The MLB offseason doesn't officially start until after the World Series, so we've got at least a few more slow news days left before business picks up.
Some things to read while Martin Maldonado waits outside.
Major League Baseball asks teams not to make any major announcements on World Series game days to avoid drawing attention away from the games, so it's no surprise that today's top story is a minor change in the dirt in the foul territory at Miller Park. The Brewers appear to be growing grass over what used to be dirt walkways between the dugout and home plate.
Meanwhile, Ryan Braun's virtual mantle is starting to fill up. This morning he was announced as a winner of one of Beyond the Box Score's NL Silver Slugger Awards after being named on all ten ballots. Aramis Ramirez was the only other Brewer mentioned and finished third at third base behind Chase Headley and David Wright.
Speaking of Braun, Robert J. Baumann of NotGraphs has turned "Where's Brauny?" into my new favorite offseason photoshop game.
Elsewhere in awards: We spend a lot of time around here discussing Ron Roenicke's strengths and weaknesses but it's worth noting that at least one of his contemporaries thinks he was the NL's best manager this season. Roenicke was named on one of ten ballots for the Sporting News' NL Manager of the Year Award, which was voted on by fellow managers. (h/t Federal Baseball)
Meanwhile, excessive bunting remains one of the primary arguments against Roenicke. Despite the fact that it seemed like the Brewers bunted in every possible opportunity in 2012, they didn't have a single player up for consideration in the 2012 Flat Bat awards, presented to baseball's most effective bunters.
Rob Neyer of Baseball Nation is working on a team-by-team look back at the 2012 season and named Rickie Weeks as the player who best represented the 2012 Brewer season. The post also includes a sidebar with my counterargument in favor of John Axford.
Our crowdsourced rankings of 2012's top Brewers continued yesterday with Carlos Gomez winning the #7 spot, and you can see his profile here. Voting for the #8 spot will remain open until 1:30 today, with the winner announced at 2.
Carlos Gomez's sudden improvements in 2012 were part of the reason Nyjer Morgan's playing time took a serious hit this season. Ray Guilfoyle of Fake Teams listed Morgan as one of ten players who underperformed his expectations.
Today in free agency: Noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs is asking readers to help him predict the contract Francisco Rodriguez will receive as a free agent.
In the minors:
- Josh Prince, Hunter Morris and Brock Kjeldgaard combined for nine hits and Nick Bucci pitched four innings for the win in Phoenix's 15-1 win over Surprise in the Arizona Fall League yesterday. Here's the box score.
- Two other notable players have kicked off their winter ball seasons in the Caribbean: Jean Segura is hitting .389/.450/.556 through four games for Cibao, and Ariel Pena allowed two runs over three innings in his first start for Licey in the Dominican Republic.
- By the way, Mike Newman of FanGraphs rated Segura as the second best minor league shortstop he saw in person this season.
Cubs: Claimed pitcher Carlos Gutierrez off waivers from the Twins and designated catcher Anthony Recker for assignment.
Mariners: Declined catcher Miguel Olivo's contract option for 2013 and released infielder Munenori Kawasaki.
Royals: Hired Jack Maloof and Andre David as their new hitting and assistant hitting coaches.
Twins: Declined reliever Matt Capps' contract option for 2013.
Meanwhile, the World Series is underway and Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is already making a strong case for MVP after hitting three home runs in last night's 8-3 win. Thanks to all of you who came out last night to watch the game at our BCB World Series meetup, and to Nicole for putting it all together. Here are my favorite World Series notes from last night:
- Joe Block noticed that Norichika Aoki was a guest commentator on NHK's Japanese broadcast of last night's game.
- You Can't Predict Baseball notes that Giants catcher Buster Posey is the only player who was in the lineup for the first game of both the 2010 and 2012 World Series.
- Bless You Boys has a post on Jose Valverde, who went from perfect in 2011 to nearly unusable in the playoffs in 2012.
Today in former Brewers: Brewer all time saves leader and MLB Network broadcaster Dan Plesac is reportedly a candidate to replace Bob Brenly as color commentator on Cubs TV broadcasts.
Most of us probably barely remember the fact that the 2012 season opened in March when the Mariners and A's played a series in Japan. AZ Snakepit noted a report suggesting plans are in the works for the Dodgers and Diamondbacks to open the 2014 season in Sydney, Austrailia, but MLB is denying the rumor.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 18th anniversary of the Mets claiming former Brewer first round pick Bill Spiers off waivers, ending his Brewer career. Today also would have been 1954-57 Milwaukee Brave Bobby Thomson's 89th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 34 career HBP are the second most ever for a player born on October 25.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a new hero.