Lucroy Nominated For Hank Aaron Award

Fans Can Vote Through October 5th at MLB.com

Award Recognizes Most Outstanding Offensive Performers in Each League

Hall of Fame Panel Led by Hank Aaron Includes Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas and Robin Yount

Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media announced that Jonathan Lucroy was named the Brewers nominee for the 2014 Hank Aaron Award.

Fans can vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites. For the fifth straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.

Lucroy is coming off the best year in his career as he batted .301 with 13 home runs and 69 RBI. The five-year veteran set career-highs in games played (153), hits (176), runs (73), doubles (53) and walks (66). He appeared in his first All-Star Game, becoming just the second Brewer in franchise history to start behind the plate in the game. Lucroy went 2-for-2 with two RBI doubles in the Midsummer Classic. The Brewers’ backstop collected 53 doubles to become the first primary catcher in modern MLB history (since 1900) to lead the Major Leagues in doubles. Lucroy’s 53 doubles also tied Lyle Overbay (2004) for the franchise single-season record. In addition, the Florida native ranked among the National League leaders in multi-hit games (3rd, 53), extra-base hits (T3rd, 68), hits (T5th, 176), batting average (7th, .301) and on-base percentage (8th, .373).

The Hall of Fame panel led by Aaron includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time –Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas and Robin Yount.  These Hall of Famers – who combined for 16,956 hits, 8,844 RBI and 2,109 home runs – have all been personally selected by Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League.

Through October 5, fans will have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner from a list comprising of one finalist per Club. The winners of the 2014 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 2014 World Series.

The finalists for the 2014 Hank Aaron Award are:

American League

Baltimore Orioles – Nelson Cruz

Boston Red Sox – David Ortiz

Chicago White Sox – Jose Abreu

Cleveland Indians – Michael Brantley

Detroit Tigers – Victor Martinez

Houston Astros – Jose Altuve

Kansas City Royals – Alex Gordon

LA Angels of Anaheim – Mike Trout

Minnesota Twins – Trevor Plouffe

New York Yankees – Brett Gardner

Oakland Athletics – Josh Donaldson

Seattle Mariners – Robinson Cano

Tampa Bay Rays – Evan Longoria

Texas Rangers – Adrian Beltre

Toronto Blue Jays – Jose Bautista

 

National League

Arizona Diamondbacks – Paul Goldschmidt

Atlanta Braves – Justin Upton

Chicago Cubs – Anthony Rizzo

Cincinnati Reds – Devin Mesoraco

Colorado Rockies – Justin Morneau

Los Angeles Dodgers – Adrian Gonzalez

Miami Marlins – Giancarlo Stanton

Milwaukee Brewers – Jonathan Lucroy

New York Mets – Daniel Murphy

Philadelphia Phillies – Marlon Byrd

Pittsburgh Pirates – Andrew McCutchen

St. Louis Cardinals – Matt Carpenter

San Diego Padres – Seth Smith

San Francisco Giants – Hunter Pence

Washington Nationals – Anthony Rendon

Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Miguel Cabrera  and Paul Goldschmidt (2013); Cabrera and Buster Posey (2012); Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011); Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Rodriguez and Pujols (2003); Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).

The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.

Official Release: Ratterree Awarded Gold Glove

image courtesy TimberRattlers.com

image courtesy TimberRattlers.com

You might remember me mentioning Michael Ratterree as a name to remember following his tremendous first professional season when he won the 2013 Pioneer League Most Valuable Player Award as a member of the rookie-level affiliate Helena Brewers.

Well, Ratterree was at it again in 2014. And by “it” I mean winning a major individual award in recognition of his play on the baseball field. He won the Gold Glove Award, presented by Rawlings.

The Rice University product played the majority of the 2014 season with the Class-A affiliate Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, seeing some time with the Class-AA Huntsville Stars as an injury fill-in. The Timber Rattlers play in the Midwest League’s Western Division whereas the Stars are members of the Southern League’s North Division.

“So where did Ratterree earn his accolade?”, you may be asking.

