Search the Site

Monday, January 31, 2011

Braun Attends Bucks Game With Little-Known Football Player

While in town for "Brewers On Deck", Ryan Braun attended Saturday night's Bucks game with a football player named Aaron Rodgers (pictured above, to Braun's right). Apparently the two became friends over the past several years. I've never heard of him so he's probably only famous because he's friends with Braun. When asked if he planned to attend Rodgers' football game next weekend (did anyone else find it odd that they kept talking about football with Spring Training right around the corner?), Braun said he most likely would not as he did not want to miss any workouts this close to Spring Training. Braun has been working out near his California home with one of Major League Baseball's known fitness nuts, none other than former Brewer Gabe Kapler.

The Kilar Family Needs Your Votes!

I wrote about the Kilar family a couple of weeks ago. They are trying to win grant money from Pepsi to build a ballpark in memory of their son who was tragically killed by a drunk driver last fall. At that time they sat in 2nd place in the Pepsi Refresh project which qualified them for $250,000. Now they've slipped into 3rd, and need your votes to climb back into 2nd and win that money! TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO VOTE FOR THEM so visit www.refresheverything/treytonkilar and cast your vote today! You may even be able to vote multiple times if you have more than one email address.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Brewers Starting Rotation Thoughts

Answering fans' questions last week, Adam McCalvy of discussed how the Brewers should line up their starting pitchers for the first couple of weeks of the regular season. Of course, things might happen during Spring Training that would lead to a reconsideration of the starting pitching order, but most fans expect Zack Greinke to start on opening day, followed by Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf, and Chris Narveson. McCalvy suggested a slightly different order, and I agree with him.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke, 3B Casey McGehee, RHP LaTroy Hawkins to Chat With Fans Sunday

In case anyone missed it, Brewers "On Deck" is this Sunday. For those that can't make it, you'll still get a chance to interact with some of the team. New Manager Ron Roenicke, third baseman Casey McGehee, and right-handed relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins will take part in an online web chat with fans on Sunday at 2:00 CST. Go to for details and for the chat itself.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Brewers-Weeks Contract Talks: How Much is Rickie Worth?

The Brewers say they're making "slow and steady progress" on contract negotiations with Rickie Weeks and Shaun Marcum. With regard to Weeks they initially tried to work out a multi-year contract extension, but shifted gear to focus on a single-year deal when the two sides exchanged figures and realized how far apart they were in Weeks' expected salary for 2011. Weeks filed for $7.2 million while the Brewers filed for $4.85 million. Weeks made $2.345 million in 2010. This begs the question: how much is Rickie Weeks worth, this year and in years to come?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Previewing the 2011 Season: Corey Hart

Corey Hart's 2010 season was interesting, to say the least. He began the year by performing so poorly during Spring Training that the Brewers opted to start Jim Edmonds in right field on opening day (causing Hart to lose his spot on the Allstar ballot to Edmonds), and he did not play his second game until the fifth game of the season. Faced with circumstances he had not yet encountered in his career, Hart put his head down and worked hard to earn back his role as the team's everyday right fielder. He watched video of his swing, met frequently with hitting coach Dale Sveum, and spent a lot of time in the batting cages. Hart improved his swing, and his performance gradually convinced Ken Macha that he again deserved more time in the starting lineup.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Bob Uecker!

Today is the 76th birthday of our very own Mr. Baseball, Bob Uecker. Happy birthday, Bob! We wish you good health in 2011 and many more years entertaining us with your knowledge of the game and unique sense of humor! Here's a clip from 1984 with Uecker on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show.

Brewers Nearing Completion of Miller Park Scoreboard

Yesterday the Brewers presented their new scoreboard to the media as they hoisted the Miller Park sign to its position above the screen. The 5,940 sq. ft. hi-def screen will be a significant upgrade from the old screen and should improve the experience for fans in 2011. The board is scheduled for its first use on April 2. Click here for some more pics of the screen. And in case you forgot, here's a picture of the old screen. I imagine the new screen will be roughly the size of this scoreboard including the ads on the sides and below and will combine the functions of video and scoreboard.

