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Your 2007 Helena Brewers -- Latest: Nice Article on R.J. Seidel from LaCrosse Winter Tour

Before we post the "tentative" roster, here's a couple of news items:


The Helena site still includes jersey purchase options (Joe Thatcher, Zach Bradock and Taylor Green jerseys at $75 may turn out to be bargains). Now we're not sure if the list is current, but take advantage of the note below if you wish:



Scroll to bottom of link on the Helena Brewers' home page:




The Brewers are selling the away jerseys from the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Unlike our auctions in the past, the jerseys will be on a first come first serve basis. The jerseys are blue, mesh pullover with Brewers script across the front and the numbers on the back and come in a variety of sizes. The chart below lists the players that wore the jerseys as well as the price per jersey. A letter of authenticity is available on request.


Please contact the Helena Brewers for available jerseys and to place your order at 406.495.0500. You can email the Brewers at nick@helenabrewers.net to order or for more information.


 Jersey # Size Players Price 6 48 05: Luis Bernal, Brad Miller 75 7 46 05: Tyler Morrison 06: DJ Neyens 75 9 44 05: Richard Beshears 06: Zach Clem 75 10 46 05: Steve Hammond,Scotty McKnight 06: David Parker 100 13 52 05: Eric Thomas, Joe Thatcher 06: Chris Toneguzzi, 75 15 46 05: Bobby Randall 06: Mike Ramlow 75 16 48 05: Ryan Marion 06: Garry Savas 75 24 46 05: Chris Jean 06: Stephen Chapman 75 27 50 05 & 06: Mark Littell 100 30 48 05: Wilfredo Laureano 06: Chris Jean 75 31 50 05: Simon Beresford 06: Steve Palazzolo 75 37 48 05: Rafael Lluberes 06: Zach Braddock 75 39 48 05: Josh Louis 06: Mike McClendon 75 40 48 05: Ronnie Malave 06: Brandon Parillo 75 47 48 05: Derek Miller 06: Roque Mercedez 75 48 48 05: Michael Bell 06: Chris Errecart 125 49 50 05 & 06: Eddie Sedar 100 50 46 05: Dane Renkert 06: Carlos De La Cruz 100 51 46 05: Patrick Ryan 06: Jose Beltre 75 52 48 05: Brian Opdyke 06: Fredy De La Cruz 75 56 46 05: Brad Willcutt 06: Jhonny Narron 75 57 46 05: Ryan Crew 06: Jordan Swaydan 75 59 48 05: Oscar Emeterio 06: JR Hopf 75 61 44 05: Carlos Gallardo 75 64 46 05: Kenny Holmberg 06: Travis Wendte 75 67 48 05: Agustin Septimo 06: Taylor Green 75 68 48 05: Ned Yost 06: Shawn Ferguson 75 70 48 06: N/A 75 72 48 05: Darren Ford 06: Brian Logan 75 73 48 05: David Welch 06: Chuckie Caufield 75 75 48 06: Luis Ramirez 75 76 48 05: John Alonso, Matt Kretzschmar 06: Andy Bouchie 100 77 46 05: Robert Wooley 06: Eric Newton, Amaury Rivas 75 79 48 05: Brandon Parillo 06: Bill Rowe 75 95 46 05: Stephen Chapman 06: Jose Romero 75 

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Latest on the ballpark:

Link, excerpt follows --




Kindrick-Legion Field


The Helena Brewers have requested $1.85 million in improvements to the ballpark, which also is home to local American Legion teams. Parks Board members have suggested $646,000 in improvements to bring the park up to minor league standards, including new lighting, field renovations and clubhouse improvements.


Board members also are asking commissioners to consider new aluminum bleachers and parking improvements. Those additional requests, when combined with design and administrative costs, bring the board?s total price tag to about $1.2 million.


Brewers General Manager Paul Fetz said the upgrades would not only benefit his team ? the projects would enhance youth baseball players? experience and draw more tourism into the city. Some folks across the country plan vacations based on minor league ballparks. The enhancements also solidify chances the Milwaukee Brewers will keep the team in town, he said.


Smith and Oitzinger support the Parks Board?s full request, while Throssell and Commissioner Paul Cartwright are behind the $646,000 proposal, which pays for work the city already had in its capital improvements plan.


Peura, while noting he?s excited about the prospect of a renovated ballpark, said he doesn?t think general-obligation bond money should be used to pay for the upgrades.

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OK, first of all, remember this is a "tentative" roster and is subject to a last-minute adjustment, but this is likely your Opening Day roster.


The Helena season opens Tuesday the 19th at Missoula.


We'll work all weekend on having Brewerfan Player Index Pages built and updated for all.


The roster is made up of Helena / West Virginia returnees from 2006, players who played at Arizona Rookie last season, and draft picks from 2006 and 2007 making their pro debuts.


