A New Era of Brewers Baseball
On January 16, 2004, Bud Selig announced that his ownership group was putting the team up for sale, to the great relief of many fans who were unhappy with the team's lackluster performance and perceived poor management by his daughter, Wendy Selig-Preib, over the previous decade. In September 2004, the Brewers announced they had reached a verbal agreement with Los Angeles investment banker Mark Attanasio to purchase the team for $180 million. Must be nice to have that kind of cash.
The sale to Attanasio was completed on January 13, 2005, at Major League Baseball's quarterly owners meeting. Since taking over the franchise, Attanasio has worked hard to build bridges with Milwaukee baseball fans, including giving away every seat to the final home game of 2005 free of charge and bringing back the classic "ball and glove" logo of the club's glory days on "Retro Sunday" home games, during which they also wear versions of the team's old pinstriped uniforms.
If only they could find a time machine for Robin Yount!
In 2005, under Attanasio's ownership, the team finished 81-81 to secure its first non-losing record since 1992. With a solid base of young talent assembled over the past five years, including Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy and Corey Hart, the Brewers show renewed competitiveness. Further encouraging this sentiment, the Brewers have hired former stars Yount (bench coach) and Dale Sveum (third base coach), both very popular players for the Brewers in the 1980s.
On April 22 2006, the Brewers set an MLB record with five home runs in one inning, the fourth frame of an 11-0 defeat of the Cincinnati Reds (home runs hit by Bill Hall, Damian Miller, Brady Clark, J.J. Hardy and Prince Fielder). They then set a new club mark with six home runs in one game on April 29, including two by Fielder, in a 16-2 defeat of the Chicago Cubs.
With doubts that all-star leftfielder Carlos Lee would re-sign with the club, the Brewers traded Lee on July 28th along with minor league prospect Nelson Cruz to the Texas Rangers in exchange for outfielders Kevin Mench, Laynce Nix, reliever Francisco Cordero, and minor league pitching prospect Julian Cordero.
In 2006, the Brewers play has disappointed fans, players, and management. After losing starters JJ Hardy, Rickie Weeks, and Corey Koskie, the Brewers were forced to trade for veteran infielders David Bell and Tony Graffanino. They also suffered setbacks when losing starting pitchers Ben Sheets and Tomo Ohka for a substantial amount of time, forcing Triple A starters Ben Hendrickson, Dana Eveland, Carlos Villanueva, and Zach Jackson into starting roles at different points in the year. The Brewers ended the season with a 75-87 record.
At the end of the season, Attanasio stated that he and General Manager Doug Melvin would have to make some decisions about returning players for the 2007 season. With young players waiting in the minor leagues, players such as Geoff Jenkins and Tomo Ohka may not be returning for the future.
Brewers Fact Sheet
The Brewers were founded in 1969 due to the expansion of the American League. The Brewers were formerly named the Seattle Pilots, but when the franchise relocated to Milwaukee it changed its name to the Brewers. The Milwaukee Pilots makes about as much sense as the Seattle Polka Lovers.
The Brewer’s Official Team Mascot is Bernie Brewer, who used to sell insurance but is now a baseball mascot.
The Brewer’s All-Time Record, as of the end of the 2006 season, is 2,836 wins, 3,187 losses (.470 winning percentage).
The Brewers spend their spring at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, AZ.