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Let The Affiliated Organization Shuffle Commence!

Nashville Sounds

I’m here this evening on a truncated timetable to chime in on the upcoming Affiliate Shuffle. And I’m not talking about the latest dance craze sweeping the internet.

(To be honest though, how much fun would a dance be called the “Affiliate Shuffle”? You could get front offices from around the different affiliated minor league franchises to participate. They could film videos. YouTube would go crazy. The best part? It only comes around every other year and last no longer than a couple of weeks. You wouldn’t have time to get sick it. You’d bob your head and stomp your feet. A little rhythmic clapping to go along with it. Yes, the “Affiliate Shuffle” would take the world by storm! Sell t-shirts. Sell lunchboxes! Sell VHS tapes teaching you the dance in the comfort and anonymity of your own home!)

You know what the least likely part of that entire digression is? That you wouldn’t have time to get sick of it. MLB is tremendous at a lot of things, and it’s ability to overplay a song is breathtaking.

But anyway, like I said earlier, I’m on a time crunch here.

That being the case, let’s lay out the facts:

  • Player Development Contracts (“PDCs”) are agreed to in even-numbered totals of years. This is because when affiliates change, there is a ton of work that goes in. It would be wildly unfair to expect an affiliated organization to potentially overhaul so many parts of their organization on an annual basis.
  • Affiliated organizations agree to these PDCs with Major League Baseball clubs. To put it plainly, these contracts result in the team where organizations send their minor league players to compete and develop.
  • The Brewers have five organizations under such contracts during these two-year windows.
  • At the conclusion of 2014, four of those PDCs (Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, rookie ball) were set to expire.

So that’s where we found ourselves with the 2014 season winding down. The only affiliate under a PDC after 2014 was set to be the Class-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, who currently are signed through 2016.

First, some good news came down the pipe as it was announced in August that the Brewers and their rookie ball affiliate in Helena were signing a four-year PDC extension. One down, three to go.

It had been widely assumed that the moving-to-Biloxi-Mississippi Huntsville Stars would stay with the Brewers. The Biloxi team even hired the outgoing Huntsville Stars’ general manager Buck Rogers, so continuity appeared to be a goal. As of the moment I hit publish, there has been no official announcement from either side that the relationship will continue. That being said, Baseball America was operating under the assumption that the PDC renewed automatically for two years. I spoke to someone who said that if the relationship is going to continue, he assumed it would be guaranteed for longer than just a two-year auto renewal. It remains to be seen how it ultimately shakes out.

In the same way as the Double-A affiliate, High-A Brevard County in Florida was shown on the same report from Baseball America to have been renewed for two years. There are some extenuating circumstances surrounding the Manatees, but it appears for now as though the PDC will be renewed there as well.

So if that accounts for three of the four expiring PDCs, we’re brought to the situation in Nashville.

The Nashville Sounds have been the Triple-A affiliate of the Brewers since 2005, which adds up to a cool decade in the Music City. The Brewers put up with an aging facility at the end of this most recent PDC extension. And when Nashville and the Sounds finally got together on a new facility at Sulphur Dell, it was hoped that the Brewers would be benefitting from enduring Greer Stadium. Instead, however, it appears that the Sounds want a new tenant beginning in 2015. That would be unfortunate timing for the Brewers what with the new facility, but then again the PDC almost wasn’t renewed following the 2012 season due to Greer Stadium and a bit of contentiousness.

The bottom line as things stands today is that the Brewers have some potential flux in their minor league system. Tuesday, September 16, 2014 is the first day that teams can officially announce new affiliations. There’s a bit of a potential carousel effect which could take place if rumors hold true.

Those rumors include the A’s leaving Sacramento and affiliating with Nashville (as already mentioned), the San Francisco Giants affiliating in Sacramento and leaving Fresno, and the Brewers possibly ending up affiliating with the Fresno Grizzlies who have been the Giants Triple-A affiliate since 1998. The franchise moved to Fresno in 1998 and was, ironically, a Brewers affiliate in their final season as the original incarnation of the Tucson Toros.

So, there’s much to be revealed beginning Tuesday. Hopefully the dust settles quickly and the Brewers will know where their top prospects will be playing ball for at least the next two years, be that in Fresno or some other option.

Roenicke speaks out constructively on coverage

Brewer Nation:

This is from Adam McCalvy and definitely worth a read and absolutely worth archiving for later retrieval. I’m re-blogging it to my page as such per the WordPress system on which MLBlogs.com resides.

Originally posted on Brew Beat:

4f48202ba7a4e.preview-1024It’s an understated part of the gig when you’re manager of a Major League Baseball team, the fact you’re required to meet the media before and after every game to answer the questions of the day. By nature of that arrangement, Ron Roenicke is far and away the Brewers’ chief spokesperson, forced to answer more than anyone else in the organization when things turn south. 
 
