Hello everyone…it’s good to be back in the House of Blogs. Pitchers and Catchers report tomorrow so I thought I’d beat ‘em by a day…from my couch in Wisconsin.
First off, let’s get this out of the way…I have no idea how the Ryan Braun situation will play out. I have been asked that question everyday since December 10th and I know nothing.
Regardless, I do think the Brewers are going to be very good in 2012. The game is trending back to it’s beautiful roots, pitching and defense reign. The Crew returns a deep, balanced pitching staff and an improved defense. I believe the Reds will present the biggest challenge in the Central Division. The Cardinals will be in the picture if Adam Wainwright returns healthy.
I spoke to Ron Roenicke yesterday and he seems as confident as ever. He’s a man of few words but a master communicator. Nothing phases him and nothing gets by him. To that point, last year, Rock and I were hosting a “thank you” dinner for the TV crew before a September home game. Ron seemed intrigued so I flippantly suggested he stop by, never dreaming he would. He responded, very seriously, that he’d like to. So here is a big league manager, in the heat of a pennant race, wanting to address our crew of 50 or so in the South Dock service entrance at Miller Park. He thanked them for their contributions to the organization and spoke about teamwork and embracing your role for the betterment of the group. I do not have the hard data, but I can say with 99.9% certainty that this was the first time in the history of baseball that a manager addressed a TV crew in this manner. It was jaw-dropping impressive and it left a mark on a group of men and women who work very hard, with very little credit, to be great bringing the Brewers into your living room.
Ron and the rest of the coaching staff report to Maryvale today. Ed Sedar is in charge of camp for the second consecutive season and what happens in Arizona will set the tone for the rest of the season. Players want to know if they can trust the manager and coaches and believe it or not, Spring Training organization speaks volumes.
Here are some key dates for Spring Training:
- February 17: All coaches/staff report
- February 18: Pitchers and Catchers report
- February 20: First workout
- February 24: Position players report
- February 25: First full squad workout
- March 3: Intra-squad game
- March 4: Cactus League Opener
- March 5: First brewers.com webcast
- March 6: First FS Wisconsin Telecast
- March 16: Minor League games begin
- March 17: FS Wi Telecast
- March 20: FS Wi Telecast
- March 30: FS Wi Telecast
- March 31: FS Wi Telecast
- April 4: FS Wi Telecast, Final Exhibition game