As promised, here is the transcript of today’s Ryan Braun audio.
I’ve paraphrased most of the questions, but Braun’s answers are verbatim (except for some removal of unnecessary “I mean”, “you know”, “um” words). I’ll try to find time to fully transcribe the questions later but wanted to get this posted.
If you’d rather hear Braun say these words, I refer to you this post with the audio: Ryan Braun Spoke to Media at Miller Park
The first question was basically asking why Braun lied, and Braun used his response to it as sort of an opening remark.
“I got into a lot of details at that point and I’m not really gonna go into any further details. I’m deeply remorseful for what happened. I wish that I had the ability to go back, change things and do things a lot differently but unfortunatley I can’t do that. All I can do is move on, try to do everything in my power to earn back people’s trust and respect and support. I don’t anticipate being able to earn back everybody’s support but I certainly intend to do everything in my power to do that and I won’t stop trying.”
What do you have to say to the little leaguers who really have worshipped the ground that you walk on?
“I’ve always been incredibly appreciative of everybody’s support. I made a mistake, a huge mistake, a mistake that has obviously been extremely difficult to deal with and will continue to be difficult to deal with. And all I can say is in making mistakes, as I’ve stated previously we all deal with adversity, we all deal with challenges in life, and any challenge you face you have an opportunity to view either as an obstacle or as an opportunity to grow from, to learn from, to help other people avoid making that same mistake. And that’s what I intend to do.”
Bigger sin: Doing the PEDs or lying about it later?
“As I stated, I think the goal for me is just being able to move forward. I’m not really going to get into too many specifics about what happened other than saying that I’m extremely remorseful. I wish that I could go back and change things but I don’t have that opportunity to do that. So, I’m just going to do everything in my power to move forward.”
Have you apologized to Dino Laurenzi or made any payments to him?
“I have not made any payments to him. I’ve had some really productive and positive conversations with him. The Laurenzi family was actually gracious and kind enough to have my fiancee Larisa and I over to their house for dinner last night and we had some really good conversation. We’ve made amends and I think we’re both excited to be able to move forward and put this behind us.”
Have you said any words to Bud Selig?
“I did. I wrote Bud a letter but other than that I’m not really going to get into too many specifics.”
Knowing that you got away with a PED positive test, what possessed you to go to Maryvale that day and say all of those things you said? Lie so much and then throw Dino Laurenzi under the bus as well. What possessed you to do that?
“I’m not really, again, going to get into too many specifics. I wish that I hadn’t done the press conference. It was a big mistake. I deeply regret having done it and a lot of the things that I said that day. But again, all I can do is move forward and in an effort to do that I’m not going to get into too many specifics. I really don’t think that it does anything too positive or productive for me, for the team, for the game of baseball or anybody else. And in an effort to move forward I’m not going to discuss that stuff any further.”
What do expect as the fans’ response on Opening Day?
“Everywhere I’ve been, people have been incredibly supportive and I’m extremely appreciative of that. I don’t really know what to expect but, again, everybody’s been extremely supportive and I really appreciate that.”
Why wait so long to talk?
“I’ve actually been in town a few times. I don’t do the Twitter or Facebook or any of that stuff to alert everybody that I’m here. I think today was just kind of an opportunity that obviously we understood there would be some media here so I wanted the opportunity to speak to you guys. It wasn’t about waiting or anything like that. Like I said, I’ve been here a few times. This was just the first time that everybody’s been aware I was here.”
Other players talked right away, you took off and your teammates all had to answer for you, why?
“I think because it was an ongoing investigation I wasn’t really allowed to say very much at that time. And basically based on what I had learned from both MLB and the MLBPA it wasn’t in anybody’s best interest for me to make any statements at that time.”
Any positive in this?
“I think there’s something positive that can come from everything. I think at all times I always try to see the good in everything. Things aren’t always good but I do see the good in everything. And it’s an opportunity for me to use my experience and mistakes that I’ve made to help other people avoid making the same mistakes. I certainly have plans to do everything in my power to turn this bad situation into a good thing, into a positive, and to help other people along the way avoid making these mistakes.”
All-Star Game in future?
“I really haven’t thought about that kind of stuff. My goal is always to go and be the best player that I can be. I’m not motivated by individual accolades. I certainly intend to go out there and be the same player I’ve been. Hopefully I continue to get better and if that opportunity presents itself it’d be great but I guess my whole focus is just on doing everything I can to come back next year and be a great player.”