Those diehards who are Link Report regulars know a bit about the organizational holdovers from 2006, and you can learn a lot about the newcomers within two threads in our Draft Forum (the "Official Draft Pick" and "DFE - Draft-and-Follow" threads). Also check out recent signing updates in our Minor League Transactions Thread for June.


As the season develops, we'll get a sense of the "starting nine" and the bench/utility assignments, and we'll see who's getting starting rotation nods, while keeping in mind innings are usually limited in Rookie Ball with "piggy-back mound assignments" frequent.


Helena Pitching Staff (ages as of start of season noted):


Returnees from West Virginia / Helena: RHP's Brock Kjeldgaard (21), Mathew Kretzschmar (20)


Up from 2006 Arizona Rookie: RHP's Evan Anundsen (19), Jose Garcia (19), Craig Langille (21)


2007 Draft Picks: RHP's Corey Frerichs (21), Donovan Hand (21), and LHP's Casey Baron (22) and Curtis Pasma (21)


2006 Draft Picks Debuting in 2007: RHP's Robert Bryson (19), Chad Robinson (19), and R.J. Seidel (19)


Converted from career catcher: RHP Max St. Pierre (27)




Returnee from Helena: Jordan Swaydan (23)


2007 Draft Picks: Jonathan Lucroy (21) and Eric Fryer (21)




Returnee from West Virginia: Scotty McKnight (22)


Returnees from Helena / Arizona: Zach McAngus (23), Eric Newton (23)


2007 Draft Picks: Matt Cline (21), Eric Farris (21), David Fonseca (20), Curt Rindal (23), Zealous Wheeler (20), Steffan Wilson (21)




2007 Draft Picks: Caleb Gindl (18), Kurt Crowell (22)


2006 Draft Pick Debuting in 2007: Lee Haydel (19)


Returnee from Arizona: Mike Goetz (22)

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One thing that stands out early on is that only one product of the Latin system, Dominican RHP Jose Garcia, is on the Helena squad. Many remain in extended spring training / Arizona. We'll have much more on the Arizona Rookie squad next week.


There are several players with past experience at Helena or above who aren't listed. We'll learn within the next week if they're still with the organization, are injured, or are starting over in Arizona Rookie. Included among that group: OF Zach Clem, 3B/ OF Carlos Hereaud (again), catcher D.J. Neyens, and RHP's Amaury Rivas and Chris Toneguzzi.

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Warming up

By TOM COTTON, Helena Independent Record Sports Editor


Helena?s boys of summer came back to the Capital City Saturday.


Thirty-one Helena Brewers came to the Capital City to start a three-day minicamp before Tuesday?s season opener against Missoula.


?On the flight in, I asked my pitching coach ?where?s the city,? ? joked first-year Brewers manager Jeff Isom. ?The weather is beautiful and I love it. Everyone seems to be friendly.?


Isom, who takes over for Eddie Sedar is one of many new faces on the Brewers? roster this season. One familiar name, however, is catcher Jordan Swaydan.


Swaydan returns to Helena for his second season and he said he enjoys playing in Helena primarily because of the Brewer fans.


?Of course you want to move up, but if you have to repeat, Helena is a good place to repeat,? he said. ?You have good crowd support. In a game last season we were down by 11 and we still had a hefty crowd.?


Swaydan is one of several players that were in extended spring training in Arizona. They have been fine-tuning their skills since April and are ready to play some games that count.


He is one of three talented catching prospects on Helena?s roster. Another is Eric Fryer, a 10th round pick in last week?s First-Year player draft.


Fryer played for Ohio State and he said he is anxious to make his professional debut on Tuesday.


?The start of your professional career is something you have dreamed of all your life, from t-ball on up,? he said. ?It is kind of surreal to be here now.?


The Brewers failed to make the Pioneer League playoffs last season, but they seem to be ready to make a run at the post-season this year and Fryer said the attitude is good on the ball club.


?Coming in, all the guys I have talked to want to have fun,? Fryer said. ?That?s what you want in baseball, you don?t want to have a tight team.?


One of the more interesting storylines to watch this season will be that of 27-year old Maxim St. Pierre.


St. Pierre is older than the typical Pioneer League player, but he is learning a new position. He was a catcher in the Detroit Tigers organization and played for the Class AAA Toledo Mud Hens, before moving to the Brewers' farm system. He was briefly released before being resigned as a pitcher. He has shown talent pitching, hitting 93 miles an hour on the radar gun with control. Isom said he may be used as a closer this season.


?It?s a low level and I am starting over at zero,? St. Pierre said. ?I have to learn pitches, but I am excited to get going again and hopefully I will get moved up.?


The first pitch for Tuesday?s game against Missoula will be at 7:00 PM (8:00 Central). The game will be broadcast on 1340 KCAP.


George Lane, Helena Independent Record Staff Photographer

Jordan Swaydan stretches out before the Helena Brewers begin practice on Saturday. It was the first practice since the team arrived in the Capital City.



