Results tagged ‘ On Deck ’

Brewers On Deck live blog

Here’s the latest from Brewers On Deck:
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The attendance figure is in and it’s a record: A total of 11,299 fans passed through Brewers On Deck today, besting last year’s crowd of 10,638. In 2009, the first year the event was held at Milwaukee’s convention center, 10,411 fans attended.
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Nobody is more excited about the club’s 2011 prospects than principal owner Mark Attanasio, though he’ll be signing some big paychecks again this season. By acquiring Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, among others, and paying a record arbitration salary to first baseman Prince Fielder, the payroll will push $90 million again next season.
“Once again, I’ve managed to put us in a position where we could lose money this year, even with three million fans, which we project coming out,” Attanasio said. “But there’s nothing better than winning.”
The trick, Attanasio says, is balancing the desire to win now with the need to compete consistency. To that end, club officials have already assembled payroll projections through 2015. That work will help Attanasio & Co. decide who can be locked-up beyond their current contracts. 
Attanasio, by the way, has been added to a committee of owners working on the next collective bargaining agreement. The current CBA expires in December.
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Second baseman Rickie Weeks says he wants to focus on baseball once he reports to Spring Training. That means if the Brewers and Weeks’ agent, Greg Genske, are going to work out a multi-year extension, the calendar is running short. 
“After Spring Training [begins], I want to focus on the year and the team,” Weeks said. 
Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash said he isn’t overly concerned about Weeks’ deadline. For the reasons why, check out my blog item on the matter
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Ryan Braun considered going to Dallas to watch his buddy Aaron Rodgers play in the Super Bowl, but he’s leaning against it because he doesn’t want to miss any of his workouts. Braun has been working hard this winter with one of baseball’s fitness freaks — former Brewer Gabe Kapler. 
They’ve been using the facilities at Peperdine University, which is near Braun’s home.
“That guy is an animal,” Braun said. “He’s made me a much better athlete and helped me get bigger and stronger this offseason. I’ve known Gabe since I was 12, 13 years old, but this is the first offseason we’ve worked out. Trying to compete with him has made me better. His intensity is amazing.”
So Braun will probably cheer Rodgers and the Packers from home next Sunday.
“I’m too paranoid about missing workouts,” he said. 
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New manager Ron Roenicke and his coaches broke in the event’s main stage with a question and answer session led by TV man Brian Anderson. Roenicke told fans he does not like talking about himself, but he did reveal this piece of inside information: One of his hobbies is woodworking.
“I’ve got a lot going on off the field,” Roenicke said. “This winter, I haven’t had the opportunity to do the things I normally would do. That’s a good thing.”
That’s, of course, because he has been busy preparing for his first season as a Major League manager. The first question of Roenicke was a familiar one: How will he do a better job than his predecessors of meshing with players like Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder?
“Communication in this game is very important,” Roenicke said. “I realize that today, that’s something you have to go out of your way to do. … I think it’s important for [players] to know you’re behind them all the time.”
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Other tidbits from that coaches’ session:
– Pitching coach Rick Kranitz will gather his pitchers for a voluntary minicamp at Maryvale Baseball Park on Feb. 12. He’s already been getting to know members of the staff but said that camp would give him a better idea of what he’ll be working with in 2011. 
– Bench coach Jerry Narron, the former Reds manager, downplayed the fact he’s been out of baseball for the past two years. He said he was thrilled to spend that time with a son who’s in high school, and watched more games on MLB Network that he would have been able to see had he been working.
– Roenicke said he’s glad to have three holdovers from last year’s Major League coaching staff — hitting coach Dave Sveum, bullpen coach Stan Kyles and third base coach Ed Sedar (who moved from first base). Sveum sounded impressed so far.
“Ron is an aggressive manager and we have some really aggressive players,” Sveum said. “They’re champing at the bit to play for this guy.”
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Greinke headlines Brewers On Deck