Well, that’s just it. There isn’t a Gold Glove for each division, or for each league, or even for each level in the minor leagues. There are nine. One for each defensive position.

Michael Ratterree was awarded the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove for Minor League Baseball right fielders. All of them. That’s certainly worth trumpeting.

Following is the official press release.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Minor League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., announced today Minor League Baseball’s recipients of the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® for defensive excellence at their positions. The honorees were selected among qualifying players from the 10 domestic-based, full-season Minor Leagues. Each player will receive his own Rawlings Gold Glove Award, modeled after the iconic award given to Major League Baseball’s top defensive players, during the 2015 season.

“Congratulations to the nine outstanding Minor League Baseball players who deservedly won the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Award,” said Mike Thompson, executive vice president and general manager of baseball for St. Louis-based Rawlings. “Minor League Baseball is and will always continue to be a great partner of Rawlings, and we knew the Rawlings Gold Glove Award would be a popular goal for many young players when we decided to rekindle this award platform in 2011.”

“Each year, it is a privilege to join in the announcement of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® and help recognize the top defensive players in Minor League Baseball,” said Pat O’Conner, President & CEO of Minor League Baseball. “All nine of these players displayed extraordinary skills at their positions this season, and on behalf of Minor League Baseball, I congratulate them on this outstanding accomplishment.”

The 2014 Minor League Baseball recipients of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® are as follows:

2014 Minor League Rawlings Gold Glove Award Winners
POS PLAYER TEAM(S) MLB ORG
1B Jordan Lennerton Toledo DET
2B Tony Kemp Lancaster/Corpus Christi HOU
SS Hanser Alberto Myrtle Beach/Frisco TEX
3B Jason Esposito Frederick BAL
LF Chad Wright Lakeland DET
CF Breland Almadova South Bend/Visalia ARI
RF Michael Ratterree Wisconsin/Huntsville MIL
C Roberto Pena Lancaster HOU
P Josh Geer San Antonio SD

First baseman Jordan Lennerton earned this honor for a second time with his perfect 1.000 fielding percentage through 121 games. He posted 1,058 putouts with 69 assists in 1,127 total chances and turned 107 double plays. Lennerton was also named a Rawlings Gold Glove Award® winner for his defensive excellence in 2013.

Tony Kemp put up a .987 fielding percentage through 120 games split between Corpus Christi and Lancaster. The second baseman had 225 putouts with 292 assists and 67 double plays.

Frisco RoughRiders shortstop Hanser Alberto posted a .980 fielding percentage over a 114-game span, with 190 putouts and 346 assists. Alberto began the 2014 season with Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach where he split time between shortstop and third base.

Third baseman Jason Esposito of the Frederick Keys had a .960 fielding percentage with 83 putouts and 257 assists through 118 games. The Connecticut native turned a league-leading 19 double plays.

Chad Wright put up a .990 fielding percentage over 102 games as a left fielder for the Lakeland Flying Tigers. He had 191 put outs with nine assists and turned three double plays.

Center fielder Breland Almadova posted a .995 fielding percentage over 131 games while splitting the season between South Bend and Visalia. He had 345 putouts while only committing two errors.

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers right fielder Michael Ratterree put up a .992 fielding percentage with 252 putouts and 10 assists over 126 games. Ratterree completed two double plays and committed only two errors on the season.

Roberto Pena, catcher for the Lancaster JetHawks, posted a .996 fielding percentage in 93 games. He had a league-leading 755 putouts with 84 assists and allowed only seven passed balls. Pena also topped the league in double plays (9) and runners caught stealing (52).

Right handed pitcher Josh Geer of the San Antonio Missions posted a perfect fielding percentage with six putouts and a league-leading 36 assists. With a quick delivery to the plate, Geer combined with his catchers to throw out 12 of 25 runners attempting to steal.

To be eligible to receive the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, players must have participated in one of the 10 domestic-based, full-season leagues, and show outstanding defensive skills. The Rawlings Gold Glove Award® was re-introduced to Minor League Baseball in 2011 after an almost 50-year hiatus.

About Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the governing body for all professional baseball teams in the United States, Canada, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic that are affiliated with Major League Baseball clubs through their farm systems. Fans are coming out in unprecedented numbers to this one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found at Minor League Baseball ballparks. In 2014, Minor League Baseball attracted 42.4 million fans to its ballparks to see the future stars of the sport hone their skills. From the electricity in the stands to the excitement on the field, Minor League Baseball has provided affordable family-friendly entertainment to people of all ages since its founding in 1901. For more information about Minor League Baseball, visit http://www.MiLB.com.

About Rawlings
Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. is an innovative manufacturer and marketer of sporting goods worldwide. Founded in 1887, Rawlings is an authentic global sports brand, trusted by generations of athletes of all skill levels. Rawlings’ unparalleled quality and expert craftsmanship are the fundamental reasons why more professional athletes, national governing bodies and sports leagues choose Rawlings. Rawlings is the Official Ball Supplier and Batting Helmet of Major League Baseball®, the official baseball of Minor League Baseball™ and the NCAA®, and the approved baseball, basketball, football and softball of the National High School Federation®. For more information, please visit Rawlings.com or by phone at (314) 819-2800.

Jonthan Lucroy Named WE Energies “High-Energy” Player of the Year

 

LucroyWeEnergies

OFFICIAL RELEASE

Prior to tonight’s contest against the Chicago Cubs, Jonathan Lucroy was named the 2014 “We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year.” The award honored Lucroy who was voted as the Brewers player that best personifies the characteristics of hard work, a positive attitude and an aggressive approach to playing the game as voted on by fans, media members and We Energies.

Bert Garvin, We Energies Senior Vice President of External Affairs, presented Lucroy the award in a ceremony prior to the first pitch against the Cubs.  The ceremony also featured members of the Brewers organization including Manager Ron Roenicke, President of Baseball Operations/General Manager Doug Melvin and Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. Debbie Krahn, winner of the “We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year Grand Slam Prize” was also present.

The Brewers catcher received 43.42% of the total vote after a spectacular season. The five year veteran recorded career-highs in games played, hits, runs, doubles and walks. He appeared in his first All-Star Game, becoming just the second Brewer in franchise history to start behind the plate in the game. Lucroy went 2-for-2 with two RBI doubles in the Midsummer Classic. In addition, Lucroy currently leads the league with 52 doubles and looks to become the first primary catcher in modern MLB history (since 1900) to lead his league in doubles. Lucroy joined Lyle Overbay (53 in 2004) and Aramis Ramirez (50 in 2012) as the only Brewers with 50-double seasons.

Last year’s “We Energies High-Energy Player of the Year,” Carlos Gomez came in a close second, recording 40.76% of the total vote. Other past winners include Ryan Braun (2008 and 2012) Nyjer Morgan (2011), Rickie Weeks (2010), Craig Counsell (2009), Prince Fielder (2007) and Bill Hall (2006).

Official Release: Brewers To Retire Uniform Number For Selig

The Milwaukee Brewers today announced that the Club will honor retiring Major League Baseball Commissioner and former Brewers Owner Allan H. (Bud) Selig by retiring uniform #1 in a ceremony that will take place at Miller Park next season.

SeligRender

“We are proud to pay tribute to Commissioner Selig with this honor for all of his work on behalf of the Brewers as well as Major League Baseball,” said Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio. “The uniform number being retired in the Commissioner’s honor is significant, as the existence of the Milwaukee Brewers and Miller Park are a direct result of the Commissioner’s vision. Without his tireless efforts, neither would be a reality.”

This is the first in a series of initiatives that the Brewers have planned to honor Commissioner Selig, who will retire at the end of this year. Additional details will be announced later.

Commissioner Selig said: “I thank Mark Attanasio and his entire organization for this extraordinary honor.  The Brewers are a product of my hometown’s passion for Major League Baseball, and it was a privilege to play a part in restoring the spirit of community and kinship that the National Pastime inspires.  Knowing the great history of this franchise, I am truly humbled to look forward to a memorable day at Miller Park next season.”