Brewers VP of Business Operations Rick Schlesinger talks about the new scoreboard (with some video of them raising the MP sign).

UPDATE 3/1/11: Here is a more recent picture of the scoreboard. Nice!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Brewers #1 Prospect, Mark Rogers, Back on Track

This Sunday Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured Mark Rogers, the man currently listed as the Milwaukee Brewers' #1 Prospect. The Brewers selected Rogers in the first round of the 2004 draft. Rogers previously sat atop the Brewers' prospect list in 2006, second only to a young slugger named Prince Fielder (you may have heard of him). He made his major league debut in 2010 after years in prospect wilderness. Rogers' late-season success in Milwaukee's bullpen and starting rotation marks the culmination of an incredible comeback effort.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Previewing the 2011 Season: Zack Greinke

This is the first article in a series that I'll continue to write as the 2011 season draws near. A fitting start to this series focuses on the Brewers' biggest offseason splash, 27-year-old ace pitcher Zack Greinke.

The Brewers picked up Zack Greinke in December in a six player trade that sent Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jeremy Jeffress, and Jake Odorizzi to Kansas City for Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt. Greinke won the AL Cy Young Award in 2009 and will lead a starting pitching staff expected to be much improved from last year.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Brewers Set Schedule For "On Deck"

This week the Brewers released details of their 2011 fan fest. Adam McCalvy of published the information you'll need if you plan to attend. Most of your favorite Brewers will be on hand and available for autographs ($10-$25 apiece), sans Prince Fielder who previously committed to attending a wedding.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Help Wisconsin Family Struck By Tragedy Win Pepsi Refresh Project

Adam McCalvy wrote this week about the Kilar family from Whitewater, WI. Their son, Treyton, was tragically killed last fall by a drunk driver. It'd be hard to find a bigger Brewer fan than Treyton, and his parents are now seeking funding to build a ballpark in his memory. The money depends on your votes, so visit and vote for them once a day (per email account) between now and January 31st. They're currently in second place (which qualifies for $250K) so let's help them finish strong! Read Adam's article here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Brewers Come to Terms With Kameron Loe, Avoiding Arbitration

The Brewers came to terms today with Kameron Loe for 2011. The deal pays Loe a base salary of $1.25 million with incentives worth as much as $115,000 more. The two sides settled below the midway point for which the two sides filed on Tuesday (Loe- $1.65 million vs Brewers- $1.055 million). The Brewers still have two arbitration eligible players remaining, Rickie Weeks and Shaun Marcum.

The Brewers also added some outfield depth on Friday, signing Jeremy Reed (30 years old, .253 career average, 12 HRs, 110 RBIs in 476 games) to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league Spring Training camp. The signing indicates a degree of uncertainty among the Brewers front office with regard to the outfield. Ryan Braun and Corey Hart will play the corner spots, but after that it seems the Brewers are not sure if they trust Carlos Gomez with everyday center fielding duties, or Chris Dickerson as the main outfield utility player.

2011 Brewers Free From Contracts of Hall, Suppan

Suppan Drops the Ball
Jaymes Langrehr wrote Wednesday that the Brewers' opening day payroll should sit near that of 2010 (roughly $90 million) once salaries are finalized for Rickie Weeks, Shaun Marcum, and Kameron Loe. Yet fans and analysts alike expect the 2011 Brewers to be significantly improved from the 2010 squad (though some still don't quite buy it). The main reason the Brewers find themselves able to field a better team this year at a similar cost to last year: freedom from the burdensome contracts of Bill Hall and Jeff Suppan.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Brewers Draft Order, Spring Training Roster Set

This year's first-round draft order is set with yesterday's signing of Carl Pavano by the Minnesota Twins. The Brewers get the 12th and 15th picks (the second due to 2010's first-round pick Dylan Covey opting to attend college rather than sign with the Brewers after being diagnosed with diabetes). These picks hold special importance for the Brewers after they gave up some of their best prospects in the December trades for Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke. See the entire first-round order here.