Zack Greinke will meet Milwaukee fans for the first time on Jan. 30 as part of “Brewers On Deck,” a downtown fanfest that features autographs and photos, interactive games and other baseball-themed events. 
Greinke, acquired from the Royals last month, is one of 25 current Brewers players scheduled to appear along with the full coaching staff, a slate of prospects and some Milwaukee legends. 
The club is instituting a new lottery system for autographs of certain high-profile players and asked fans to take note. For those select players — to be announced later — fans must obtain a numbered coupon to at the Frontier Airlines Center beginning at 9 a.m..  Coupon distribution will be available up to an hour before each designated autograph session.  
Fans will receive one coupon per event admittance ticket and can use their ticket to enter the random selection process for any one of the select Brewers players.  There is no cost for coupons to enter the random selection process; however, those holding coupons that are chosen must pay $25 at the respective autograph stage to be donated to the Brewers Community Foundation.
Winning coupon numbers will be announced over the public address system and posted at the respective autograph stages one hour prior to the player’s autograph time.  There will be 250 winners for each autograph session.
Players and staff not included in the random selection process will sign 250 autographs each at prices ranging from free to $10.  The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team — the Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia.
Tickets for the event are <a href=” http://mlb.mlb.com/mil/fan_forum/brewers_on_deck.jsp”><b>on sale now at Brewers.com/ondeck</b></a>. Adult tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door while tickets for children ages 14 and under are $9 in advance and $15 at the door.
On the day of the event, only cash will be accepted for purchases made at the door and at the various autograph stages.
Here is the full list of attendees:
Current players: John Axford, Brandon Boggs, Zach Braddock, Ryan Braun, Craig Counsell, Chris Dickerson, Yovani Gallardo, Mat Gamel, Carlos Gomez, Greinke, Sean Green, Corey Hart, LaTroy Hawkins, Brandon Kintzler, George Kottaras, Jonathan Lucroy, Shaun Marcum, Mike McClendon, Casey McGehee, Chris Narveson, Wil Nieves, Manny Parra, Mark Rogers, Rickie Weeks, Randy Wolf.
       
Coaches: Ron Roenicke, Garth Iorg, Rick Kranitz, Stan Kyles, Jerry Narron, Ed Sedar, Dale Sveum, John Shelby.
Rising stars: Kentrail Davis, Eric Farris, Ryan Gennett, Caleb Gindl, Kyle Heckathorn, Erik Komatsu, Jeff Morris, Cody Scarpetta, Logan Schafer.
Alumni: Jerry Augustine, Jim Gantner, Larry Hisle.
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On deck Jan. 30; tix on sale Wednesday

Hot off the presses from the Brewers:

The Milwaukee Brewers announced today that tickets for Brewers On Deck 2011 will go on sale tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10 a.m. CT.  Set to take place Sunday, January 30, 2011 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Frontier Airlines Center (formerly known as the Midwest Airlines Center), Brewers On Deck is the winter fan festival that bridges the gap between the Wisconsin winter and Spring Training.
“On Deck continues to be one of our most popular events as it gives fans an opportunity to interact with players in an intimate setting,” said Brewers Executive Vice President – Business Operations Rick Schlesinger. “It also serves as the unofficial start of baseball season, with Spring Training beginning just two weeks later.”
Adult tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door while tickets for children ages 14 and under are $9 in advance and $15 at the door.  Fans who purchase tickets by Sunday, October 3 will receive a free ticket voucher (Terrace Box or Terrace Reserved seat) for any Monday – Thursday Brewers home game in April of 2011 (excluding Opening Day and any other Marquee Games).  A portion of the proceeds from Brewers On Deck will benefit Brewers Community Foundation. 
Tickets may be purchased beginning tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Miller Park ticket office, by calling the Brewers Ticket office at 414-902-4000, or online at brewers.com/ondeck.
Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family.  Autographs and photos from Brewers players and coaches, interactive games in the Kids Area, Q&A sessions and game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters, vendor booths with baseball memorabilia, the Brewers Community Foundation Live Auction and Rummage Sale and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.
Autograph sessions will be staggered during the event, and autograph tickets — ranging from free to $25 each — will be available on the day of the event only.  There will be 250 autograph coupons available for each player and coach at the event.  Coupons for certain players will be available via a lottery process.  Cash will be the only form of payment accepted at the pay stations in the autograph area.  Additional details regarding the autograph schedules and lottery process will be available at a later date.
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Blogging from "On Deck"

Thousands of Brewers fans lined up early this morning at Milwaukee’s downtown Midwest Airlines Center for “Brewers On Deck,” a day-long fanfest that features autographs, photo sessions, memorabilia booths and a big corner stage for question and answer sessions and other events. 

