One of the things love most about the Milwaukee Brewers franchise, is their willingness to bring back former players in either coaching capacities or management roles. In the past we have seen it with Robin Yount, Dale Sveum, Chris Bosio, and most recently Craig Counsell. Today, I was thrilled that one of my all-time favorite Brewers players was in Maryvale to help work with the outfielders. That man is Geoff Jenkins.
The Brewers ST has a lot of similarities to college sports programs. Very rarely in professional sports do you see a franchise bring in former players to work with the team. Over the best few year, the Crew have bee inviting former players to come and go from ST camp, work with the team, and give advice on how to succeed. It has been a relative success, in my opinion. Plus it is nice for fans to see those guys out on the field. Robin Yount arrived in camp yesterday and will stay to work with the team through ST, while Jenkins arrived this morning, and will spend the next week working with the outfield. How awesome is that?
Geoff Jenkins was the Brewers right-fielder from 1998 through the end of the 2007 season. In 2003, he made his only All-Star appearance. During his 10 seasons as a Brewers, Jenkins recorded 1221 hits, 212 HR’s, and 704 RBI’s. Geoff ranks 5th in Brewers franchise history for: hits, runs scored, plate appearances, at-bats, and slugging %. He is 4th in doubles and RBI’s, 3rd in home runs, 2nd in strikeouts, and 1st in hit-by-pitches. The guys is a Brewer for life. Geoff Jenkins was one of the few bright spots for this franchise during the early 2000′s. It was nice to see him get his World Series ring in the 2008 season with the Phillies, but I would have rather he got it with the Brewers.
Now the organization has brought one of it’s favorite sons back to work with Ryan Braun, Nyjer Morgan, Corey Hart, Norichika Aoki, Carlos Gomez, and the rest of the outfielders who reported to camp this week. Meanwhile, Craig Counsell is out on the diamond working with the infield. The Brewers could not have picked two better guys to work with the team.
Jenkins was not just a great ballplayer, but he was a great teammate and very good to the fans. This is he type of player you want around your ball club during spring training. His positivity and years of experience with the ups and downs of the game, make him an ideal candidate for this type of role. Geoff always worked hard and was a team player first and foremost. Even though he was not happy about being benched in favor of, current right-fielder, Corey Hart during the 2006 season. The veteran took it in stride and did not gripe or complain, just did whatever he could to help the team win. It is great to see the Brewers giving him a chance to work out with the team again.
Even though this is only for one week, I hope that it goes well. Nothing would make me happier than to see him roaming the dugout at Miller Park in a few seasons. Have always loved Geoff Jenkins, although if you put a picture of him and Randy Wolf side-by-side…I can’t tell the difference.
Clubs always talk about the little things you do in ST that produce results in the regular season. Having Counsell, Yount, and Jenkins is just one example of the little things that make the Brewers the greatest organization in baseball. Let’s hope that Geoff and Craig can have the same impact on the team in this capacity, as they did when they were on the field.