Additionally, the Brewers announced their roster for Spring Training today, as reported by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Brewers Closer John Axford Featured in "National Post"

The National Post published a nice feature today on Brewers closing pitcher John Axford. The article touches on Axford's mustache, the ups and downs he encountered throughout his minor league career, his emergence last May as a rookie thrust into the closer's role, and the time he spent working with Trevor Hoffman. Axford also says that he has no plans to move to the states; he and his wife enjoy spending time with family during the offseason.

Axford certainly provides a remarkable story. After a rough spring in 2009 he thought he saw the writing on the wall that his career may nearly be over. Yet Axford persevered. He adjusted his delivery upon advice from a coach, kept working hard, and found himself called up to Milwaukee in September of '09. Less than a year later he stepped into the shoes of a future Hall of Famer and proceeded to save 24 games in 27 attempts with a 2.48 ERA. Axford even seemed to fit in with the old school style of former Brewers manager Ken Macha, who frequently called on Axford to pitch more than the requisite final three outs of the game. Axford's four and five out saves remind fans of a bygone era, linking him to closers of the 70s and 80s such as the great Rollie Fingers (and not just for the mustache!).

Previously known for his high walk-rate, Axford seems to have fixed this problem after tweaking his delivery in '09. The closer's job is Axford's to lose in 2011. If he continues to pitch like he did in 2010, Brewers fans should enjoy watching their "throwbacker" close games and sport a mean 'stache for years to come.

Here's another article, from the Toronto Sun, describing Axford's first save of 2010 in May in Minnesota and his success against solid Canadian sluggers Justin Morneau and Joey Votto.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Brewers Pass 1 Million Tickets Sold For 2011

Today the Brewers passed 1 million tickets sold for 2011, matching the franchise record set in 2009 for the earliest date they've accomplished this feat. The 2009 record came on the heels of the Brewers' first postseason appearance in 26 years.

This year, Doug Melvin's offseason acquisitions of Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum while simultaneously retaining the nucleus of the big league club generated justifiable enthusiasm among fans for the 2011 season.

Brewers Arbitration Updates

Yesterday clubs exchanged salary figures with arbitration eligible players for 2011. Remaining arbitration eligible Brewers include Rickie Weeks, Shaun Marcum, and Kameron Loe. Significant gaps persist between the club and all three players, Weeks being the largest.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fielder avoids arbitration with 1-year deal

Prince Fielder and the Brewers have reportedly come to terms for his final season of arbitration eligibility. Fielder will make $15.5 million in 2011, setting a new mark for the highest paid Brewer in a single season (previous-- Zack Greinke, $13.5 million for 2011). At $15.5 million, Fielder surpasses the bar set by Mark Texeira in 2008 ($12.5 million, Braves) for the highest paid, arbitration-eligible position player.

The Brewers also reached a deal today with Manny Parra ($1.2 million), leaving only Rickie Weeks, Shaun Marcum, and Kameron Loe to reach terms with the Brewers for 2011.

Brewers, Weeks negotiate for multi-year deal

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported yesterday that current negotiations between the Brewers and Rickie Weeks focus on a multi-year deal. Weeks sits among four other Brewers eligible for arbitration this year (Prince Fielder, Shaun Marcum, Manny Parra, Kameran Loe). Weeks, like Fielder, can become a free agent after 2011, his final year of arbitration eligibility. Talks between the club and Fielder, on the other hand, concentrate exclusively on a single year deal; talks on a multi-year deal between Melvin and Fielder's agent, Scott Boras, broke down last spring and have not resumed since.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Why John Axford should use "Tom Sawyer" as his entrance music

Axford says that he is looking for a new song for 2011, and Rush's Tom Sawyer would be perfect for the Brew Crew's closer. I don't suggest this song just because Axford and Rush both happen to be Canadian. Here are the reasons:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Will the Cardinals let Albert Pujols reach free agency?

