Tuesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while spelling the important words right.

This week is off to a slow start in regards to Brewer news, so it's a good time to take a moment to look back. It's already been months since the Brewers re-signed Trevor Hoffman for 2010 and, after watching the market for free agent closers fail to develop, Jorge Says No! has declared Hoffman an offseason winner.

Meanwhile, MLB Trade Rumors has a list of the best and worst offseason signings so far, and lists the Gregg Zaun deal as one of the winners.

Alcides Escobar's winter league season is likely over, but it was a highly successful one: for our bilingual readers, here's a story on Escobar winning the VWL batting title. Hopefully he can parlay some of that momentum into a hot start in 2010. Meanwhile, Hernan Iribarren has switched teams and joined Carlos Gomez and Angel Salome as Brewers active in the Caribbean postseason. You can read more about that in today's Winter League Update.

Dave Pinto of Baseball Musings continues to work through baseball from A to Z, and had this scouting report on Mike Burns yesterday. With the rotation and bullpen more or less full and Chris Capuano, John Halama, Kameron Loe and perhaps Mark Mulder already lined up to start in Nashville, Burns is probably an unlikely candidate to appear as a Brewer in 2010.

In the minors:

  • Brett Christopherson of the Appleton Post-Crescent has a year-in-review column for the Timber Rattlers. There's not a lot of surprising stuff in there, but make sure you get all the way to the end for his thoughts on Jeff Suppan's brief appearance in Appleton.
  • I had seen this before, but thanks to Rattler Radio for reminding me to mention it: The Brevard County Manatees are giving away free tickets to their home opener on April 8th.

The polls are still open and two votes may come down to the wire in the balloting for our BCB All Decade Team. As of this writing, Derrick Turnbow and Dan Kolb are in a dead heat for the setup man spot, and Chris Capuano and Doug Davis are also tied in the running for a #4 starter. Voting for the former will close at 4 pm today, and the latter at 4 pm tomorrow.

Elsewhere in decade-ending notes, The Biz of Baseball has a list of the top ten stories of the decade. Story #5 is the opening of eleven new ballparks, including Miller Park.

Around baseball:

Giants: Signed Mark DeRosa to a two year deal worth $12 million.
Mariners: Signed catcher Josh Bard and reliever Chad Cordero to minor league deals.
Nationals: Signed first baseman Josh Whitesell and infielder Eric Bruntlett to minor league deals.

The Brewers don't have many roster spots that aren't already spoken for, but the few that remain (backup catcher, final bullpen spot, fifth outfielder) will likely be decided in spring training. R.J. Anderson of FanGraphs wonders if awarding roster spots based on spring performance is really a good idea. For the Brewers, spring training 2009 is a clear example of both sides of the argument: Casey McGehee played his way onto the team and went on to be a key contributor. Chris Duffy and Brad Nelson also played their way in and then quickly played their way back out.

Looking for a little heavy math to get your brain going this morning? Project Prospect has a look at BABIP, and other batted-ball stats that do or don't correlate with it.

On the lighter end of the statistical spectrum, Plunk Everyone wants to rename defensive indifference, calling it "a shrug." I like it.

Sometimes we spend so long looking at an impossible solution that the sudden appearance of an easier one is borderline shocking. Payroll disparity and gnashing of teeth about haves and have nots in baseball frequently lead to discussion of a salary cap, which will most likely never happen. However, many of the same revenue-disparity issues could be addressed by adding a third team in New York, as Craig Calcaterra suggests.

As someone who is occasionally called out for being too positive or negative about the Brewers (sometimes on the same day), I found this post from Dejan Kovacevic on the polarization of sports fans interesting. I do my best to be fair in my coverage here, but the difference between "fair" and "neutral" is pretty significant.

Happy birthday today to:

  • Richie Sexson, 2000-2003 Brewer and member of the BCB All Decade Team, who turns 35.
  • 2001 Brewer Devon White, who turns 47.

Drink up.

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