Some things to read while ruining your shoes.
We're 64 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and for the first time in roughly a week we have no breaking Brewer news to discuss. So instead, we'll go back a day and start with Todd Rosiak's second look at quotes from Aramis Ramirez's introductory press conference.
Meanwhile, we do have some baseless speculation: Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs considered the possibilities and suggested the Brewers could trade Francisco Rodriguez and cash to the Angels for first baseman Mark Trumbo. Trumbo turns 26 in January and hit .254/.291/.477 in his first full major league season last year.
Another day, another set of notes on Ryan Braun:
- Phil Dawson of The Big 1070 has a look at what would have to happen for Braun to win his appeal.
- Greg Couch of Fox Sports says the fact that the Braun issue was allowed to come to light shows that MLB is making progress in its struggle with performance enhancing drugs.
- Jim Caple of ESPN wrote some fan fiction involving Braun and Alec Baldwin.
- You have until 2 pm today to buy one of Miler Park Drunk's "Free Ryan" t-shirts.
Eric Seidman of FanGraphs has a look at the Braun situation and various options the Brewers could consider to fill in the gap if he misses significant time. One of them is a name we haven't discussed before: former Mets outfielder Scott Hairston.
High Heat Stats has an interesting look at WPA today, and how several players with similar season WPA numbers provided their value. Nyjer Morgan is one of the six players studied.
Here are today's Prince Fielder notes:
- Jerry Crasnick of ESPN says there are signs indicating the Cubs are stepping up their support of Fielder, but Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says they're not major players.
- Ken Rosenthal says it's down to the Cubs and Mariners.
- Jon Heyman is still listing the Rangers as the favorite to land Fielder but, as mentioned previously, Heyman remains the only one listing them as a candidate and is consistently accused of being a mouthpiece for Scott Boras.
In the minors:
- Frankie De La Cruz continues to have a rough winter: He allowed three runs on seven hits over 4.2 innings and dropped to 0-6 when Estrellas lost last night. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes.
- Mat Gamel, by the way, grounded into a double play in a pinch hit appearance to end a streak of eight straight days off.
- The Timber Rattlers have another "spot the difference" challenge for you. Today I was able to find three of five and only needed half an hour to get the song out of my head.
Rick Kranitz made an appearance last night on WSSP, and you can hear the archived audio here. I only half-listened to it, but I didn't hear anything new or groundbreaking.
This morning's Mug is the 989th in BCB History, meaning we're still on pace to hold The Night Of (Approximately) 1000 Mugs on Tuesday, January 3 at Rounding Third. Be there or run the risk of having to wait multiple years for the next BCB event.
Cardinals: Signed reliever J.C. Romero to a one year deal.
Mets: Signed pitcher Chuck James to a minor league deal.
Reds: Signed pitcher Kanekoa Texeira to a minor league deal.
Twins: Signed catcher J.R. Towles and first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce to minor league deals.
In former Brewers: Former Seattle Pilot and 1970's Brewer Mike Hegan will not return to Indians radio broadcasts next season after 23 years in the booth.
Here's my favorite sabermetric note from today: Tangotiger of The Book Blog has a look at some numbers regarding bunting for a base hit, and when it makes sense/doesn't make sense to do it with two outs.
It remains to be seen how new Brewer hitting coach Johnny Narron will do in Milwaukee, but he left a pretty significant gap in Texas. Now that he's moved on, Josh Hamilton is looking for a new "accountability partner."
Those of you reading The Extra 2% as part of the BCB Book Club might especially enjoy this: Robert J. Baumann of NotGraphs is working on starting a meme involving former Devil Rays owner Vince Naimoli.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a new yoga mat.