November 3, 2013
Dear Brewers Fans:
On behalf of everyone at the Brewers organization, from players and coaches to the front office staff, I want to thank you for your unwavering support this year. In spite of the disappointing season, you once again demonstrated why you make up the most loyal fan base in all of baseball. More than 2.5 million fans attended games at Miller Park in 2013–a number that gave us our seventh straight season of reaching that milestone, one that was not achieved by five of the teams participating in this year’s Postseason.
The 2013 season was a challenge for all of us, both on and off the field. As I stated when my ownership group purchased the Brewers in 2005, one of our primary objectives was to raise expectations for the entire club. In recent years, the team has played meaningful games late in the season, but this year we obviously fell short of that goal.
We started the spring with significant promise, with an intact lineup–one that had led the National League in runs scored in 2012–as well as a returning core of the pitching staff, fueled by the addition of free agent Kyle Lohse. However, this was not our year. We struggled through injuries, a difficult month of May, and then the disappointment of Ryan Braun’s suspension. Yet the team refused to quit. We welcomed an influx of young talent from our Minor League system and played our best baseball after the All Star Break by winning games at a .529 clip. Our starting pitchers recorded baseball’s fourth-best ERA over the final 81 games, and our offense featured key contributions from a mix of youth and veterans. While these are among the reasons we believe that 2014 holds promise, none of us is content to define success by second-half performance.
We are undergoing a thorough review of our baseball operations and will continue to incorporate new methods and strategies in evaluating and developing talent. There are many paths to improvement and success, and we plan vigorously to pursue all of them. We know we need to do better. At the same time, we believe that many of the pieces are already in place to field a competitive team in 2014. With the emergence of Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura as All Stars, the arrival of young players with high talent ceilings, and healthy seasons from key veterans, our returning offense shows real promise. The resurgent pitching staff was bolstered by a much-improved bullpen and a stable rotation. Finally, we were delighted to see Carlos Gomez become the Brewers’ first Gold Glove honoree since Robin Yount won the award in 1982.
Off the field, we continue to focus on delivering the best fan experience in all of baseball while working to give back to the community that has given so much to us. Among our achievements, we include a participation level of 100% of players in Brewers Community Foundation (BCF) outreach efforts. In 2013, BCF raised a total of $2.8 million, which benefited 200 not-for-profit organizations in the State of Wisconsin. Additionally, we distributed $10 food-and-beverage vouchers to all fans in August and offered many promotions throughout the year. We recognize that we have an ongoing obligation to provide you with an organization that always puts the fans first.
When I reread some of my letters to you from the end of prior seasons, the one constant promise I made was to deliver an organization that works daily to earn your respect. When we don’t meet our own or your expectations, we redouble our efforts. We are already hard at work preparing for exciting baseball at Miller Park throughout the 2014 season.
Chairman and Principal Owner
Letter to the fans of the Milwaukee Brewers:
I have always been very grateful for the privilege of playing baseball in the great city of Milwaukee. I am so sorry for letting you down by being in denial for so long and not telling the whole truth about what happened. I am ashamed and extremely embarrassed by the decisions I made. There are no excuses for what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions. I apologize to all Brewers fans for disappointing you.
I came forward because I knew it was time for me to tell the truth and accept my punishment. I understand I have abused your trust and that of our great owner Mark Attanasio and the entire Brewers organization. Admitting my mistakes and asking for your forgiveness are the first steps in what I know will be a lengthy process to prove myself to you again.
It is an honor to represent the people of Wisconsin by wearing a Brewers uniform. I want all of you to know how much I have appreciated the support I’ve received from so many of you throughout my years with the organization. I will continue to work on improving myself and making amends for what I have done. I am deeply sorry for my actions and I apologize to everyone I have let down. I am committed to doing everything I can to earn back your trust and support.
On all of the social media accounts for the Brewer Nation…
- Twitter: @BrewerNation
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrewerNation
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/103439909685431906403
- MySpace (oh yeah, we’ve been doing this for a while)
…the birthday is listed as April 1st. Some people think that I set it up that way because Opening Day happens to be on April 1st this season or because my personal birthday is April 1st.
I didn’t realize how many people actually didn’t get why I have it listed at April 1 though. If you look more closely, the year on the birthday is always listed as 1970. Why?
Glad you asked…
ON THIS DATE IN MLB HISTORY: April 1 – The Milwaukee Brewers organization, headed by Bud Selig, purchases the Seattle Pilots franchise for $10,800,000. Although negotiations were conducted over a period of months, it was not until March 13 when a federal bankruptcy referee declared the Pilots bankrupt. Brewers tickets go on sale the next day. Team equipment is shipped to Milwaukee County Stadium, where the Pilots insignia is ripped off of the uniforms, since there is no time for new uniforms to be made.
The year of that even was 1970. The Seattle Pilots were an expansion franchise who played in Seattle in 1969 but then were sold with less than a week to go before the start of the 1970 season. Opening Day for the new Brewers was April 7, 1970 but the team officially became Milwaukee’s on April 1st.
As this community is a centralized representation of all of the fans of the Milwaukee Brewers, the birthday of being a fan of the Brewers is the appropriate birthday for The Brewer Nation. I may write everything that gets posted on the blog these days, but this is still about all of us. It’s about getting information and opinions out to us fans so that we can collectively apply our fanaticism.
So today, if you’re so inclined to think about firing off a Facebook wall post or a tweet or what have you…thanks! But please realize that you’re also wishing happy birthday to yourself because as a fan of the Milwaukee Brewers and therefore a member of the Brewer Nation, it’s your birthday too!
So like the title says, Happy 43rd Birthday to us! (Also, since it really is, Happy 30th Birthday to John Axford too!)
Oh, and since there is the coincidence of Opening Day being on our birthday, let’s hope the team picks something nice up for us at Miller Park today and gift wraps our first Opening Day victory in five seasons!