It has become a tradition at the end of each year for the principal owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, Mark Attanasio, to release an open letter to the fan base to wrap up the year that was. Last year’s letter apologized to fans for the brutal 2015 season and introduced them to the new direction of the franchise, asking for patience after it was determined the team would “take a step back and build more intensively from within.” He expressed confidence in the undertaking the Doug Melvin began and that David Stearns would take over, stating that “we are dedicated to building something special here here in Milwaukee” with the ultimate goal of winning a World Series title.
Now, a little over a year later, Attanasio again thanks the fans for their “unwavering support” during the 2016 season. The club reached 2.3 mil in attendance, as they have every year since 2006, which makes them one of only nine MLB teams who can boast such a claim. The owner acknowledged “some real progress” getting accomplished this year, including Jonathan Villar, Keon Broxton, and Junior Guerra becoming “a part of our developing nucleus,” Craig Counsell establishing an aggressive style of play throughout the organization, and a resurgent farm system ranked #1 by MLB Pipeline. Attanasio tells us that the organization is investing heavily in scouting and player development through new technology, talent evaluation methods, and analytics as well as remaining committed to bringing in the top young talent through the draft, international market, trades, and free agency.
Here’s the letter in its entirety, from the Brewers’ official website:
December 25, 2016
Dear Brewers Fans:
During this holiday season, I again want to reach out to thank you for your unwavering support of our team. This past year further confirms what I have said during my entire tenure as Principal Owner: You are the best fans in professional sports-consistently supportive, enthusiastic, and incredibly knowledgeable. You understand the challenges we face as well as the effort needed to accomplish our ultimate goal-a championship for your Milwaukee Brewers. Despite our collective desires to see more wins, your patience and faith has allowed us to properly conduct the organizational transition we began to undertake last year. Everyone at the Milwaukee Brewers appreciates this steadfast support.
Under the leadership of General Manager David Stearns, Manager Craig Counsell, and the entire Baseball Operations Department, we are seeing some real progress. Roughly sixty percent of our 40-Man Roster has turned over since David's arrival, which provided significant opportunity for new acquisitions to emerge as key performers at the Major League level. Newcomers Jonathan Villar, Keon Broxton, and Junior Guerra became a part of our developing nucleus, and all were acquired by David and his Baseball Operations staff. They joined our long-tenured veterans Ryan Braun and Matt Garza and other young players such as Zach Davies, Hernan Perez and Domingo Santana in building a team that brought an aggressive approach to every game under Craig's leadership. In addition, we are excited about the resurgence of our player development system, which now features eight of Major League Baseball's top 100 prospects according to Baseball America (nine before Orlando Arcia was promoted to Milwaukee). This led MLB.com to rate the Brewers as the top farm system in baseball. We recognize that there is much work still to be done, but I am pleased with the development we saw this year at all levels of the organization.
This off-season, we will continue to pursue the same strategy of consistently developing young, impact players who can excel at the style of play that Craig has established. In addition, we are investing heavily in our scouting and player development through advanced technology, talent evaluation, and analytics. We also remain committed to acquiring top young talent through the amateur draft, the international market, trades, and free agency.
While we work toward fielding the best team possible, we continue our commitment to maintaining the best fan experience in sports. We recently revealed our plans to completely overhaul our food and beverage program at Miller Park-from the brick and mortar stands to the menu items available, including a broader variety of locally-sourced options. A partnership with Hospitality Democracy will bring some of Milwaukee's most popular restaurant offerings (Smoke Shack, AJ Bombers, Holey Moley, Zaffiro's) to stands on all seating levels at Miller Park, and the new concession stands and bars will be branded to reflect the great culture of southeast Wisconsin. This is the single largest Club project in terms of scope and investment in the history of Miller Park. This and other off-season projects will continue to improve what is consistently rated a top fan environment in Major League Baseball.
At the beginning of the 2016 season, we knew we would have a period of development ahead. You stood by us. More than 2.3 million of you came to Miller Park to cheer on the Club, and we are one of only nine teams to reach that attendance level in every year since 2006. We appreciate your support as we continue toward our goal of bringing the World Series back to Milwaukee.
Chairman and Principal Owner