Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while displaying withdrawal symptoms.

We're just one day away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, so it's time for another batch of spring training previews: Brian Anderson has a list of important dates and a Ron Roenicke story from last season. Nick Prill of The Brewers Bar has a look at five questions the Brewers will face this spring.

One of those questions, of course, is about Ryan Braun. It's been nearly a month since Braun's appeal was heard (and roughly four months since his alleged positive test), but Jeff Passan of Yahoo says Braun may report to camp before this is resolved, and that there's hope for a resolution next week, but it "could bleed into the week after."

Tom Haudricourt says it's "somewhat understandable" that we're still waiting for a decision, but I respectfully disagree. The official reporting date for Brewer position players is a week from today, but most of the players will be there before that. Many of them are there now. The fact that the team still has this hanging over their head is not acceptable. All parties involved have had plenty of time here. It's long past time to resolve this and move on.

While we wait to see what will happen, View From Bernie's Chalet has an early 25 man roster projection with Cesar Izturis, Brooks Conrad and Brandon Kintzler claiming the final three spots. UmpBump has Conrad as the Brewer representative on their list on the NL's best non-roster invitees.

Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com released his list of baseball's top ten defenses lately, and the Brewers appeared as an honorable mention. If they can simply be an average team defensively it'll be a big improvement over what we've seen in recent years.

The team will get an opportunity to show off that defense to a national audience early: Their Monday, April 9 game against the Cubs has been moved to 6 pm to accommodate an ESPN broadcast.

We're 49 days away from Opening Day, and Brewer Nation's "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series continues with a profile of the Brewers' #49, Yovani Gallardo.

In the minors: John Sickels of Minor League Ball listed pitcher Sean Albury (drafted in the 31st round) as one of the potential sleepers selected after the 20th round in 2011.

The Brewers experimented a bit with demand-based pricing last season, and they're expanding the project for 2012: The team announced yesterday that they'll use the flexible price system for loge outfield and bleacher seats for nine games this season.

Sometimes we all need a reminder that we're living in one of the best times ever to be a Brewer fan. Plunk Everyone notes that the Brewers had a .545 winning percentage in Paul Molitor's games, the best mark in franchise history, but four current or recent Brewers (Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, Prince Fielder and Corey Hart) are in the top ten.

If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, @Mass_Haas has links to Adam McCalvy and Brian Anderson's appearances on WSSP last night.

Around baseball:

Pirates: Won their arbitration case with 1B/OF Garrett Jones, who will make $2.25 million in 2012, and signed third baseman Casey McGehee to a one year, $2.5375 million deal to avoid arbitration.
Rays: Signed catcher Chris Gimenez to a minor league deal.

Now that McGehee has settled, the 2012 arbitration season is over. There were 142 arbitration-eligible players but only seven hearings, with the team beating the player in five of them.

Of course, all of today's news is overshadowed by the fact that Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, who was just 57 years old, has passed away after a long battle with cancer (FanShot). There's a lot out there about Carter this morning, but I'd recommend you check out what Joe Posnanski had to say.

Today in former Brewers:

In baseball economics: There's a report floating around that private investors in Seattle are working to develop a new arena to host potential NBA and NHL teams in the city. U.S.S. Mariner has a look at the financial impact that could have on the Mariners.

If it wasn't for the Braun non-news, this might have been today's top story: The Rays are unveiling a new alternate mascot, "DJ Kitty."

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 12th anniversary of John Jaha signing with Oakland as a free agent, ending a 14 year run in the Brewer organization. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been 3000 days since the Brewers sent Richie Sexson to the Diamondbacks in a nine-player deal.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my luggage is gone.

Drink up.

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