Will you ever make the Hall of Fame?
“I haven’t even thought that far ahead and I think it’s almost disrespectful to even discuss the Hall of Fame. I’ve only played in the league for less than seven years. At some point down the line we could have that conversation but I don’t think we even should have that conversation now.”
What was the injury you took the products for?
“Again, I’m not going to get into the specifics and continue to go backward. I’m moving forward and not going to get into too many of the specifics about that.”
Don’t you owe it to us to get into some specifics?
“I completely understand, respect where you guys are coming from and the fact that a part of your job is to ask those questions, but I hope that you guys can also understand and respect the fact that in an effort to move forward I’m just not going to continue to discuss that stuff.”
What do you make of the response of other MLB players and Aaron Rodgers?
“I actually haven’t really read, paid attention, or watched anything, but I understand people being disappointed, people being upset, people reacting emotionally. I don’t fault anybody for being upset. Again, I don’t know specifically what many people said but I don’t fault anybody for being upset or being disappointed.”
How is your relationship with Rodgers?
“I’m not going to get into our specific relationship other than to say that he’d been a great friend of mine for a long time. He’s a great person. I hope that he gets back on the field soon and can help those guys win some games.”
Will you be able to play at same level as before your suspension?
“Yeah, I think I’ll be better. I should be better.”
What about 2011 MVP? Do you think this revelation invalidates that award?
“Like I said, I’m just continuing to move forward. I think that’s all I can do. I’m not going go back and continue to discuss the things that have happened in the past. I feel like, in an effort to do that, I’m not going to discuss that stuff.”
Brewers gave you huge contract in part on being face of franchise, are you willing to reopen your contract and renegotiate at a lower pay since your value as poster boy has been diminished?
“The Brewers have been incredibly supportive, the entire organization, my teammates, everybody’s been incredibly supportive. I can’t think Mark Attanasio enough for his support. I fully intend to do everything in my power to be the best player and person that I can be moving forward.”
Is the drug testing policy still “fatally flawed” as you claimed in February of last year?
“Like I said, I greatly regret having done that press conference at all and my opinion on a lot of those things has definitely changed.”
Is that your biggest regret? What do you regret the most?
“Obviously the whole thing is a huge regret. It was a huge mistake. I wish that I hadn’t done it. I wish I could go back and do a lot of things different. I don’t think I can specifically pinpoint one thing that I regret more than anything else. I regret all of it. I wish I could go back and change it, but like I said, I can’t do that.”
Did you get enough support from the Players’ Association?
“Yeah, the Player’s Association was definitely very supportive.”
How has this affeced your reputation/stature within the game?
“I don’t think about those things. I really don’t. I’m getting married here really soon. My focus is on that and doing everything I can to come back next year and be the best player I can be.”
You don’t care about what people think?
“I always care what people think but I only have control over so many things. So I focus on the things that I can control. And that’s continuing to try to be the best person I can be, the best player I can be, and put myself in the best position to come back next year and have a great year.”
Following recent trade rumors, would you welcome a fresh start somewhere else? Or do you want to play here?
“No, I absolutely want to stay here. I made the long-term committment because the city’s been amazing to me, the fans have been amazing to me, the organization’s been incredibly supportive of me and I fully intend to stay here. Obviously it’s flattering that people would be interested. I actually had lunch with Doug Melvin, Ron, and Mark Attanasio last week. I’ve seen Mark a lot and I don’t think there’s any truth to those rumors, but my goal and my intention is certainly to stay here.”
What would you say to Robin Yount?
“Robin and I have had a great relationship. I enjoy our conversations with him, and I don’t think that our relationship would change much.”
Apologized to Yount?
“I look forward to seeing him. I’ll definitely see him in Spring Training. I think he’s out in Arizona quite often. I look forward to having an opportunity to have some conversations with him.”
Hard to watch games while suspended? How many games did you watch?
“It was extremely difficult, extremely challenging, and it wasn’t something I enjoyed in any way. I didn’t watch many games. I kind of paid attention to what was going on but aside from that I didn’t really watch many games.”
What do you think your relationship with teammates will be like?
“I think it’ll be great. I’ve been back here a couple times after the suspension. Everybody was incredibly supportive and I don’t anticipate any issues there.”
Experienced hostile reactions in 2012. Will next year be worse than 2012 around the league? What about here in Milwaukee?
