January 2011

Saito deal could cap Brewers winter

The Brewers on Wednesday finalized their one-year contract with right-reliever Takashi Saito, a move that might signal the end of their major offseason acquisitions. 
Saito will draw a base salary of less than $2 million but could earn incentives for appearances and days on the active roster to push his salary close to the $3.2 million he earned with Atlanta last season. He posted a 2.83 ERA and one save in 56 relief appearances for the Braves while holding opponents to a .203 average.  
In Milwaukee, Saito will likely fit alongside right-hander LaTroy Hawkins and left-hander Zack Braddock as the primary set-up men to second-year closer John Axford. Saito turns 41 on Valentine’s Day. 
There is still business to be done, including talks with second baseman Rickie Weeks about a contract extension and four other arbitration-eligible players — Prince Fielder among them — to be signed for 2011.  And Brewers officials are always on the lookout for waiver claims or budget signings just before Spring Training. 
But considering the big moves already made, most notably the trades for starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, it made sense to ask general manager Doug Melvin whether he might have just added his final significant piece. 
“Well, the roster is full,” he said. 
Indeed, Saito left the Brewers with a full 40-man roster five weeks and one day shy of the date pitchers and catchers must report to Maryvale Baseball Park. 
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Former Brewer Erickson to manage Class A club

Matt Erickson, a backup infielder for the Brewers for four games in 2004, has been promoted to manage the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Milwaukee’s Class A affiliate in Appleton, Wis. 

Erickson had been the Rattlers’ hitting coach for the past two years. The team also announced that pitching Coach Chris Hook and athletic trainer Jeff Paxson both would return for 2011, and that former University of North Florida head coach Dusty Rhodes would replace Erickson as hitting coach. Tim Gifford has been assigned to the Timber Rattlers as the Strength & Conditioning Coach.
Erickson is a native of Appleton and played baseball at Appleton West High School. He retired as a player after the 2008 season and became the Timber Rattlers hitting coach in 2009.
“I am very excited to get the opportunity to manage a Brewers affiliate in my hometown,” Erickson in a statement from the team.  “The Brewers are the organization that I grew up watching.  They gave me a call up to play in the big leagues and now a chance to help develop the young talent in their organization.”
Jeff Isom, who managed the Timber Rattlers in 2009 and 2010, has moved on to be the manager of the Class A Brevard County Manatees, Milwaukee’s Florida State League affiliate.
For the rest of the staff breakdowns, check out the story on Brewers.com later today.
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Season ticket promotion

