Thursday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while waiting for your stickers.

An exciting offseason for the Brewers is paying off at the box office: The team announced yesterday that they've already sold one million tickets for 2011 (FanShot). This ties the franchise record: They also sold their one millionth ticket on January 19, 2009.

I'm a big fan of John Axford, but I'm still astonished by the level of attention he gets for his mustache. Once again, it's the first topic discussed in this Montreal Gazette story on the Brewer closer.

Almost as if they knew I'd have a hard time segueing away from that, Vaughn's Valley listed John Axford #7 on their collection of the 10 Brewers Critical to 2011 Success.

In yesterday's Mug I mentioned that Royals pitcher Gil Meche has decided to retire. Zack Greinke talked to Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star about his relationship with his former teammate.

Meanwhile, here are some fake quotes: Miller Park Drunk re-imagined Prince Fielder's reaction to his new contract.

In the minors:

  • Baseball America is reporting the Brewers have signed minor league free agent pitchers Jameson Dunn and Morgan Brinson, and released pitcher Luis Guerrero. Dunn was an undrafted free agent, Brinson is 24 and hasn't pitched professionally since 2008, and Guerrero had spent the last three seasons pitching in relief in the AZL.
  • Voting is now open for the #15 spot in our BCB Community Prospect Rankings. D'Vontrey Richardson narrowly missed once again yesterday, so perhaps today is his day.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Designated infielder Steve Tolleson for assignment.
Diamondbacks: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Joe Saunders ($5.5 million) and signed infielder Cody Ransom to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Signed infielder Jerry Hairston to a one year, $2 million deal and released pitcher J.D. Martin.
Padres: Signed pitcher Chad Qualls to a one year deal.
Rockies: Signed third baseman Joe Crede to a minor league deal.
Twins: Re-signed pitcher Carl Pavano to a two year, $16.5 million deal.

Jim Callis of Baseball America noted that Pavano was the last Type A free agent remaining on the market, so the first round of the 2011 MLB draft is now finalized.

Today in sabermetrics: Jeff Zimmerman of FanGraphs has part one of a three part series on starting pitchers and the DL. One of his findings (older pitchers are more likely to go on the DL) isn't all that surprising, but another one (so are heavier pitchers) came as news to me.

Here's another sign that we're running out of things to talk about: Beyond the Box Score has a ranking of major league reporters based on their ability to be the first to break news. Not surprisingly, Ken Rosenthal is #1.

On this day in 1996, the Brewers signed pitcher Ben McDonald to a two year, $7 million deal. McDonald, perhaps best known for being the #1 overall pick in the 1989 draft, made 56 starts with a 3.96 ERA as a Brewer in his final major league seasons. Following the 1997 season he underwent unsuccessful rotator cuff surgery and was eventually forced to retire.

With help from Brewerfan.net and the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to check in.

Drink up.

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