“I don’t think about things like that. I don’t really have any expectations. I have dealt with it in the past and I’ll just do the best I can to continue to be the best player that I can be. I think we all deal with adversity, we all deal with distractions, there’s always something going on and my focus will be on being the best player I can be.”
Can you tell us more about Laurenzi dinner?
“I’m not going to really get into too many details other than to say that it was an incredible experience, extremely gracious and kind of them. They’re really special people and I appreciate them giving me the opportunity to go to their house and to have a conversation in person.”
This was with Dino himself and not his dad?
Did meeting with him make you feel worse about Feb ’12 comments?
“Yeah. I wish I could change it. I wish I never had said anything about him. I wish I knew more at the time that I had said what I said, but he was really a special person. His family is really a special group of people.”
What would you say to fans, especially kids?
“I’ve always been incredibly appreciative of everybody’s support. I would say I made a mistake, a huge mistake, and that all I can intend to do is try to find some positives to come from a difficult situation.”
Thoughts on Alex Rodriguez?
“I try to stay away from all of that stuff. I don’t really know the specifics of what’s going with him so I don’t think it’s fair for me to comment on a situation I don’t know too much about.”
Thoughts on the closing of his restaurants, business relationships, etc?
“Obviously there was a lot of fallout from everything that I’ve been through. I have a really good relationship with the SURG group, with Omar and Mikey. They’re great guys. Our relationship won’t be changed but obviously in light of everything that occurred there was definitely some fallout.”
What would you say to kids about cheating to get ahead?
“I hope that people can recognize what I’ve been through and not want to go through that same experience. It’s been a lot. It’s been really difficult. It’s been really challenging. I would never wish this situation upon anybody and I hope that people can view my situation as a learning experience and something they should try to avoid.”
If you hit next season, people will say you’re still on PEDs. What do you say to doubters who say your ability is all chemicals?
“Again, I focus on the things that I can control. I’m going to continue to try to be the best person I can be, the best player I can be. I fully intend to be at least as good as I’ve been to this point in my career. Hopefully I continue to get better, but I only focus on the things that I can control. I can’t control what people say or think. This is my fault. I’ve taken full responsibility for my actions. I’ve put myself in this position. People have the opportunity say whatever they want but I’ll just focus on the things I can control.”
Anything to say to fans?
“As I said earlier, I have been incredibly appreciative of everybody’s support. The fans have been unbelievably supportive of me and I fully intend to do everything in my power to earn back their trust, their respect, their support. I don’t think I’ll earn back that from every fan but I fully intend to try.”
How stressful has all this been on Larisa (Braun’s fiancée)?
“I think my relationships with all my friends and family have actually gotten stronger. I don’t think that it’s been overly stressful (on us). Dealing with the wedding has been far more stressful than dealing with this situation.”
When is the wedding?
“Soon, real soon.”
Thoughts on today’s Hunger Task Force event?
“It’s great. Obviously the Hunger Task Force does some amazing things in this state and I’m happy to be able to do my small part to contribute. It’s an incredible time for all of us to be thankful and appreciative of everything we have as Thanksgiving approaches, so: happy to be here.”
What do you think about potentially playing right field?
“Possibly. We’ve discussed it. I’m not opposed to it. I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen but it’s definitely a possibility. 100%, I’ll play wherever they want except third base. That didn’t go well. But I’ll do whatever we want. It’s not something set in stone but it’s something we’ve discussed.”
Ryan Braun made himself available to media today at a Hunger Task Force charity event outside Miller Park. He was asked a flurry of pointed and direct questions, nary a softball among them.
Hear his comments for yourself right here:
I’ll be transcribing the dialogue later today if you prefer to read.
The Milwaukee Brewers will host the 33rd Annual Clubhouse Sale on Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7 from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. at Miller Park. The sale, which will take place in the visiting clubhouse, will feature savings up to 75% on sale merchandise items.
Fans can save on Brewers apparel, souvenirs and specialty items as well as rare, game-used merchandise, including jerseys and bats. Brewers sales representatives will also be available to handle requests for Holiday 4-Packs.
Every customer who makes a purchase will receive a free Brewers bobblehead bundle, while supplies last. Additionally, a “more-you-spend-the-more-you-save” coupon will be offered. Coupons of 10%/20%/30% off will be offered to the Brewers Team Store by Majestic for those spending $100/$200/$300 at the Clubhouse Sale.