On Wednesday, when Roenicke handled with reporters on the Brewers’ bench while the team began batting practice, he had something to say. Since he did so with the voice recorders and cameras rolling, I think it bears sharing publicly: 
 
“A lot of times,” he said, “I’ll read something that’s been written, like during this time, obviously it’s a tough time. And sometimes when I read stuff I feel like I’ve been pointing fingers at what’s been going on, and I don’t like that. And…

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Official Release: New Security Procedures To Be Installed At Miller Park

Metal Detectors to be Located at All Gates for Select Games and Postseason

In coordination with new procedures established by Major League Baseball, the Milwaukee Brewers have announced that all fans will be screened metal detectors on Thursday, September 11 against the Miami Marlins and again on Saturday, September 13 against the Cincinnati Reds.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early on those dates to accommodate the screenings.

The Brewers have screened fans at select gates this year for multiple games, but this will mark the first full-screening of all fans attending games. For other remaining regular season home games, the Brewers will continue to scan at select gates.

Fans will need to remove all metal from their pockets before walking through the metal detectors. This includes items such as phones and keys; however, wallets, shoes and belts will not need to be removed. Bags will continue to be checked at the gates. The list of prohibited items at Miller Park has not altered, but fans are reminded that the Brewers will not hold any prohibited items. Fans will have the option of taking the item back to their vehicle or the team will dispose of it for them.

The new protocols are part of a broader security program initiated this season by Major League Baseball. The process of screening all fans at all games will be fully implemented for the Postseason and for all Major League Baseball games in 2015.

Brewers Announce 2015 Season Schedule

2015schedule

The Milwaukee Brewers today announced the schedule for 2015 – the 45th Anniversary season of the Brewers. The team will open 2015 at home against the Colorado Rockies on Monday, April 6 in the start of a six-game homestand over seven days.

Following the opening series against the Rockies, the Brewers will play each of their next 22 games against National League Central Division opponents. After a three-game, weekend series against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the opening homestand, the Brewers travel to St. Louis and Pittsburgh for the first road trip of the season from April 13-19.

The Interleague schedule will feature games against each team in the American League Central Division, beginning against the Chicago White Sox at Miller Park from May 11-13. A week later, the team faces the Detroit Tigers on the road from May 18-20. The border battle with the Minnesota Twins includes a three-game weekend series at Target Field from June 5-7 and a home weekend series from June 26-28. The Brewers will play back-to-back two-game series with the Kansas City Royals – June 15-16 at Miller Park and June 17-18 at Kauffman Stadium. The team also plays a pair of two-game series against the Cleveland Indians – July 21-22 at home and August 25-26 at Progressive Field.

The longest homestand in 2015 will be 11 games from July 30 – August 9 against Chicago-NL (4g), San Diego (4g) and St. Louis (3g). Milwaukee will also host a 10-game homestand from May 4-13 versus Los Angeles-NL (4g), Chicago-NL (3g) and Chicago-AL (3g).

The team will make four, three-city road trips including three 10-game trips. The first 10-game road trip will take place at New York-NL (May 15-17), Detroit (May 18-20) and Atlanta (May 21-24). The final two road trips of the season are also 10-game trips. The first of the final two trips will take place in Cincinnati (September 4-6), Miami (September 7-9) and Pittsburgh (September 10-13), and the second will take place in Chicago-NL (September 21-23), St. Louis (September 24-27) and San Diego (September 29 – October 1).

The Brewers will play at home on Mother’s Day, May 10 vs. Chicago-NL and Memorial Day, May 25 vs. San Francisco.

Most weekday night games at Miller Park will start at 7:10 p.m. (April 20, May 4, May 11 and September 3 will start at 6:20 p.m.). Weekday day games in April and May will start at 12:40 p.m. (except for Opening Day, which will start at 1:10 p.m.). Sunday games and weekday day games from June through September will start at 1:10 p.m. Most Saturday home games will begin at 6:10 p.m. (note – several Saturday game times will be announced at a later date).

All game dates and times are subject to change and road game times will be announced at a later date.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE 2015 BREWERS SCHEDULE

Official: Details On Postseason Ticketing Opportunity

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced details for a Postseason Single-Game Ticketing Opportunity that will give fans the chance to register for the right to purchase tickets to potential individual 2014 Postseason games held at Miller Park.

Beginning today at noon CT., fans interested in registering may go to Brewers.com and look for the link to “Postseason Single-Game Ticketing Opportunity.” With inventory expected to be very limited, it is likely that only a very small number of fans will be selected to purchase tickets through this registration opportunity.

Fans looking to guarantee tickets to Postseason games may bypass the single-game registration by placing a deposit on a Season Seat Plan for 2015. Details on all Postseason ticket options follow:

POSTSEASON SINGLE-GAME TICKETING OPPORTUNITY

Registration will begin at noon CT today and will close at 11:59 p.m. CT on Sunday, September 21.

