Monday, January 30, 2012

Recap of Brewers On Deck Fan Fest

Brewers On Deck set an attendance record on Sunday, even with the big names of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder missing from the headlines. Over 12,000 people showed up to the festivities at the Frontier Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee as the likes of Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers, Bob Uecker, Jerry Augustine, among others were in attendance for the Fan Fest. I got to meet Bob Uecker, Mark Attanasio, Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke, current Brewers Alex Gonzalez, Mat Gamel, and Martin Maldenado, minor leaguers Eric Farris, Jed Bradley, Taylor Yungmann, Scotter Gennett, Khris Davis, Kentrail Davis, Hunter Morris, and Brock Kjeldgaard. Uecker signed my baseball, Mark A. signed my playoff hat, Roenicke and the rest signed a different baseball. I want to commend how respectful all of the players were, especially the Timber Rattlers. Eric Farris was also a class act, who really was having a good time with the children in the kids area and interacting with the parents. A few funny moments, Nyjer Morgan was doing interviews with kids on FSWisconsin and he came up to the table next to ours and started eating their cheese fries and talking with the table. Chris Narveson said during a Q&A that the pitching staff is going to hit 10 home runs this year to make up for Prince Fielder being gone. Doug Melvin asked a boy if he got Prince Fielder's autograph today and the boy replied, "No." Melvin said, "Yeah, neither did the Brewers." Finally, Bob Uecker was moderating a question-and-answer session for fans with team owner Mark Attanasio, GM Doug Melvin, assistant Gord Ash and new front office member Craig Counsell. When the microphone was being passed among the crowd, a young boy raised his hand to ask a question.

"What's your name?" asked Uecker.

"Tyler," said the young boy.

"Poor kid," said Uecker, taking a shot at Brewers vice president Tyler Barnes, standing just off-stage. But the young boy didn't know it was a joke and started crying, burying his head into his mom's shoulder.

Mortified, Uecker had the mom bring the boy to the stage. He was wearing a Counsell jersey, so Craig Counsell signed it, then Aramis Ramirez and Alex Gonzalez signed it as well. Looking at Attanasio, Uecker then said, "Mark, give the kid a 20 (dollar bill)."

(Story courtesy of Tom Haudricourt @Haudricourt)

Other News and Notes from On Deck:

Zack Greinke spoke very highly of Mark Attanasio and the Brewers staff today during Q&A. Sounds like he wants to stay in Milwaukee and openly said he will listen for an extention. Nyjer Morgan was the hit of the show, by far. He was posing "beastmode" for pictures with the kids that came through his line. You could really tell Morgan was enjoying himself by taking the time to interact with every person that came through his line. Nyjer Morgan said today was the best fan experience he's had in his career. Focusing on the season, still room for lots of improvement. Shaun Marcum said he is working on his delivery when pitching. Obviously, his postseason play effected him. Shaun Marcum also is said to be advancing well in the arbitration process. Deal should be soon. Corey Hart was asked about playing some first base this year and he said he'll do whatever they want him to do but isn't to thrilled of the position. Finally, Rickie Weeks said his foot still isn't at 100% but getting back on the field will help him rehab it to health. He will need to produce big in the absence of Fielder and maybe Braun.

Until next time, Beers, Brats, and Championships.

-Andrew Vrchota (@WSB_Andrew)

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