Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while getting the baby to smile.

The Brewers have a day off today to reflect on the 2009 home season, which saw them draw 3,037,197 fans, down just 31,000 from last season, despite posting their first losing record at home since 2004. Seth McClung was sad he didn't get to pitch in the last game, but also offered some insight into what the clubhouse is like on the final day at home. And tristarscoop has a photo of the carnage in the final sausage race.

For at least three Brewers, the off day will be an opportunity to see a doctor. Casey McGehee (knee), Mark DiFelice (shoulder) and Mike Burns (shoulder) will all see specialists today in the hope of firming up a prognosis and offseason plan. McGehee isn't sure if he'll need offseason surgery to repair a knee that's been sore for months, DiFelice thinks he'll be fine but wants to make sure, and Burns recently revealed he's had shoulder soreness for several days now.

Has Ken Macha managed his last game at Miller Park? He doesn't seem to think so. If he does return next season he could have a new pitching coach, as the team is reportedly considering making an offer to former A's and Mets coach Rick Peterson (FanShot).

Dave Bush had another rough outing yesterday, including hitting opposing pitcher Joe Blanton with a curveball while Blanton was attempting to bunt. That HBP put him back in the major league lead at 15. That's the fifth highest single season total in Brewer history, which is pretty impressive considering Bush has only pitched 114.1 innings this season. No pitcher has ever plunked more than 16 batters while pitching fewer than 120 innings: Bush will likely get one more start to attempt to become the first.

Josh Butler also pitched in yesterday's game, and his rough outing will be his final Brewer appearance this season. While the team is headed out on the road today, Butler is headed back to Huntsville, then to the Brewers' training facility in Arizona to get ready for the Arizona Fall League.

Speaking of HBPs, Jason Kendall picked up his 247th on Saturday on a pitch from Kyle Kendrick. Plunk Everyone has, among other things, the full list of every player with double initials that has hit Kendall. Unfortunately, plunkings mustn't be weighted very heavily in the Elias rankings, as Kendall is starting to slide down the charts and now sits near the bottom of Type B free agents.

Prince Fielder is up to 42 home runs this season, and Plunk Everyone ranked him third in all of baseball in home run difficulty. Follow the link for an explanation: I think the stat has some merit.

Ryan Braun picked up his 30th home run in dramatic fashion on Saturday night. The Dugout Doctors list him as one of their current players to build a franchise around, but Fake Teams asks if he's getting overhyped.

In the minors:
  • Project Prospect has ranked pitchers from each level of the minors by out %. In AA, Donovan Hand, Bobby Bramhall and Mike McClendon cracked the top 50, and Dan Meadows, Efrain Nieves, Nick Tyson and Wily Peralta made the top 50 for the Timber Rattlers. No Brevard County Manatees or Nashville Sounds made the lists.
  • Maverick Lasker (11th) and Max Walla (20th) both appeared on Baseball America's rankings of the top 20 prospects in the Arizona Rookie League this season.
If you're already feeling nostalgic for 2009, Big League Stew has a look back at the Brewers season that was.

Baseball Digest Daily has the Brewers holding steady at #17 in their power rankings.

Around baseball:

Mets: Claimed pitcher Jack Egbert off waivers from the White Sox.

Ever wonder what 2009 would have looked like if the Brewers had somehow found a way to hold on to all the pitchers they've discarded over the years? The rotation might have included Justin Lehr, who was getting ready to give up on baseball before the Reds called him up this season. His numbers as a Red haven't been fantastic, but he might actually be an improvement over some of the guys the Brewers have trotted out there this season.

If the Brewers decide not to retain Mike Cameron this offseason, here's another name to add to the list of potential replacements: Oakland's Rajai Davis. A's Nation thinks the Brewers might be a candidate to acquire him, but also thinks they might be willing to give up Brett Lawrie in exchange, and that's absolutely ridiculous. Elsewhere in center field, Rick Ankiel doesn't expect to return to St. Louis. And if the Brewers end up needing another gritty utility infielder to replace Craig Counsell, Omar Vizquel wants to play another year.

If you're already looking ahead to the fall and winter seasons, get your calendar out: The Baseball Zealot has a list of important dates for you.

Or, if you're looking forward to the hot stove season, here's something for you: Circling the Bases has the top ten free agents for this offseason. Ben Sheets, who still hasn't pitched since last September, checks in at #10. Given his extended absence and his history regarding work ethic and rehab, I'm guessing he's going to show up in someone's camp next spring out of shape and/or unable to pitch. In fact, I'll be surprised if he passes a physical.

Speaking of guys who are out of shape, stop back later today for a special surprise. That's all I'm saying about it.

How long can you extend your career, based purely on the ability to get on base? Ken Griffey Jr. is batting .210 this season for the Mariners, but leads the team in walks and drew the 1300th of his career yesterday. That's over 22 miles in walks.

I have two email addresses that get constant emails from MLB.com which I typically delete without reading. It's good to know that's unavoidable: MLB has reportedly been ignoring requests to be removed from their mailing list. That's always a solid business practice.

Finally, after months of rumor and panic, we have a definitive list of the symptoms associated with Royals Fever.

Can you imagine Miller Park being used for this? Seamheads has the story of Milwaukee's Athletic Park being renovated in 1892 to become the home of "The Last Days of Pompeii." Interesting stuff.

Happy birthday today to Brian Banks, who turns 39, and Mike DeJean, who also turns 39.

Oh, and today's Mug probably would have come out ten minutes earlier if Rob Neyer hadn't introduced me to Worldometers.

Drink up.
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