Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while pouring a fresh shoe.

Another day, and again we ask the question: Is Ken Macha about to be fired? Howie Magner thinks today could be an interesting day, as the Brewers come off an 0-6 homestand. The Bucky Channel says "you gotta think that an 0-6 homestand is about as rock bottom as it gets."

Macha was booed at home when he was announced last night, and the heat was on in last night's postgame press conference, where he told reporters this:

"When it's all said and done, I know I've done the best job I can do," Macha told reporters after the Brewers' 4-2 loss to the Phillies. "I know I have put everything I could into this job, and that's all I can do."

To me, that sounds like a guy who knows he's in trouble. With that said, I'm not sure a firing today would make sense: The team has already left for Cincinnati. If anything, Macha might have one last road trip to prove he can turn the ship around: If the team remains flat through this seven game stretch, the axe might fall a week from today on the off day before the next homestand.

Before last night's game, the biggest story of the day was Doug Davis, who was scratched from his scheduled start and placed on the DL with pericarditis, or swelling of the lining of his heart (FanShot). Davis was hospitalized with chest pains Saturday, and doctors advised him against pitching. Fortunately, the situation is treatable and non-life-threatening, and Davis should be fine in a couple of weeks.

With Davis on the DL, the Brewers had a roster spot available once again for Adam Stern, who was recalled and in uniform for last night's game, grounding out as a pinch hitter. Stern actually hadn't left Milwaukee after being optioned between Friday and Saturday's games.

While Stern fills Davis' roster spot in the short term, the Brewers will still need to find a starting pitcher to fill his spot in the rotation when it comes up this week. Yesterday, Jordan made the case for Manny Parra.

Meanwhile, Jim Edmonds sat out yesterday's game and is day-to-day with a strained rib cage muscle. He doesn't think he'll have to go to the DL, though. Beyond the Box Score makes the case for Edmonds as baseball's most productive player in his age 40 or older season.

Other notes from the field:

The play on the field was ugly at times, but the 40th Anniversary celebration was still pretty popular: The Brewers drew 43,069 fans to Saturday's game, selling out Miller Park for the fifth time this season. They also drew 37,023 last night for the Hank Aaron bobblehead giveaway.

Uni Watch, however, was unimpressed with the Brewers and Phillies' efforts to replicate their 1970s jerseys. Follow that link for a full list of things they got wrong.

Prince Fielder has quietly returned to form, hitting .308/.379/.577 in May, but his HBP pace has dropped off: It's been 17 games since Fielder was last hit by a pitch. Even with that extended break, though, he's still among the leaders in Plunk Everyone's HBPs by Difficulty.

In the minors:

  • Three Brewers are headed off to rehab assignments this week: Josh Butler will start tonight's game for Brevard County, Mat Gamel will join him with the Manatees on Wednesday, and Carlos Gomez will join Wisconsin on Wednesday as well.
  • David Riske made another rehab appearance for Brevard County yesterday, but the results weren't nearly as good: He allowed five runs on seven hits over two innings, and struck out just one. We've got that and much more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Kentrail Davis is scuffling a bit for Brevard County. He's 0-for his last 19, but has walked five times and been hit by three pitches.
  • The Appleton Post-Crescent has profiles of Timber Rattlers Cutter Dykstra and Cameron Garfield (h/t Rattler Radio here and here).
  • The Baseball America Minor League Transactions report the Brewers have released infielder Brett Dowdy. Dowdy was signed a few weeks ago and appeared in three games each for Huntsville and Nashville.

If you missed this weekend, you missed a fair amount of Brewer news. Scroll down or click here for Noah's Weekend Mug to catch up.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Designated pitcher Edwar Ramirez for assignment, placed pitcher Justin Duchscherer on the DL with a left hip issue and designated pitcher Chad Gaudin for assignment.
Braves: Placed OF Matt Diaz on the DL with an infection in his thumb.
Indians: Released pitcher Scott Lewis, and placed infielder Andy Marte on the DL with an infected ingrown hair.
Mariners: Placed catcher Adam Moore on the DL with a bruised heel.
Marlins: Placed catcher John Baker on the DL with a strained flexor muscle in his right forearm.
Mets: Released reliever Kiko Calero.
Nationals: Designated pitcher Brian Bruney for assignment.
Phillies: Placed pitcher Brad Lidge on the DL with elbow inflammation.
Yankees: Claimed pitcher Shane Lindsay off waivers from the Rockies.

As the draft approaches, we're starting to learn a little more about players that could fall to the Brewers, who will draft 14th. One of the players that comes up a lot lately is Washington high school outfielder Josh Sale, profiled at Amazin' Avenue.

In former Brewer news: If you've ever wondered what happened to Wayne Franklin, Keith Ginter and Bill Pulsipher, Josh Levitt of The Hardball Times found them all in the Golden League.

Elsewhere in former (and current) Brewer news, the B-Ref Blog has a look at the longest home save streaks in baseball history. Current and former Brewers Trevor Hoffman, Eric Gagne and Bob Wickman all have streaks in the top ten, but none of those streaks were accomplished as Brewers. Doug Henry was perfect at home as a Brewer from 1991-93, the 15th longest streak.

And in former manager notes: Ned Yost's resurrection as manager of the Royals has led some to think back to his 2008 firing. Martin Manley thinks the Brewers "let a good manager get away."

We're almost at the quarter pole of the regular season, and the surprising San Diego Padres continue to lead the NL West at 22-14. Is it time to start taking them seriously? Big League Stew thinks so.

Behold the wonders of the modern era. Five years ago, the technology to do it barely existed, but this week Twins pitcher Pat Neshek is in hot water with his manager for using Twitter to inform fans that his hand injury had been misdiagnosed by team doctors.

It isn't the Mug unless I sneak in a story on baseball economics: Bus Leagues Baseball reports that two teams (the Marlins and Indians) are being outdrawn by their minor league affiliates. A third team, the A's, lead their minor leaguers by less than 1000 fans. The Brewers, with low-attendance affiliates in Brevard County and Huntsville and good attendance at home, have outdrawn their minor leaguers by nearly 400,000 fans.

Here's a trivia question that could keep you guessing all day. Can you name the last time two Brewers had five hits in the same game? Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones each had five hits for the Pirates on Friday, becoming just the ninth pair of teammates to do so since Kevin Seitzer and Scott Fletcher did it for the Brewers on August 28, 1992. Seitzer and Fletcher batted eighth and ninth for the Brewers that day, respectively.

Today's feelgood story of the day comes from the LA Times, which has the story of two Dodger minor leaguers who helped save the life of a motorcyclist who hit a turkey.

Happy birthdays to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to teach someone to respect the game.

Drink up.
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