Thursday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while finding a better hiding place for your alien.

By the end of the day, we should have the final chapter in the ongoing "Corey Hart thinks he's worth WHAT?" saga. The Brewers met with Hart and his agent yesterday but were unable to reach a deal, so the two sides will meet in arbitration today. Adam McCalvy has a look at the team's arbitration history, which includes just three other cases: Jim Gantner in 1992, Mike Fetters in 1995 and Jose Mercedes in 1998.

McCalvy also has photos from Truck Day yesterday, including some of the Racing Sausages helping load the truck and being loaded onto the truck themselves.

In contract minutiae, the Brewers came to terms with two more pre-arbitration players yesterday: Chris Narveson and Cody Scarpetta. With those two under contract, the Brewers are down to 15 unsigned players. All will earn at or very near the league minimum, with the possible exceptions of Yovani Gallardo and Casey McGehee, whose prior accomplishments might net them a small raise.

Another day, another expectation raise for Rick Peterson: Athletics Nation has a look at pitcher health, and the possibility that it's baseball's new undervalued commodity. Peterson's work and major league track record are heavily featured.

With that said, CHONE projections would suggest the Brewers aren't giving him much to work with: Satchel Price of Beyond the Box Score looked at projections for each team's rotation and noted the Brewers rank 27th, dead last in the Central.

But, the Brewers will have plenty of arms in camp to attempt to put together an improvement. Tom Haudricourt notes what I mentioned yesterday - the potential challenge of finding innings for 32 pitchers invited to camp - and takes an early look at rotation and bullpen projections.

In the minors:

  • There might be an extra factor that contributed to a very rough 2009 season for Cutter Dykstra, who was demoted from Wisconsin to Helena early in the season and struggled at the plate while undergoing a position change. Sports by Brooks looked back at this 2008 interview with Dykstra, where he told Battlekow he gave his entire $737,000 bonus check to his dad, Lenny Dykstra, to invest (h/t SportsBubbler). Since Lenny appears to have lost every penny anyone else ever gave him, it's probably safe to assume that money is gone as well.
  • On a brighter note, Time Warner Cable and the Timber Rattlers unveiled their preliminary broadcast schedule yesterday. At least 12 Timber Rattler games will be broadcast on Sports 32, including three in April. More games could be added at a later date.
  • Baseball Prospectus released their top eleven Brewer prospects yesterday. They're higher than we are on Cody Scarpetta (5th vs 13th), and left Zach Braddock, our #6 prospect, off the top 11.

Around baseball:

Giants: Signed Todd Wellemeyer to a minor league deal.
Mariners: Signed Jesus Colome to a minor league deal.
Red Sox: Claimed pitcher Gaby Hernandez off waivers from the Mariners, and designated pitcher Robert Manuel for assignment.

One of these days, one of those transaction notes is going to include Braden Looper. Jack Moore of FanGraphs wonders if his new team might be getting a bargain, provided they can convince Looper to return to the bullpen as a righty specialist.

Readers, I try not to call out to you for help unless it's clearly needed, but I think we have a case on our hands where it's warranted. I know we're all excited for spring training, the first step towards another summer of Brewer baseball. But this tweet from Joel Katte reminded me of something I'm not excited about: Another season of the Batting Stance Guy.

From hanging out in the game threads, I know I'm not the only one sick of what's quickly become a stale, overhyped performance of the BSG's "skills." I have nothing against the guy personally, and congratulate him on turning his efforts into what's far exceeded 15 minutes of fame. But it's time for it to end, and I think with your help we can send a message that we're sick of it.

I know a lot of you use Twitter (and you should be following us @BrewCrewBall if you do). If you're sick of the Batting Stance Guy, send a tweet to @FSWisconsin with the hashtag #endbattingstanceguy in it. Maybe if we can get enough people to join the cause, we can save ourselves a full season of annoyance.

Via the magic of the internet, sometimes we stumble across an innovation that we should have thought of years ago. Today's innovation comes via Talking Chop, and it almost worked.

Speaking of innovations, Big League Stew has a look at 2010's best ballpark promotions. I'll second the Dusty Baker haircut suggestion.

Here's a scary story, which for many came to a tragic conclusion: Astros Spanish Radio Announcer Francisco Romero and his family escaped injury when a gunfight broke out at a Mexican border checkpoint where they were trying to cross back into the US. Four people were killed and seventeen injured in the struggle.

On this day in 1994, Robin Yount officially announced his retirement. Yount was only 38 but had already spent 20 years as a member of the Brewers, winning two MVP awards and three Silver Sluggers. He remains the Brewers' all time leader in hits, runs, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, walks, games and plate appearances.

Happy birthday today to:

Oh, and I'm a terrible racquetball player, but now I have a new goal: Making ESPN3.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to make an appointment with a cardiologist.

Drink up.

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