You know it's a slow news day when, as noted in this FanPost, Ryan Braun's new clothing line is your top story. Perhaps those of us who suggested a certain blogger launch a fashion blog were right on the money.
Every spring about this time hitters start facing live pitching, and we get the first "(Pitcher) has nasty stuff" stories of spring. Would you have guessed that pitcher in Brewers camp would be R.J. Swindle? If you really can get awkward swings and misses while throwing 55, I may have a big league career after all.
Of course, this transition to hitting off of actual pitchers is long overdue, because hitters are ahead of the coaches at this stage of spring training.
I had promised myself today would be the day I stopped talking about Eric Gagne, so of course today is the day he made news three different ways:
- He withdrew from the World Baseball Classic.
- He had lasik surgery over the offseason, ending the need for goggles.
- He's a few days behind the other pitchers and may need a couple of extra days before pitching in his first spring game.
Perhaps Ken Macha isn't singling out Jason Kendall, but it's starting to feel like it: a few days after saying he'll reduce Kendall's playing time in 2009, he announced he's also controlling the running game from the bench. This would be different if Kendall was struggling with it, but Kendall seemed to handle it pretty well in 2008.
Yesterday was picture day in Brewer camp. Click the link for a list of pictures I found, then check the comments for a link to the whole gallery.
I cringed when I started reading it, but based on Two-Fisted Slopper's recap, it sounds like Cecil Fielder's appearance on the MLB Network last night went off without any father-son chicanery. Slopper's post also has some great screenshots of a 12-year-old Prince.
On the transaction wire:
Braves: Signed Tom Glavine to a one year deal worth $1 million plus incentives.
Indians: Acquired Juan Salas from the Rays and designated third baseman Andy Marte for assignment. (h/t FanShots)
Padres: Are reportedly close to a deal with Mexican pitcher Walter Silva.
Royals: Claimed Tug Hulett off waivers from the Mariners.
Regardless of how bad Ned Yost was or how bad Ken Macha may be, we can always take comfort in knowing they're not Dusty Baker. Today, Baker had this to say on Edinson Volquez and his plans for 2009:
I’ve seen Greg Maddux throw 150 pitches early in his career."
Some days I come across stories that aren't really Brewer related, but just demonstrate how a really good sports writer can make a mundane topic interesting. Here are two from today: Royals beat writer Sam Mellinger on visa issues, and Nationals beat writer Chico Harlan on the weather in Florida.
Of course, sometimes good beat writers are not well rewarded: Tim Hudson blamed Braves beat writer David O'Brien for the team's failure to sign Ken Griffey, and the two had to be separated in the Braves clubhouse yesterday.
Speaking of Griffey, I've seen notes around the web suggesting the signing was a bad decision, a useless piece added to a rebuilding team, but it's already paying for itself. The Mariners sold 16,000 extra tickets yesterday. Assuming my baseline of 1 ticket sold = $50 for the team (after factoring in parking, food, merchandise, etc), the Mariners made $800,000 off of Griffey yesterday alone.
From the "too much information" file: Jose Guillen, facing surgery to remove an ingrown toenail, got a tweezers and did the job himself. Don't try that one at home.
So how much does lineup position impact RBI opportunities? Perhaps not as much as you'd think. Research suggests one thing we all expected: Players who hit in the first and second spot get a decreased opportunity to drive in runs. But, on the flip side, players batting anywhere between third and eighth all have nearly identical opportunities.
Oh, and I'd like to join Royals Review in increasing the use of the word "pleonasm."