PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 04: Craig Counsell #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on from the dugout in the third inning while taking on the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game Three of the National League Division Series at Chase Field on October 4, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Some things to read while eating $10 worth of M&M's.
We're 57 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale,and this morning the team announced one more person who will be there: Longtime minor league broadcaster and former Dodger postgame show host Joe Block will be joining the Brewer Radio Network broadcasts this season alongside Bob Uecker, filling the role vacated by Cory Provus. The team will officially introduce him at Brewers On Deck in January. In the meantime, here's his personal website.
Beyond that, the Brewers appear to have left early for the holiday. With no news to report, we'll harken back to a time honored late December space-filling tradition: The year-in-review post. Today we have Justin Hull, who listed three Brewer memories among his top ten Wisconsin sports moments of 2011 and Jayson Stark, who listed Craig Counsell and Logan Schafer among his "strange but true" feats of the year.
Meanwhile, John Axford produced a music video of himself as five elves.
It's a strange day for Prince Fielder notes:
- Jerry Crasnick noted that Fielder is one of eight relatively high profile Scott Boras clients that still don't have teams for 2012.
- Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison used Fielder as an excuse to troll on Twitter.
In the minors:
- Mat Gamel's winter league season appears to be over, as his wife Julianne tweeted that they're back in the US.
- Meanwhile, Martin Maldonado went 1-for-3 and scored a run in Mayaguez's 6-2 loss to Caguas in Puerto Rico yesterday. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes.
- First baseman Steffan Wilson, released by the team after the season, will remain in the organization as an amateur scout.
When the Brewers reopen Miller Park for the season in April, there might be a change beyond the right field fence: The area out there had been known as the AirTran Airways Landing Zone, but that could change now that Southwest has acquired the company.
This morning's Frosty Mug is the 994th here on BCB. Hopefully you'll be able to join us on January 3 at Rounding Third for The Night Of (Approximately) 1000 Mugs.
Cardinals: Signed outfielder Carlos Beltran to a two year, $25 million deal (FanShot).
Cubs: Signed reliever Manny Corpas to a one year deal.
Mets: Signed catcher Rob Johnson to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Acquired pitcher Gio Gonzalez from the Athletics for pitcher Brad Peacock and three prospects and signed infielder Mark DeRosa to a one year deal.
Twins: Signed pitcher Jason Marquis to a one year, $3 million deal.
In former Brewers:
- Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com says Casey McGehee could start at first or third base with the Pirates, but they have other options too so he'll have to earn his playing time.
- Jody Reed (infield coordinator), Franklin Stubbs (AA hitting coach), Chuck Crim (AA pitching coach) and Jim Slaton (pitching and rehab coach, extended spring training) will be spending the 2012 season working in the Dodger organization.
- Robert J. Baumann of NotGraphs envisions Billy Jo Robidoux as a bare knuckles boxer.
Today in baseball economics:
- The Yankees' annual luxury tax payment for 2011 was $13.9 million, and is expected to be less in 2012. With that said, they've still paid $206 of the $227 million collected across baseball since the tax was implemented.
- Earlier this week I mentioned two court-ordered appraisals of the Mariners estimated their value between $551 and $750 million. A judge ended up deciding on $641 million.
- A recent audit showed that the Peoria Chiefs, (Low A) Midwest League affiliate of the Cubs, lost $848,000 in 2010 and at least $2.4 million total from 2007-2010.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go maximize my potential.