Tag:Ryan Braun
Posted on: October 7, 2011 1:13 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Brewers' last playoff manager looks to go deeper

MILWAUKEE -- If Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke needs any sort of reference points for the last time the Brewers were in the postseason, back in 2008, he doesn't have to travel far to find the manager from back then.

In a testament to the family atmosphere that surrounds this fun bunch of Brewers, Dale Sveum continues his work with the organization as hitting coach, his time in charge largely forgotten in the dustbin of history.

When the Brewers nearly folded down the stretch in '08, they fired manager Ned Yost in a shocking move in mid-September, with just 12 games left in their season.

Sveum took over on an interim basis for those 12 games, then managed in the playoffs as the Brewers were eliminated in four games by the Phillies.

After that, Sveum was considered as full-time manager but didn't get the job. The Brewers instead hired Ken Macha, who ran the club in 2009 and 2010. When they didn't renew his contract, they plucked Roenicke off of Mike Scioscia's Angels staff.

So here we are, three years later, and there's Sveum, working behind the batting cage, offering this bit of advice to Prince Fielder, that bit of help to Ryan Braun.

Surely, he had to swallow some pride when he was passed over as manager. Why did he stay?

"It was a very unfortunate situation at the time," Sveum, 47, told me when we spoke here a couple of weeks ago. "I only managed for 12 days and then the playoffs. It wasn't like I was there for three months or something. It wasn't the norm where you think you deserve the job."

Given that feeling, the strange circumstances and his affinity for the young core group of players in '08 -- most of whom will play this afternoon in what could be Prince Fielder's final game as a Brewer -- Sveum never gave serious thought to leaving. Maybe others would have walked away in a huff, but not this guy.

"I've been with quite a few organizations, but the Brewers have been great," said Sveum, who played for the Brewers, Pirates, White Sox, Athletics, Mariners and Yankees during his 12-year major-league career. "I love it here. I love the city.

"There would be nothing more gratifying than winning one here. I played here. I coached here. We have a great owner [Mark Attanasio] who is not afraid to spend money and keep guys. We drew three million fans this year.

"This is not a bad place to be. And these jobs don't come around very often."

While Sveum said the run in '08 with CC Sabathia was a whole lot of fun, he said this year has been better because "we have a complete pitching staff, and whenever you have a complete pitching staff, you have a chance to go deep into the playoffs."

"The fans are not stupid," Sveum said. "They know there's a window here to go deep into the playoffs, and that's what brings electricity."

Those fans, on edge since Arizona evened this series 2-2 on Wednesday night in the desert, only hope the window to go deep into the playoffs doesn't slam shut prematurely later tonight.

Likes: Three Game 5s. How great is this? ... Fabulous Tigers-Yankees Game 5, and what a job of managing in that series by Jim Leyland. ... The folks who work for Southwest Airlines are some of the friendliest and most helpful in the business. The other day, a little portfolio-type thing I carry that has a ton for frequent-flier cards, numbers and receipts in it, fell out of my workbag on a flight. I didn't notice until I got to the baggage claim area, and a terrific lady for Southwest in the baggage claim area jumped on the case immediately, phoned the gate and had it back to me within 15 minutes. The folks cleaning the plane had found it and, phew, what a relief. ... Mo's steakhouse in downtown Milwaukee. The "McAlpine" Horseradish Crusted Prime Ribeye, white cheddar mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach ... now that's a meal. ... Culver's frozen custard, a Wisconsin staple.

Dislikes: Another week of great baseball, 75 degrees in Milwaukee today, beautiful sun, sailboats on Lake Michigan ... what's not to like?

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Reading departure signs in some big airport
"Reminds me of the places I've been.
"Visions of good times that brought so much pleasure
"Makes me want to go back again.
"If it suddenly ended tomorrow,
"I could somehow adjust to the fall.
"Good times and riches and son of a bitches,
"I've seen more than I can recall
"These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes,
"Nothing remains quite the same.
"Through all of our running and all of our cunning
"If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane"

-- Jimmy Buffett, Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

Posted on: March 16, 2009 3:39 pm
 

Brewers: Braun out for Team USA in WBC Tuesday

MARYVALE, Ariz. -- The Milwaukee Brewers were relieved Monday that slugger Ryan Braun's strained oblique does not appear to be serious, but regardless, general manager Doug Melvin said Braun will not play in Team USA's game against Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.