Shoppers can access the Clubhouse Sale by entering Miller Park at the Hot Corner entrance near the Brewers Team Store by Majestic and following the posted directions to the visiting clubhouse. Cash and credit cards will be accepted (no personal checks). Admission and parking is free.
In addition, the Brewers Team Store by Majestic will also feature a variety of activities during both days of the Clubhouse Sale. Eight prize drawings will be held at the team store on both days. Prizes will include $250 shopping sprees and special Authentic Collection packages at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic. Children can have their photo taken with the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages™ on December 6 from 10 a.m. – noon and with Santa on December 7 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Brewers Team Store by Majestic. Fans should bring their own cameras and the photos will be free of charge with any purchase.
The Brewers Team Store by Majestic at Miller Park is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. For more information, contact the team store at (414) 902-4750.
Holiday 4-Packs Return Just in Time for the Holidays; Plans Start at Just $72
With the holidays approaching, the Milwaukee Brewers Holiday 4-Packs will go on sale this Friday, November 15 at 10 a.m. CT.
Fans will be able to choose from five appealing 4-Pack options, including a new Fan’s Choice Plan. If holiday shoppers order by Thursday, December 19, their 4-Packs will be delivered in time for Christmas in special holiday carriers, ready for giving.
Brewers Holiday 4-Packs include many of the most anticipated games of the 2014 season. Three of the five plans – the Matinee Plan, the Rivals Plan and the Weekend Plan – include one All-Fan Giveaway Date, while the Double Bobble Plan includes two All-Fan Giveaway Dates. The Fan’s Choice Plan allows fans to select four games of their choice from an assortment of 34 games.
In addition, the Brewers are offering a free Bernie Brewer ornament gift-with-purchase to fans with every pair of 4-Packs they buy.
Holiday 4-Packs range in price from $72 – $168 and are available in the Field Outfield Box, Loge Infield Box, Club Outfield Box, Terrace Box, Loge Bleachers and Terrace Reserved seat locations. All tickets are subject to availability while supplies last. Pricing is as follows and includes one ticket to four games:
Location: 4-Pack Prices:
Field Outfield Box $168
Loge Infield Box $160
Club Outfield Box $160
Terrace Box $96
Loge Bleachers $92
Terrace Reserved $72
Standard shipping and handling fees apply. Advance parking packages are also available. To make a purchase, visit Brewers.com/4packs or call (414) 902-HITS (4487). For information on all other ticket plans, call (414) 902-4090.
All eight bobbleheads and two t-shirts of the 14 all-fan giveaways for the 2014 regular season have been announced. I’ve got the remaining four t-shirts below. Enjoy.
Sunday, April 27th – Carlos Gomez bobblehead commemorating his Gold Glove Award
Sunday, May 11th – Kyle Lohse bobblehead
Friday, June 13th – T-SHIRT
Sunday, June 15th – Vintage Brewer bobblehead
Friday, June 27th – T-SHIRT
Sunday, June 29th – Norichika Aoki in “Japanese Brewers jersey”
Friday, July 11th – T-SHIRT
Friday, July 25th – T-SHIRT
Sunday, July 27th – Fan’s Choice bobblehead – Later this off-season, fans will be presented with a list of options. The winning option will be created and then distributed on this day.
Friday, August 8th – T-SHIRT
Sunday, August 10th – Chorizo bobblehead – in a Cerveceros jersey (first Chorizo since ’07)
Friday, August 22nd – T-SHIRT
Sunday, August 24th – Jean Segura bobblehead
Sunday, September 14th – Robin Yount in a 1974 uniform
November 3, 2013
Dear Brewers Fans:
On behalf of everyone at the Brewers organization, from players and coaches to the front office staff, I want to thank you for your unwavering support this year. In spite of the disappointing season, you once again demonstrated why you make up the most loyal fan base in all of baseball. More than 2.5 million fans attended games at Miller Park in 2013–a number that gave us our seventh straight season of reaching that milestone, one that was not achieved by five of the teams participating in this year’s Postseason.
The 2013 season was a challenge for all of us, both on and off the field. As I stated when my ownership group purchased the Brewers in 2005, one of our primary objectives was to raise expectations for the entire club. In recent years, the team has played meaningful games late in the season, but this year we obviously fell short of that goal.
