of a team and learn the game of baseball.  And there are countless other ways they have helped the local community, thanks to the support of many businesses and caring individuals.

To learn more about Koos for Kids, keep informed of upcoming events and find out how you can help, click here.




Skittles Helps Settle Clubhouse Candy “Controversy” Between Jeffress & Smith

Throughout the Brewers Clubhouse it is well known that Brewers pitcher Jeremy Jeffress loves Skittles. And when Jeffress’ mom came to visit last week, she confirmed that he’s always loved them, ever since he was a little kid.

In fact, many fans have started to catch on to this and some have even given him packages of his beloved candy.

However, recently the Five Fruity Flavors were at the heart of a clubhouse controversy between Jeffress and fellow pitcher/best friend Will Smith. Smith, who is currently on the disabled list and did not travel with the team on the first road trip of the season, was assisting me with some social media during a game by tweeting and Snapchatting live from the clubhouse. (You can check out the tweets on the #LeftyBehind hashtag.)

Right before he left for the night, this happened and we caught it all on video:

Of course, Jeffress saw the tweet…

…and later returned the favor by stealing some candy out of Smith’s locker:

Of course this candy “war” was all in good fun, but Skittles wanted to make sure that their tasty treats wouldn’t cause any conflict in the clubhouse moving forward. So, they sent a special package. Here, Jeffress explains what he received:

Here’s a copy of the letter:

Skittles Letter to the Brewers

Jeffress was understandably stoked to receive such an awesome care package, which even included his absolute favorite, Sour Skittles!

Jeffress Skittles

A big thank you to Skittles on behalf of Jeffress and Smith for the care package. We appreciate you looking out for the Crew!

Side Note: Skittles are so beloved by Jeffress that he told me that he’s even named his curveball after the candy, henceforth it shall be known as “Skittles” and Jeffress will make opposing batters “Taste the Rainbow.”






Opening Day Ceremonies at Miller Park

Greetings from Miller Park on every Brewers fan’s favorite day of the year: Opening Day!

The festivities began early this morning with media availability at the ballpark beginning at 5am.

After that, the Brewers Front Office met on the field for the annual staff photo. Afterwards, we split up into departments and took additional pics, like this one with the marketing team:

Then, while hardy Brewers fans tailgated in 30-degree weather,

….it was time for the Crew to take batting practice.

Time for a little BP before the #BrewersOpener! #Brewers #MILvsSF

A photo posted by brewers (@brewers) on

Boy was it good to see these guys on the field again! They were excited, too:

It was good to see Will Smith, who is currently on the DL with a knee injury, in good spirits. He even told a special Opening Day edition of #MomJokeMonday on Snapchat:

Then it was time to get ready for the game.

The lineups were announced:

And so it begins! #BrewersOpener #Brewers #ItsGoodOutHere

A photo posted by brewers (@brewers) on

and the national anthem was sung:

and the ceremonial first pitch was tossed:

Now all that’s left to do is….







Brewers Pitchers Bonding Through Golf

Although there are many new faces this spring, this Brewers clubhouse already seems to have a great vibe. There is a lot of positive energy and the players seem to be bonding with ease. Perhaps that’s because the players are finding common interests both on and off the field and building chemistry in new ways.

For example, in addition to the game of chess, many Brewers players seem to be bonding over the game of golf this season.

I recently had another chance to hit the links with some of them this spring at the scenic Lookout Mountain Golf Club.My foursome included Brewers pitchers Chris Capuano, Will Smith and Matt Garza, while the group playing behind us was also comprised of all pitchers: Tyler Thornburg, Michael Blazek, Jeremy Jeffress and Sean Nolin.

While I’ve played with a couple of these guys before, I was surprised that this many players chose to spend their downtime out on the links.

I started chatting with Michael Blazek about it and he explained why he believes it’s such a popular pastime for the players—especially pitchers— away from the field.


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“It’s not really about the game of golf. You just go and hang out with friends…. It’s a better way for us to get together away from the field and not think about baseball and have fun at the same time. It just takes your mind off of what you’re doing here every single day. There’s not many things that we can do as a group away from the field….so golf is the easiest thing to do for us and it’s just a good way for us– especially our pitchers, a lot of us golf–and [the course] is just a place for us to kind of get together,” Blazek said.

Thornburg agrees. “A lot of hitters hate golf because they think it will ruin their swing. Plus, position players have to go every day during Spring Training for the most part and when they get a day off they don’t want to spend four hours on a course.”

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Capuano is the probably the best golfer in the clubhouse this spring. He says he has about a 4 handicap, and has shot par a couple of time, with his best round being a 67 at the Boulders in Scottsdale. Although, he’s quite modest and is quick to point out that the course was a par 71.

“I feel like he should definitely be better than a 4 handicap,” Thornburg tells me. I concur. While Thornburg shot a respectable 83, Capuano shot a 37 on the front 9 at Lookout Mountain and kept it rolling on the back, although he didn’t get to play all 18 holes.

