Some things to read while grinding to a halt.
The 2010 Brewers were a clear disappointment, but maybe they weren't as bad as they looked? Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker found some causes for optimism in the final, adjusted NL Central standings.
Elsewhere in causes for optimism: Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar finished off their grades for 2010 by assigning A's to three players: Yovani Gallardo, Rickie Weeks and John Axford.
If you're still focused on the negative, you can get some of that pent-up aggression out by voting for the final eight in Brew City Sports' tournament to crown 2010's worst Brewer.
The Arizona Fall League is underway, and three Brewers (Eric Farris, Caleb Gindl and Mike McClendon) made their 2010 debut in Surprise's 8-6 win over the Peoria Javelinas. You can read more about that in today's AFL Update.
Jeremy Jeffress is also on Surprise's roster this fall as he works to make up some of the innings he lost during his extended suspension. Before heading off to the desert, though, he took a moment to be interviewed for this story in The Gazette-Virginian (his hometown paper), where he says all the right things about working hard and doing whatever the team asks of him. (h/t Rattler Radio)
Meanwhile, the biggest Brewer AFL story continues to be someone who's not there: Brett Christoperson of the Appleton Post-Crescent, who covered Brett Lawrie when he was with Wisconsin in 2009, said Lawrie could have used the defensive work he would have gotten playing some extra games this fall.
Brewerfan.net notes that winter leagues also opened yesterday in Mexico and Venezuela. Outfielder Brendan Katin is spending his offseason with Mexicali, and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his 2010 debut.
- The latest Baseball America Minor League Transactions report is out, and they're reporting that Nashville closer Chris Smith has become a free agent. Smith posted a 4.20 ERA in 38 games as a Brewer over the last two seasons, and recorded 43 saves in 75 appearances for the Sounds.
Jim Breen of Bernie's Crew is using strikeouts, walks and ground ball percentage to classify pitchers in the organization, and listed Jake Odorizzi, Dan Merklinger and Tim Dillard as the only pitchers who were above average in all three categories.
It's time for miscellaneous managerial meanderings:
- Nationals third base coach Pat Listach told Tom Haudricourt yesterday that he hasn't heard from the Brewers (or anyone else) about interviewing for their vacancy. I've been thinking about this for a day now and can't decide if it's news or not: It could mean the team isn't interested, or they might not have gotten around to contacting him yet.
- Bob Melvin is still considered the most likely candidate for the Brewer job, but it's worth noting that he's interviewing elsewhere: He's one of four candidates (along with Mike Quade, Ryne Sandberg and Eric Wedge) interviewing for the Cubs' position.
- If you weren't around yesterday, you might have missed the most recent Candidate Collection post looking at three current and former Mets, including Bobby Valentine. If the Brewers have interest in Valentine they'd better move quickly: He interviewed with the Blue Jays yesterday and is also a possibility for openings in Seattle and Florida.
- Baseball Brew has a list of 13 candidates the Brewers might consider.
By the way, Ken Macha interviewed for the Pirates job yesterday.
Rick Peterson is still the only member of the 2010 coaching staff guaranteed a paycheck in 2011. Mark Newman of MLB.com has a
paid infomercial look at Peterson's work with 3P Sports, which will likely occupy much of his offseason.
Braves: Are expected to name Fredi Gonzalez as their new manager on Thursday.
We might have witnessed the end of an era last night in Tampa. The Rangers defeated the Rays to advance to the ALCS, marking the potential end of the Rays' run as a contender. Ownership has already announced that they plan on slashing payroll for next season, and outfielder Carl Crawford will be eligible for free agency for the first time.
With the final Division Series concluding last night, the Championship Series schedule is finalized: The ALCS opens in Texas on Friday night, and the NLCS will start in Philadelphia Saturday.
Happy birthday today to:
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to search for paradise.