The World Series on Christmas Day?

In April of 2007, the Cleveland Indians and Anaheim Angels played a three-game series at Miller Park.

Snow storms in Cleveland forced the regular season games be moved to Milwaukee on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, 19,000 fans showed up for Game 1. The stadium called in 500 additional workers to run concessions, parking and maintenance.

If a plan proposed by baseball super agent Scott Boras, Miller Park could host two playoff teams in 2020. Not necessarily the Brewers.

During a conversation with the LA Times, Boras suggested that the Major League Baseball season be extended into the winter months. Playing all playoff games at the three stadiums in California plus venues with domes, including Miller Park.

In the report, Boras points out that the average California temperature in November and December is nearly 67 degrees. A warmer average than early season games in most Midwestern and Northeastern cities.

Boars’ suggestion further entails the regular season plays the usual 162 games. Other theories propose that if games are allowed to resume in July, the regular season be cut to less than 100 games, starting the post-season in October as originally planned.

His plan also breaks down a “neutral” World Series, where Game 6 is played on Christmas Day.

There is no official plan or date for when games will resume.

One of the major concerns that arises is the start date of the 2021 season. If players are playing well into November, that date would have to be pushed back as well.

Reminisce with Milwaukee Brewers highlights

Who doesn’t love a good highlight mixtape?

Who also doesn’t love going down a rabbit hole on YouTube, watching clip after clip of your favorite athlete or team? The next thing you know, hours have passed.

The Milwaukee Brewers have given fans plenty of moments to cheer about over the past few seasons. Below is a sampling of highlights worth revisiting.

For example, remember the day Christian Yelich went 6-for-6, hit for the cycle and recorded a huge outfield assist?

Then hit for the cycle again a few weeks later, against the same team.

Or the time Yelich walked off the Cubs?

The 2018 National League’s Most Valuable Player hasn’t been the only one making plays for The Crew. Lorenzo Cain finally won a Gold Glove Award in 2019, an honor that was overdue and much deserved.

And, just in case you want to see that ‘NOT TODAY’ robbery from Opening Day 2019 again.

Not to pick on the Cubs again, but Yelich and rookie Keston Hiura displayed late game heroics to beat Chicago in extra innings in 2019.

Hiura made a couple other highlights during his rookie season as well.

Josh Hader knows a thing or two about highlights, he had 9 of them in one inning against the Cardinals. Matt Lepay calling “the immaculate inning” is sure to send the chills up and down your spine.

Speaking of pitchers, remember when #PitchersWhoRake was a thing in Milwaukee?

Brent “The Raptor” Suter took Cy Young Award Winner Corey Kluber deep to center field.

And Brandon Woodruff “are you kidding me?” off of Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the 2018 National League Championship Series.

Finally, Ryan Braun may be considering retirement following the 2020 season, but the motto, will always be RBF. Ryan Braun Forever.

Eventually, baseball will return. Cold beers, brats, secret stadium sauce and tailgating will be normal again.

Christian Yelich revisits 2017 WBC Championship

If life was normal right now then Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich would be preparing to play a regular season baseball game this week.

Thursday, March 26 at 1:10 pm CST. The Brewers were supposed to host their rival, the Chicago Cubs, on Opening Day.

Those plans are on hold until further notice.

As many athletes, and sports fans, have done during this time period without live action, Yelich revisited previous games. Taking to his Twitter as he watched games from the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Just the fourth installment of the tournament, the United States won gold in 2017. Marcus Stroman, now pitching for the New York Mets, was named MVP.

Starting the the championship game, Yelich was 2-of-5 with an RBI and run scored.

Despite personal criticism of his form.

https://twitter.com/ChristianYelich/status/1241903571026632704

The most recent update from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred delays first pitch by at least eight more weeks. But that is just a minimum. There is no time table for return to action for any professional or amateur sport.

A quarantine feeling we can all probably relate to.

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That quarantine feeling

A post shared by Christian Yelich (@christianyelich) on

And, just in case you want to relive the 2017 World Baseball Classic, here’s a highlight video of Team USA’s title run.

Craig Counsell’s message on COVID-19

Major League Baseball announced that Opening Day is being delayed.

When will the first pitch be thrown?

No one is entirely sure yet. Commissioner Rob Manfred is following directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical professionals and the World Health Organization. There are reports and speculation of a possible July 4 start date, but the truth in the matter is that there are too many unknowns to pinpoint anything official.

In the meantime, General Manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, David Stearns, provided an update saying that players are allowed to leave the team’s spring training facility in Arizona, and return home or to Milwaukee.