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Mass, thanks again and as always for the work you do to keep the rest of us informed. I think I take the most pleasure following the H-Crew squad, as there is something to be said for following/listening to the youngsters, most of which who have been added within the last week or two via the draft.


Looking at the roster, I think this could be a pesky bunch that could mirror the current Power team. There isn't much thump, but there's a lot of speed on this roster. Plus, it's a nice mix of proven college talent and high-ceiling high school/JC talent in a league that always seems to be heavy with recent college draftees.


Farris and Fonseca could form a fun middle IF tandem to follow similar to Iribarren and Escobar.


Haydel and Goetz are going to add to the peskiness, giving the team four legit stolen base threats, as you could see any four of these players batting leadoff for the Helena team this year.


I personally feel Gindl could be the steal of this year's draft, and I will be following his pro debut with as much excitment as I will be Seidel's, Robinson's, Haydel's and Bryson's.


Anundsen may have not have gotten off to as fast of a start, but I still think he has some Inman-esque potential to him.


Look for Fryer to play all over the field, and Lucroy should be the team's best hitter, possibly as good as Palmisano was in '03.


Just a few thoughts. It's always nice switching over to the Helena broadcast given the later start times after Brewers games, since most of my baseball enjoyment over the next month or so is late at night.

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I think its very cool that you listen to the Helena games via the internet feed. I always wondered what kind of audience it drew.

What do you think of Steve Wendt, the play by play announcer?

I really enjoy him and am always surpised when he comes back, figuring that he would get an offer from a bigger market.

I stopped by the ballpark and watched a couple hours of todays workouts.

I got a good look at the catchers, I was surpised at how slight of build Lucroy is. Fryer is a good sized guy with a very stong arm, Swaydan looked like he is ready to go.

The infield impressed me as well, Wheeler at 3b is very agile (although to look at him you wouldnt think so) with a nice arm, McKnight, Fonseca, Farris and Cline all looked to be in mid season form.

I didnt get to see much of the outfield or the pitching staff, I am still figuring out whos who. But the infield D and catching sure looks strong.

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I enjoy Steve Wendt quite a bit, and it is a draw for me to listen to the games. I enjoy the approach of many to most of the minor league guys, as they clearly are trying to bring some of their own style to the game, but Wendt definitely has an appreciation for the old-school style of calling a ballgame mixed in with his style. He actually reminds me of quite a few of the college broadcasters I listen to during the spring before the MLB season starts, as the energy level is high which increases the interest level.


Keep the first-hand observations coming MTBrew. I can't tell you how much I would love to be out in Helena this summer watching these kids play.

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It might be stupid of me, but I think I'm most excited to see (that is to say, read) how Max St. Pierre does on the mound. I'm always fascinated by guys trying to convert to (or from) pitcher. St. Pierre seems to be converting pretty late, but maybe he can move quickly.
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The time difference always seems to allow us to listen to the entire game.


They're Mountain Time, so their games are normally starting just an hour later than local Milwaukee games.


Normally you can catch the final few innings after a Brewer game.


You may be thinking of High Desert from three years ago (Pacific Time).


But the Helena games, like Brevard County and West Virginia's, do archive on MiLB.com. We normally will let you know where to go to get the pre-game interview for Helena.

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I'm looking forward to seeing Helena in the Link Report beginning tonight.


One of the guys I was curious about from last year likely is opening in Arizona, and that's Shane Hill. I'm surprised to see Newton on this roster. He's from my college, and I didn't hear many good things about his tools and performance in college. Perhaps he has some potential or power that intrigues the organization. Also, with the deep rosters, the Helena squad only has 4 OF listed as of now.

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The bat with the good

By JEFF WINDMUELLER - Helena Independent Record Sports Writer


Kneeling in the dirt with a bucket nearby, nearly a dozen boys crawled along the baselines at Kindrick Legion field Monday, picking up the smallest of pebbles.


It?s painstakingly slow, monotonous and not fun at all. It?s also one of the many jobs a batboy has to perform, jobs that baseball fans rarely see.


?Who knows, that could save a game,? points out Steve Wendt, director of broadcasting and media relations for the Helena Brewers. ?They could stop a bad bounce.?


They?re usually remembered as the little guys who race from the dugout after every hitter to pick up bats and bring the umpire balls. From the stands, batboys might appear as merely a nostalgic presence, a tradition that doesn?t always seem as much necessary as simply part of the way things are done.


But wearing the uniforms of the teams they represent, batboys are considered as much a part of the game as hits, runs and errors.


And they?ll be as much Friday night when the Brewers host Great Falls in the home opener. Game time is at 7:05 PM (8:05 Central).


?Fans obviously see them go run and get the bats and the balls, but they?re out here as early as we are helping us set up. It?s huge, it?s another pair of hands out here,? said Helena Brewers catcher Jordan Swaydan.


?They?re integral in the whole game and pretty much every game they?re here,? said Brewers clubhouse manager Jack Genadek. ?They save the team a lot of money and time.?


