Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while going off your meds.

The future is somewhat uncertain for Seth McClung after last night's poor outing. An off day will allow the Brewers to skip his spot in the rotation next time around, meaning the Brewers won't need a fifth starter until July 11, and a lot can happen between now and then. Manny Parra would probably like that spot back, and he'll start in AAA tonight. A good outing might give him the inside track.

Prince Fielder hit his 21st home run last night, the 135th of his career, and passed Don Money for sole possession of tenth place on the Brewers' all time list. Fielder needs two more home runs to tie Rob Deer for ninth place, and 25 more to tie Paul Molitor for eighth. While I'm thinking of him, I should also note that Paul Molitor will be in Appleton on August 4.

Also, happy birthday to Greg Vaughn, who ranks sixth on that list list with 169 Brewer home runs and turns 44 today.

With every home run, Fielder makes himself a little more likely to be an NL All Star: Casey McGehee is enjoying his return to Wrigley Field, although that might change when he finds out Anthony Witrado spent the day yesterday following his wife around Chicago.

With the Brewers loss and Cardinals win yesterday, the Cardinals have pulled back into a tie for the lead in the NL Central, which now has five teams within three games of first place. There are also nine teams within four games of the NL Wild Card.

It's probably too late to get tickets to go to Chicago this weekend and catch a game in this series but if you missed it, Miller Park Drunk says that's probably for the best. Recaps of all the things that suck about Wrigley Field make it easier for me to understand Cubs fans' desire to go watch the Cubs play somewhere else.

Another July day, another Doug Melvin quote lowering expectations for this trade season. By Monday's Mug, a similar version of this story will run again at least three more times. I don't really see any chance of the Brewers trading J.J. Hardy or Corey Hart during the month, but FakeTeams seems pretty certain the Brewers will either do it in July or during the offseason.

In the minors:
  • The Official Site has a profile of Eric Arnett and his transition from ultra-workhorse in college to one-or-two inning guy in Helena.
  • Dominican OF Jose Pena reportedly received a $400,000 bonus from the Brewers, much less than previously expected. The team also signed 17-year-old pitcher Jean Capellan. Both players are expected to report to the team's new academy in the Dominican Republic.
  • Results of fan balloting are in, and Brett Lawrie bobbleheads will be given to the first 1000 fans through the gates for the Timber Rattlers' game on September 3.
One power ranking to pass along today: Yahoo moved the Brewers up from seventh to sixth.

Around the majors:

Cubs: Completed their trade for Rockies IF Jeff Baker, sending minor league pitcher Al Albuquerque to the Rockies. They also designated Ryan Freel for assignment.
Indians: Acquired reliever Winston Abreu from the Rays for AAA reliever John Meloan.
Marlins: Signed reliever Luis Ayala.
Orioles: Pitcher Bobby Livingston exercised an option in his contract allowing him to become a free agent.

The Texas Rangers are in financial trouble, and while the team looks for a buyer, the situation continues to deteriorate. The team reportedly borrowed $15 million recently from Major League Baseball to make payroll. While this does not give baseball the right to take over control of the franchise, it might give MLB officials some say in Rangers' spending decisions, which could complicate negotiations with their top two draft picks, who are both still unsigned and seeking contracts above slot value.

Remember months ago, when Eric Gagne was believed to need shoulder surgery, but decided to try to rehab instead and pitch in the Can-Am League? Gagne has a 9.60 ERA in 20 innings for Quebec. The surgery probably would have been the right decision.

Earlier this week I cited increased attendance as a reason for keeping interleague play. As it turns out, the attendance bump may not be as big as originally thought. Beyond the Box Score says interleague games are scheduled on prime dates on weekends and in June and July, and the actual attendance bump caused by the games is closer to .4% than the previously reported 11%.

The Mets are now in a unique position to tell us what's worse. They spent most of the week this week at the (supposedly haunted) Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, and are spending the weekend sharing a hotel with Anthrocon, largest anthropomorphics (furries) convention in the world. Follow the link for a quote from a Mets beat reporter, who had a close encounter with someone who "was dressed like Ralph Wigam as a Beaver." (h/t Bucs Dugout)

Oh, and if you think the crowds are big at Miller Park, today is the 27th anniversary of this 1982 game that crammed 55,716 fans into County Stadium.

Drink up.
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