Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while working on your Halloween costume.

I'll be honest here: When I woke up this morning, I was most excited about reading what Plunk Everyone had to say about Jason Kendall's 248th career HBP yesterday. Now that I know that yesterday's plunking was Kendall's first ever in October, I can continue my day.

I certainly wasn't excited about having to discuss another awful outing from Manny Parra. With that said, Parra did manage to strike out five batters in his brief outing, making him just the fourth pitcher ever to allow five hits, five walks and strike out five batters in less than three innings pitched. You're forgiven if you can't remember the careers of the other three: Jose Antonio Nunez did it in 2001, Chris Clemons did it in 1997, and Chris Short did it in 1961. Short later went on to win 20 games - the other two were out of the majors for good within a year.

Parra was in the clubhouse and turned off the TV instead of watching the Rockies celebrate clinching a postseason berth yesterday. Fielder stayed in the dugout to watch it.

No one else has said anything about it (that I've seen) at this point, but Seth McClung said Chris Smith had some soreness and a busted lip but was otherwise ok after taking a ground ball of his face in the eighth inning yesterday. Glad to hear he's ok after a scary moment.

Meanwhile, McClung's recent comments on Twitter have drawn the attention of Adam McCalvy and other members of the media, who asked him about them before yesterday's game. At least McClung finally got to pitch yesterday, and struck out all four batters he retired.

Corey Hart is still not expected to play this weekend after suffering compression fractures in his fingers on Tuesday. Looking back, Ken Macha wondered if the emphasis on Hart's plate discipline negatively impacted his power, but Evan Brunell of The Hardball Times disagrees with that notion.

Macha and the Brewers are in St. Louis today, where Macha is expected to meet with Doug Melvin to discuss his potential return for next season. I guess one can hope for an Eric Wedge-esque "he's finishing the season, but then we're moving on" announcement, but it seems more than likely he'll be retained.

If nothing else, the conversation about managerial decisions provided the seed for what might possibly be the worst column I've ever read. If you need an excuse to bang your head against your desk today, feel free to read this atrocity from Emmert Dose of the Racine Journal-Times, which recaps the 2008 season complete with use of all caps, devolves into "I told you so," and eventually leads to a call for the return of Ned Yost. More worthless words have never been written.

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers had a disappointing season on the field, but still finished with three of the Midwest League's top prospects, according to Baseball America. That link will take you to the non-subscriber version of the article, but Rattler Radio has the scouting reports from the full version.

In power rankings: As the Cardinals prepare for the postseason, it's easy to pinpoint one thing that got them there: Chris Carpenter went 11-0 with a 1.58 ERA against the NL Central this season.

The Pirates might have caught a break yesterday, when their game with the Cubs was postponed. The game won't be made up, meaning the Pirates will only need one more win to avoid a 100 loss season.

We'll never know for sure what, if anything, Mike Maddux could have done to right the sinking ship that was the Brewer pitching staff this season. With that said, the Rangers are reaping the benefits of having Maddux around this season, and it's hard not to wonder what could have been. (FanShot)

Joe Mauer has gathered some attention this week based on the accusation that he may have been stealing signs against the Tigers this week. Mauer has since denied the allegation, but Babes Love Baseball has a video you should watch if you're wondering what sign stealing might look like.

It seems like every offseason there's talk about changing the dimensions of ballparks, moving the fences in here or out there to adjust the homer-friendliness of the park. Since a construction project of that magnitude would presumably be pretty expensive, I'm surprised this doesn't come up as an option more often: The Mets are being urged to consider moving home plate forward ten feet at Citi Field. I can honestly say I've never thought of that, though I feel like an idiot admitting it.

Happy birthday today to Bob Collucio, who appeared in 284 games as a Brewer between 1971 and 1973 and turns 58 today, Ernest Riles, who appeared in 385 games between 1985 and 1988 and turns 49, and Victor Santos, who posted a 4.78 ERA in 295.2 innings as a Brewer between 2004 and 2005 and turns 33.

Oh, and if you go out in public today, remember to turn down your iPod.

Drink up.
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