When they?re not running to the mound during games they?re shagging home run balls from behind the outfield walls in practice. They carry water jugs, rake the infield dirt, and make very little money ? $15 per game and a few dollars for each practice.


But they have one main reason for participating.


?It?s kind of nice to be able to make money, but it?s just fun to be around the game of baseball,? said 13-year-old Christian Collins.


?I heard it was fun from a couple of friends and I thought it would be a good idea,? said Will Poell, 13. ?I?d already gone to a couple of the games that season and I just thought it would be fun to do it. I like it now.?


Collins and Poell are ?seasoned veterans? in their fourth year as Brewers batboys. They?ve learned the rules of the profession, as well as its benefits and downfalls.


?I play baseball, and you get to learn how to play your position right,? Collins said.


The pitcher and catcher for his Babe Ruth baseball team Cochrane Insurance ? which won the city championship this year ? Collins said he uses the opportunity to learn from the older players. He gets a glimpse of the strategy in front of and behind home plate.


The job is also a chance to be closer to favorite players.


?Some of the players are fun to watch. My favorite, he?s gone now, but he?s Fredy De La Cruz,? said 12-year-old Hans Harris, who is beginning his first year as a batboy. ?He was a first baseman like me and he?s a good hitter and an all-around good guy.?


?We house Brewers and it?s just kind of fun to be around the Brewers for the summer,? Collins said. ?When you don?t get to be the batboy, you don?t really get to talk to them until they get home. And when they do get home, they?re usually pretty tired and they just go to bed.?


At the ballpark, the players respond differently to the boys. Clubhouse manager Genadek said there is no doubt the players watch their language and get some pep in their step around the youngsters.


?They?ll kind of perk up a little when they see them,? he said. ?They?ll kind of shape up a little bit, but they treat them really well and they respect them.?


There?s a professional relationship for the batboy, one that relies on reciprocal respect. If the baseball player wants food brought to him in the clubhouse, he knows he?ll have to be nice to the batboy to get it quickly.


Then there?s the personal relationship, one that is often described as ?a big brother? situation.


?I used to be a batboy back in the day when I was about 12, and I remember how much it meant to me when guys would talk to you and make you feel like you?re part of the team,? said Swaydan, who worked for his local team, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League.


Of course, with every big brother, there is some teasing.


Swaydan has seen teams he played on ask the batboys to bring signed baseballs to cute girls in the stands. They would have the player?s signature, and his phone number.


Swaydan said he hasn?t seen that happen so much in Helena, but the batboys have had their share of interesting duties.


Collins admits he fell for the old ?find the key to the batter?s box? joke. He?s even participated in an opposing team?s tradition. When the team began putting baby powder in the players? hands and patting their cheeks, leaving a white handprint, Collins joined in.


?I?m kind of a ?go-with-the-flow? kind of guy so I just went with it,? he said. ?They treat you pretty good.?


Poell, meanwhile, had a public prank pulled on him.


?One time they put gum on my head, on top of my helmet, and put a cup on top. I didn?t know about it and I went to go to get a bat and saw a shadow and pulled the cup off,? Poell said.


?Will had that on for a good couple of innings,? Wendt remembered with a chuckle.


Said Poell: ?It was kind of funny, kind of not funny. Kind of embarassing.?


But, Wendt contended, it was all in good jest.


If the batboys need to, they can always find comfort in each other. Most can point to the rest of the gang and tell how they?ve either gone to school with the other batboy, played on a team with them or been friends for years.


They find time to enjoy their occupation, often throwing the balls they?ve shagged back and forth or joking around.


But they know to never let their fun get in the way of their safety.


?One rule you?ve always got to remember is you?ve got to hustle and got to pay attention,? Collins said. ?You?ve just always got to be aware of baseballs.


?You don?t mess with the players or give equipment out to friends in the stands.?


Unless, maybe, it?s a baseball with a phone number on it.


Eliza Wiley, Helena Independent Record Staff Photographer - Cooper Lynch, left, and Jordan Barrows, two of the ten batboys for the 2007 Helena Brewers, jockey for postition while fielding fly balls during Monday's batting practice at Kindrick Legion Field. The Brewers will play their opening home game tonight against Great Falls.



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Pioneer League Pitcher of the Week

Richard (R.J.) Seidel, Helena

2-0, 0.82 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 SO

Seidel has faced the Missoula Osprey in his three appearances this season, and each outing has been better than the last. After getting tagged for five runs over five innings in his debut in June 20, the 6-foot-5 righty excelled this week. On Monday, he allowed two runs -- one earned -- on a hit and three walks over five innings as the Brewers coasted to a 9-2 win. Five days later, he was downright dominating, tossing six hitless innings in Helena's eventual 8-3 victory.

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June 17, 2007


Casey's Journal - Week #1 First Year of Pro Baseball

LHP Casey Baron


For the first time ever, Major League Baseball's June 2007 draft was televised on ESPN2 this year. Emotions ran high during the first day draft. Personally, I did not expect to hear my name on day one. So after the completion of ESPN2?s first day of the draft the selections began on day two around 11:30 a.m., and then continued for 50-rounds (over 1500 selections).