Players also have the option to stay the Phoenix area.

Manager Craig Counsell sent this informative video to bored baseball fans everywhere. The team shared it on their social media platforms.

MLB announces canceling of spring training, delaying regular season

Major League Baseball has made the decision to cancel all of their scheduled spring training games and to delay the start of the regular season for at least two weeks.

In a press release sent out by the league offices, the decision comes after a call “with all 30 clubs” and is direct response to “the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic.”

The Milwaukee Brewers were scheduled to open their regular season at Miller Park on March 26 against the Chicago Cubs.

Team officials released the following statement.

Milwaukee’s training facility in Maryvale, AZ. is open tomorrow for an optional player workout, but then will be closed for the weekend. There is an 11 am practice scheduled for Monday, but will NOT be open to the public.

Jon Heyman of the MLB Network provided further insight on the player’s plans to continue training, preparing for the eventual start of game play.

Before the official announcement, Ryan Braun said that he felt this decision was ultimately coming down, calling baseball “secondary.”

Through 17 Cactus League games this spring, the Brewers posted a 10-7 record.

Manager Craig Counsell spoke earlier in the day about the NBA suspending their season after two players tested positive for COVID-19.

Multiple people involved with the organization said that the team will continue to act accordingly, following league directives related future scheduling.

Yelich officially inks long-term deal with Brewers

Ryan Braun and Lorenzo Cain stood off the side.

Photos and social media videos surfaced of the 2011 MVP and 2019 Gold Glove Award winners smiling, laughing and grinning from ear to ear. Just a few feet away from them, Christian Yelich sat at a press conference table between Milwaukee Brewers’ general manager David Stearns and team owner Mark Attanasio.

The proud veterans watched as Yelich, the 2018 National League’s Most Valuable Player, officially announced a nine-year contract extension. Keeping him on the team through at least the 2027 season.

No opt outs. No trade clauses. Yelich is in Milwaukee for the long haul, possibly the remainder of his professional career.

“I could not be happier that I am a Milwaukee Brewer for the next decade,” he said in a statement released by the team. “I want to thank the Brewers organization, my teammates, and the best fans in baseball for their support. I am excited to be staying in Milwaukee and playing the game that I love for this amazing city.”

The deal is worth a reported $215 million. According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, a portion of that salary is being deferred to 2029, offering the team financial flexibility to field a competitive and contending roster.

“I’m really glad that I am able to spend the foreseeable future here. The rest of my career as a Milwaukee Brewer.” Yelich said to begin his press conference. “I’ve said many times that I’ve only been here for two years but it feels like a lot longer. Ever since I came here it just felt like a natural fit.

“A place that was great for myself and my family. Formed a connection with the community and my teammates and everyone from ownership to the front office and on down. As a player, that’s what you want, you want a chance to win. Something that feels organic and it felt right to me.”

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spoke with Yelich’s agent, Joe Longo, about the contract.

“This is how you win a championship,” he said. “You’ve got to get a star player under contract. They knew what they had and they committed to him. I think both sides didn’t want to deal with the noise about what Christian is going to do over the next 36 months.”

At 28 years old, Yelich has already notched an MVP Award, Gold Glove and NLCS appearance to his resume. Today’s contract signing, for him, was a culmination of those accolades, but also a celebration for everyone who helped him get to this point.

“There’s a lot of people that go in to today,” he said after thanking his mom, brothers, teammates and coaches. “It’s definitely not just myself. It has been a collective effort throughout my life. There have been a lot of great people and I have no doubt that I wouldn’t be here without their contributions and their efforts.

“That’s what makes today special, too. There have been a lot of people that have made my life a priority over theirs at times, and it’s just a cool day.”

Communication regarding this contract began in 2019, on Halloween, when Yelich and Attanasio sat down for lunch.

“Christian had indicated to me that he’d might like to talk about an arrangement that would allow him to retire as a Brewer,” Attanasio recalled. “We got together for lunch on Halloween, I guess it was trick-or-treat and it turned out to be a treat.”

“It’s an amazing fan base and it’s a great place to play,” Yelich reiterated. “I didn’t really know a lot about it before I was a member of the organization. Came once a year for three or four days and that was really it.

“It’s been a great experience since day one. Somewhere that felt natural. Somewhere that I have really enjoyed being and I am excited to spend a lot more time here.”

Braun is a teammate who Yelich talked to about his decision. Which wasn’t anything out of the usual, the two work through professional matters on a consistent basis.

