Crew joins local groups to fight coronavirus

Counsell discusses how he's handling break from baseball

March 26th, 2020

MILWAUKEE -- They didn’t host a baseball game, but the Brewers did play their part in bringing the community together on what was supposed to be Opening Day.

Brewers Community Foundation, the club’s charitable arm, announced Thursday that it has joined a consortium of local philanthropic groups to support the newly created COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund at United Way of Milwaukee & Waukesha County and the MKE Responds Fund at the Great Milwaukee Foundation to help alleviate the impact the coronavirus outbreak.

To-date, those funds have raised $1.2 million and counting toward the response effort, including $200,000 from Brewers Community Foundation, according to the team.

“The Milwaukee Brewers and Brewers Community Foundation are proud to join this coalition to support the many nonprofits experiencing an increased need for food, shelter and medical supplies,” Brewers president of business operations Rick Schlesinger said in a statement. “We encourage those who can, to join us as we reach out and support our community, making critically needed contributions to the Greater Milwaukee MKE Responds Fund and the United Way Urgent Needs Fund.”

Fans with the means to donate can give to the MKE Responds Fund at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation or to the COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund at United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.

The announcement was made on Thursday morning, when Brewers fans originally planned to begin filling the Miller Park lots to begin tailgating ahead of the Brewers’ scheduled season opener against the Cubs. That game, like all Major League games, was put on hold as Major League Baseball paused amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, MLB and the Brewers’ broadcasters offered alternative entertainment. MLB aired 30 games across its digital platforms, starting with the Brewers’ win over the Rockies in Game 1 of the 2018 National League Division Series. Then, Fox Sports Wisconsin and 620-AM WTMJ each aired broadcasts of the Brewers’ win over the Cardinals on 2019 Opening Day.

How is manager Craig Counsell enduring?

“I’m talking to guys, texting with guys. That’s first,” Counsell told FOX Sports Wisconsin sideline reporter Sophia Minnaert. “And I’m taking my boys out on the field and playing some baseball with them, which has been really enjoyable for me. It’s something I don’t get to do a lot in the job that I do. That’s been enjoyable.

“Then, look, there’s games on that you get a little fix on. People are posting great, memorable games. It’s been fun to catch snippets of them, for sure.”

He will continue to watch.

“We’re all having to play a little make-believe at this point,” Counsell said. “Let’s keep it going.”