"The doctors already looked at him, and they don't feel it's anything serious," Melvin said..

It's an odd position in which to be, a club looking on from afar as one of its centerpiece players suffers an injury that could compromise the team for the regular season.

"Maybe if they win (and advance to the semifinals) on the way to Los Angeles he can stop by here," Melvin said. "If there's any question about it, we'll tell him not to play."

The Brewers will watch the injury closely not just because Braun is one of their chief meal tickets this season, but also because it's in the same vicinity as the oblique strain that sidelined him for a portion of last season. He suffered that strain on Aug. 9 and, though he only missed a week and avoided a trip to the disabled list, it clearly hampered his production for the rest of the season.

But after watching the parade of Team USA players knocked out because of injuries -- Dustin Pedroia, Chipper Jones, Braun, closer Matt Lindstrom -- Melvin has bigger questions.

"Why is it only Team USA?" he said. "That's a good question we have to ask ourselves. What are we doing wrong?"

Part of it undoubtedly is because so many of the Latin players play winter ball, and the Japanese players begin training for the WBC in early January.

Team Mexico recently approached the Brewers about Yovani Gallardo's availability, but the Brewers never had to seriously consider the issue because Mexicans did not have a roster spot available. And no injuries have created one since.

"There just haven't been any other teams with all of these injuries," Melvin continued. "Do they take more time to prepare? Do they start in January? I'd like to see the other injury lists.

"We do have to look at it and see."

One concern regarding Braun is over whether the oblique strain could become chronic.

"I'm sure it possibly could, he swings the bat so hard," Melvin said. "Any injury, once you have it, could reoccur whether it's a wrist, a shoulder.

"We live in fear of injuries, general managers do."

Especially, right now, it seems, those GMs who have players playing for Team USA in the WBC.

Likes: Pudge Rodriguez to Houston. The WBC has been a nice audition for him, huh? He's 9-for-15 with two homers in five WBC games. ... A small adjustment at the plate, and Brewers infielder Craig Counsell is tearing it up this spring. ... Opening day now less than three weeks away. ... The Thursday and Friday of the NCAA tournament are the best two days, when games go for 12 hours. ... The thin pizza at Oregano's in Scottsdale. That stuff is dangerously good. ... The way the Brewers' ticket sales in Milwaukee are outpacing those from last year even without CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets. ... The elderly usher attending the stairs to the press box Maryvale Stadium who responded to my "how ya doin'" with this: "Still upright and taking in nourishment. Those are two good things." Yes, they are.

Dislikes: Every time I'm in Scottsdale Stadium for a game, I see the hospital across the street and can't help thinking back to Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett's sad death at such a young age. The Scottsdale hospital is where he was first rushed after suffering the stroke from which he would never recover.

Sunblock Day? Another day in the desert that couldn't be more perfect. Sunny, warm and probably around 80.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Train roll on many miles from my home,
"See, I'm riding my blues away
"Tuesday, you see, she had to be free
"But somehow I've got to carry on"

-- Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tuesday's Gone

 

Posted on: March 16, 2009 3:39 pm
 

Brewers: Braun out for Team USA in WBC Tuesday

MARYVALE, Ariz. -- The Milwaukee Brewers were relieved Monday that slugger Ryan Braun's strained oblique does not appear to be serious, but regardless, general manager Doug Melvin said Braun will not play in Team USA's game against Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.

"The doctors already looked at him, and they don't feel it's anything serious," Melvin said..

It's an odd position in which to be, a club looking on from afar as one of its centerpiece players suffers an injury that could compromise the team for the regular season.

"Maybe if they win (and advance to the semifinals) on the way to Los Angeles he can stop by here," Melvin said. "If there's any question about it, we'll tell him not to play."

The Brewers will watch the injury closely not just because Braun is one of their chief meal tickets this season, but also because it's in the same vicinity as the oblique strain that sidelined him for a portion of last season. He suffered that strain on Aug. 9 and, though he only missed a week and avoided a trip to the disabled list, it clearly hampered his production for the rest of the season.