“His career has taken a similar trajectory as mine,” he said about Braun’s mentorship. “As far as contracts and everything that has really happened. He was a big part of this and gave me great advice. We’ve talked a lot, not only about this but baseball in general. He spent his entire career as a Brewers and he has done amazing things for this organization. So I definitely bounce things off of him. We have a great relationship.

“I’m definitely grateful that he has embraced me as he has. Since my first day in this organization.”

Yelich turned to thank Braun, and Cain, for their mentorship.

Until Yelich signed his deal with Milwaukee, Braun’s five-year, $105 million contract was the richest in team history. Not far behind is Cain’s five-year agreement worth $80 million.

“The desires of both parties here were to keep Christian a Brewer for as long as we could,” Stearns added on the process of getting the deal completed. “That was Christian’s desire at the beginning. That was the team’s perspective at the beginning.

“It works for both sides.”

Christian Yelich and Brewers close on $200 million extension

Baseball fans in Milwaukee can breathe a giant sigh of relief.

Christian Yelich is set to be the face of the Milwaukee Brewers franchise for the foreseeable future. All rumors of him jet-setting for Los Angeles in two seasons, or a down-the-road trade to stockpile prospects, can be laid to rest.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that the team and Yelich are close to agreeing to terms on a “monster extension.”

The deal is set to be worth in excess of $200 million, which goes into effect after the 2021 season.

There are still two years left on his current deal, and according to Joel Sherman of the MLB Network, this extension will begin at the start of the 2022 season. Yelich will make 12.5 million in 2020 and $15 million in 2021.

An official announcement is expected Friday at the team’s practice facility in Arizona, per The Athletic.

Yelich was named the 2018 National League MVP, and finished second for the award in 2019.

Despite missing the final month of last season due to a fractured kneecap, he still tallied 44 home runs and 97 RBI on the year.

Since the Brewers completed a trade with the Miami Marlins for him, he has produced 80 HR’s and 207 RBI, playing in 277 regular season games.

This season, Yelich is making the switch from right to left field. A move that he’s comfortable and familiar with. In 2014 he won the Gold Glove award playing left field for Miami.

“I’ll play wherever. Doesn’t matter to me. Wherever (Manager Craig Counsell) thinks will make us the best,” he told inquiring reporters at the team’s training facility during the first week of spring training.

“Whether that’s left, right, or wherever they want me. So it looks like we’re rolling with left again. Done it in the past, obviously. It’s not too big of a deal and if it makes us better, I am all for it.”

This extension will be largest contract in team history, and by a long shot. Ryan Braun is currently playing out the final year of a five-year, $105 million deal that was the franchise’s previous high payday. His base salary for 2020 is $16 million.

A majority of the Brewers’ spending in 2020 will be in the outfield. Lorenzo Cain is also making $16 million, meanwhile newcomer Avisaíl García is on a two-year deal worth $20 million, set to pay out a base of $7 million this season.

In celebration of this historic day for the bank account of Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasion, enjoy this YouTube video from the MLB. Nearly 10 minutes of Yeli highlights.

Here’s the mathematical breakdown of all of the ‘Milwaukee Essentials’ that Yelich theoretically purchase with $200 million.

11,111,110 cases of Miller Lite or
100,000,000 double-dip cones from Leon’s Custard or
8,695,651 General Admission Tickets to Summerfest or
The entire Milwaukee Bucks salary in 2020 and still have $70 million leftover

A wise person once said, don’t spend it all in one place.

Brewers reportedly agree to contract extension with RHP Freddy Peralta

The Milwaukee Brewers are buying in to Freddy Peralta.

As first reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the club has agreed to a 5-year, $15.5 million deal with the righty.

Peralta began last year as part of the starting rotation for Milwaukee but struggled after a solid rookie campaign. In eight starts, he had an ERA of 7.07. But he was better coming out of the bullpen, going 5-1 with a 4.01 ERA. That included a really good final month of the year in which he allowed just two earned runs and had 20 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings.

The 23-year-old has thrown mostly fastballs through his first two years in the majors, but added a slider to his game this offseason.

Milwaukee Brewers: Spring Training Recap

There are 60 players in the Milwaukee Brewers clubhouse to start Spring Training.

The Wisconsin Sports Zone was live in Arizona, watching practices, meeting with players, coaches and team employees, covering their first week of full squad practices.

In case you missed any of the content, there are stories about honoring Jackie Robinson, recovering from injury and bringing your puppy to work, among others.

Enjoy!

Stories:

Owner Mark Attanasio says the team operated at a loss in 2019.

