Some things to read while running out to the store.
The statues of Hank Aaron, Robin Yount and the Miller Park workers will be joined by one more this season: The Brewers announced yesterday that a bronze statue of former Brewers owner Bud Selig will be unveiled in August (FanShot). Here's some reaction to the announcement from around the web:
- Sully Baseball compared the statue to another recently removed one.
- Bluebird Banter also isn't impressed.
- Craig Calcaterra applauded the decision, noting Selig's contribution to baseball in Milwaukee.
- Richard Justice called Selig "the sport's greatest commissioner."
- Selig told Tom Haudricourt he is "honored, grateful and proud."
In the end, I can see a little bit of both sides. Certainly, Selig is a critically important part of the history of baseball in Milwaukee, as the owner that brought a team back to the city after the Braves left. He was also a key part of the effort to build Miller Park, a facility that has been a key part of the Brewers' resurgence. With that said, Selig is also tied to a lot of the negative memories from decades of losing, and deservedly so. And while this statue has little to do with his work as commissioner, many of his unpopular decisions and failings as commissioner overshadow his other work. All told, I can see the justification for building a monument to his efforts at Miller Park, but also wonder if it might be baseball's least popular tribute.
We're inching a little closer to spring training each day. If you're looking for a thought to keep you warm as you're shoveling snow today, here it is: The Brewer equipment truck leaves for Arizona tomorrow (weather permitting, I guess). If that's not enough for you, Right Field Bleachers has ten things to look forward to between now and Opening Day.
Not included on that list: Corey Hart's arbitration hearing. MLB FanHouse listed Hart as the X-Factor for the 2010 season for the Brewers. Meanwhile, Wisconsin Sports Tap wonders if the issue with Hart has more to do with distilling than brewing.
As we get ready for the battle for the last few roster spots, Adam McCalvy has the increasingly important list of players who are out of options. It'll be an especially important factor in decisions involving Joe Inglett, Chris Narveson, George Kottaras and Hernan Iribarren.
Here are some other miscellaneous notes:
- Bernie's Crew has a look at the importance of a sixth starting pitcher.
- Brewers Bar has a look at the pitchers who will compete for spots in the starting rotation in Nashville.
- Pocket Doppler says the Brewers are looking like a .500 team.
- The B-Ref Blog notes that two Brewers (Manny Parra and Jeff Suppan) combined for ten bases loaded walks last season. Only four pitchers in all of baseball managed to walk in a run at least five times last season, and the Brewers had two of them.
At the Caribbean World Series:
- The leg injury that caused Luis Cruz to leave Friday's game must not have been too serious as he returned to action Sunday, going 2-for-4 with a home run in Mexico's 8-2 loss to Puerto Rico.
- Efrain Nieves picked up the win for Puerto Rico on Saturday, pitching 2.2 scoreless innings in relief, allowing three hits, no walks and striking out three.
After getting off to an 0-2 start, Puerto Rico won their last four games to finish in second place, a game behind 5-1 Dominican Republic.
Elsewhere in the minors:
- Project Prospect has unveiled their top 50 prospects, with Brett Lawrie (#40) joining Alcides Escobar (#11) on the list.
- Lawrie also came up in John Sickels' latest All Questions Answered thread, with Sickels giving him a 30% chance of sticking at second base long term.
It goes in this section now because it's a non-Brewer note, but Right Field Bleachers' interview with Seth McClung might be the single best thing I read today. Follow the link for McClung's thoughts on his time in Milwaukee and his relationships with Ken Macha and Ryan Braun.
If you were looking to improve your team via free agency this offseason, it's possible you got a bargain while doing it: Jack Moore of FanGraphs notes that the price of an expected 2010 win has fallen all the way to $3.5 million this offseason.
Meanwhile, this offseason's biggest loser might be Scott Boras. With Boras clients Johnny Damon, Jarrod Washburn and Felipe Lopez still unsigned, MLB Trade Rumors wonders if the superagent failed them.
It turns out, Citi Field was the least of the Mets' problems. Prior to last season, many people expressed concern about the stadium's high walls, which were quickly overshadowed by the poor baseball being played inside them. A year later, the 2010 Mets still project to be terrible, but they'll do it with shorter walls in center field.
In other new stadium news, the Cubs and Mesa are continuing to press forward with a plan that would place a surcharge on all Cactus League tickets to pay for a new stadium. Carrie Muskat of MLB.com has a deeper look at the situation, and the White Sox and Diamondbacks' opposition to it.
I guess it's not that strange, and done with the retiree's consent, but this still strikes me as odd: The White Sox are unretiring Luis Aparicio's number (11) so Omar Vizquel can wear it.
This is a pretty cool example of the internet baseball community reaching out to support coverage they're looking for: Mark Zuckerman, former Nationals beat writer for the Washington Times, is raising money online to pay for a trip to cover spring training, and is over 60% of the way to his goal after one day.
If you're pretty good with a spreadsheet and looking for a foot in the door in baseball, these jobs with the Indians might be a pretty good opportunity.
On yesterday's day in 1978, the Brewers re-acquired Gorman Thomas from the Rangers for cash considerations. Thomas had been the PTBNL in a trade for Ed Kirkpatrick five months earlier.
Happy birthday yesterday to:
- 2009 Nashville Sound Chase Wright, who turned 27.
- Utility infielder Steve Dillard, who spent eight seasons in the majors as part of four teams in the late 70's and early 80's, but is more notable here for being Tim Dillard's dad. He turned 59.
Sadly, I struck out on birthdays today.
Oh, and if you're going to the clubhouse, be careful with that camera.