Here are the updates as they appeared throughout the day:
5:31 p.m. CT — Attendance figures are in, and 10,638 fans attended Brewers On Deck on Sunday. That’s 227 more than attended last year, when the team was coming off a playoff appearance. 
5:05 p.m. CT – Ryan Braun is rooting for Prince Fielder to sign a longterm extension with the Brewers. Braun, after all, is under contract through 2015 and has the luxury of hitting in front of Fielder in the lineup. But Braun is not holding his breath.
“He’s going to do whatever is in his best interests, whatever is best for his family,” Braun said. “He’s earned the opportunity to go out there and see what free agency is like, see who’s interested and how much they are willing to pay.
“Obviously, I want him here. But it’s a business and I just want what’s best for him. I think everybody recognizes the circumstances and the situation that he’s in and that the team is in. To me, it’s going to come down to what’s best for his family. He’s close enough to free agency that it doesn’t make a lot of sense for him to sign a deal at this point. You have to be [realistic].”
3:36 p.m. CT — On Monday, David Riske will be just eight months removed from Tommy John surgery, a procedure that can require 12 months of rehabilitation. Still, the reliever is hoping to be active for the Brewers on Opening Day. 
“I’d say it’s a long shot, but it’s a possibility,” Riske said. “It just all depends on how fast it responds, and then when I can face hitters and how fast it responds after that.”
Riske has been rehabbing at home in Las Vegas and began throwing off a mound two weeks ago. That’s a significant milestone.
The Brewers would love to get some production from Riske this season because so far his three-year contract has not paid off. Riske says his troubles began during his first Spring Training with the Brewers in 2007, when then-pitching coach Mike Maddux tried to introduce a curveball to his repertoire. 
“I wish I would have never, ever tried to learn those breaking balls because that’s really what triggered it,” Riske said. “What do you do? You want to do what they want, and it gradually got worse and worse. … My whole career, I threw 95 percent fastballs, and I’ve had a pretty good career up until last year. I wish I would have just said no.”
Riske said he objected, but tried to pitch through the pain. He posted a 5.31 ERA in 45 appearances in 2008 and was shut down after Sept. 7. 
Riske is due $4.5 million in 2010 and his contract calls for a $4.75 million option for 2011 or a $250,000 buyout. 
He expects to be limited at the start of Spring Training and will follow a program prescribed by Brewers’ doctors. Pitchers and catchers will participate in their first formal workout on Feb. 22. 
“I miss competition,” Riske said. “I’ve been competing with my boys at home, and that’s just not the same. I want that back. I just want to go pitch without hurting.”

