Some things to read while celebrating Gorman's birthday.
To be honest, I was going to open the Mug today with a joke about Anthony Witrado, especially since his chat yesterday provided ample ammunition, but I think it might be time to back off a bit. I'm getting increasingly concerned that our discussions about Witrado are becoming far too personal, and I think it might be time for me to step in.
Let me be the first to acknowledge that I'm not a fan of Witrado's work in the least. His work is consistently inaccurate and the quality of his writing is significantly below what one would expect from a professional working for a large newspaper. At one point a couple of weeks ago I asked around and received no one to compare him to, meaning it's possible he's major league baseball's worst beat writer.
With that said, the conversation about him over the last week or so has crossed a line I'm not comfortable with. I doubt we're done criticizing his work in this space, and that's fine, but if you intend to do it, I'd appreciate it if the criticism was focused on his work and the personal attacks were dropped. Thanks.
Moving on, a rumor popped up yesterday suggesting the Brewers may be interested in Jake Peavy (as noted in this FanPost), but the rumor was quickly squashed by Tom H. and Doug Melvin. As Tom H. notes, even if the Brewers had a package of players the Padres were interested in and Peavy was willing to waive his no trade clause, it's unlikely the Brewers would be willing or able to pick up Peavy's salary at this point, unless players like Mike Cameron, Bill Hall or Jeff Suppan were involved in the trade.
Ryan Braun is expected back in Brewer camp today and, assuming his sore intercostal isn't giving him any trouble, he could be back in the Brewer lineup today. It sounds like the team wants to get him as many at bats as possible over the last week or so of camp, which could limit the at bats for some of the other corner outfielders in camp.
In yesterday's Mug I mentioned a note from Tom H. suggesting the Brewers were considering keeping their players who were out of options over players who still had options, simply to avoid having to put players on waivers. That idea hasn't been very popular around the Brewer blogosphere, with both PocketDoppler and View From Bernie's Chalet weighing in against it.
I don't think anyone will be opposed to better production from Craig Counsell. Counsell has abandoned his "human question mark" batting stance and leads the Brewers in batting average and OBP this spring.
At least one of the position battles in camp is over, as Todd Coffey has won a job in the bullpen. With the way things are headed right now, he may get a chance to close.
It looks like Manny Parra's back stiffness isn't going to turn out to be serious: Parra threw a bullpen session and should be ready to go for his scheduled start Friday.
Braden Looper will take the mound for the first time in the Cactus League on Thursday. Adam McCalvy has a story about Looper's family and their newest addition, a soon-to-be two year old Chinese orphan named Gracyn.
While adopting may be a dream for some, Keep Turning Up The Heat! is dreaming about Rickie Weeks, 600 foot home runs, and retirement. In a semi-related note, MLB FanHouse says Don't Sleep on the Brewers in 2009.
In other camps:
Blue Jays: Matt Clement has been cut from major league camp, but may refuse the assignment and become a free agent.
Mets: Freddy Garcia will remain with the team and report to minor league camp.
Rays: David Price will open the 2009 season in the minors.
Red Sox: Signed Rocky Cherry to a minor league deal. The Mets had selected him from the Orioles in the Rule 5 Draft.
So, what about the Cubs? They're widely considered the front runner, and in some places they're considered a lock to win the NL Central in 2009. FanGraphs organizational rankings have them at #7. (The Brewers have made the top 6.) With that said, it appears I'm not the only one who thinks they could be in line for a major disappointment in 2009. Miller Park Drunk lists some of the concerns they face.
The Marlins will get their new stadium after all, and will become the Miami Marlins in 2012. All of that is great, but Babes Love Baseball asks the same question I want answered: Even in a new stadium, will anyone come to their games?
The internet based community mourns a great loss this morning. John Brattain, who had written for several sites, passed away yesterday due to complications from heart surgery. He was 43. As I paged through the news and blogs this morning I've found dozens of mentions of his passing, which demonstrates how many lives he touched. Here are two, from Baseball Digest Daily and The Hardball Times. The BDD one includes links to several more.