Albert Pujols tells the Cardinals that he will not continue contract extension negotiations once Spring Training begins. Albert does not like distractions during the season, so this leaves about a month to close the deal. You'd think the Cardinals would be eager to lock down what some consider to be the best all-around player of all time, but all bets are off if nothing is finalized before Spring Training begins. Here's hoping the Cardinals act foolishly and Pujols lands in a division in which the Brewers will not face him so frequently.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Will Prince Fielder end up a Cub? looked ahead this week to the market for Prince Fielder once he becomes a free agent after the 2011 season. The more I read about this topic the more I think it's likely he'll become a Cub. As much as that idea pains me, it will be his loss for joining a team with 100 years of losing behind them, and likely 100 more ahead of them.

Use the link above to read the whole article or continue here for the reasons he's likely to become a Cub.

Friday, January 14, 2011

MLB Network's "Top 10 Right Now"

MLB Network has been airing a program this week that features their choices for the top ten players at each position across the Majors. Word has it that Ryan Braun pulled in the #1 spot for left fielders!

@BrewerNation tweets that Mitch Williams is not pleased with the choice-- unsurprising considering Mitch almost never misses an opportunity to get a dig in on Braun. That episode airs today at 12:00 PM CST and again on Sunday at 4:00. Don't worry, it appears as though MLB Network will be re-airing episodes nearly every day.

1B will air tomorrow at 3:00 and is bound to feature Prince Fielder. My guess is he comes in at #6, behind (not necessarily in this order) Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Miguel Cabrera, Mark Texeira, Ryan Howard and possibly Joey Votto, which would push Prince to #7.

A more competitive NL Central in 2011

Here's an article by Anthony Castrovince about competitiveness in the NL Central in 2011. Castrovince writes that with two non-contending teams from 2010 (Brewers, Cubs) making major moves to improve their clubs (Greinke and Marcum, Garza), what on paper looked like a two horse race between the Cardinals and Reds in 2011 may instead turn out to be one of the most competitive divisions in baseball.

Today's trivia question: What was the most recent year in which the winner of the NL Central division was not decided until the final weeks of the regular season?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

This Week in Brewers History, January 9-15

On January 13, 2005, Bud Selig's ownership group finalized its $180 million sale of the Milwaukee Brewers to Mark Attanasio's ownership group, officially ending the Selig era in Milwaukee that began with Bud's purchase of the Seattle Pilots in 1970, the team's move to Milwaukee, and its renaming to become the Brewers.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Adieu, Trevor Hoffman

Sure, Trevor Hoffman only pitched for the Brewers for two years. And yes, he almost single handedly put the Brewers in a hole in 2010 from which they were never able to climb out. But no one can deny the positive impact he had on our favorite club over the past two seasons, both on and off the field. If nothing else we can be grateful that our new closer, John Axford, benefited from Hoffman's insights. He will undoubtedly be a better closer and pitcher for having spent time under Trevor's tutelage.

Greetings Brewers Fans!

I've been meaning to start this blog for a while, and with Trevor Hoffman announcing his retirement yesterday, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to do so. Selfishly, I did not want to miss an opportunity to write about Trevor, as he is one of my favorite pitchers to watch when he's throwing well (must be my affinity for incredible changeups).

Welcome to any and all visiting my new blog! This is a blog dedicated to all things related to the Milwaukee Brewers, run by nothing more than a Brewers fan who enjoys reading and writing about the Brewers. Hopefully you're here because you gain some enjoyment from reading or commenting on my posts. This blog is in its infant stages, and I expect to add many additional features as my time allows. Thanks for visiting, and as usual, GO BREW CREW