The team’s pitchers, catchers and early-reporting position players took to the rain-soaked fields in Phoenix for the first official workout of the team’s 40th-anniversary season in Milwaukee. The rest of the position players will formally join the fold on Saturday, and Spring Training will be officially under way.
“You always feel like it’s going to be a long time, but then all of a sudden the offseason is over and it’s time for Spring Training,” said righty Yovani Gallardo, who threw a 40-pitch session along with about a dozen other pitchers on a covered bullpen mound. “It’s always fun to have an opportunity to come back, step on that mound and throw to your catcher. I’m feeling really excited about this upcoming year.”
Manager Ken Macha gathered his coaches and players for the first time at 10:15 a.m. CT sharp for some opening remarks. Fifteen minutes later, everybody was out on the field to stretch in a routine that will repeat itself daily in the six weeks leading to the team’s April 5 season opener.
The wet conditions did force Macha to alter slightly his Day 1 agenda, but a number of pitchers including starters Gallardo, Doug Davis, Dave Bush and Manny Parra were able to throw bullpen sessions under the watchful gaze of new pitching coach Rick Peterson, and hitting coach Dale Sveum led the hitters to covered batting cages for some work.
“I’m excited about our pitching staff because we’ve really made some upgrades,” Macha said. “But, that said, if you look at it we’ve still got a pretty young ballclub, so there’s still a lot of work to do. The only guy with some grey hairs is the catcher.
“On the other hand, we’ve got great talent. I’ve got a lot of confidence that we’re going to be able to get it done.”
All of the team’s pitchers and catchers were present and accounted for on Monday including closer Trevor Hoffman, who was reserving his enthusiasm for Saturday’s full-squad debut.
“It’s exciting, but until you get the whole team together, it doesn’t feel quite right,” Hoffman said. “In these first few days you find coaches saying, ‘When everybody is here we’ll address this or that.’ So I’m going to wait until everybody is here before I get too excited.”
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The Brewers announced Friday afternoon that Brewers Charities has a new name and a new focus. Here’s the club news release:
MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio and his wife Debbie today announced plans to enhance the organization’s philanthropic efforts through the creation of the Brewers Community Foundation. The Brewers Community Foundation replaces Brewers Charities, Inc., which has served as the Milwaukee Brewers charitable arm for the past decade. As part of the enhancement, BCF will operate with a new mission, vision, focused areas of interest and fundraising activities.Since being named Chairman and Principal Owner of the Milwaukee Brewers more than five years ago, Mark Attanasio has worked with Brewer executives and staff to deliver on the four cornerstone pledges he made to the region’s fans. One of them was for the Brewers to be a leader in the community, and today’s announcement is motivated by their commitment to this pledge. Mark and Debbie have played an integral role in developing and launching this new umbrella organization to coordinate all Brewer philanthropic activities in order to help meet the growing needs of the Greater Milwaukee and Wisconsin community.“In appreciation for the tremendous support the community has offered the Brewers, we are excited to expand our programs as part of BCF’s new mission,” said Mark Attanasio. We are continually striving to improve how we operate as an organization, and giving back has always been a top priority as we work toward improving the quality of life in Wisconsin.”“Being a leader on the field is more obvious to see during our games, but what many people don’t really have the opportunity to witness is the profound commitment that everyone connected to the Brewers has to giving back to our community,” said Debbie Attanasio. “This is an exciting day for our family, the Brewers, and everyone associated with the organization.”Cecelia Gore, who joined the former Brewers Charities, Inc., last year, will lead the Foundation as executive director.Key elements of the Brewers Community Foundation include the following:MISSION• The Brewers Community Foundation harnesses the pride, passion and commitment of Brewers fans, players, and other supporters to positively impact the lives of children and their families in Greater Milwaukee and Wisconsin.VISION• Our vision is to be thoughtful, dependable, philanthropic leaders actively engaged in providing needed financial support and leadership consistent with our mission.SUPPORT• Funding efforts will be focused, and we will strategically extend financial support to nonprofits that provide quality programming in the areas of health, education, recreation and basic needs, with a particular focus on low income and disadvantaged youth.Two new programs accompany the establishment of the Foundation.First, at every home game this season, the Brewers Community Foundation will stage a 50-50 Raffle. Raffle tickets will be sold by Foundation team members to fans throughout Miller Park for $2. Fifty percent of the net revenue will be awarded to a lucky fan each game, with remaining proceeds going to the Foundation. Similar efforts have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in other Major League Baseball pilot programs.Second, the Foundation is implementing a Change for Children program at Miller Park. More than 100 canisters will be placed at concession and retail points of sale, and the Brewers encourage fans to donate their spare change to benefit the Foundation’s charitable causes.
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