Tuesday's Frosty Mug

Twitter is great at teaching us things we'd rather not know. Today, for example, I learned that Chris Narveson has a fantasy NASCAR team.

Some things to read while getting ready for Opening Day.

We're 38 days away from Opening Day and coming off a long-overdue quiet day in Maryvale. Today's top stories include things like dust storms, Zack Greinke's Voltron shirt and Chris Narveson's NASCAR fantasy team. It's the kind of day I would've loathed at this time last year, but after a winter spent covering PED allegations and Prince Fielder's departure it's actually nice for a change.

Scott Miller of CBS Sports was in Brewer camp yesterday and filed a profile of Mat Gamel and a list of likes/dislikes about this team. All told, it sounds like he likes their chances.

Here's something to like: After bulking up to over 250 pounds this winter, Adam McCalvy says Corey Hart realized he needed to drop some mass and reported to spring training both bulked up and slimmed down. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Corey Hart is in the best shape of his life.

Alex Gonzalez was one of the last players to report to spring training, but he's there and ready to man the shortstop position in 2012. Todd Rosiak (linked via Twitter) notes that Gonzalez will be the fourth player to hold down that spot in as many seasons.

The young players spending their first spring in major league camp are the topic du jour around the internet today:

  • The JS (behind the paywall) has a story on Martin Maldonado, who will likely see time in the majors this season if anything happens to Jonathan Lucroy or George Kottaras.
  • The Golden Sombrero has scouting reports for five top prospects in camp, including Wily Peralta.
  • ASU student Lisa Kennell of the Journal Sentinel (linked via Twitter) talked to Taylor Green, Logan Schafer and Michael Fiers about their efforts to win jobs this spring.

Speaking of Fiers, he signed his 2012 contract yesterday. The Brewers now have just two players left unsigned, and roughly two weeks to work something out.

We're a few days away from the unofficial Brewer broadcast debut of new play-by-play man Joe Block, who will be seated alongside Bob Uecker for Sunday's spring training opener in Maryvale. The Janesville Gazette's Peace and Glove blog has an interview with him.

In the minors:

  • J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker has a consideration of D' Vontrey Richardson's prospect status, and notes that getting out of Space Coast Stadium could help his offensive numbers.
  • It's still much too early to be taking these predictions seriously, but Seedlings To Stars has the Brewers taking California high school third baseman/pitcher Rio Ruiz and University of Florida pitcher/first baseman Brian Johnson with the 27th and 28th picks in their 2012 mock draft.
  • Rattler Radio is going year-by-year through 50 years of baseball history in Appleton, and as part of their post on 1975 noted that new Brewer hitting coach Johnny Narron's last pro season came as a member of the Appleton Foxes.

It seems like we've got someone new on Twitter every day lately, and today is no exception: Brewer media relations director Mike Vassallo took the plunge yesterday, although he already seems to be reconsidering.

We've still got a few weeks left for something to take its place, but I wouldn't be surprised if Miller Park Drunk writing fan fiction about John Axford writing fan fiction turns out to be the weirdest thing published about the Brewers this spring.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Infielder Scott Sizemore will miss the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL.
Cardinals: Signed catcher Yadier Molina to a five year contract extension believed to be worth more than $60 million.
Reds: Signed pitcher Sean Marshall to a three year, $16.5 million contract extension.
Royals: Signed catcher Salvador Perez to a five year contract extension worth $7 million with club options for 2017, 2018 and 2019.

This morning's most interesting/unlikely spring story comes from Astros camp, where the team announced they're planning on moving pitcher Brett Myers into the bullpen and using him as a closer this season. Myers has thrown 439.2 innings for the Astros over the last two seasons.

Meanwhile, former Brewer Carlos Villanueva appears to be fine but had a scary moment this week: He's suffering from circulation problems in his throwing arm and had to leave camp to have a procedure done to make sure there weren't any serious issues.

The Brewers held Photo Day outside this year, but now I'm wondering where they shot the white background pictures last year. Big League Stew has a photo showing the Yankees shooting theirs in a stadium restroom.

Spring training coverage can be a little frustrating at times, because there's a lot of fluff and poor photography out there. Jon Bois of Baseball Nation has a look at what could happen if you spent a week locked in a room with nothing but tweets from camps around baseball.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History celebrates the anniversary of former Milwaukee Brave Red Schoendienst's election to the Hall of Fame in 1989. Today is also 1970's Brewer Jim Wohlford's 61st birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his eight career HBP are the fifth most ever for a player born on February 28.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to put this in my mouth.

Drink up.

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