Some things to read while shopping for cows.
Today's biggest news is, once again, something that's not going to happen. Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt yesterday that Ken Macha will not be fired today, despite the fact that 52% of voters in this week's BCB Tracking Poll think he should be. Here's the money quote:
"I'm not a big believer in interim managers," said Melvin, reached at his office at Miller Park. "If things get to the point where you see no fight in the players, that's different."
I guess it's possible for a team to look more lifeless than the Brewers did against the Giants last week, but I'd have to see it to believe it.
At least the Brewers gave us a chance to go to bed early: Ryan Braun and Corey Hart were both out of last night's All Star game in the bottom of the fifth inning, and combined to go 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a double play. Braun made a great diving play in the field, although he risked breaking his wrist while doing so.
Other notes from the game:
- Bernie Brewer had his picture taken with the three Brewer representatives.
- Reggie Jackson doesn't know who Corey Hart is, but that didn't keep Hart from posing with Captain Morgan.
- The game didn't actually start until after 7:45 - the 45 minute delay was long enough for Rowland's Office to pen a diatribe about the excessive ceremony and commercial breaks.
It wasn't long enough, though, for Charlie Manuel to re-think his lineup. He told reporters he played Andre Ethier in center field because "I remember he played there a lot." Ethier has never played center in the majors.
- Former Brewer hitting coach Rod Carew threw out the first pitch.
- Randy Wolf was in attendance, wearing his brother's umpire jersey.
- In hindsight, I wish I'd made the trip to Anaheim just for the BBQ competition.
Yovani Gallardo's comments about the 2011 All Star Game generated a fair amount of discussion in the comments of yesterday's Mug, and it turns out it may all have been for naught: Gallardo now says he "wasn't quoted properly" and doesn't actually intend to boycott the game if selected. Bud Selig seemed unwilling to consider moving the game in his lunch with reporters yesterday.
By the way, Selig is still saying he intends to retire following the 2012 season, but his wife doesn't believe it.
Speaking of Gallardo, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs ranked him 41st in his annual look at player trade values.
On the trade front, you can add Howie Magner of Milwaukee Magazine to the list of proponents for a possible deal involving Corey Hart or Prince Fielder. Magner also noted a rumor suggesting the Rays might be close to a deal, and could be offering AA righty Matt Sweeney and either MLB starter Wade Davis or high-A lefty Matt Moore. Baseball Brew has a look at what the Rays might be willing to give up.
Apparently Doug Melvin told Giants GM Brian Sabean that he would only pull the trigger on a Hart deal if Madison Bumgarner or Jonathan Sanchez were involved, and the Giants appear unwilling to make that move. Lumping those two pitchers together seems weird to me: demanding Bumgarner or Sanchez is like walking into a car dealership and demanding either a new Corvette or a 2003 Toyota Camry. Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors says the Giants, Rays and Padres are all likely interested in Hart, but none might be willing to overpay. Rob Neyer says the Giants might not be a good trade partner for the Brewers.
Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker was the latest to weigh in on the Brewers' situation with Fielder, saying "the chances of the team being completely hamstrung by a long-term deal for Fielder just make it too risky."
Jack had better be careful or he'll get a phone call from Scott Boras. Apparently Boras called Tom Haudricourt to complain about a blog post about Fielder's body type and conditioning.
If the Brewers do, in fact, trade Hart, Fielder or anyone else for prospects, then you might have a use for this new Prospect Surplus Value calculation at Beyond the Box Score. And, of course, you should also pick up a copy of the Brew Crew Ball Trade Deadline Primer to keep handy.
If the Brewers are going to trade Hart they'd better do it soon, before pitchers start pitching him low and away again. Beyond the Box Score notes that Hart is one of baseball's best hitters against pitches on the upper and inner thirds of the plate.
In the minors:
- A "minor" injury held Amaury Rivas out of the Southern League All Star Game, but it must be a bigger deal than previously thought: He's been placed on the DL for Huntsville.
- In one of the quietest days of the regular season, the AZL Brewers were the only team in action and won 9-8 despite Eric Arnett allowing six runs on nine hits in three innings. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Cory Jennerjohn of the Appleton Post Crescent has a look at Khris Davis' power surge for the Timber Rattlers.
- The Brookings (SD) Register has a profile of Wisconsin reliever Caleb Thielbar.
On power rankings: SB Nation has the Brewers at #21, down one spot.
If you weren't around yesterday, you might have missed a couple of pretty cool features: TheJay has a look at the best performances in Brewer All Star history and Fatter than Joey has part 1 of the history of Brewers on the All Star ballot. Follow the links or scroll down and take a look, if you haven't yet.
No transactions to report today.
The Brewers still haven't reached a deal with their first round pick, Dylan Covey. On the other end of the spectrum we have the White Sox and Chris Sale: Sale, the #13 overall pick, has already been promoted to AAA and could be in the big leagues in August.
Meanwhile, the Pirates continue to make headlines with international signings. The team that signed the first players from India and South Africa has now added 16 year old Aleksey Lukashevich, the first player ever signed out of Belarus.
In former Brewer notes: It's possible the most surprising season by a former Brewer is taking place in Baltimore, where Corey Patterson is hitting .289/.335/.423 in 50 games as an Oriole, posting an OPS+ over 100 for the first time since 2003. Camden Crazies wonders if his performance is for real.
Here's a long running saga that might be nearing its conclusion: The city of Naples, Florida is withdrawing its offer to become the spring training home of the Cubs. It appears the Cubs will remain in the Cactus League and Mesa.
Here's one of the stranger minor league All Star Game stories you'll hear: Diamondbacks prospect Josh Collmenter was the winning pitcher for the North Division of the Southern League in their All Star Game, despite the fact that his team plays in the South Division. The North had run out of pitchers, so they borrowed Collmenter from the other side.
The Home Run Derby has jumped the shark. It's long, drawn out and needs an overhaul to move it along. Or, they could just take Larry Stone's idea and put Ichiro in it. I'd watch that.
George Steinbrenner continues to be the talk of the baseball world this week as figures from all over the game pay their respects. Adam McCalvy has quotes from Mark Attanasio and Willie Randolph about the longtime Yankee owner.
On this day in 1999, three workers were killed when a 480-foot crane carrying a portion of Miller Park's retractable roof collapsed. The accident delayed Miller Park's opening by a year.
Happy birthday to:
- 2009 Brewer Mike Burns, who turns 32.
- 2000-02 Brewer Jose Hernandez, who turns 41.
- 1995 Brewer Derrick May, who turns 42.
Now, if you'll excuse me, my carpool is leaving.