We started the spring with significant promise, with an intact lineup–one that had led the National League in runs scored in 2012–as well as a returning core of the pitching staff, fueled by the addition of free agent Kyle Lohse. However, this was not our year. We struggled through injuries, a difficult month of May, and then the disappointment of Ryan Braun’s suspension. Yet the team refused to quit. We welcomed an influx of young talent from our Minor League system and played our best baseball after the All Star Break by winning games at a .529 clip. Our starting pitchers recorded baseball’s fourth-best ERA over the final 81 games, and our offense featured key contributions from a mix of youth and veterans. While these are among the reasons we believe that 2014 holds promise, none of us is content to define success by second-half performance.
We are undergoing a thorough review of our baseball operations and will continue to incorporate new methods and strategies in evaluating and developing talent. There are many paths to improvement and success, and we plan vigorously to pursue all of them. We know we need to do better. At the same time, we believe that many of the pieces are already in place to field a competitive team in 2014. With the emergence of Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura as All Stars, the arrival of young players with high talent ceilings, and healthy seasons from key veterans, our returning offense shows real promise. The resurgent pitching staff was bolstered by a much-improved bullpen and a stable rotation. Finally, we were delighted to see Carlos Gomez become the Brewers’ first Gold Glove honoree since Robin Yount won the award in 1982.
Off the field, we continue to focus on delivering the best fan experience in all of baseball while working to give back to the community that has given so much to us. Among our achievements, we include a participation level of 100% of players in Brewers Community Foundation (BCF) outreach efforts. In 2013, BCF raised a total of $2.8 million, which benefited 200 not-for-profit organizations in the State of Wisconsin. Additionally, we distributed $10 food-and-beverage vouchers to all fans in August and offered many promotions throughout the year. We recognize that we have an ongoing obligation to provide you with an organization that always puts the fans first.
When I reread some of my letters to you from the end of prior seasons, the one constant promise I made was to deliver an organization that works daily to earn your respect. When we don’t meet our own or your expectations, we redouble our efforts. We are already hard at work preparing for exciting baseball at Miller Park throughout the 2014 season.
Chairman and Principal Owner
The Milwaukee Brewers today announced the Club’s 2014 Spring Training schedule that will open on Thursday, February 27 at Phoenix Municipal Stadium against Oakland. The Brewers will play a total of 29 Spring Training games in Arizona, including 14 at Maryvale Baseball Park, plus two exhibition games at Miller Park against Kansas City (March 28 and 29).
The Brewers will play games at Maryvale against their National League Central Rivals Chicago Cubs on Monday, March 3 and Cincinnati on Saturday, March 15. The Brewers will also celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a game against the Chicago White Sox at Maryvale.
The team has two split squad games scheduled during the spring. The slate includes Saturday, March 1 vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers (the Maryvale opener) and at Arizona; and Sunday, March 9 at the Chicago Cubs and at Cleveland.
The final home game at Maryvale Baseball Park for the Brewers is set for Thursday, March 27 against Seattle. The Brewers will return home to Miller Park to play two games against Kansas City on Friday March 28 at 7:10 p.m. and Saturday, March 29 at 1:10 p.m.
All games played in the Cactus League are scheduled for 1:05 pm Arizona Time.
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training on Saturday, February 15. All position players have a report date of Friday, February 21. The first full workout is scheduled for Saturday, February 22.
Tickets for the Milwaukee Brewers home Spring Training games will go on sale at 9 am CT on Friday, December 6 via the internet at Brewers.com and by phone at 1-800-933-7890. Normal business hours are from 9am – 5pm CST. Sales at the Maryvale Baseball Park Box Office will begin on Monday, February 3, 2014. Tickets are available in four seating areas: Field Box ($23), Infield Reserved ($17), Outfield Reserved ($13) and Lawn Seating ($8) In addition, there will also be a limited number of advanced parking passes available for $5.00. Information on Spring Training Season Tickets can be obtained by calling the Milwaukee Brewers Ticket Office at 414-902-4000. Tickets for the two games at Miller Park will go on sale at a later date.
Please note that games and times are subject to change.
