Brewers, Bill, Braun, Brennaman, Bro, BA, and Buddy…welcome to the alliteration station.
The first road trip is in the books and the Brewers made it a success. It’s always good to win more than you lose away from your home ballpark.
The mailbox is filling up with Bill Hall and Ryan Braun thoughts/comments/suggestions. It’s too early to panic on Hall in center. He’s going to make some mistakes but as I said on the air, he’s a great athlete, a great character-guy, and he has high expectations of his outfield defense…I’m not betting against him. Let’s revisit the center field saga in June. Hopefully, Hall will have made it a non-issue by then. As for Ryan Braun, he is "raking" in Triple-A. But, we knew he’d hit. I’m told his third base play has been solid. His time is coming but he needs more reps in the minor leagues. It’s too risky to bring him up before he’s ready. His bat is special but the Brewers can win without him. How bout we hope for the Brewers to run away with the division, call up Braun in September, get him acclimated to Big League life and watch him win Rookie of the Year in 2008? I know you like the sound of that. Ryan Braun hears about such expectations every day. That’s a big burden to bear for a young player, so be patient.
The trip to Cincinnati was special for me. It was great to see Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman again. In 1993, during my brother’s brief trip to the big leagues with the Reds, Marty Brennaman brought me to his booth after he heard I was interested in broadcasting. I was still in college but brother Mike asked Marty if he could let me "hang" for a day. Marty obliged and once I saw him work in person, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Now, 14 years later, he was the first person I sought out in Cincinnati. I was ready to re-introduce myself and remind him of our past but before I could say a word, he greeted me like an old friend…remembering it all while offering a hearty "welcome to the club!" He knew all about my trek through the minor leagues, the Golf Channel and now the Brewers. I got a glimpse into a Hall of Famer’s window 14 years ago and to share the same press box with him is beyond cool. I’m glad he’s getting a chance to work with his equally talented son, Thom, all over again Cincinnati.
Seeing the Brennamans reminded me of how many doors my brother, Mike, opened for me. Mike was an undrafted pitcher, signed out of a "cattle call" tryout camp. He fought his way to the Major Leagues and put me in some great company along the way. He’s a big reason I’m here. Twenty years after that tryout camp, Mike is still in the game. He’s a pitching coach in the Texas Rangers organization (Bakersfield – Cal league) and I have no doubt he’ll be in the big leagues soon. There is a growing list of pitchers that my big bro has helped develop into Major Leaguers. His story is blog-worthy on its own. Perhaps next time.
Thanks for the all of the great comments and encouraging words. Let’s hope the Brew Crew can get a win streak started. See you on TV!
Everybody needs a little Buddy sometimes. Enjoy! CLICK.
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