As I watched the first round of the draft unfold, my Dad & I noticed two players selected that I competed against in the Atlantic Coast Conference. This included Ga. Tech?s catcher Matt Weiters and LHP Andrew Brackman from N.C. State. To see other players that I competed against, as my father, Tom ?Bear? Baron says ?succeeded against,? and watch each selected in the first round and on television got me more excited. I remember telephoning my fellow Terp and friend, LHP Brett Cecil after he was selected by the Blue Jay as the 38th pick. I was excited for him.


I also remember trying to play a practical joke on my mom, Karan Baron, as she returned home from her elementary teacher?s job. As she walked through the door I told her that I was almost selected in the first round. She asked what happened. I told her that a guy by the name of Casey was chosen, but it was the wrong last name. The first day of the draft would select the first five rounds of free agents.


My dream of playing baseball professionally became reality on Friday June 8th, the second day of MLB?s amateur draft. For me, and my family, it was a day of emotions. I had been in contact with a few MLB parent clubs. I was startled by their question to see if I was interested in playing pro ball. Who wouldn?t want the opportunity to play pro baseball? The teams that were interested were the Diamondbacks, Braves, Dodgers, Royals and the Milwaukee Brewers. The second day draft began at 11:30 AM. The perception I had was that I would be selected near the 25th round, so I had awhile to wait. I did ask my Dad his thoughts. My Dad said he thought the over-under for my round is the 33rd round.


At the Baron household, three of us who would sit in front of the computer constantly keeping an eye on it as the draft picks for each round was posted on the internet. My Dad, my fiancée Kari Gamberini and I watched the computer screen but it was Kari who kept the closest eye on each round. My Dad and I were keeping busy watching the NCAA D1 College Baseball Super Regional on ESPN.


I was nervous trying to keep my mind off the draft. The wait was too nerve racking especially as the afternoon continued, my anxiety grew.


The 25th round of the draft was upon us and my attention completely shifted to the computer to see if my name would appear. No luck. More names appeared and Casey Baron was not one of them. It is now the 31st round and I could not watch the computer screen anymore. I had to go out with Kari somewhere and since I wanted new shorts we went shopping (that was my excuse, anyway). We headed to a store. Of course Mom said to pick up some milk while out. While driving over to the shopping center, I began to wonder if I was going to get drafted. Kari reassured me that it was going to happen, that I needed patience and to keep the faith.


While at the shopping center, I received a phone call from the area Brewer amateur scout, Tim McIlvaine. Tim said the ?Brew Crew? was going to select me in the 34th round and he was asked what I was doing. I told him I was picking up some milk for my mom. Tim got a good laugh. Kari is ecstatic at the fact that the Brewers drafted me since she and her family are from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Kari ran up and down the store isles because she is so excited. Tim McIlvaine said he plans to come over to my house tonight so I can sign a minor league player contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. What a turn of events. On the way to the store I am wondering if I am going to be drafted. On the way home I am thinking that I am a professional baseball player, a dream come true. As it turns out, Mr. McIlvaine could not make the trip over to the house that night, so we set up a meeting for 2 PM the next day, on Saturday.


Before the day is over, Jimmy Curtice, my life-long best friend, next door neighbor and planned best man, stops by for a visit. Jimmy came to every single home game I pitched in during my four year college career. Before visiting, Jimmy manages to make it to a hat store, to purchase a Brewer hat. Upon arrival he says congratulations as he hands me the Brewer hat. Jimmy and I, just as we did throughout our entire childhood, grab a baseball bat, large bag of tennis balls and we go play home-run derby, sometimes referred to by my Dad as line-ball outside on our driveway. Jimmy hits first. Jimmy declares that only he deserves the first at-bat against me as a professional baseball player. First pitch of the derby, Jimmy launches one out past our imaginary fence and asks ?Is that the best you got??


Brewer?s Scout - Pro Contract & Signing


I cannot sleep Friday night. I am so elated the next day my dream is becoming a reality. Saturday morning, scout Tim McIlvaine arrives. As I am in the process of signing my first professional contract, I am in a state of euphoria. I am actually signing a pro contract that says I am going to be paid to play baseball. I never thought that I would be in this position. The contract states that I will head out to Phoenix, Arizona, for a ?Brew-Crew? mini-camp before being assigned to Helena, Montana, to begin short-season rookie ball.


Kari is taking pictures throughout the entire pro contract signing process. As it turns out, Mr. McIlvaine is a left-handed hitting catcher, just like my Dad. They had plenty to talk about. Something about catchers. Especially left handed hitting catchers. Must be similar to when LHP get together.