2:25 p.m. CT – Jeff Cirillo is staying busy these days. He’s an active investor in the Walla Walla Sweets, a newly-formed baseball team in the West Coast League, a summer wood bat league for collegiate prospects. Cirillo produced his cell phone and showed off the club’s logo, a proud father showing a photo of his kids. The club is named for one of Walla Walla, Wash.’s chief exports, the sweet onion.
Cirillo is involved in everything from player procurement to business operations. He’s also a Major League scout for the D-backs and said he’ll also be involved in some on-field instruction this year. 
1:27 p.m. CT — Prince Fielder Fielder moved into a new house this winter in Windermere, Fla., the upscale hamlet near Orlando made infamous in recent months because it’s also the home of Tiger Woods. With all of the commotion, Fielder has mostly stayed in, playing with young sons Jaden and Haven and staying in shape. Fielder’s new home is outfitted with a pool, a gym — “A little miniature-Ballys,” he said — and an indoor batting cage. He’s working to maintain his playing weight from last season, “or maybe to get a little better.” 
“I have to work out or I’d be huge,” Fielder said. “That’s not an option for me. … I don’t want to turn into an obese person, because I can.” 
He likes the Brewers’ offseason moves to far, and Sunday’s “On Deck” event gave Fielder a chance to catch up with newcomers like Randy Wolf, LaTroy Hawkins and Gregg Zaun. His contract could be a major issue swirling around the Brewers as they gather at Maryvale Baseball Park for Spring Training, but Fielder is much more interested to focus on baseball. 
“I’m just looking forward to having a better year as far as the team,” he said. “Whatever happens after that is cool. As long as we improve, I’m happy.”
12:56 p.m. CT – Fielder isn’t sweating his contract situation, unlike so many of the Brewers fans who asked for his autograph at the Brewers’ annual fan fest on Sunday. 
Fielder is two seasons shy of free agency, and the Brewers are already engaging agent Scott Boras in some casual conversations about a long-term extension. Trouble is, there is little or no precedent for a Boras client of Fielder’s star caliber accepting such a deal over the riches available on the open market, and many Milwaukee fans are already counting down the days to Fielder’s inevitable departure.
Not so fast, he said. 
“In the end, it’s my decision,” Fielder said. “But as my agent, he’s going to make sure that I have the most information possible about what’s going to benefit me and my family. That’s what it’s about first. My family has to be happy, and then I go from there.
“There’s no urgency right now as far as that.”
Asked whether he was worried about the fact that fellow star first basemen Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard and Adrian Gonzalez are all lined up to reach free agency at the same time as Fielder, he responded with a smile, “I’m younger than all of them, and I’m pretty good.”
Fielder said he won’t set a deadline for talks, though he said he “could tell [Boras], ‘Beat it,'” at some point if he doesn’t want to talk business any more. If the negotiations don’t progress, Fielder would earn his $10.5 million in 2010 and be eligible for salary arbitration one more time this winter. If he has a season like the one he enjoyed in 2009, when Fielder belted 46 homers and tied for the Major League lead with 141 RBIs, it could be a record-breaking case. 
The Brewers took a chance on Fielder in 2002, when they made him the seventh overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft and were skewered by some Draft analysts who were already expressing concern about Fielder’s weight. Instead, Fielder charged through Milwaukee’s Minor League system and took over first base at Miller Park for good in 2006. He set a franchise record 50 home runs in 2007, teamed with left fielder Ryan Braun to lead the Brewers
to their first postseason appearance in a generation in 2008, then set club marks for RBIs and walks in 2009.
That history matters, according to Fielder. 
“I came up here and I love it here,” he said. “My thing is I want to stay here as long as possible. For now, I’m here for two more years anyway. All that other stuff, hopefully, will work out.”
Even though it’s a major long shot, Brewers fans sure hope so. 
11:56 a.m. CT – Brewers bench coach Willie Randolph will begin the season on the disabled list.
Randolph underwent surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his elbow and attended “Brewers On Deck” with his right arm in a brace. Randolph said the injury was the result of wear and tear from throwing so much batting practice in 2009 — coaches throw hundreds of pitches every day — and decided recently that he had to have the problem fixed. 
Ben Sheets, of course, underwent flexor tendon surgery a year ago and missed the entire 2009 season. Randolph expects to be back earlier; he said he hopes to be back on the mound in May. 
11:30 a.m. CT -- Manager Ken Macha and pitching coach Rick Peterson were first up on the main stage and answered questions from reporters and from fans. Most of the discussion, perhaps since Peterson was present and perhaps because it was such a disaster last season, was the pitching. 
“It will all come down to the pitching,” Macha predicted. 
Before he met them in person on Sunday, Peterson had already reached out to many of the team’s pitchers via telephone. Those conversations were mostly about building relationships, Peterson said, though he’s also spent time breaking down video and data and jotting down ideas about improvements.
Those nuts and bolts discussions will begin in Arizona, Peterson said. 
“I want them to understand first that I’m an asset for them,” Peterson said. “Right now I’m doing my homework.”
So far, he likes what he sees. 
“I think this could be a really special year,” Peterson said. “You think about winning 80 games last year and having the worst starting pitching in baseball. If we can make some incremental differences … I think that we can go into Spring Training with the hope of playing in October.”
Other highlights from the session:
- Macha again endorsed Rickie Weeks for the top spot in the lineup. “If I was to write a lineup today, he would be the leadoff hitter,” Macha said. 
- Peterson said the team is in “wait and see right” mode with left-hander Mark Mulder. The sides have discussed a Minor League contract, and Peterson indicated that the ball was in Mulder’s court at this point. 

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Brewers unveil "On Deck" schedule

Brewers On Deck.jpgThe Brewers on Thursday announced programming details and a tentative autograph schedule for Brewers On Deck, the fanfest set for Sunday, Jan. 31 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Midwest Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee.

Autograph sessions will be staggered during the event, and autograph tickets — ranging from free to $25 each and available for cash only — will be available on the day of the event only.  There will be 250 autograph coupons available for each player at the event, and coupons will be distributed one hour prior to each autograph session.  Proceeds from the autographs will go to Brewers Charities and other charitable causes.

Three stages will be set up throughout the convention hall, featuring programming and other activities throughout the day. The Brewers Main Stage will feature various question and answer sessions with top Brewers baseball executives, a pair of game shows featuring players and alumni, a fashion show showcasing the latest Brewers gear, and a roundtable discussion with members of the Milwaukee media who cover the team on a regular basis.

The Brewers Interactive Stage will feature the Brewers Anthem Challenge with fans vying for an opportunity to sing the National Anthem at Miller Park.  Also scheduled for the Brewers Interactive Stage is a question and answer session with the Brewers’ player development and scouting staffs as well as a live webchat with Brewers players.  The Newsradio 620 WTMJ stage will broadcast live from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and will feature interviews with Brewers players and coaches.