Selig’s dedication to baseball has paralleled his love of his hometown of Milwaukee. His first significant move as an executive was to return Major League Baseball to Milwaukee in 1970, when he founded the Milwaukee Brewers. In its first decade, the Brewers featured some of the great teams of that era, which eventually led to an American League pennant and World Series appearance in 1982.

During his tenure as Brewers owner, Selig earned UPI’s 1978 Executive of the Year award, and the franchise was honored with seven “Organization of the Year” awards.

In the 1990s, Selig began his efforts to build a new ballpark in Milwaukee to replace the aging County Stadium, and Miller Park opened for its first season of play in 2001.

More recently, Selig was honored with a statue at Miller Park, which was unveiled on August 24, 2010.

He became the ninth Commissioner of Major League Baseball, and during his tenure the sport has thrived.  As Commissioner, Selig has implemented important changes throughout Major League Baseball. He made popular structural changes in the game, including the Wild Card, the three-division format, Interleague Play and Instant Replay. He put in place the toughest drug-testing program in American professional sports. He also profoundly affected baseball’s economic landscape by instituting meaningful revenue sharing among the clubs as well as successful ventures, such as MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network, and the World Baseball Classic. MLB truly has thrived under Selig’s stewardship: It has enjoyed its longest period of labor peace with its Players Association and has consistently posted records levels of attendance and revenues.

So You Wanna Go To Colorado Springs…

Needing a new Triple-A affiliate is something that hasn’t been a thing for the Milwaukee Brewers since following the 2003 season when the Brewers and Indianapolis Indians ended their relationship. The Brewers affiliated with the Nashville Sounds beginning in 2004 and spent 10 productive, is at times contentious, years together.

But that’s where the Milwaukee Brewers officially found themselves on Wednesday, September 18, 2014 as the Nashville Sounds finally officially announced that they would be affiliating with the Oakland Athletics for the next four years. I could go into a soapbox diatribe about how the Sounds were petty and disloyal and unappreciative, but I won’t. “Business is business”, after all.

Instead, let’s be excited together about new beginnings. Over the next several hundred words, I hope to give you some information — both important and frivolous — about the Brewers’ new Triple-A affiliate…

SkySoxPrimary

…the Colorado Springs Sky Sox!

From the team’s website:

The Sky Sox were honored by Baseball America as the Bob Frietas award-winner in 2011 as the Triple-A Organization of the Year, the highest award given to Minor League Baseball franchises.

The 2014 Sky Sox baseball season was one of the most exciting and memorable in the organization’s 26-year history. Sky Sox fans showed up in record numbers as the team drew 350,374 fans over 70 openings to mark the sixth season in a row that the franchise has eclipsed the 300,000 mark and the first season over 350,000..

The Sky Sox franchise is an original member of the Pacific Coast League, which was founded in 1903. The franchise operated in Sacramento, CA (Solons 1903-1960) was relocated to Honolulu, HI (Islanders 1961-1987) then moved to Colorado Springs (1988-present). The name “Sky Sox” was adopted in honor of Colorado Springs’ Western League Sky Sox (Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) that played at Memorial Park from 1950 through 1958. When Colorado was awarded a Major League franchise, the new Rockies arranged for the Sky Sox to become their AAA affiliate. From 1993 through 2014, Colorado Springs were the top affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.

In 1988, Sky Sox ownership (Elmore Group, LLC) privately funded the construction of a new $3.7 million ballpark, which was built on the eastern edge of Colorado Springs, near the corner of Powers Blvd. & Tutt Ave. The 8,500 capacity “Sky Sox Stadium”, now known as Security Service Field, was home to the Cleveland Indians’ Triple-A team from 1988-1992, culminating in a PCL Title in the Sky Sox’ final season with the Indians.

The Sky Sox have won two PCL titles, in 1992 and 1995.