The Brewers are sweetening the deal for fans who purchase or renew season ticket packages of 20 games or more for 2011.
Here’s how it works: Each day from Jan. 17-Feb. 25, one seatholder will be selected to win a prize that ranges from a chance to join the grounds crew to lessons with Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum to a $1,000 shopping spree in the team store at Miller Park. One season seatholder will even sign a one-day contract with the Brewers, complete with a full uniform and one day’s Major League salary. 
Fans must purchase or renew a 20-game package or above to qualify for the drawing. Purchases made prior to Wednesday will already have an entry in the contest. Purchases made within the 40 days will be eligible for the next day’s drawing and remainder of the prizes. The last day to purchase to be eligible for prizes is Friday, Feb. 18. 
“This has been an exciting off-season for Brewers fans, and this program is designed to reward our Season Seat Holders for their exceptional support,” Brewers Executive Vice President of Business Operations Rick Schlesinger said in announcing the promotion. “Our goal was to come up with a promotion offering prizes and experiences that are priceless, and every day will offer a new opportunity to win something unique to Brewers Baseball.” 
For full details and rules, visit www.Brewers.com/fan40
A complete list of prizes along with the date they will be selected: 
January 17: Klement’s Sausage for a Year. The Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages will deliver Klement’s Sausage to your home. Winner receives a year’s supply of Klement’s Sausage products. 
January 18: Your Very Own Ticket. For one game during the 2011 season, your photo will be printed on every season ticket. 
January 19: Game with Gorman. You and nine guests will sit in a Club Suite for a game, complete with food and beverage. Enjoy a visit from Brewers alum Gorman Thomas. 
January 20: Keeper of the Grounds. Be a groundskeeper at Miller Park for a game. 
January 21: Friendly Game of Catch. Catch 10 pitches from one of the Brewers bullpen pitchers and take home a ball signed by that player. 
January 22: Gehl Club 4-Pack. Win four stadium seats in a Gehl Club 4-Pack, valued at $1,520. 
January 23: Autographed Bat & Jersey. Win an autographed bat and jersey from a current Brewers player. 
January 24: Bernie’s Slide. Get the chance to go down Bernie’s Slide, just like Bernie does. 
January 25: Eat, Drink and Repeat. Receive $500 in food and beverage concession vouchers, courtesy of DNC Sportservice. 
January 26: You in the Owner’s Suite. Watch a game from the Owner’s Suite with Brewers executives and 10 guests. 
January 27: View from the Bullpen. You and five friends will sit in the bullpen as the Brewers take batting practice prior to a game. 
January 28: All-Star Game Jersey Presentation. Co-present the All-Star Game jersey to a Brewers 2011 All Star on the field. Take home an authentic All-Star jersey signed by that player. 
January 29: Party in the Clubhouse. Host a party for you and 19 guests during the offseason in the Brewers Visitors Clubhouse, catered by DNC Sportservice. 
January 30: Announce the Starting Lineup. Announce the starting lineup for the Brewers over the Miller Park PA system. 
January 31: Surprise Your Sweetie. Bernie and/or the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages will deliver roses to your sweetie on Valentine’s Day. 
February 1: Tour the Roof. Take a tour of the Miller Park roof. Plus, you’ll have a chance to operate it! 
February 2: The Owner’s Seats. You and three friends will sit in Owner’s seats, located next to the home dugout, for a game. Enjoy a visit from Brewers executives. 
February 3: Hitting Lesson with Dale. Win a private lesson from Brewers Hitting Coach Dale Sveum while you and a guest take batting practice before a game at Miller Park. Take home a Brewers batting helmet signed by Sveum. 
February 4: Be at the Draft. Travel to the site of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft as a member of the Brewers contingent. Airfare and hotel accommodations provided.  
February 5: Club Suite for Twenty. Win a Club Suite for 20 people, including ballpark fare for your guests, courtesy of DNC Sportservice. 
February 6: Palermo’s Pizza for a Year. Win a one-year supply of Palermo’s Pizza. 
February 7: Run the Klement’s Famous Sausage Race. Choose which Klement’s Famous Racing Sausage you want to be as you race for a victory during the 6th inning of a game with two of your friends holding the finish line.  
February 8: Private Shopping Spree. Win $1,000 to spend in the Brewers Team Store by Majestic during a private shopping session. 
February 9: Party with Doug. You and nine guests will sit in a Club Suite for a game complete with food and beverage. Enjoy a visit from Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin. 
February 10: Autographed Baseballs. Take home a set of baseballs autographed by each member of the 2011 Brewers starting rotation. 
February 11: Gaming on the Scoreboard. Play video games on the new Brewers scoreboard from the Scoreboard Control Room with three of your friends. 
February 12: Tailgate for Twenty. Enjoy a tailgate for 20 prior to a 2011 Brewers home game, catered by DNC Sportservice. Includes 20 game tickets. 
February 13: Do the Dew Deck. Enjoy a game in the Dew Deck with 19 of your closest friends. Complete with food and beverage, courtesy of DNC Sportservice. 
February 14: Manage the Mini Sausage Race. Win all five spots as Mini-Racing Sausages in the Sunday relay race during the 6th inning of a game, as well as 10 Field Level tickets to that game. 
February 15: Wrigley Field Rooftop. You and three guests will enjoy a Brewers-Cubs game from a Wrigley Field Rooftop, complete with food and beverage. 
February 16: Owner’s Box Seats at Wrigley. Sit in the Visiting Owner’s Box at Wrigley Field. Includes transportation and tickets for two on the Amtrak Hiawatha Service. 
February 17: You in the TV Booth. Visit the truck, television booth and sit in on the post-game show. Meet and take a photo with FSWisconsin broadcasters. 
February 18: Team Photo. You will be included in a photo with the entire 2011 Brewers roster and coaching staff. 
February 19: VIP Luncheon. You and a guest will sit at the head table during the 2011 Season Seat Holder Luncheon in the NYCE Stadium Club with two Brewers players and/or coaches and Brewers executives. Take home an autographed baseball from each player and/or coach. 
February 20: Press Pass. Enjoy a pre-game dinner and take in three innings from the Brewers Press Box. Watch the remainder of the game from Field Diamond Box seats. 
February 21: You in Control. Watch the game from the Scoreboard Control Room and see firsthand how the brand new scoreboard works. 
February 22: Signed Opening Day Baseballs. Take home a set of nine baseballs each autographed by a member of the Brewers starting lineup on Opening Day.  
February 23: Room with a View. You and seven guests will enjoy a private party in the Brewers Club Level Board Room during part of a game. Watch the remainder of the game from Field Diamond Box seats. 
February 24: Softball at Helfaer Field. Play a softball game at Helfaer Field, complete with complimentary food and beverage from DNC Sportservice for 20 people. 
February 25: Welcome to the Big Leagues. Sign a one-day Major League contract, complete with full uniform plus one day’s pay at the MLB minimum salary. 
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