The Brewers will conduct a random selection of winners from the pool of registrants for each Postseason series. The Wild Card and National League Division Series (NLDS) winners will be selected on or around September 23 and will have the opportunity to purchase up to four (4) tickets to one (1) game of the 2014 Wild Card or NLDS.

Winners for the National League Championship Series (closes Wednesday, October 1) and World Series (closes Sunday, October 12) will be selected from the same of pool registrants at later dates. Registrants (including winners of previous drawings) will be eligible for each drawing.

There is no charge to register for this opportunity, and additional rules and information are available at Brewers.com/postseason.

GUARANTEED RIGHTS TO POSTSEASON TICKETS

The first option is for fans to purchase a Full Season Ticket Plan for the 2015 season. Fans who select this option will be given the opportunity to purchase tickets to ALL 2014 Postseason games at Miller Park, including the World Series.

The second option is for fans to purchase a 20-Game Plan for the 2015 season. Those who choose this option will be given the opportunity to purchase tickets to all 2014 Wild Card, NLDS and NLCS games at Miller Park.
Fans interested in either one of these two options can visit Brewers.com or call 414-902-HITS.

DraftServ Units Are Debuting At Miller Park Tonight

New Technology Allows Fans to Pour their Own Beverage

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced the installation of two brand new DraftServ machines at Miller Park. After making its Major League debut at the 2014 MLB All-Star Game in Minnesota, the self-service beverage dispensers will be rolled out at Miller Park tonight prior to the 7:10 p.m. game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Fans 21 and older will be able to purchase a $15 or $25 card that will act similar to a credit card. Fans can use their card on one of two machines and can pour up to 24 ounces of beer in a single cup. Beverages available include Miller Lite, Miller High Life, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, and Redd’s Apple Ale.

There is a maximum of two drinks per person per transaction, and fans using the service will need to show their proof-of-age when they purchase the cards and again when they access the DraftServ unit.

Miller Park will become just the second Major League Baseball stadium to feature DraftServ units.

“We are always looking at the latest conveniences for fans as we add to the Miller Park experience,” said Rick Schlesinger, Brewers Chief Operating Officer. “The DraftServ technology is new to sports venues, and we are excited to be among the first organizations to bring it to a wide audience.”

The DraftServ units will be located behind section 127 near the Big B’s Diner on the third base side.

Player Reaction to the Unexpected Passing of Bruce Seid

I’ve never really done this kind of post, but with the outpouring of support and condolences on Twitter already this morning, I felt my small attempt to illustrate what Bruce Seid meant to so many people’s dreams could be cathartic in a way.

First, here’s the story I promised to share on Twitter this morning.

First a little background so you can understand it better. I had reached out through the Brewers to see if Bruce would be willing to give a few minutes of his time to my podcast following the 2014 draft. I figured, he couldn’t say yes if I never asked — right? So I asked.  He was more than willing to do so and we worked out a time to make it happen. The team then felt it would be better if Bruce used that time to instead appear on the radio station and specific afternoon show with which I do twice weekly appearances as a Brewers Insider. I set that up with the show’s producer and they had me email a couple of questions that they could ask Bruce on the air since I didn’t personally get to talk to him. I did, they asked, he responded, I thought it was cool but also that it would probably be the end of my interaction with the situation.

So anyway, shortly after his turn on The Big 920/1070 radio network, I happened to be physically passing by Bruce in what amounts to a hallway. I obviously recognized him from a number of different things from over the years. I offered a simple “Hey, Bruce” as he walked by with his head down on his phone. He sort of half-glanced up and gave me a “Hey, bud!” I figured that was going to be it. I continued down my path. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw his body turn and then heard him re-engage me. He put his phone in his pocket, introduced himself (which I found oddly humbling) and asked me how I was doing that day. I introduced myself by name only and thanked him for taking the time to appear on the show and that I appreciated his insight. I never brought up The Brewer Nation or anything of the work I put in because I couldn’t see it being recognized, let alone truly mattering.

As Bruce and I shook hands again at the end of our brief exchange of pleasantries, he turned to leave but stopped after a brief quarter-turn. He looked me in the eye and said “Wait. You’re the Brewer Nation guy, aren’t you?” I confirmed as much. He said “You’re doing good work there. We appreciate you. Keep it up.”

The mere acknowledgement of this man, this integral part of the Brewers front office machine, was thoroughly unexpected. That he brought it up to me was downright improbable. And then a confirmation of awareness of what it was AND kind words about the content? Unpossible.

I know this can be taken as an indulgent recounting of something that’s fairly insignificant to you, but I share it to highlight the fact that Bruce Seid was everything that everyone is telling you and I don’t doubt for a second any of what you’re about to read from the players he impacted.