And here’s some more about the currently-named “Security Services Field” (the naming rights for which belong to Security Services Federal Credit Union):

SecServField

Year Opened:

Cost:

Renovated:

Cost:

Seating Capacity:

1988

$3,700,000

2005

$6,500,000

Baseball – 8,500

So as you can see, the facility is rather old although it’s still 10 years younger than the consensus “worst ballpark in the Pacific Coast League” that the Brewers just left behind in Nashville. There was a significant renovation in 2005 which included replacing the entire field along with a vastly superior drainage system. And while old Herschel Greer Stadium had a seating capacity of 10,300 fans, you’ll notice in the pull from the Sky Sox’s website that they enjoyed record attendance in 2014. That’s a number that outdrew Nashville (323,961) in total attendance by more than 26,000 fans. Despite the Rockies being so close in proximity, it’s clear that there’s a passionate baseball fanbase in Colorado Springs. Hopefully the local residents will be able to let themselves embrace the Milwaukee Brewers as a parent club. That the new Player Development Contract is but a two-year pact will impact just how rapidly they embrace their new group of dreamers.

In what I’ve read and watched over the past several hours, the baseball staff of the Sky Sox is committed to a quality baseball experience for their fans. Part of that comes from the quality of the team on the field, and the Brewers have fielded a much more competitive team at the Triple-A level over the past year, including featuring the Pitcher of the Year in the Pacific Coast League each of the past two seasons (2013 – Johnny Hellweg, 2014 – Jimmy Nelson).

Here is the official press release from the Brewers which includes comment from Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin:

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced a two-year player development contract with Triple-A Colorado Springs of the Pacific Coast League that will run through the 2016 season. The announcement was made by Brewers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin.
 
“We are looking forward to our partnership with Dave Elmore and Colorado Springs,” said Melvin. “The Brewers have a familiarity with the Elmore group, Dave and D.G., and their understanding of the player development process. We have had a successful history working with D.G., owner of the Helena Brewers. Many players on our current roster have come up through our minor league system and we believe that Colorado Springs will continue to help us produce talent at a Major League level.”
 
Colorado Springs is a member of the PCL’s American Northern Division along with Omaha, Iowa and Oklahoma City.  The Sky Sox play their home games at Security Service Field.
 
“We couldn’t be happier to start the newest era in Sky Sox baseball with a world-class organization like the Milwaukee Brewers,” said Sky Sox President and General Manager Tony Ensor. “Their long and rich baseball history, as well as their commitment to a winning culture is something that we know our fans will embrace. We can’t wait to get started on this new and exciting partnership.”
 
The Brewers are the third Major League affiliate of Colorado Springs. The team had previously been affiliated with the Cleveland Indians from 1988-1992 and the Colorado Rockies since 1993.

And here is the press release from the Sky Sox:

The Colorado Springs Sky Sox are excited to announce today that they have agreed to a new, two-year player development contract with the Milwaukee Brewers that will run through the 2016 season. A formal announcement ceremony will be scheduled in the coming days.

The National League Brewers become the third affiliate in the history of the Sky Sox, following the Cleveland Indians (1988-1992) and the Colorado Rockies (1993-2014). This will also be the second time a Milwaukee team has affiliated with a club in Colorado. The Milwaukee Braves were affiliates with the Denver Bears from 1963-1964.

“We couldn’t be happier to start the newest era in Sky Sox baseball with a world-class organization like the Milwaukee Brewers,” said Sky Sox President and General Manager Tony Ensor. “Their long and rich baseball history, as well as their commitment to a winning culture and player development is something that we know our fans will embrace. We can’t wait to get started on this new and exciting partnership.”

“We are very pleased to be working with the Brewers in Colorado Springs,” said Sky Sox Owner and 2014 PCL Hall of Fame Inductee, Dave Elmore. “The Brewers are a first class organization that we are very familiar with as we have been working with them for many years through our Rookie level team in Helena Montana.”

This season, the Brewers are locked in a battle for the 2014 playoffs. Coming into today, the club boasts a 79-73 record and are just 2.5 games back in the wild card chase. Recent Minor League affiliates who have won titles with the Brewers include the Nashville Sounds (AAA-Pacific Coast League, 2005), Huntsville Stars (AA-Southern League, 2001), Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A-Midwest League, 2012) and the Helena Brewers (Rookie-Pioneer League, 2010,1996,1995).