When Brock Holt was deciding whether or not to sign with Milwaukee, he called one of his best friends, former Brewers third baseman, Travis Shaw. Shaw spoke exclusively with The Wisconsin Sports Zone.

Lorenzo Cain has a custom shirt he wears under his uniform for every single game. It pays tribute to Jackie Robinson.

Corbin Burnes completely changed his off-season approach as he tries to compete for a spot in the starting rotation. Manager Craig Counsell is a fan of the adjustment.

Corey Knebel battles back from Tommy John surgery. All of his favorite activities were off-limits during rehab.

Audio:

Corbin Burnes joined The Good (Sports) Land Podcast. There’s also audio from Christian Yelich, Ryan Braun and Counsell.

Listen to the exclusive conversation with Travis Shaw about offering a recommendation on Milwaukee to Brock Holt.

Newly acquired pitcher Shelby Miller joins the podcast. Does he have any ghost stories from the times he travelled to Milwaukee as an opponent.

Ed Sedar bring his puppy, Squirt, to the clubhouse. He always appears to be having the most fun on the baseball field. Especially when throwing batting practice to the outfielders.

Corey Knebel talks about his off-season and the “gut punch” it was to watch the team in the playoffs.

Sights and sounds

Josh Hader’s first live batting practice session of the season. Throwing against the new guy, Brock holt.

Ryan Braun takes his first reps at first base.

Catchers taking part in a unique drill.

Probably the most fun moment of the week, just listen to Lo Cain discuss Milk with Christian Yelich.

Corey Knebel is aiming for two trophies in 2020

Matt Harvey. Greg Holland. Jonny Venters.

Three of the last five National League Comeback Player of the Year award recipients all have one thing in common.

Pitchers returning to the mound after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Corey Knebel wants next.

“Selfishly, become the Comeback Player of the Year,” the Milwaukee Brewers 2018 all-star told the Wisconsin Sports Zone about his goals for the upcoming season. “Unselfishly, win the World Series. I’d love to just be back in the post-season. Contribute to the boys.

“Two years in-a-row, we missed it by just that much. So, just to be there and help them out. Can’t wait, man. To come back and be healthy and throw some high heat. Just can’t wait, man.”

The last time he took the mound, it was Game 7 of the 2018 National League Championship Series. During the following spring training, the decision was made to undergo Tommy John surgery and miss all of the 2019 season.

An operation that requires months of rehabilitation, Knebel could only watch the team as they made a push for the post-season last year. A feeling he described as a “gut punch” knowing there was nothing he could do to help.

“You’re gassed going in to the post-season,” he said. “But in the post-season another animal kicks in. So I was happy to see what the guys in the (bullpen) did last year, especially in the post-season. They looked good, there’s always just one thing, you know? Even during the season, it’s one mistake that happens and that’s how it usually is.

“That’s the name of the game. You can’t change it. What is it, ‘baseball is a game of inches?’ That’s exactly what it is. It was tough to watch.”

Brewers manager Craig Counsell called Knebel’s hardware aspirations a “great goal.” Adding that he definitely has a shot at winning the award.

Knebel is continuing with his rehabilitation process. He’s hopeful to make his 2020 debut after the first month or so of the regular season. He’s currently throwing bullpen sessions on an average of two to three times per week.

“I can’t really get too far ahead of myself in throwing,” he said. “Trying to stay healthy, that’s the main things. So, i’m getting ready to go. However long that takes, I’m going to be ready to go once I get back up.”

For athletes, the underrated aspect of returning from injury is the mental capacity endure the ups and downs of the daily grind, plus getting yourself ready to compete at a high level again. Knebel said you “go through some stuff” while working your way back to full health.

He was fortunate enough to take a month-and-a-half to himself this off-season, traveling home to Texas to clear his head and prepare to play this season.

Unfortunately, his hobbies include golf, fishing and bow-hunting.

Three activities that you cannot participate in while rehabbing an elbow repair.

“I had to rifle hunt. And rifle hunting is not really too exciting to me,” he said. “You check them out in the scope and pull the trigger. There’s not really any work to be done until after.”

That’s where he was able to spend time with, and lean on his family. Wife, Danielle, and three-year old daughter, Ledger Staar.

“If they’re both asleep, and I’m still up, I’ll play some video games,” Knebel said about his favorite non-family activities to do during free time. “You just got to throw in a couple of things here and there that you can’t do, and you got to make do. Got to have some fun some how.

“My family is my biggest part of my life. I’d do anything for them.”

As for his highly anticipated return to the mound.

“It’s like ripping off a band-aid. You rip it off. We’re all ready to go this year.”