Ryan Braun Credits Brewers Fan Base as Reason for signing in Milwaukee Long-Term

Three-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun is signed with the Milwaukee Brewers through 2020. Three years ago Braun signed an eight-year contract with the team that ran through 2015. Both sides decided to extend that deal with a five-year $105 million contract last month that surprised many people. At the deal’s peak, Braun will only be making $19 million annually. Sluggers like Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera, and Ryan Howard are all making more on an annual basis this year, so it’s fair to say Braun is potentially sacrificing more money on an annual basis by signing with Milwaukee long-term. So why did he do it? He explained his decision on Jim Rome is Burning.

“I think the biggest thing is the fan base,” Braun told Rome. “The fans have been incredibly supportive, not only of me but of our entire team and our entire organization. It’s truly a special place to play. The more time I’ve spent here the more I’ve enjoyed it, and the more time I’ve spent in other cities I think the more I appreciate it here.”

“I’ve really enjoyed my experience here to this point, and moving forward I just really believe in the direction of the organization. I’m excited about being a part of a group of guys who’s trying to change the culture, trying to change the environment where we’re perceived as a winning franchise and a winning organization.”

Rome followed up by asking about the chances Fielder also signs with the Brewers long-term. It was a difficult question, but Braun handled it perfectly.

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Zack Greinke’s Cracked Rib Is Enough to Throw Off Milwaukee’s All-in Effort

A bad fall in a pickup basketball game could be enough to derail Milwaukee’s go-for-broke season. The Brewers, who are facing the reality of losing Prince Fielder after the year, decided to trade several prospects to acquire pitching help this off-season. They reeled in Zack Greinke from Kansas City and Shaun Marcum from Toronto to bolster their effort to win it all. But their plan can already be in trouble before the season has even started.

Greinke suffered a cracked rib after falling while chasing after a rebound during a pickup basketball game. He didn’t think he was hurt too badly when it happened two weeks ago so nothing went reported, but a recent MRI revealed the crack. Typical healing time is 4-6 weeks and Greinke is two weeks into the process. Another two weeks off would be the best-case scenario, but Greinke is already expected to miss the first few weeks of the season. Once you factor in the arm strength he needs to rebuild and stamina that is generally gained during spring training, it puts Greinke even further behind schedule.

In a competitive NL Central where the Reds are poised to repeat, the Cubs look better, and the Cardinals are always difficult, it’s not the start Milwaukee wants. Dropping a few extra games in April that they might not have had Greinke been healthy could be enough to keep them out of the post-season. Hopefully they will play well enough to keep the injury from being an issue. But if we see Yovani Gallardo or Shawn Marcum go down next, we’ll know it’s not their year much like it doesn’t seem to be St. Louis’.

Milwaukee Brewers Fan Gets Logo in Hair

It’s nowhere near as hardcore as this when it comes to putting team logos on your dome, but this is pretty strong by Milwaukee Brewers fan Brock Mahoney:

The ball in the center of the glove was a little off and so was the detail, but that’s still pretty solid. Even Ron Artest should be impressed.

MLB 2011 Preview: Milwaukee Brewers with Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum

Previewing the 2011 MLB season, we’ve already named the Phillies, Yankees, and Red Sox the top World Series favorites. This week, we’re taking a look at the NL Central. Monday: St. Louis Cardinals; Tuesday: Cincinnati Reds; Wednesday: Milwaukee Brewers

The Must-Win Team: Milwaukee Brewers

Off-Season Moves: The Brewers greatly improved their rotation when they pulled off one of this off-season’s most shocking and successful moves, acquiring Zack Greinke in a trade as well as Shaun Marcum.  They also added the seemingly ageless Takashi Saito to set-up for closer John Axford.

Strengths: The story of the Prince Fielder/Ryan Braun Brewers has always been hitting. Those two, along with Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart and Casey McGehee will keep opposing pitchers up at night. Weeks finally stayed healthy and had a season worthy of his potential and will need to build on that success. Hart had a nice bounce-back season, hitting 31 home runs. Prince Fielder has been an every-other-year kind of guy his whole career, and will be going into his walk year, so expect monster numbers from him on par with his 2007 and 2009 season.

Like the Cardinals, the Brewers feature a strong rotation 1-4, and have the division’s best 1-3 in Greinke, Yovani Gallardo and Marcum. Gallardo is this team’s best breakout candidate, featuring plus stuff with improving command. Greinke is only one year removed from being in the discussion for best pitcher in baseball and should rebound well this season, playing in the National League and for a contender for the first time. Marcum could also experience a boost in his numbers as well, pitching outside of the American League East. Randy Wolf, Chris Narveson and Manny Parra are underrated in their own ways and fill out the back of the rotation well.

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Brewers Dangerously Give Up the Farm to Win Now with Greinke, Marcum

By now all of you know that the Royals traded Zack Greinke to the Brewers in exchange for much of their top talent. The deal sent Greinke and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt — basically an incidental piece — and cash to Milwaukee for two Major League ready players in shortstop Alcides Escobar and center fielder Lorenzo Cain. The Royal also received two right-handed pitching prospects — Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odirizzi — the latter widely regarded as the Brewers’ top pitching prospect.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Brewers sent their top prospect, second baseman Brett Lawrie, to the Blue Jays in exchange for right-handed pitcher Shaun Marcum — a move thought to pave the way for Greinke’s trade to Toronto. In a two-week span, the Brewers have simultaneously strenghtend their team considerably for next season and seemingly bankrupted their farm system — not to mention the two players who had already reached the majors.

As recently as last season, Escobar was considered a top prospect — though last year, in his first full season in the majors, he hit only .235 with a .288 on-base percentage. At 24, Escobar still has plenty of room for growth. Betancourt, who will be 29 when the season starts, is hitting .272 for his career and has an on-base percentage of just .292. It appears that he has hit his ceiling, and it’s not very high. Betancourt does however offer slight upgrades defensively and in terms of power.

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Hilarious Fake Press Release Rips Cubs

When reporters and writers arrived at Miller Park to take in the Brewers-Cubs game on Friday night, they were treated to some unexpected hilarity.  Hidden within the regular game day press notes was a fake press release making fun of the Cubs and G.M. Jim Hendry.  Here’s a picture of the sheet:

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Prince Fielder Fights Manny Parra in Brewers’ Dugout

OK, so maybe fighting isn’t exactly accurate. Perhaps “attacks” would be more suitable since only one person was going crazy. Whatever. I’ll let you decide how to describe what went on in the Brewers’ dugout between Prince Fielder and Manny Parra on Monday night.

I don’t know about you, but I’d be pretty freaked out if 300lbs of Prince Fielder were coming after me. That’s not cool. In case you’re wondering what set things off, we have an idea.

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