Back in February of 2008 I had some time on my hands and a desire to read a bunch of Brewer news. A quick search around the internet led me to the understanding that what I was looking for (a daily roundup of Brewer content) wasn't immediately available, so I took to the FanPost section and started writing what would soon become the Frosty Mug.
Years have passed and much has changed, but the Mug has been posted nearly every weekday since. This is the 1000th installment in the series, and I hope you'll join us tomorrow night at Rounding Third to celebrate this milestone.
Some things to read while setting a tone.
We're 47 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, but unfortunately we're leading the year off with bad news: Tom Haudricourt talked to an MLB official who made it seem increasingly unlikely that Ryan Braun will be able to get his pending suspension overturned via appeal. Obviously nothing is official at this point and probably won't be for a while, but this dark cloud continues to linger.
Here are today's other Braun notes:
- Chicken Friars noted the discussion of taking back Braun's NL MVP, and compared it to the total lack of similar conversation when 1996 NL MVP Ken Caminiti admitted taking steroids.
- Off The Bench listed Braun as one of baseball's ten biggest stories in 2011.
Elsewhere in looks back at 2011, John Steinmiller and Caitlin Moyer have a list of their ten favorite moments from the year that was. Meanwhile, a Brewer fan's on-camera proposal to Ryan Braun (complete with cell phone number) was named Big League Stew's screen cap of the year.
While others look back, Adam McCalvy is looking ahead to 2012 and has a list of ten questions the Brewers will have to answer in the new year.
If the Brewers aren't done spending money this winter I'll be pretty surprised, but this MLB Trade Rumors poll lists them as the frontrunner among ten candidates to sign first baseman Carlos Pena. Unless he's willing to defer a lot of money I can't see it happening, and even if he is I'm not sure it'd be a good decision.
Even without Pena, this Brewer team is pretty good. Buster Olney of ESPN says they have baseball's fourth best outfield and sixth best bullpen.
The Brewers still have a few more weeks to decide whether or not to sign Norichika Aoki, who is expected to work out for team officials in Maryvale soon. NPB Tracker has a look at the pros and cons of potentially bringing Aoki to the major leagues. (h/t MLBTR)
Here's today's lone Prince Fielder note: Marc Normandin of Baseball Nation has a look at how other top free agents have fared after going into the new year without a new team.
In the minors:
- Congratulations are due this morning to Taylor Green as over the weekend he was announced as a co-winner of the Randy Echlin Memorial Award, presented annually to the best Canadian hitter in the minors. Brett Lawrie was the other honoree.
- The Outside Corner and Baseball Intellect have both posted their lists of 2012's top Brewer prospects, and both have Wily Peralta #1.
- Nashville is the latest Brewer affiliate to name a new radio broadcaster: Former Kane County play-by-play man Jeff Hem will replace Stu Paul this season. @Mass_Haas has an archived audio interview with him.
- @Mass_Haas also has the demo reel for new Huntsville broadcaster Alex Cohen.
- Cohen, by the way, is on Twitter.
- The winter ball Brewers were all off yesterday, but Martin Maldonado's Mayaguez team has clinched a spot in the Puerto Rican playoffs.
- Zelous Wheeler is now on Twitter. I've added him to the list.
Doug Melvin picked up an honor (honour?) this weekend: He was named second on a list of baseball's most influential Canadians, behind Greg Hamilton of Baseball Canada.
That's all the Brewer news I've got for today, unless you wanted a picture of Manny Parra's dog.
Blue Jays: Acquired reliever Jason Frasor from the White Sox for two minor league pitchers and signed pitchers Darren Oliver (one year, club option for 2013) and Aaron Laffey (minor league deal).
Padres: Acquired outfielder Carlos Quentin from the White Sox for two minor league pitchers.
Red Sox: Signed pitcher Rich Hill to a minor league deal.
Yankees: Re-signed outfielder Andruw Jones to a one year, $2 million deal.
Meanwhile, an extension deal between the Reds and second baseman Brandon Phillips doesn't appear to be as imminent as previously suggested: The two sides have tabled talks.
Today in baseball economics: The Tucson Padres are no longer a temporary venture. The team (currently owned by Padres owner Jeff Moorad) had been kicked out of their ballpark in Portland and moved to Tucson while waiting for a ballpark to be constructed in suburban San Diego, but those plans have fallen through and the team is believed to be back up for sale.
I know dropping a ball is the traditional way to celebrate the New Year, but next year I'd like to replace it with a Joe West ejection.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I know who stole my leggings.