But after watching the parade of Team USA players knocked out because of injuries -- Dustin Pedroia, Chipper Jones, Braun, closer Matt Lindstrom -- Melvin has bigger questions.

"Why is it only Team USA?" he said. "That's a good question we have to ask ourselves. What are we doing wrong?"

Part of it undoubtedly is because so many of the Latin players play winter ball, and the Japanese players begin training for the WBC in early January.

Team Mexico recently approached the Brewers about Yovani Gallardo's availability, but the Brewers never had to seriously consider the issue because Mexicans did not have a roster spot available. And no injuries have created one since.

"There just haven't been any other teams with all of these injuries," Melvin continued. "Do they take more time to prepare? Do they start in January? I'd like to see the other injury lists.

"We do have to look at it and see."

One concern regarding Braun is over whether the oblique strain could become chronic.

"I'm sure it possibly could, he swings the bat so hard," Melvin said. "Any injury, once you have it, could reoccur whether it's a wrist, a shoulder.

"We live in fear of injuries, general managers do."

Especially, right now, it seems, those GMs who have players playing for Team USA in the WBC.

Likes: Pudge Rodriguez to Houston. The WBC has been a nice audition for him, huh? He's 9-for-15 with two homers in five WBC games. ... A small adjustment at the plate, and Brewers infielder Craig Counsell is tearing it up this spring. ... Opening day now less than three weeks away. ... The Thursday and Friday of the NCAA tournament are the best two days, when games go for 12 hours. ... The thin pizza at Oregano's in Scottsdale. That stuff is dangerously good. ... The way the Brewers' ticket sales in Milwaukee are outpacing those from last year even without CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets. ... The elderly usher attending the stairs to the press box Maryvale Stadium who responded to my "how ya doin'" with this: "Still upright and taking in nourishment. Those are two good things." Yes, they are.

Dislikes: Every time I'm in Scottsdale Stadium for a game, I see the hospital across the street and can't help thinking back to Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett's sad death at such a young age. The Scottsdale hospital is where he was first rushed after suffering the stroke from which he would never recover.

Sunblock Day? Another day in the desert that couldn't be more perfect. Sunny, warm and probably around 80.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Train roll on many miles from my home,
"See, I'm riding my blues away
"Tuesday, you see, she had to be free
"But somehow I've got to carry on"

-- Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tuesday's Gone

 

Posted on: September 28, 2008 8:07 pm
 

A toast to Yost

MILWAUKEE -- Gone but not forgotten is the man who helped lead the Brewers through their final years of darkness.

It's just too bad manager Ned Yost's expiration date hit two weeks ago, when an increasingly desperate Milwaukee fired him with 12 games to play and named Dale Sveum as the interim.

"Ned is one of my best friends," Sveum said in the aftermath of Sunday's 3-1 victory over the Cubs as the champagne sprayed. "I love Ned from the bottom of my heart."

Slugger Ryan Braun said that Yost shares in the celebration, even in his absence.

"He does, without a doubt," Braun said. "He brought this entire team to this point. I wish he was here celebrating with us.

"I'm sure he's at home right now drinking a glass of champagne. He certainly deserves it."

LIkes: Seeing ities starved for good baseball news finally get some. ... The fact that they still play Roll Out the Barrel following Take Me Out to the Ballgame in Milwaukee during the seventh inning, and the fact that many fans sing along with gusto. ... Gilles Frozen Custard. It's Milwaukee's oldest -- it's been around since 1938, and the Heavenly Chocolate I had the other day was superb. ... I also like the fact that St. Pius X High School is right next to Gilles. Sat next to a table full of boys who obviously just finished with their school day the other day. Like going back in time.

Dislikes: Construction on I-94. ... Summer beginning to disappear.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Hey, little girlie in the blue jeans so tight
"Drivin' alone through the Wisconsin night
"You're my last love baby you're my last chance
"Don't let 'em take me to the Cadillac Ranch"

-- Bruce Springsteen, Cadillac Ranch

 
 
 
 
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