He was a great man who affected the lives of countless individuals. There’s a quote that says “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” From what you’ll see below, truly a small sampling I’m sure, Bruce Seid was impactful.

Rest in peace.

Brewers Family Hurting As Seid Passes Away Unexpectedly

Bruce Seid, Brewers director of amateur scouting and a member of the organization for 17 years, passed away unexpectedly yesterday while visiting his family in Las Vegas. He was 53.

“We are stunned and devastated by the news of Bruce’s passing,” said Brewers President of Baseball Operations – General Manager Doug Melvin. “He was a great friend to all of us, and no words can describe the sense of loss we feel. There are only a few people who have been with the Brewers as long as Bruce, and he was a kind and highly-respected member of our organization. There are also very few who worked with the passion and dedication to the Brewers that Bruce did. A number of current players on our roster were given the opportunity to play Major League Baseball because of Bruce, and he was so proud of them. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Erika, and all of Bruce’s family.”

Memorial arrangements are pending.

Roster News: We Wish Them Well In Their Future Endeavors

Today the Brewers confirmed the call-ups of the three playersreported yesterday afternoon. In that linked piece, I mentioned that the resultant fallout to open up the necessary pair of 40-man roster spots could be interesting. Looks like I was right again.

The additions of two players who earned spots comes at the expense of two who had previously done the same.

caleb gindlDesignated For Assignment was Caleb Gindl. Should he clear waivers, it’s a virtual certainty that Gindl would choose to leave the Brewers organization. He has talent but was never afforded a consistent opportunity to showcase himself at the game’s highest level. And since his last chance, he’s been passed on the organizational depth chart by Khris Davis and bumped further down with the acquisition of Gerardo Parra who should return for 2015.

Gindl can be traded during the DFA period as well, but cannot technically refuse an outright assignment to Nashville as he has not been removed from a 40-man roster before in his professional career.

In my opinion, there’s a spot for Gindl on a Major League roster somewhere, but in Milwaukee it just came down to a matter of available space. There just wasn’t enough.

burgosThe other player lost, in his case to outright release, was right-handed pitcher Hiram Burgos. The professional story of Burgos is one to behold, as he pitched his way from High-A ball to being on alert as the “next-guy-if-we-need-someone-in-September” all in just 2012. I’ve chronicled that on the blog before, if you’re interested in reading about it.

Burgos pitched well in 2013 winter ball, but after a rough start to his season as lead dog in the Triple-A affiliate Nashville Sounds rotation, Burgos underwent a “clean up” procedure on his throwing shoulder on June 19th. His season was done, and now we know so was his tenure in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.

Bottom line: The Brewers needed two spots and guys have been removed off of 40-man Rosters for lesser reasons than “too much depth at one position” and “growing injury history”. That doesn’t make it less impactful to the lives of the men and families behind the names on a transaction page, but at the end of the day it’s a business.

To Caleb Gindl and Hiram Burgos, two players that have always been gracious where I’m concerned, I wish them the absolute best in continuing their careers outside the Brewers’ organization.

Second Round of September Call-Ups Coming

Following their first round of call-ups yesterday, I just heard from a reliable source that the Brewers will call up at least three more players following today’s game now that Nashville’s season has concluded.

Joining the Brewers in the clubhouse tomorrow will be:

  • Jason Rogers
  • Hector Gomez
  • Matt Clark

Rogers, the Brewers’ reigning MiLB Player of the Year, has been playing mostly third base this season in the minor league system. He’s been on an absolute tear of late, finishing his minor-league season on an eight-game hitting streak that included a pair of home runs.

For as hot as Rogers has been at the plate, nobody holds a candle to the lefty clubber Matt Clark. Acquired after Hunter Morris went down with a long-term injury this season (he’s been back and playing), Clark has demolished the Pacific Coast League. In 53 games with the Sounds, Clark is slashing .313/.371/.605 and has hit 16 home runs, all in just 195 at-bats. Of those 16 home runs, a cool 12 have come in the just-completed month of August.

Gomez is primarily a shortstop, and could have been a minor league free agent following this season had the Brewers not added him to the 40-man roster. He was also announced as a participant in the upcoming edition of the Arizona Fall League on behalf of the Brewers so it was widely thought that he would have to be added to the 40-man roster at some point. Gomez played in two MLB games back in 2011 as a Colorado Rockies player, but hasn’t been back since.

As for Rogers and Clark, their first games in a Brewers uniform will be their first games at the highest level of professional baseball.

Congratulations to all three players on strong seasons. They’ve earned these promotions.

Gomez and Clark will require 40-man roster moves. The Brewers could move *UPDATE* Johnny Hellweg (not Tyler Thornburg who is already there) to the 60-day DL easily enough. The other move could be simple, or a bit more interesting depending on how the Brewers choose to go.

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