As it turns out, the contract is missing a clause that my Dad negotiated. We need to print off a new contract. There is now a problem. There are two printers in the house, however, one is out of ink and the other is jammed. Of course what else would happen? Dad soon realized a solution ?It takes a village to raise a child?. Kari and I go ask the neighbors if we can use their printer to print the addendum to the player contract. Finally, I sign the contract and I am officially a professional baseball player. Tim says I leave for Phoenix on Monday morning.


Following the contract signing, I ask the man who is most responsible and influential in my life, along with baseball, for a game of catch. The baseball world knows him as ?The Bear,? I call him Dad. We have our game of catch and as we always do, at the end of the game of catch we play another game that is known as 3-2-1. The rules of 3-2-1 are simple. You are rewarded points for throwing the baseball to certain parts of the body. The winner of the game is the first one to get to twenty-one. As things stay the same, yet some things never change, my Dad beats me once again. After he wins, he proclaims ?Well, I guess I never need to play this game again, considering that I just beat a professional baseball player!? The pride within him cannot be contained.


Milwaukee Brewers Mini-Camp in Phoenix


On Monday, I head out to Phoenix to attend the Brewers mini-camp. I am nervous and ecstatic as I have ever been in my life. My dream is actually coming true. I am going to play professional baseball. I do not know what to expect. The first day that I am in the Brewers? mini-camp, I am not allowed to participate because I need to pass a physical. So my first day I watch. This aids my nervousness because I watched how efficient a pro practice is conducted. It was nothing new to me. It was the same type of practice I have experienced my whole life when my Dad ran practices. Well, actually there was something new. The team bus left for the ball field at 5:30 in the morning. By mid morning temperatures reached 110 degrees, but other than that, it was baseball. It was the same game that my Dad taught me how to love. Dad would say, if he could teach me how to love the game of baseball, things would always work out.


Preparing to Begin My Pro Baseball Career


After a week, the players from the mini-camp in Phoenix went different directions. The players heading for the Pioneer League left Phoenix for Helena, Montana early Saturday morning on the June 16th. I am prepared to see another part of the country I thought I would see sometime. During the plane ride, we passed over the Grand Canyon, an amazing sight. After landing at one of the smallest airports I have ever been in, the players are greeted by a Helena welcoming committee. It seems the baseball fans of Helena are just as excited for the season to begin as the players are. I cannot believe I am in Helena, Montana, preparing to begin my professional baseball career. This is something I have dreamed about for years. In four days it begins. As we loaded the bus to head to the field in Helena toward the Rocky Mountains, there was the first of many ?Welcome to Montana? moments. It began to hail, and baseball size. I am prepared.


Casey Baron was born and raised in Montgomery County, Maryland. Casey played youth baseball in Montgomery County, in the MCBBA, Baltimore Metro, Arundel County and around the State. The teams he played on won the 2001 Walter Johnson Wood Bat Fall League, 2002 American Legion Cissel Saxon Maryland State Champions, 2003 MPSSA Paint Branch HS 3A/4A Division Champs, 2001, 2002 & 2003 Gazette & Journal 1st Team All-County, 2003 Pre-Season MSABC All-Star Selection, 2003 Washington Post 1st team All Met (as an Outfielder), 2003 Florida League Bradenton All Star, 2004 Clark Griffith Wood Bat College League Champions, 2005 Madison Mallards ? South Division Northwood?s League Champ, top five single season innings pitched record while playing four years for the University of Maryland, and the 2006 & 2007 Friday night ACC Conference Starter for the Terps, and selected in the 34th Round by the Milwaukee Brewers. Casey is well-liked by Teachers, Youth Ministers, HS, Summer Fall and College Coaches, and all that have played with and competed against him.



Casey Baron wrote on the same site as a 12-year-old, a tale of Eric Milton and J.D. Drew:



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From June 9th, some Caleb Gindl for you:




by Chuck Corder, Pensacola (FL) News Journal


You want a reality check?


Get Caleb Gindl to tell you the story of occupying the same field with big-leaguers Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera last weekend.


Gindl, runner-up for Florida's Mr. Baseball award, was in Milwaukee auditioning his lethal bat for the Brewers' brass while Fielder and Milwaukee hosted Cabrera's Florida Marlins at Miller Park.


With the 2007 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft looming in a few days, Gindl knew he was taking hacks on a field he could one day call home.


"I could get used to this," Gindl said he thought as he stepped onto the stadium's grass. "It made you feel real small, I can tell you that. As soon as I walked onto the field, I got chills all the way down my back. 'Wow, I'm actually walking on a major league field.' "


The Brewers gave Gindl an even better experience, selecting him in the fifth round with the 161st overall pick late Thursday on the draft's first day.


The former Pace High School star, who originally signed with Troy, expects to finalize terms and sign a contract when Milwaukee's area scout arrives from Tallahassee this morning.


"I guess (the scout) wouldn't be driving all this way if I wasn't going to get what I wanted," said Gindl, the News Journal hitter of the year in 2006 and pitcher of the year last season. "I talked to 'em some more (Friday). It hasn't completely worked itself out yet, but we're feeling good."


