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Introducing the Maple Street Press Brewers Annual

2011 Maple Street Press Brewers AnnualSometimes this blog-writing thing can lead to some cool and unexpected opportunities. A few months ago I was approached by Brian Carriveau, who some of you may know from Railbird Central, Cheesehead TV, and/or the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. For the first time ever, Maple Street Press was putting out a Brewers Annual, and as the editor, Brian wanted me to contribute.

About a month and a half after my last deadline, an advance copy of the 2011 Maple Street Press Brewers Annual arrived in my mailbox today. It’s 128 pages of ad-free — yes, ad-free — content, all about the Brewers. I’m not kidding when I say that this is the most in-depth preview magazine I’ve ever seen written about the Brewers, and it has a little bit of everything.

Is statistical analysis your thing? The Brewers Annual has pages upon pages of tables, graphs, and percentages that will keep you busy until Opening Day. Want to read up on the farm system? Jim Breen of Bernie’s Crew has one of the most in-depth looks at the organization you’ll find out there, with the added bonus of being more familiar with the prospects than most of the national voices you’ll see evaluating the system. Want to read interviews with everyone from Ryan Braun to Bob Uecker? The Brewers Annual has it, too.

And it isn’t just schlubs like me contributing work to this thing. In addition to Breen and Carriveau, you have some of the best Brewers bloggers on the web adding a piece or two of their own — Kyle Lobner, Jack Moore, Ryan Topp, Nicholas Zettel, just to name a handful. We even have names like Drew Olson and Jason Wilde from ESPN Milwaukee and MLB.com associate reporter Jordan Schelling contributing pieces. It really is an All-Star lineup, and a group of guys who really know their stuff when it comes to the Brewers.

I’m not just saying all of this because I contributed. I can honestly say that even if I didn’t have a single word of mine printed in the Brewers Annual, I would still be recommending this to everyone I know. For $12.99, we made sure every page was worth reading, and it is. It’s supposed to hit newsstands and bookstores in Wisconsin on March 1, but you can order online right now and it will ship on February 17.

A big thanks to Brian for taking a chance and letting me add a couple of pieces to what truly is an incredible Annual. He worked hard and put up with God-knows-how-many rewrites from all of us when the Brewers traded for Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke around the same time as our deadlines, all while covering the Packers’ run to the Super Bowl. You all can thank him by going out and buying the magazine.

Table of Contents:

Turning Up The Heat
by Kyle Lobner
After a busy offseason, take a player-by-player look at the roster to see how the Brewers size up heading into 2011.

An Aggressive New Direction
by Drew Olson
Ron Roenicke is bringing a different brand of baseball to Milwaukee.

Past And Present
by Jaymes Langrehr
Take a “big-picture” look at the direction of the Brewers organization.

Stocked Up On Talent
by Kyle Lobner
With several new roster additions, the Brewers are hoping to avoid the same old results.

Know Thy Enemy
by Tony Wilson
Look at the NL Central, including last year’s division-winning Reds, the always dangerous Cardinals, and the rival Cubs.

Carving His Own Niche
by Jordan Schelling
Entering only his fifth year in the major leagues, Ryan Braun is becoming one of the best known figures in Brewers franchise history.

A Contending Rotation
by Brian Carriveau
Thanks to Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke, the Brewers boast one of baseball’s best rotations.

Back In The Booth
by Drew Olson
Bob Uecker’s absence in 2010 only underscored how much he means to the Brewers.

Success Is A Relief
by Brian Carriveau
The Brewers bullpen has Milwaukee poised to contend this coming season.

Identity Building Exercise
by Nicholas Zettel
The 2011 season will go a long way toward determining how good several of the Brewers’ star players become.

Looking For Leather
by Jaymes Langrehr
Just how bad was the Brewers defense in 2010?

A Lead-off Profile
by Jack Moore
Statistics show that Rickie Weeks was born to lead off.

Farm Report
by Ryan Topp
Take a look at the inner workings of the Brewers farm system.

The Future Of The Franchise
by Jim Breen
Check out the minor league prospects bubbling just beneath the major league surface.

Forging A Friendship
by Chris Mehring
With two seasons under their belt, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are earning their keep as a member of the Brewers farm system.

Brewing Up Memories
by Jason Wilde
As Miller Park celebrates its 10th season, look back on some of the park’s most memorable moments.

Team Streak
by James Wold
From Juan Nieves’ no-hitter to Paul Molitor’s 39-game hitting streak, the 1987 Brewers were one of hte most remarkable teams in franchise history.

Larger Than Life
by Mike Johnson
CC Sabathia only spent about three months in Milwaukee as a member of the Brewers. But what an amazing three months it was.

Needs More Uecker
by Scott Vander Helden
Introducing “Word Association: Milwaukee Brewers Last Names Edition.”