Milwaukee Brewers 2014 Spring Training Schedule
Date Time (CT) Opponent Place
Thursday, February 27 – 2:05pm at Oakland Athletics (Phoenix)
Friday, February 28 - 2:05pm at San Francisco Giants (Scottsdale)
Saturday, March 1 – 2:05pm vs Los Angeles Dodgers (Maryvale)
& 2:05pm at Arizona Diamondbacks (Talking Stick)
Sunday, March 2 - 2:05pm at Colorado Rockies (Talking Stick)
Monday, March 3 - 2:05pm vs Chicago Cubs (Maryvale)
Tuesday, March 4 – 2:05pm at Oakland Athletics (Phoenix)
Wednesday, March 5 – 2:05pm vs Oakland Athletics (Maryvale)
Thursday, March 6 – 2:05pm vs Colorado Rockies (Maryvale)
Friday, March 7 – 2:05pm vs San Diego Padres (Maryvale)
Saturday, March 8 – 2:05pm vs Kansas City Royals (Maryvale)
DAYLIGHT-SAVINGS TIME BEGINS MARCH 9
Sunday, March 9 – 3:05pm at Chicago Cubs (Mesa)
& 3:05pm at Cleveland Indians (Goodyear)
Monday, March 10 – 3:05pm vs Chicago White Sox (Maryvale)
Tuesday, March 11 – OFF DAY
Wednesday, March 12 – 3:05pm at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Tempe)
Thursday, March 13 – 3:05pm at San Diego Padres (Peoria)
Friday, March 14 – 3:05pm vs Arizona Diamondbacks (Maryvale)
Saturday, March 15 – 3:05pm vs Cincinnati Reds (Maryvale)
Sunday, March 16 – 3:05pm at Arizona Diamondbacks (Talking Stick)
Monday, March 17 – 3:05pm vs Chicago White Sox (Maryvale)
Tuesday, March 18 – 3:05pm vs Texas Rangers (Maryvale)
Wednesday, March 19 – 3:05pm at Seattle Mariners (Peoria)
Thursday, March 20 – 3:05pm at Colorado Rockies (Talking Stick)
Friday, March 21 – 3:05pm at Texas Rangers (Surprise)
Saturday, March 22 – 3:05pm vs Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Maryvale)
Sunday, March 23 – 3:05pm at Cincinnati Reds (Goodyear)
Monday, March 24 – OFF DAY
Tuesday, March 25 – 3:05pm vs San Francisco Giants (Maryvale)
Wednesday, March 26 – 3:05pm at Cleveland Indians (Goodyear)
Thursday, March 27 – 3:05pm vs Seattle Mariners (Maryvale)
Friday, March 28 – 7:10pm vs Kansas City Royals (Miller Park)
Saturday, March 29 – 1:10pm vs Kansas City Royals (Miller Park)
• Home games in bold
• Note: Daylight-Savings Time begins on March 9
• All Games/Times subject to change
So much for making this a running series of posts, but life got in the way a lot during August and I just couldn’t find the time for this aspect of things. That being said, I first had this notion for the series back when Jonathan Lucroy walked off against Aroldis Chapman and the Reds back on August 16th at Miller Park.
Away we go.
As I mentioned here back on August 1st, the end of a season like this brings out many naysayers and exposes a multitude of casual fans who can’t wait until the Packers (or whichever NFL team is their favorite) begin to training camp and pre-season. But there are certainly things to continue to watch baseball for in August and September of a “lost” season (at least “lost” as far as the playoffs are concerned). On August 1st I spoke of September callups of which the Brewers tapped top prospect Jimmy Nelson. Nelson is getting his feet wet and experiencing what goes into being a Major League player from the travel schedule to the daily routine and more.
Today though I wanted to talk about what happened on August 16th and what happened again last night:
On August 16th the Brewers were down to their last turn at the plate when the unexpected happened. Jonathan Lucroy stepped to the plate with a man on, trailing by a run, against a pitcher to which point in his career he was 0-for-5 with five strikeouts against. Lucroy worked a seven-pitch at-bat, fouling off five consecutive fastballs averging 98 MPH. Then, on the seventh pitch of the at-bat, Chapman hung a slider. And, as the saying goes, you hang ‘em, we bang ‘em. Lucroy sent Chapman and the Reds walking off the field in defeat.
Miller Park erupted and the Brewers celebrated an unexpected victory, because if Lucroy doesn’t come through in that situation, there’s hardly a guarantee that Aramis Ramirez (career 0-for-3, 3 K, 1 BB) or Sean Halton (career 0-for-1, 1 K) would have. In fact, Lucroy has faced Chapman once since that day and again struck out.
These games exist and they are an absolute delight to attend and to be paying attention to. After all, cheering our collective heads off is what being a fan is all about.
