PHOENIX -- The time-honored advice to rookies attending spring training is simple: keep your eyes and ears open, shut your mouth shut and soak up every bit of knowledge you can in sponge-like fashion.
Brian Anderson knows the drill very well. But, keeping his mouth shut wouldn't be a good move.
A week from now, Anderson will begin his rookie season as the television voice of the Brewers. Along with partner Bill Schroeder, Anderson will be the tour guide for 140 of the team's 162-game journey.
With a week remaining until his first regular-season broadcast, OnMilwaukee.com caught up to Anderson in the pressbox at Maryvale Baseball Park.
OMC: Most of the players are tired of camp and wish the regular season started tomorrow. Are you ready to get started, too?
BA: I'm definitely excited. I feel like I'm good on the team. I've been here since Day One. We taped a show Feb. 17, when they were just getting uniforms and physicals. We were here for all of that. I feel like I've been around enough to be good on the team.
My next step is to get to Milwaukee and learn the ballpark and how it plays. I can get by without it because Rock (Schroeder) is the analyst. Ultimately, you want to be able say, when the ball is in the air, ‘Well, that's not going to carry.' It's those instincts; I've never seen a game in Miller Park, so I don't know how it plays yet. So, you have to back off and you have to kind of let it happen and then call it. You can't have that good, exciting ‘That's gonna go!' Because you haven't seen a bunch of home runs hit there and you don't know. That will all come."
OMC: Can you get a good feel for players tendencies and idiosyncrasies during spring games?
BA: I feel good about his team right now. I've tried to watch as much fungo and BP (batting practice) as I could this spring and I've seen just about every game. I feel pretty confident in what they can do. I've also asked a lot of scouts and other people about them. It's always different to hear what other people think about them. It's usually one of those deals where you think your guy is not as good. When you see them every day, you start looking at things that bug you a little. Then, you talk to someone else and they tell you they think the player is better than you thought.
OMC: Have you spent a lot of time getting to know the players personally? Do you spend a lot of time in the clubhouse? Your predecessor, Daron Sutton, probably spent more time in there than the beat writers.
BA: I try to stay out of the clubhouse. I think the clubhouse is the players' domain. I think can get everything I need in terms of information at the (batting) cage. I've never been a clubhouse guy. The last thing I want is these guys going ‘Who is this clown in the clubhouse all the time?'"
OMC: During a recent spring training broadcast, you and Bill seemed to have a pretty good chemistry already. How much did broadcasting the spring training games on the Web help in that regard?
BA: I think it helped a lot, and the reaction has been really good. We were getting a ton of e-mail. It got to the point where I was trying to answer them all and I was missing some plays, so I had to stop and let Kent (Sommerfeld) look at them.
OMC: How as the reaction of the e-mails?
BA: It was mostly positive. One day, we were doing a game against the Cubs at HoHoKam and a guy wrote in and said ‘I'm listening and you guys are talking too much about the Cubs. If I wanted to hear about the Cubs, I'd listen to a Chicago station.' Other than that, it was very positive.
OMC: Have you found a house in Milwaukee yet?
BA: Not yet. My daughter is going to finish school (in Texas), so I'm in a corporate apartment for awhile until school is out. Then, my wife and daughter will come up. I want my wife to pick the house and be comfortable and pick the place she wants. I can live anywhere. I'm just as happy in a hotel room. But, the house will be her domain. I want her to do it the way she wants to do it and be comfortable with it.
OMC: What are you looking forward to in the next week?
BA: I'll be heading home to pack my life into a couple of boxes, and then I'll meet the team (for an exhibition game Saturday) in Arlington and take the charter up to Milwaukee. After that, I just need to settle into the community a little bit and learn all the different nuances of what makes Miller Park and Milwaukee cool. I'm really excited about it.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.