Five players who played significant time with Milwaukee, including Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Hank Aaron, Rollie Fingers, and Don Sutton, are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Both Yount and Molitor are depicted on their Hall of Fame plaques wearing a Brewers cap insignia. The Brewers also have one of the most legendary broadcasters in Major League history on the mic in Bob Uecker. In 2003, Uecker received the Ford C. Frick Award, bestowed annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame to a broadcaster for “major contributions to baseball”.

A new Brewers era of Sky Sox baseball begins on April 9, 2015 as the Sky Sox begin their 28th season of professional baseball in Colorado Springs. For ticket and team information visit www.skysox.com.

So all in all, the Brewers appear to be a comfortable, if not ideal, spot for at least the next two seasons of Triple-A baseball.

(Oh, and can we talk for a second about how their annual Police vs Fire Departments charity softball game is called “Guns ‘N Hoses”? Because that’s fantastic.)

GunsNHoses

2015 Brewers On Deck Event Scheduled

Time marches on. As such, regardless of how 2014 finishes up, the popular “Brewers On Deck” will return on the final Sunday of January.

It does not, however, return for free.

—Here’s the official release—

The Milwaukee Brewers announced today that tickets for Brewers On Deck 2015 will go on sale tomorrow at 9 a.m. CT.  Set to take place on Sunday, January 25, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center, Brewers On Deck is the winter fan festival that bridges the gap between the Wisconsin winter and Spring Training.

Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children 14 and under.  Tickets on the day of the event are $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under.  A portion of the proceeds from Brewers On Deck will benefit Brewers Community Foundation.

Fans who purchase a ticket before November 1st will receive a voucher for a ticket to a select 2015 April game.

Tickets may be purchased beginning Thursday at 9 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 Treasure Hunt and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.

The same system for autographs will be used for Brewers On Deck that was used in previous years.  Recipients of any “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced at a later date) will be chosen through a random selection process. Numbered coupons to be entered into the random selection process will be available the day of the event only and will be distributed beginning at 8 a.m. at the Wisconsin Center. Coupon distribution will be available up to an hour before each designated autograph session. A schedule of players, their session times, and distribution info will be posted in early January 2015.  Cash will be the only form of payment accepted at the pay stations in the autograph areas.  For more information regarding the lottery process, visit brewers.com/ondeck.  Additional details regarding the autograph schedules will be available at a later date.

Brewers Extend Two Player Development Contracts

The Brewers announced today a pair of PDC extensions. They’ve extended their relationships with their Double-A and High-A affiliates.

Still no word on Triple-A Nashville. (***UPDATE*** Nashville informed the Brewers earlier today that they would not be signing back as the Triple-A affiliate of the Brewers. ***END OF UPDATE***)

What follows is the official press release from the Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced a four-year player development contract extension with Double-A Biloxi of the Southern League through the 2018 season and a two-year PDC extension with Class-A Brevard County of the Florida State League through the 2016 season. The announcements were made by Brewers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin.

“We are excited to extend our contracts with Biloxi and Brevard County,” said Melvin. “We look forward to working with Ken Young and his ownership group as the team relocates from Huntsville to Biloxi and into a new ballpark. The top-notch facilities will give our players the necessary tools to further develop into Major Leaguers.”

The Brewers were affiliated with the Huntsville Stars since the 1999 season. Earlier this year, a Biloxi ownership group led by Ken Young purchased the Stars. Construction of a new ballpark in Biloxi, Mississippi is underway for the 2015 season.

“We’re looking forward to bringing baseball to Biloxi and are eager for this new chapter,” said Biloxi General Manager Buck Rogers. “The Brewers are a class act organization and we can’t wait to get started in our new ballpark.”

The Brevard County Manatees recently completed their 10th season as an affiliate of the Brewers, which began with the 2005 season. The Manatees play their home games at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida. They are owned and operated by Central Florida Baseball Group, LLC.

“The Manatees are thrilled to continue the great working relationship with the Milwaukee Brewers,” said Central Florida Baseball Group Chairman Dr. Tom Winters. “The entire organization is first class.”

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.

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