Pensacola Junior College also had a pair of signees drafted Friday. Both right-handed pitchers, Puerto Rican Joel Morales was a 16th-round selection of Milwaukee while countryman Rigoberto Lugo went to St. Louis in the 39th round.


Gindl says he's hungry for baseball's biggest stage.


"I just want to make it to 'The Show' one day. That's what I want," Gindl said. "I'll give 110 percent every day, day-in, day-out."


He'd especially love to do for the Milwaukee fans.


After Gindl's work out, he stayed at the ballpark and watched the home team win much to the delight of its fans.


"I've been to some major league games, and I've never heard a crowd so loud," Gindl said. "They just kept cheering and cheering. They really appreciate players there."


He could get used to that.

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Pioneer League Pitcher of the Week

Curtis Pasma, Helena

0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 0 GS, 1 SV, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO

Though the season is still young, Pasma has become a steady force out of the Brewers bullpen. The former University of the Pacific southpaw earned his first save Monday after striking out six and not allowing any runs over four innings against Great Falls. His success continued five days later against Billings, pitching four more innings of scoreless baseball while surrendering just two hits and striking out four.

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Another story on Caleb Gindl. You have to love the quotes from Brewerfan.net in the story as well!




Published - July, 13, 2007


Brewin' up a hot start



Chuck Corder



This easy? So soon?


It's not supposed to be this effortless.


Rookie baseball players are supposed to struggle. Supposed to stub their toes when they make the leap from high school to professional diamonds.


Apparently, someone forgot to tell Caleb Gindl.


The former Pace High School star has made a smooth transition to minor league baseball. His eye-popping .481 batting average is tops in the Pioneer League.


The Milwaukee Brewers made Gindl, 18, a fifth-round selection in last month's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.


He's playing more like a first-rounder through his first 14 games with the Helena (Mont.) Brewers, Milwaukee's rookie league affiliate.


"I kinda shocked myself," said Gindl, who returns to Helena's lineup tonight after sitting out the last six games with a strained hamstring. "I didn't think I'd do this well this quick. Everybody challenges you."


Gindl has been up to the challenge in nearly every at-bat.


He began his professional career with a 12-game hitting streak, including seven nights of two hits or more. Gindl finally took the collar July 4, but still walked in that game, meaning he has reached base in every contest.


Throw in two home runs, two doubles, three triples and 13 RBI, and it's no surprise hearing Helena manager Jeff Isom rave about his new player.


"Right now what separates (Gindl) from others, especially young players, is his ability to make adjustments at the plate," Isom said. "He is a very advanced hitter. He adjusts game to game, at-bat to at-bat and pitch to pitch."


It hasn't gone unnoticed by Brewer Nation.


Milwaukee fans have flooded various message boards on the Internet, singing Gindl's praises.


Here's a few from www.brewerfan.net:


"No sense keeping Caleb in Helena if he is overmatching the competition," writes And That.


DHonks adds: "Quite impressive for someone of his age. I'd love to see him in West Virginia (Milwaukee's Class A affiliate) if this keeps up."


Finally from captkirk16: "What I notice about this kid is that he just 'loves' the game, period."


The last post sums up Gindl best. But while he continues to be a passionate player, he has started to become well-versed with pro baseball's unspoken rules.


You hit a home run, you run it out. If your team's up late, don't take an extra base on passed balls or lay down a bunt.


"In high school, you could run up scores. Here, you gotta show class ," Gindl said. "You can't do that kinda stuff."


Unspoken rules aside, he was forced to run out his second homer in a June 27 rout of Missoula (Mont.). Gindl smacked a line drive and the outfielder's diving attempt was well short.


So ...


"He (the outfielder) was laying on the ground and I just took off," Gindl said. "When I saw my third-base coach waving me in, I said, 'You gotta be kidding me.' "


It was his first career inside-the-park home run.


That same night saw Gindl accomplish another monumental feat: He bunted. For the first time in his life.


"He's off to a hot start and I can't say that I expected it to be this good," Isom said. "He has a lot of tools. He hits, has a strong arm and runs well."


Which is why Isom and the Brewers were very cautious when Gindl aggravated his hamstring July 5.


It was a routine scenario. Gindl was running to first when he tweaked it.


And after watching ex-Pace teammate and fellow draftee Drew Cumberland battle through hamstring troubles last season, Gindl made sure he healed properly.


He expects to return tonight, though. Which means Helena expects the hits to keep on comin' from its hot new prospect.


"I love this," a giddy Gindl said. "I'm getting paid to play baseball. How much better can it get?"


Only time will tell.

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Baron gets start with Helena

By: Eric Detweiler

The Diamondback, the University of Maryland's Independent Daily Student Newspaper


It doesn't matter that former Terrapin pitcher Casey Baron was selected in the 34th round of this year's Major League Baseball draft, according to his rookie league coach with the Helena Brewers, Jeff Isom.