For Capuano, who started playing golf as a young child while caddying for his dad, he says his favorite part of the game is being outside.

“It’s relaxing,” he says. “Being a pitcher, I really enjoy the satisfaction of hitting a target and I think golf is very similar in the rhythm and timing that’s involved in the golf swing. It’s similar to the throw, and just hitting that target is very rewarding.”

For me personally, I would agree that golf provides a good bonding opportunity. While I enjoy the sport and grew up playing it, outings like these not only provide fun social media content, but they also help me get to know the players better away from the field, which helps when working with them closely over the course of a long season.

And whether it’s fishing or golf, or another hobby, it is good to see the guys get a chance to relax and unwind now because we know once the regular season is underway, there will be little (if any) time for those things.

I hope the Brew Crew is enjoying the first of just two off days this spring!

3/16/16 Update:
Looks like some of the #CactusCrew did indeed hit the links yesterday:

Hiram Burgos, Jorge Lopez and Yadiel Rivera hit the links on the first offday of the Spring.

Hiram Burgos, Jorge Lopez and Yadiel Rivera hit the links on the first offday of the Spring.



Brewers Pitchers Hit the Links During Downtime in Spring Training

If you’ve been reading the blog long enough, you probably know that, in addition to baseball, I have a passion for golf.

And, for the past two seasons, I’ve had the pleasure of accompanying some of our pitchers to the golf course during their downtime and this year was not an exception.

The baseball season is a long one–162 games in 180 days–and that doesn’t even count Spring Training and all those Cactus League games.

However, the pace is different in Spring Training. While the games are still important, the time down here is very much about taking a look at different players, trying out new things, working out the kinks and building team chemistry.

With two weeks of practice before the Spring games begin and with the bulk of the Cactus League games being day games, that also gives players a little more free time before they go back to work in Milwaukee and the grind sets in.

On this Brewers roster, you’ll find many of the pitchers in particular hitting the links when they have time to spare so I joined Will Smith, Corey Knebel and Tyler Thornburg at the Westin Kierland in Scottsdale.

If you’ll recall, the Westin Kierland is where Kyle Lohse, Will Smith and I played last year and where got to try out their ultra-fun Golfboards.

Will tests out the golf board again.

Will tests out the golf board again.

They also have Golf Bikes, which, even though we didn’t ride them for the round, looked like a lot of fun:

Corey Knebel checks out the Golf Bike before our round.

Corey Knebel checks out the Golf Bike before our round.

Before we hit the links, the players gathered to test out drivers on the range, using ProFIT, which uses Doppler radar technology to help check club head speed, ball speed, launch angle, spin rate and accuracy. Tyler Haynes, Head Teaching Professional at The Westin Kierland Golf Club, was on hand to give the guys tips and tricks to help improve their golf game.

Given that baseball is a numbers and angles game, too, the guys were quite into it.

ProFit Technology

Tyler Haynes shows Corey, Will and Tyler what their golf swings look like and how to maximize their distance and power.

Following that experience, we headed out to the course:

Our group poses on the #1 tee at the Westin Kierland.

Our group poses on the #1 tee at the Westin Kierland.

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Of the group. Corey played the best and shot an 80.

It was a lot of fun out there on the course, getting to know these guys a little better away from the field.

Whether it’s golf, fishing, or another hobby, it is good to see the guys get a chance to relax and unwind now because we know once the regular season is underway, there will be little (if any) time for those things.

Special thanks to Westin Kierland (and Troon Golf) for letting us hack on your course!



#MomJokeMonday: Will Smith tests out his mom’s corniest jokes on outfielder Brett Phillips

The first day I got to camp, Brewers Beatwriter Adam McCalvy asked me, “Have you heard Brett Phillips laugh yet?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

Adam said I needed to hear (and see) it for myself. He also said that my goal for camp should be to capture it for Brewers social media.  A little while later, someone asked me the same thing. I was beginning to wonder what the buzz was all about.

Well, on photo day while I was busy running the Social Media station, Kevin Holden of Milwaukee’s CBS 58 affiliate happened to capture it on film and tweeted out the video, which generated a lot of buzz.

That was the first time that I heard Brett’s unique laugh, but I knew it wouldn’t be the last. It’s almost become a game for some of his teammates to try to make him laugh for their own amusement.

That’s where #MomJokeMonday comes in (No, we’re not talking about “Yo Mama” jokes here, I promise). In case you missed it, each Monday during Spring Training, we’ll be posting a Joke of the Day courtesy of Will Smith’s mom, Kay, who, according to Will, enjoys sharing corny jokes.

The idea came to me after Will randomly told me one of his mom’s jokes last season and I tweeted it out.

It got good response from fans (who doesn’t love a good pun), so I thought it might be something fun to do down in Spring Training while the guys are loose.

We kicked it off last week, but for this week’s installment, Will decided to bring Brett into the mix to test out some of jokes live on camera.

Here’s the result. I dare you to try to watch this while keeping a straight face:

Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” So, seeing as today’s Leap Day, hopefully these two helped you make the most of your extra day.





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