07/04/12 5:40 PM ET
K-Rod yet to solve frustrating season
By Adam McCalvy and Jeremy Warnemuende / MLB.com
Weeks rewards Roenicke for sticking with him
MILWAUKEE -- Had Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks been a bad hitter for the majority of his career, manager Ron Roenicke said it might have been easy to give up on the former first-round Draft pick when he struggled through much of the first half of this season.For the last two-plus weeks, though, the second-year skipper has been glad that wasn't the case. Entering Wednesday, Weeks was batting .306 with eight RBIs and seven extra-base hits in his last 16 games. That stretch includes five multi-hit games after registering just five such efforts in his first 60 appearances of the season. In Tuesday's 13-12 win over the Marlins, Weeks went 3-for-5 and put a swing on a double down the left-field line that Roenicke said was reminiscent of the player he saw last year. "We've definitely stuck with him, no question," Roenicke said. "But for good reasons. The most important one is, Rickie's always been a good hitter. At his age, why would we expect him not to hit?" One potential reason is the severe left ankle sprain Weeks suffered last season. Not only did that alter his swing when he came back, Roenicke said, but it also bothered Weeks through Spring Training and up until recently. Weeks, who has his left ankle taped for every game, told Roenicke it's been feeling batter the last month, which happens to have been his best month of the season. Neither player nor manager has allowed the ankle to be an excuse. However, Weeks did say on Wednesday that he's feeling the best he has all year, and his slump, which hit a low on May 27 with a .152 batting average, is likely a thing of the past. "It's been behind me," said Weeks, who bumped his average up to .194 entering Wednesday. "I have a very short-term memory. I'm just coming to the ballpark every day. I'm not going to say I'm back, but I'm putting in the work." That's good news for Roenicke, who said he's glad to see his six-hole hitter performing the way everyone expects him to perform. "He's big to our offense," Roenicke said. "When he's doing what he was doing last night and what he's been doing for a while now, it makes a lot of difference."
'57 Milwaukee Braves featured in new book
MILWAUKEE -- The beer-swilling, Goliath-beating 1957 Milwaukee Braves are the subject of "Bushville Wins!" a new book by author John Klima that hit bookstores on Tuesday.Klima's research included interviews with former Braves Hank Aaron, Del Crandall, Johnny Logan, Red Schoendienst and current Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker, and features new material from letters and photographs provided by the family of former Milwaukee Sentinel baseball writer Lou Chapman. Those '57 Braves battled the more seasoned Brooklyn Dodgers all season and then beat the mighty Yankees in the World Series. But Klima's story begins much earlier, to the very beginning of Major League Baseball in Milwaukee, with Braves owner Lou Perini's unprecedented move from Boston. "'Bushville Wins,' is really another way of saying, 'the underdog wins,'" Klima told the Brewers fan blog, Reviewing the Brew. "Nobody gave Milwaukee a chance to win -- they were thought to be too small town, too Midwestern, too small market, too little to matter. So you had a very dynamic team, time and place where the people came together, and you had the nation rooting for this small-town team to beat the big bully in the room, the Yankees, and return baseball balance to the rest of the nation." "Bushville Wins!" was published by Thomas Dunne Books.
Six military branches represented at Miller Park
MILWAUKEE -- When it came to the Brewers honoring those who protect and serve the United States and its freedom, nobody was left out at Miller Park on Independence Day.Six different branches of the military -- including the Wisconsin National Guard and Wisconsin Air National Guard -- were represented in simultaneous ceremonial first pitches before Wednesday's game. And when it came time for the national anthem, one flag was not enough. Instead, members of the Army National Guard, the Navy, the Marines and the Coast Guard presented four U.S. Flags before Sgt. 1st Class Dennis Robinson of the United States Army sang the Star Spangled Banner.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.