Some things to read while finally getting it right.
If you've spoken to me in the last 12 hours or so, you've probably heard me mention how much I hate writing the Mug on days like this. Far and away the hardest days to write the Mug are the days when there's one major national story out there (especially when it's steroids), and a collection of hundreds of blogs and sites I've gathered specifically to provide diverse points of view on baseball all stop what they're doing so they can become the 300th voice to blather about it.
Today, it's Mark McGwire (FanShot). Tom Haudricourt posted about him five times yesterday. College basketball analysts are making jokes about it. Paging through my morning reads this morning was like standing in front of a toilet and flushing it over and over, as nearly every site's top story is an attempt at some new angle of rehashing the same crap everyone else is covering.
As such, we're a little light on Brewer stories today. My apologies.
Alcides Escobar's impressive performance in Venezuela this winter is turning some heads, but it's not his VWL batting title that's drawing the praise. Craig Calcaterra notes that Reid Nichols was impressed by Escobar's 14 walks in VWL play, which raised his OBP to .440. Calcaterra cautions against reading too much into it, but if Escobar can add some plate discipline to his game and raise his OBP a bit it would add a lot to his value.
Walk Like a Sabermetrician has an interesting post today looking at league average batting by position in 2009. The Brewers were the only team in baseball to be 20 runs above average at three positions (first base, second base and left field), but were also below average at catcher, shortstop and in right field.
I'll be the first to admit to complaining about front office decisions and other factors that make me less excited than I could be about the organization. With that said, I wouldn't really rate myself as an unhappy fan, so it strikes me as strange that the Brewers will fall somewhere below 20 in Joshua Fisher of The Hardball Times' Fan Happiness Rankings.
In the minors:
- Brewerfan.net recently polled their readers to compile a prospect ranking, and the results are in. It'll be interesting to compare their results to ours.
- Speaking of our results, you have until 4 pm today to cast a ballot for the #6 spot in our Community Prospect Rankings. Zach Braddock leads Angel Salome by 68 votes at this point.
- Responding to a request from me, Chris Mehring has a look at some of the nutritional information available to Brewer minor leaguers. It certainly sounds like the training staff has done an excellent job of putting information on a bulletin board, but I still don't know if anyone is reading it.
If you love the major sports stories of the day and wish we spent more time
gossiping discussing them, then Miller Park Drunk's latest fan fiction, featuring Randy Wolf, might be just what you're looking for.
If you're in or near Milwaukee and looking for something to do this Friday morning, the Journal Sentinel is holding a Tweetup in their lobby, and Tom Haudricourt will be one of the reporters on hand. Even if you're not a Twitter fan, the opportunity to grab a free coffee or doughnut and ask Tom what he thinks of your favorite Brewer blog might be worth the trip.
Dodgers: Signed pitcher Scott Dohmann and infielders Nick Green and Argenis Reyes to minor league deals.
Pirates: Have reportedly reached a deal with outfielder Ryan Church.
Rays: Signed first baseman Dan Johnson to a one year, $500,000 deal.
Royals: Signed pitcher Matt Herges to a minor league deal.
Also, as pointed out in the comments of yesterday's Mug, I whiffed on Aroldis Chapman signing with the Reds. FanHuddle has some new details on his contract, which will pay him $25.25 million over the next five seasons, with a $5 million player option for the sixth year.
Elsewhere in free agent pitching:
- Doug Davis is reportedly interested in pitching for the Nationals, but they've got other priorities at this point.
- The Ben Sheets/Cubs connections aren't going away.
On this day in 2000, the Brewers acquired Jaime Navarro and John Snyder from the White Sox for Cal Eldred and Jose Valentin. Navarro would go on to make five starts in his second stint as a Brewer, posting a 12.54 ERA in 18.2 innings before being released in April.
I struck out on birthdays today, so we'll have to settle for wishing former Expo Casey Candaele a happy 49th.
A quick side note: Near the end of the season there were a lot of complaints from players about the bulky size and somewhat silly appearance of the new S100 helmet. But if you really want to see a ridiculous helmet, click that link and check out the one Candaele is wearing in his baseball card. It's hard to get more ridiculous than that.
Oh, and hopefully I can make up for a crappy news day with pictures of a baby zebra.
That's all I've got for you today, unless you're a fat guy looking for a job as a professional dancer.