Brewers Charities will host a Treasure Hunt, featuring some hard to find Brewers items on sale.  Additionally, Brewers Charities will be collecting food to be donated to the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee.  Collection barrels will be set up at the Brewers Charities area in the Midwest Airlines Center.

Fans will also be able to take part in the Brewers On Deck Scavenger Hunt, with discounted tickets waiting for those who complete the circuit. Inside the Midwest Airlines Center, fans will be invited to locate four player photos strategically placed around the different event attractions. Each photo will include a number or letter, which can then be used as a promotional code to purchase tickets online at a 50 percent savings for Brewers games on April 7, April 11, June 23 and June 24. For additional information on the Scavenger Hunt, visit Brewers.com/ondeck.

Tickets for the event are $15 in advance and $20 at the door for adults and $9 in advance and $15 at the door for children 14 and under.  Tickets purchased at the door of the event on Sunday will be cash only.

There are a variety of parking structures and street lots surrounding the Midwest Airlines Center.  For more parking information, the Brewers encourage fans to visit www.parkmilwaukee.com.

Details on the autograph and programming schedules are listed below. The schedule is subject to change, with the latest version and more information always available at Brewers.com/ondeck.

Autograph Schedule

Stage 1                                                            
11:00 – 11:45      Yovani Gallardo ($10)      
12:30 – 1:15        Robin Yount ($25) 
2:00 – 2:45          Ryan Braun ($25) 
3:30 – 4:15          David Riske and Tim Dillard ($10)

Stage 2                                                                                
11:30 – 12:15      Jeff Suppan ($10)                                            
1:00 – 1:45           Todd Coffey ($10)                             
2:30 – 3:15           Manny Parra ($10)                          
3:45 – 4:30           Casey McGehee ($10)                     

Stage 3                                                                           
10:30 – 11:15                                                     
12:00 – 12:45      Corey Hart ($10)               
1:30 – 2:15           LaTroy Hawkins ($10)         
3:00 – 3:45           Carlos Gomez ($10)       

Stage 4
11:00 – 11:45      Jody Gerut and Josh Butler ($10)
12:30 – 1:15         Randy Wolf and George Kottaras ($10)
2:00 – 2:45           Gregg Zaun and Chris Smith ($10)
3:30 – 4:15           Claudio Vargas and Hernan Iribarren ($10)

Stage 5
11:30 – 12:15      Dave Bush and Chris Narveson ($10)
1:00 – 1:45           Trevor Hoffm
an ($25)
2:30 – 3:15           Carlos Villanueva ($10)
3:45 – 4:30           Mitch Stetter and John Axford ($10)

Stage 6
10:30 – 11:15
12:00 – 12:45      Rickie Weeks ($10)
1:30 – 2:15           Prince Fielder ($25)
3:00 – 3:45           Alcides Escobar and Mat Gamel ($10)

Main Stage Schedule

10:30 – 11:00      Q&A Session with Ken Macha and Rick Peterson
Local media and fans will take part in a 30-minute Q&A session.

11:30 – 12:15 “Who Wants to Be a Brewer?”
Watch Craig Coshun from Fox Sports Wisconsin host the Brewers version of a quiz show as Brewers pitchers Todd Coffey and LaTroy Hawkins will work with lucky fans to earn incredible prizes.

12:30 – 1:00 Q&A Session with Mark Attanasio, Doug Melvin and Gord Ash
Local media and fans will take part in a 30-minute Q&A session.

1:30 – 1:45 Carlos Gomez Press Conference
Local media will welcome Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez with his introductory press conference.

2:15 – 2:30 Fashion Show
The latest Brewers apparel, including 40th Anniversary Brewers gear, will be displayed on the runway.

2:30 – 2:45 Brewers Alumni Q&A
Brewers alums Jeff Cirillo, Gorman Thomas and Greg Vaughn will take questions from fans.

3:15 – 3:45 Brewers vs. Alumni Feud
Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Trevor Hoffman, Randy Wolf, Dale Sveum, Jeff Cirillo, Greg Vaughn, Robin Yount and two lucky fans will participate in a Brewers version of a game show. Hosted by Brian Anderson.

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Brewers "On Deck" sale starts Thursday

The team announced this morning that tickets for the Jan. 31, 2010 “Brewers On Deck” even at Milwaukee’s downtown convention center go on sale starting Thursday at 10 a.m. Everything you need to know about the fanfest is available at Brewers.com/ondeck. I believe the event sold out last year.

EDITED at 6 p.m. CT to fix the date to Jan. 31. My bad.

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