It's not important that 1,027 amateur players were selected before Baron or even that Milwaukee selected 14 other pitchers before Baron.


All that matters to Isom is Baron's performance on the field.


"As long as they have a uniform on, they have the same opportunity as anybody else," Isom said. "He comes in and does well and opens some eyes up, he becomes a prospect. That's the way we work in this organization."


Therein lies another problem for the pitcher who anchored the Terps' staff as a senior this season with 4-5 record and 4.06 in 14 starts.


After only two appearances with Helena, a member of the Pioneer League, Baron has been sidelined since June 25 with a "dead arm." He was 0-1 with a 1.35 ERA at the time of his injury.


Baron said he "felt something weird" in his arm, and he has been rehabbing his arm with the goal of returning to game action on Friday.


The good news for Baron is Isom and the Brewers are willing to wait for now.


"We want to know exactly what he's capable of doing, and it's hard to do that when the guy's hurt," Isom said. "The answer is to just be patient in situations like this, and let him get healthy so he can go out and show what he's capable of doing."


Baron, who said he was honored just to be drafted, is happy with the way the Brewers have handled him so far.


"I love the organization. They're real relaxed. They let you play the way you know how to play. They don't really try to change anything in you unless it's something real major."


Milwaukee caps its young pitchers at 150 innings between their amateur and professional seasons, Isom said. Baron finished his collegiate season with 93 innings pitched, and after 6.2 innings of work in his two appearances with Helena, he will be eligible for about 50 more innings of work in Helena's final 47 games.


Baron's first two appearances were as part of "tandem starts" where a starter throws a set number of pitches and is relieved by a pitcher on a similar pitch count. Baron is hoping to slide back into that role when he returns.


Until then Baron will continue his rehabilitation and adjusting to life as a professional.


Baron said he enjoys not having classes and being able to focus all day for a game. The game has sped up a little bit, but he said hitters are having more trouble adjusting to rookie ball than pitchers because of the change to wooden bats.


Baron's also dealing with a change of scenery, leaving the crowded east coast for sprawling, rural Montana.


"It's completely different than back out East," Baron said. "It's gorgeous out here. There's no real big cities, and it's not commercialized. It's real laid back and easy going."


Many things may have changed for Baron, but the one constant is his belief he can succeed.


The most important part is Baron has bought into the idea it doesn't matter when he was drafted.


"All they care about is the work ethic you put in and the results on the field," Baron said. "As long as I succeed on the field and show them my work ethic, I think I'll be fine."

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Pioneer League Pitcher of the Week -- yeah!


Jose Garcia, Helena

2-0, 1.64 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 10 SO

The Brewers are the hottest team in the Pioneer League and Jose Garcia is just one reason why. The right-hander garnered a pair of victories in his starts this week against Casper and Idaho Falls, tossing a combined 11 innings that included 10 fanned batters. Garcia is a perfect 2-0 at home with a 2.77 ERA so far this season, his only loss in seven appearances for the Brewers coming against the Chukars on July 11.

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Brewers pitchers, SACC kids team up for sit ups and smiles

By ALANA LISTOE - Helena Independent Record Staff Writer


Six-year-old Anna Passage was all smiles as she patiently waited to get autographs from players with the Helena Brewers Tuesday morning.


Passage was just one of many young baseball fans with the School Aged Child Care program who brought their child-sized baseballs and gloves to be signed by the players.


Six Helena Brewers pitchers spent Tuesday morning showing the children how they prepare for games by stretching and doing calisthenics.


?We are always trying to do activities where we can get our players involved in Helena,? says Paul Fetz, general manager for the Brewers. ?Activities and programs like this with the youth go a long way.?


Fetz said it was great for the children to get an idea about game-day preparations.


?Players are kids at heart, and they know how to reach the kids on this level,? he said.


Casey Baron, one of the pitchers, said spending time with young people is very enjoyable.


?Kids are excited to see players like us,? he said.


Baron grew up around baseball. He was a batboy for the University of Maryland and says the players were always receptive to him.


?It?s something I want to be to the younger generation too,? he said.


Ian Salsbury, third-grader at Central Elementary, listened intently as the players talked about the games.


?It?s pretty cool to meet the players,? he said.


Salsbury has played many positions on a local baseball team for little guys, although he says, he enjoys being catcher the best.


Candace Seliskar, sight manager for SACC, describes the baseball players as ?hometown heroes.?


She said they were extremely excited to have the athletes visit.


?They (the children) look up to these guys,? she said. ?It?s a little inspiration for them.?


Eliza Wiley, Helena Independent Record Staff Photographer - Helena Brewers pitcher Casey Baron leads a group of School Aged Child Care children in basic calisthenics Tuesday at Broadwater Elementary as part of a baseball clinic put on by the Brewers for SACC's summer program. Pictured SACC children Ian Salsbury, bottom, and Skylar Silk go for the burn while other children give up altogether.



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