That brings us specifically to the game almost exactly one month later on September 15th. The Brewers trailed 5-1 going into the 8th inning, having been stymied all day by the pitcher who they are historically terrible against. Look up some of the career numbers of Brewers hitters against Bronson Arroyo and you’ll be floored if you didn’t already realize how poor they are.
Anyway, the Brewers are looking set up for consecutive losses to the Reds, a team which Milwaukee just took a series from on the road. But then the magic of baseball took over and the Brewers pulled out an unexpected victory. Norichika Aoki entered the game as a pinch hitter and walked. Khris Davis pinch-hit for Scooter Gennett and was hit by a pitch. Jean Segura tripled to the right-centerfield gap, scoring both Aoki and Davis. Lucroy followed that up with a sacrifice fly to the warning track in right field, and the game was tied.
In the 9th, Jim Henderson struck out two of the first three batters he faced, walking Shin-Soo Choo in between. He stole second and Ron Roenicke elected to put Joey Votto on base, putting the force in play. Noted Brewers killer Jay Bruce stepped in and hammered a ball that was headed over the wall for a heart-crushing three-run home run. But then Carlos Gomez did what he had done four other times this season and lept at the wall to catch the ball and keep the runs off of the scoreboard.
That gave the offense a chance and a chance is all Sean Halton has ever wanted. Halton swung at a 1-0 change up and the Brewers were walk-off winners again!
That’s the beauty of baseball, fellow fans. I know the term “any given Sunday” exists for good reason in the National Football League, but there are 162 “Sundays” in a Major League Baseball season. Any one of them has a chance to end up in an unexpected victory, snatched from the jaws of defeat.
This season of Sundays has but 13 games left after tonight. That’s 14 more chances to witness something unexpected.
I’ll be watching.
Here is the full 2014 regular season schedule (by series, by month) for the Milwaukee Brewers.
March 31-April 2 vs Atlanta Braves
April 3 OFF DAY
4-6 @ Boston Red Sox (IL)
7, 9-10 @ Philadelphia Phillies
11-13 vs Pittsburgh Pirates
14-16 vs St. Louis Cardinals
17-20 @ Pittsburgh Pirates
21-23 vs San Diego Padres
24 OFF DAY
25-27 vs Chicago Cubs
28-30 @ St. Louis Cardinals
1-4 @ Cincinnati Reds
5-7 vs Arizona Diamondbacks
8 OFF DAY
9-11 vs New York Yankees
12 OFF DAY
13-15 vs Pittsburgh Pirates
16-18 @ Chicago Cubs
19-22 @ Atlanta Braves
23-25 @ Miami Marlins
26-28 vs Baltimore Orioles
29 OFF DAY
30-June 1 vs Chicago Cubs
2-3 vs Minnesota Twins
4-5 @ Minnesota Twins
6-8 @ Pittsburgh Pirates
9 OFF DAY
10-12 @ New York Mets
13-15 vs Cincinnati Reds
16-19 @ Arizona Diamondbacks
20-22 @ Colorado Rockies
23-25 vs Washington Nationals
26-29 vs Colorado Rockies
30 OFF DAY
1-2 @ Toronto Blue Jays
4-6 @ Cincinnati Reds
7-10 vs Philadelphia Phillies
11-13 vs St. Louis Cardinals
14-17 ALL-STAR BREAK
18-20 @ Washington Nationals
21-23 vs Cincinnati Reds
24-27 vs New York Mets
28-30 @ Tampa Bay Rays
31 OFF DAY
1-3 @ St. Louis Cardinals
4 OFF DAY
5-7 vs San Francisco Giants
8-10 vs Los Angeles Dodgers
11-14 @ Chicago Cubs
15-17 @ Los Angeles Dodgers
18 OFF DAY
19-20 vs Toronto Blue Jays
21 OFF DAY
22-24 vs Pittsburgh Pirates
25-27 @ San Diego Padres
28 OFF DAY
29-31 @ San Francisco Giants
1-3 @ Chicago Cubs
4-7 vs St. Louis Cardinals
8-11 vs Miami Marlins
12-14 vs Cincinnati Reds
15 OFF DAY
16-18 @ St. Louis Cardinals
19-21 @ Pittsburgh Pirates
22 OFF DAY
23-25 @ Cincinnati Reds
26-28 vs Chicago Cubs